Typical buyers of French property next year will be mainly retired couples aged 56 or more from London or the south east. Civil servants approaching retirement age, medics and teachers also will be keen to buy, according to a report.

The lower price of property and search for a better climate also has influenced the decision to buy in France.

The British are moving to France full time because they feel our Gallic neighbour has retained its traditional values and offers a better healthcare service than in the UK or Ireland, according to French specialist agent VEF?s (www.vefuk.com) annual market report that will released in early January.

Although the command of the French language generally is low, a large proportion of British purchasers are prepared to go direct to a French agent to find a property. This could conflict with the response to another question in the survey, emphasising the importance of having professional help to ensure the process is trouble-free and ownership is secure.

Francophile buyers are avid Google searchers and hunt on-line for the ?right property?. The majority of potential purchasers want to move to south west France.

They are more likely to be making their purchase from savings or investments than from the sale of their current UK property.

* Overseas property