A Guide to buying a Property or Real Estate in France
Depending on the property and possibly the area, the laws on buying and selling Property in France can vary somewhat. Be careful with the capital gains tax as this is chargeable on all second home sales owned for less than two years at a rate of 33% with a sliding reduction on pofit percentages over a 20 years period.
There are no restrictions on foreign ownership.
Property Prices in France Guide
Range Varies, for example:
From £10,000 / €14,000 for rural properties in need of renovation
From £30,000 / €42,000 for apartments/studios
From £50,000 / €70,000 for suburban homes
From £60,000 / €8,000 for Ski apartments and chalets over £100,000 / €140,000.
From £150,000/€210,000 for South of France properties
Locations in France
France is broken down into many regions and has a variable lfestyle
Cost of Living in France
Although the general standards of living are quite high in France in areas heavily populated like Paris,Cote d’Azur,Riviera etc. Areas within rural communities tend to be a little cheaper to live in and as such are becoming quite popular with overseas buyers.
Buying property in France
standard freehold residential property.
Once an agreement on price is reached by both buyer and seller, a solicitor or notary will draw up a legally binding contract which both parties would sign.
Normally a 10% deposit would be paid at this point (which would be held in a secure account until the completion). The property would be withdrawn from the market and the legal system would commence its checks etc. At this stage if you were to back out of the contract you would lose your deposit.
Normally the final contract would be signed by both parties at the Notary’s office and at this stage the deeds would pass to the buyer and the land registery updated. The balance of the purchase price would be paid to the Notary who will then pay the vendor. You will need to provide the Notary with a copy of your birth certificate translated into French and, if applicable, a copy of a Marriage Certificate, also translated.
Solicitor / Lawyer
We recommend that you enlist the services of a Lawyer or Solicitor in the purchase of your French Property, preferably one who speaks English. This will help to protect your interests in the purchasing procedure. This will be in addition to needing a Notary who is mandatory for property purchases
Expect to pay around 10-15% over the selling price;
The Notary fee around 3%, transfer tax 7.5% (less than 1% for new properties) and registration fees around another 6%.
The vendor should pay the Real Estate Agents fees. CHECK!
Property Tax in France
Property taxes are levied on property plus residential tax for living as a owner occupier or as a tenant (renting or not). Both are calculated on the average property rental values.
Normal lending criteria will allow you to borrow up to 80% from French banks or international mortgage brokers and should be declared at the time of the preliminary agreement. The normal repayment term can vary between 15 – 25 years depending on the lender.
For more information on buying property in a particular area of France, please contact the Estate Agent concerned or visit the French Governments website:
This guide is not meant to represent a full guide on buying property in France but is will give you an insight to the procedures to follow.
French Embassy in London
Tel: +44 (0)207 201 1000
Fax: +44 (0)207 201 1004