• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Corsica OKs crackdown on holiday home buying

The Local/AFP · 25 Apr 2014, 13:45

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

"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.

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Morocco's king drains water supply from French villages
King Mohamed VI of Morocco. Photo: AFP

King in town + 300-strong entourage = no drinking water for a French village.

Macron vows 'to transform France from next year'
Photo: AFP

Ex-Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron sets his sights on the presidency albeit without saying so.

French PM suggests naked breasts represent France
A statue of Marianne at the Place de la Republique in Paris, with her left breast on show. Photo: AFP

Just as the burqini ban furore was dying down French PM Manuel Valls has stirred things up again for suggesting naked breasts were a stronger symbol of the Republic than a Muslim headscarf.

Macron quits government before likely bid for Elysée
President Hollande, left, and Emmanuel Macron. Photo: AFP

France's rebel Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron stepped down on Tuesday as he looks set to concentrate on replacing his boss as president of France.

What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
Competitors in the colourful Marathon du Medoc. Photo: AFP

Summer's not over just yet.

French police officer stabbed by knifeman in Toulouse
Photo: AFP

Attacker, believed to have mental health problems, targeted police officer "because he represented France", unconfirmed reports say.

French parents told to cover naked 18-month old at beach
People enjoying the sun at the Villeneuve-de-la-Raho lake near Perpignan. File photo: AFP

An 18-month-old boy cannot bathe naked, at least according to authorities in southern France.

Every fact you need to know about France's 'départements'
Photo: AFP

So what's the most populated "département" if it's not Paris? Find the answer, as well as every other need to know fact about France's 101 departments.

Brexit: You've got till 2019 Hollande warns UK
Photo: AFP

For the sake of everyone the divorce needs to happen as soon as possible, says Hollande.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Emmanuel Macron: The whizzkid who could shake up French politics
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
2,749
jobs available