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Buying real estate in France

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French laws regarding buying property can vary slightly depending on the type of property you buy.

Capital Gains tax is chargeable on second home sales owned for less than two years. This would be charged at 33% with reductions on the profit percentages for each additional year of ownership up to 20 years plus.

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership.



Areas of France

Alps Property     Bordeaux Property     Brittany Property     Corsica Property

Cote d Azur Property     Dordogne Property     Languedoc Property     Loire Property

 Normandy Property     Paris Property     Provence Property     Pyrenees Property

Andorra Property     Cannes Property     French Leaseback Property     Lyon Property

Marseille Property     Monaco Property     Rhone Property     Roscoff Property

Ski Chalet Property     St Tropez Property

Real Estate Prices in France

Range Varies, for example:
From £30,000 / $45,000 for rural homes in need of some renovation
From £50,000 / $75,000 for apartments
From £70,000 / $125,000 for suburban homes
Ski resorts come at a premium with apartments costing upwards of £100,000 / $180,000 and chalets over £200,000 / $365,000.

Locations to buy real estate in France

France occupies a large area and has many appealing districts.
Brittany in the North, French Riviera in the South, Paris for cosmopolitan enthusiasts and of course the French Alp ski resorts like fashionable Courcheval, which can also be quite lovely in the summer.

Living Costs in France

The standard of living in France is high with good salaries. Cost of living in Frances capital, Paris, is considerably higher with premium property prices, so a larger income is needed if you were live there. On average, the cost of living in France is lower than the E.U average, particularly in rural areas.

Buying real estate in France

For a regular freehold residential property.

An agreement to buy is negotiated between the buyer and seller and an initial contract is drawn up by the Real Estate Agent or a Notary and signed by the buyer and seller which legally binds both parties.

You would now pay a deposit of about 10% of the purchase price which remains held in a special account by the Notary or selling agent until completion of the sale when the property will no longer be open to offers from other parties. This contract is known as a bilateral agreement, compromis de vente in French, and the most popular type of contract. You would lose the deposit if you do not proceed with the purchase.

The final contract is signed at the Notary’s office and the deeds pass to the buyer and the land registered. You must then pay the balance of the purchase price to the Notary who will then pay the vendor. You will also need to provide the Notary a copy of your birth certificate translated into French and, if applicable, a copy of a Marriage Certificate, also translated.

Solicitor / Lawyer

A solicitor/lawyer is recommended to protect your interests and conveyance the property title when buying real estate in France. They will be in addition to the Notary who is mandatory for property transactions.


You would expect to pay a total of over 12% of the selling price; less for properties under five years which have VAT (20.6%) built into the price.
The Notary fee would be 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.

Property Tax in France

Real Estate 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.

*In France new property purchases attract Vat of 19.6%, but this can be avoided through the leaseback scheme. Leaseback restricts the number of weeks per year that the buyer can use their property, so that it can be rented out as holiday accommodation. Popular in ski resorts and coastal areas with developers quoting an average of 5-6% gross annual rental income. In some cases the buying price you are quoted is with the tax already recovered by the contractor. Leaseback Property


You can borrow up to 80% from French banks and should be declared at the time of the preliminary agreement. The normal repayment term is 15 years. Click here to arrange a mortgage in France.

For more information on buying property in France, please contact the Real Estate Agent or visit the French Governments website:

Our guide will not cover all the legal and full financial information for your Real Estate purchase but should enable you to get an idea into the financial involvement.

For more information on French Property and to arrange your viewing visit:

French Property Viewing Arrangements

French Property Search:

French Property Search

Alps Property     Bordeaux Property     Brittany Property     Corsica Property

Cote d Azur Property     Dordogne Property     Languedoc Property     Loire Property

 Normandy Property     Paris Property     Provence Property     
Pyrenees Property

Andorra Property

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