French real estate boost

The recent government announcement detailing a reduction in the qualifying period of ownership from 30 years to 22 years for property sellers to now be eligible for exemption from real estate capital gains tax is expected to boost sales volumes in the French property market, thinks euro mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org. Adding to the period of historically low interest rates and relatively stable prices which the French market has enjoyed recently in the key expatriate buying centres around Nice, the Cote D’Azur and Paris, the new policy is expected to boost sales volumes and bring about a recovery from their recent average 26% decline.

Meanwhile, prices in the sought after areas of the 6th and 7th Arrondissements in Paris are already surging ahead, according to data from the Notaries de France, with some areas having risen by over 18% in one year or nearly 40% over five years. Parisian property has outperformed the provinces in this regard and in the popular Alpes-Maritimes department which includes Nice, prices slipped back slightly by around 3% for older, established apartments, having risen for each of the four years prior since 2009. On a euro per square metre basis, prices in Nice are now running at €4860 for new build properties or at around €3600 for existing housing stock.

Meanwhile headline grabbing mortgage rates as low as 2.80% for 10 year fixed rates or 2.15% for variable rate products will be attractive to both domestic and expatriate buyers, thinks Offshoreonline.org.  Managing director Tim Harvey comments, “In the traditional centres where expatriates like to buy, the French market has shown an enviable combination of relative price stability, even when volumes have fallen significantly. Unlike in the UK, though, mortgage finance remains readily available, making this an attractive proposition for investors who are focussed on return and lifestyle, rather than a specific location.”

International buyers considering a French property purchase can find more information on euro mortgages at www.offshoreonline.org.

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