Abercrombie & Kent International Estates Appointed By La Durantie – As Buying Conditions Boost Interest in France


Abercrombie & Kent International Estates has been appointed as the exclusive UK sales agent for La Durantie, the luxury property development centred on an historical chateau country club in The Tarn (S France). The new partnership is timely as enquiries have upturned at La Durantie due to favourable buying conditions in France. The culmination of favourable currency exchange rates, cheap mortgages and falling house prices means UK buyers are currently getting luxury homes at a more affordable price.
Year on year, Abercrombie & Kent, the leading luxury travel company, has experienced a 30% increase in visitors to the France pages on the UK travel website and a 10% increase in visitors to the French properties on A&K Villas’ website. Hina Jabeen, Senior Property Consultant, Abercrombie & Kent International Estates comments:

“This part of the south of France is an important market for us. We are seeing demand very much on the up again in terms of both rental and ownership. Many of Abercrombie & Kent’s clients rent fabulous villas in the area and then decide that they want to own a property themselves. These are Francophiles who love quintessential France at its best with its beautiful scenery and country towns. They are keen to buy in the area for the lifestyle it offers, investment or retirement. With its rich heritage and being located on the same latitude as the Cote d’Azur, La Durantie offers exceptional value in an authentic French setting.”

Jeanne Boden, Director at La Durantie says: “La Durantie will offer the only luxury spa retreat and country club in The Tarn, there is really nothing else like it. We believe that A&K International Estates’ reputation, service and global connections make them the perfect partner. La Durantie is likely to appeal to A&K’s, discerning globetrotters in search of an authentic and secure second home in France, as there is a shortage of luxury, turn-key properties. We are anticipating our serviced homes with guaranteed returns through the leaseback system will particularly suit A&K’s 40-something professionals and families.”

Mr Nick Hall (44yrs), Managing Director in the Financial Services sector who has recently reserved a three bedroom home says: “The favourable buying conditions in France really is the factor that convinced us to buy now. The idea is that my family will get somewhere beautiful to go on holiday which is not going to cost anything in 20 years from now when the mortgage is paid-off. The Durantie management company is guaranteeing nine weeks rental per year and we are hoping to achieve 10-13 weeks per year in total, just to cover costs. The management company will deal with driving the rentals, so I will not have to do anything to generate the extra weeks.”

La Durantie will soon become home to 57 vernacular designed single and two storey one to five bedroom detached homes, most with an ‘integrated’ swimming pool set within a landscaped private garden. There will also be two styles of apartments with either 2 or 3 bedrooms around a shared pool. In-keeping with the local villages, homes will be arranged in small clusters of approximately four to six homes with private spaces and landscaped internal courtyards.

Country Club membership at La Durantie is ideal for those who enjoy the finer things in life giving owners the use of the private rooms in the chateau building such as the bistro, drawing room, library and two private rooms for dining or meetings. Other onsite facilities will include 20 metre indoor and outdoor swimming pools, state of the art spa, tennis courts, croquet lawn, outdoor dining terraces & barbeque.

The spotlight shone on the undiscovered rural beauty spot of The Tarn (Midi-Pyrénées) when ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ film, based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais was released in UK cinemas on 5th September 2014. Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, and directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallström (Director of Chocolat), scenes of the Michelin-starred French restaurant, run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) were shot in Durantie’s belle époque chateau.

The Developer has gained a rare permit to build within this ‘Area of Outstanding Beauty and Nature’ and homes will enjoy serene views across the chateau meadows or towards the medieval village of Castelnau-de-Montmiral. Other nearby ‘bastide’ villages include Puycelsi, Gaillac, Cordes, (voted favourite village in France), the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Albi and Toulouse is a 50 minute drive north.

Located on a wine domain, overlooking undulating vineyards and miles of oak forest, La Durantie is a wine enthusiasts dream, with its own wine label and discounts for home owners. Gaillac is one of France’s premiere wine regions with the first vine plantations dating back to the Roman time.

Completion of the first ten houses is anticipated by December 2015, followed by another six in early 2016. House prices in the leaseback scheme offer a hassle-free buy-to-let opportunity with a 20% tax refund by La Durantie Management Company. Homes range from 1-5 bed and priced from €357,334 (approx. £254,900) to €762,284 (approx. £553,000). *All prices are nett (after VAT refund). A mandatory annual charge includes management charge and country club.

Incentivised inspection trips can be arranged through A&K.