News of the French real estate market: September report

August, traditionally the calmest month of the French real estate year, saw a slight drop in activity compared to the bubbly market of the first seven months.

Overall prices for non-new homes continued to rise across the country. Rural areas experienced a 0.5% increase according to Meilleurs Agents–Les Echos, which has established itself as the best “instantaneous” index on the market.

This means that rural properties are now close to reaching the same prices as at the start of 2008, when the last financial crash saw prices fall by up to 30% in some areas.

In contrast, in Paris, prices are 62% higher today than they were in 2008.

Exceptionally low home loan rates now available

A survey by the broker Empruntis showed that competition between banks kept credit rates low this year, even in the summer.

Normally French banks raise rates in the summer when their property specialists go on vacation, to reduce demand to a level that less experienced staff can handle, but this year rates have remained low. The average loan over 20 years is 1.1%.

Looking for a good real estate deal? Try a French chateau

One part of the market where there are good deals for those willing to take a risk is in old castles, some of which once served as summer camps for children.

For example a castle owned by Belfort town hall and not far from the city is up for auction with a starting price of €277,950 this month. It was previously on sale for €900,000 before frozen water pipes caused a destructive flood.

The Château de Nescus in Ariège is due to be sold this month, with a starting price of €90,000. It has approximately 1,200 m2 of living space and 2.2 hectares of land plus a caretaker’s house of 100 m2.

Read more: Sales of chateaux have exploded in France since the first Covid lockdown

Buy a piece of history

If you have deep pockets, you might want to make an offer for the oldest building in Marseille, currently for sale via The BonCoin for 1.2 million euros.

Located near the Old Port, it is a four-storey private mansion, with 223m2 of floor space.

Built around 1535, it is said today to be the oldest building in the city, but it is in serious need of renovation.

Couple sue after buying French property riddled with dry rot

A couple discovered their dream home was riddled with dry rot (la mérule in French) after moving in and after skilled workers worked on the house for a year without mentioning it.

They obtained the cancellation of the sale and the seller reimbursed them both the price of the house and the price of the work. The seller may later claim the workers’ share.

Fabrice Louge and his partner Véronique set up a website complete with graphic photos of rot damage as a warning to other buyers.

Buyers of property in France should ensure that a dry rot check is carried out when looking at any building that may be damp.

Read more: House sale canceled after chicken farm next door covered up by sellers

Have you declared your swimming pool?

If you have a swimming pool that has not been declared to the tax authorities, you risk having the tax equivalent of an ice bath in the next two years.

French tax inspectors are starting to work with Google to use aerial photos to check undeclared swimming pools, garden sheds and verandas, which can lead to increases in property tax.

A trial in the city of Marmande in 2017 revealed that a third of the city’s 800 swimming pools had not been declared.

It’s about a poacher being a game warden – Google paid almost a billion euros in 2019 to the French tax authorities to end a case dating from 2015, when it was accused of concealing income that would have had to be taxed in France.

New real estate investment program underway

The current Pinel system, which offers tax reductions to investors in new buildings, should become less advantageous in 2023 and disappear from the end of 2024, but the good news is that it is being replaced.

From 2023 a device called “Super-Pinel” is announced, with a tax reduction of up to 21% of the value of a new property.

To be eligible, buildings will have to meet high energy efficiency standards and landlords will also have to commit not to reduce the quality of accommodation offered to tenants in the future, for example by reducing the size of rooms, the high ceilings or access to natural springs. light.

Beware of the pitfalls of exchanging your property tax status

It is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of exchanging the tax status of primary residences and secondary residences in France.

Local property tax bills for second homes are on average taxed 20% higher than primary residences and so if your current primary residence is already in a high tax area, you might see higher than expected property taxes.

This is more relevant now as many people are considering moving out of cities to rural areas – a trend believed to be fueled by periods of Covid lockdown.

Solar panels are gaining popularity

Solar panels that allow sellers to sell any excess electricity they don’t use are now the most popular form of home solar installation in France, with 100,000 of the 120,000 home systems registered since 2017 under the framework. of the device.

Owners can now sell excess electricity at 10 cents per Kwh.

Prices for DIY kits have also dropped and can be had for just €5,000 for standard installation, including help with paperwork.

Find out more about real estate in France

Who has to pay the residence tax in France?

Online estate agents in France broaden horizons for house hunters

Real estate prices in France have doubled in 10 years, according to a study

Penny D. Jackson