• France edition
 
Corsica OKs crackdown on holiday home buying
Corsican lawmakers want buyers to live on the island five years before they can buy property. Photo: kjunstorm/Flickr

Corsica OKs crackdown on holiday home buying

Published: 25 Apr 2014 13:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Apr 2014 13:45 GMT+02:00

Anyone wanting to buy property on Corsica will have to have lived there for five years under proposals approved Friday by the French Mediterranean island's assembly.

A proposal which supporters say is essential to prevent indigenous islanders being priced out of their homeland was approved 29-18 with four abstentions in a vote at the left-dominated regional assembly whose extensive powers include housing policy. The bill must still be approved by the French parliament. 

The proposal was initiated by the chairman of the island's executive committee, Paul Giacobbi, who said it was designed to counter those inclined to invest speculatively in the largely unspoiled island's property sector.

“It’s time we had some kind of regulation and asking people to live here for a certain amount of time before they are allowed to buy a property is a good way to do it and a very good way of ending property speculation in Corsica," Giacobbi told The Local previously“I am not against foreigners. My family and wife come from abroad. Corsica is a land that welcomes foreigners.

Around 40 percent of properties on Corsica are second homes owned by people living off the island. The island currently has a population of 310,000, a majority of whom are incomers, and the number of residents is growing at a rate of 4,000-5,000 a year.

That trend, coupled with Corsica's outstanding natural beauty, has fuelled a strong demand for land for development and the money to be made from it is said to be a factor in the feuding between criminal gangs which have given the island a very high murder rate.

There have been more than 40 assassination-style killings on the island since the start of 2012.

Under the proposal approved on Friday, Corsicans living and working away from the island will be exempted from the residency requirement.

"This provision is key, it confirms the link between the Corsican people and their land," said Gilles Simeoni, the mayor of the port city of Bastia who heads an 11-member group of moderate nationalists in the assembly.

The proposal is subject to approval by France's parliament and may also face challenges in the French courts or through the European Court of Justice from those who view it as discriminatory, prejudicial to their economic interests or contrary to the principles of the free movement of people within the European Union.

Restrictions on second home ownership are not unprecedented in the EU however. Denmark notably has strict rules governing who can buy holiday homes on parts of its coastline which are widely regarded as being designed to prevent the areas from being overrun by second home owners from neighbouring Germany.

Don't miss stories about France, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local/AFP (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
IMF board expresses confidence in Lagarde
Christine Lagarde, who revealed she had been charged on Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation. Photo: AFP

IMF board expresses confidence in Lagarde

The board of the International Monetary Fund has reiterated its support for Managing Director Christine Lagarde, after a French court placed her under formal investigation in a graft scandal. READ  

Top 10 tips for dealing with your French in-laws
Meeting your French in-laws doesn't have to be scary. Photo: AFP

Top 10 tips for dealing with your French in-laws

Even back home meeting the in-laws for the first time is scary, but as a foreigner in France it's doubly stressful. So here's ten tips from the Comme une Française blog to help you survive and even thrive with your new family. READ  

How France compares to Europe:  Unemployment
How does France compare to its neighbours when it comes to unemployment.Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

How France compares to Europe: Unemployment

The jobless total in France hit a new record high this month with 3.424 million people out of work. Is it only in France that records are being broken? The Local takes a look at why the numbers are more positive in at least some of France's neighbours. READ  

Frenchman flips out over reclined seat on US flight
A Frenchman freaked out on a US plane over a reclined seat and is in big trouble. Photo: Doug/Flickr

Frenchman flips out over reclined seat on US flight

A Parisian man faces jail after losing his cool on a France-bound flight from the US over a passenger who reclined his seat just a bit too far. His outburst comes on the heels of the now infamous “Knee Defender” melee aboard another American plane. READ  

French police in race to find sick British boy
Ashya King, who police in France are desperately trying to track down. Photo: YouTube/Naveed King

French police in race to find sick British boy

Police in France and Britain faced a race against time on Friday in their hunt to find a five-year-old boy with a brain tumour who officials in France believe was "kidnapped" from a UK hospital by his family. READ  

French women's safety fears 'due to inequality'
A third of French women say they afraid to walk in their neighbourhood. Photo: Takato Marul/Flickr

French women's safety fears 'due to inequality'

Recent studies suggest women in France do not feel safe walking the streets of their neighbourhoods and many are afraid of walking around Paris at night. Some argue that gender inequality in the country is partly to blame. READ  

Feature - Wingsuit flying
Thrill-seekers risking life and limb in French Alps
Wingsuit flying has taken off in France despite dangers. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP

Thrill-seekers risking life and limb in French Alps

A mountain in the French Alps has become a hot spot for the high-risk and often deadly extreme sport of wingsuit flying. And the seemingly hairbrained alpine activity where "there is no margin for error" attracts a lot of "dangerous egos". READ  

British killer escapes from hospital in France
French police have launched a manhunt for an escaped British killer. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

British killer escapes from hospital in France

A mentally ill British man is on the run in France after escaping from a psychiatric hospital, where he was forcibly committed after beating a man to death with a four-kilo weight. READ  

Does France really suffer from a brain drain?
France may not be suffering from a brain drain after all, but it's not as attractive as the UK or Germany. Photo: Leaving.

Does France really suffer from a brain drain?

The latest European Union figures cast a bit of doubt on worries the moribund French economy is prompting a mass brain drain. However the stats do suggest France is far less attractive than the UK and Germany when it comes to certain professions. READ  

French cities struggle with bedbug infestations
Bed bugs are biting in France. Photo: Shutterstock

French cities struggle with bedbug infestations

The infestation of French cities by bed bugs is worse than ever before with hygiene services overwhelmed, according to reports. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
International
VIDEO: Watch the top five street scams to avoid in Paris
Politics
Take a look at the bulging to-do list that awaits France's new government
Politics
Six questions for France after Hollande ousts rebels
International
Choosing schools in France: Do you go international or French?
Gallery
From kissing to bad-mouthing: Ten ways expats in France drive you mad
Culture
Ten things you need to know about the Liberation of Paris:
Travel
Watch this impressive time lapse video and you'll want to move to Paris
National
Veiled Muslim woman on a French beach prompts politician's angry rant
Travel
Forget Paris and Provence where are the least touristy areas of France?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The battle to liberate Paris from the Nazis
National
What France means to you in just one tweet
National
15 French 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
12 reasons to invest in Paris and seven not to
National
French hamlet 'Death to Jews' mulls name change
National
French tourist caught in Pompeii brothel romp
International
'Forget the Anglo-media's image of France, the reality is much different'
Culture
VIDEO: Francophile Robin Williams enjoyed poking fun at the French
Travel
Six reasons why France is the world's top tourist destination
International
Remembering the 'forgotten campaign' in the liberation of France
Gallery
VIDEO: French bucket list - The 12 best things to do in France
International
Do three French cities deserve to be in top 10 "World 's Most Unfriendly"?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se