• 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
The burning questions about Brexit facing British expats
Sarlat in the Dordogne where there are many concerned Britons right now. Photo: Ben Salter/Flickr

The Brexit vote has not changed anything yet, but there's no doubt our heads are full of questions about what might happen?

The ten most expensive motorways in France
Photo: AFP

A new study has shone a light on which stretches of motorway in France cost the most per kilometre.

British royals in France to mark Somme centenary
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince William are to attend the vigil on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Prince William, his wife Kate and brother Harry are set to attend a vigil in France.

Mont-St-Michel (where bikes are banned) all set for Tour
Photo: Screen grab BFM TV

The Tour de France will start in possibly the only village in France where bikes are banned.

The 16 must-visit towns in France you've never heard of
Photo: calips96/Flickr

Sarlat, Rocamadour? Old news.

Opinion - Brexit
Brexit: Brussels should have stood up for itself more
Photo: AFP

Why didn't Brussels join the scrap instead of allowing itself to be bashed up by the British media, argues France based author Stephen Clarke, who knows a thing or two about the EU.

Good news for renters: New caps to hit Paris region
Sunset over Val de Marne to the southeast of Paris. Photo: Gabriel de Castelaze/Flickr

France's rental cap laws will soon be rolled out across the greater Paris region.

'Giving in to fear': Anger as Paris gay pride cut back
Gay Pride Paris 2015. Photo: AFP

The annual Paris gay pride parade on Saturday will be half as long as usual due to security concerns, but members of the LGBT community say this is just giving in to fears.

Tour de France: 23,000 police and special ops join the ride
Photo: AFP

Not to mention the elite special-ops forces who will also be on duty.

What France says will be the impact of Brexit
Photo: Oli Bac/Flickr

The French president and his government have been talking about the impact of Brexit in several areas. Here's what they had to say.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Paris to honour Ireland's two sets of 'wonderful' fans
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
When France 'ignored' the result of an EU referendum
New app aims to rid Paris pavements of dog poo
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
No more plastic bags! See what changes in France from July 2016
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
And the best football fans of Euro 2016 in France are?
National
Paris has wettest spring in 100 years and it's hitting morale
Police murders remind France of complexity of terror threat
2,764
jobs available