Buying French property post Brexit - Know your rights

With its haute cuisine, wine, iconic attractions and diverse landscape, France remains a prime destination for global property investors. 

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A spectacular range of properties leaves you spoilt for choice. Visit Provence for classic French manor houses set in acres of lavender fields. The Côte d'Azur is ideal for luxurious French villas while Haute Savoie has chalets providing picturesque valley views. In the vibrant capital dubbed “City of Love” and famed for its nightlife, you’ll find opulent French apartments.

Rights of UK owners of French property post-Brexit

French property has always been popular with second home buyers across the channel. The chance for UK buyers to become French citizens if they own real estate in this economically stable country is an added incentive and you’ll be glad to know leaving the EU does not impact your right as a UK citizen to hold French property.

There is a remote possibility the French government might prevent sale of real estate to non EU nationals in certain areas, such as Paris arrondissements, especially if those districts experience a housing shortage; this is unlikely to impact French properties for sale in other parts of the country.

As a British buyer seeking a French Euro mortgage post-eu referendum result, you are still eligible to apply for 60 to 65% of the purchase price (EU members can access 80%). Additionally, French banks are happy to lend funds to individuals not from the EU, so you won’t have difficulty securing capital for that French property of your dreams, such as the stunning villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

Both EU and non EU residents pay the same local taxes and Capital Gains taxes; as a UK citizen owning real estate in France expect no difference in the tax structure. One potential change after Article 50 is triggered is that permission to buy a home or get a mortgage may need to be sought from the Banque de France (this rule was in practice before Britain joined the EU).

It is unlikely that France will bring back this old rule, given the country relies on UK buyers with spare cash to lovingly restore its magnificent old homes. For the same reason, it is unlikely that setting up a company to invest in French property will be made difficult for British buyers who currently form a large percentage of its international real estate investors.

If you plan to purchase a buy to let investment property bear in mind you could face ‘social charges’, if France opts to reintroduce them. This would mean paying around 15.5% for properties you lease. It is uncertain if this tax would come back into practice and even if it does, it will only be after Britain fully completes its EU exit, several years from now.

In short, you can still buy property in France post-Brexit without worrying unduly about getting a French Euro mortgage or being charged exorbitant rates of tax.

Don’t hesitate to get your purchase underway and if you have any questions about owning French real estate post-Brexit and would like us to arrange viewings contact us.