French Property Face-off: Brittany vs Provence

As part of a new series The Local France has lined up two very different dream homes in contrasting parts of France, but that have similar market prices. For the first edition of "French Property Face-off" it is Brittany versus Provence. Which home would you spend your money on?

French Property Face-off: Brittany vs Provence
Take this week's French Property Face-off between an eight-bedroom house in northern Brittany and a converted olive mill in the Var department in Provence. Photos: Leggett Immobilier

Every year thousands of foreigners splash out on their ideal home in France, but choosing where to live and what kind of property to buy can be an agonizing decision.

Are you going to sell up and splash out out on a villa in Provence or a country house in Brittany? Or will it be a beach-side French Riviera apartment or a flat in the famed Marais district of Paris?

Of course not everyone gets the chance to turn their dreams into reality, so as part of our new series readers can get the chance to imagine – if only for a few moments – what it would be like to choose between French properties that are on the market. 

For the first edition of French Property Face-off we have lined up a 17th century converted olive mill in the Var department of picturesque Provence and a luxury home and its spacious grounds in the Côtes d’Armor department of northern Brittany.

Both properties cost in the region of around €500,000.

Take a closer look at the two properties in this gallery of images and in the final one, let us know which one would get your vote.

French Property Face-off: Brittany versus Provence

Both houses are on the market with estate agente Leggett Immobilier. You can find out more about the converted olive mill by CLICKING HERE or if the Brittany eight-bedroom home was more to your liking, you can find out more information by CLICKING HERE.

Click here to see more properties from Leggett Immobilier.

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Tax hikes of up to 60% for French second home owners

Towns and villages through France are raising property tax rates for second-home owners, with many areas voting for the maximum 60 percent increase.

Tax hikes of up to 60% for French second home owners

Even though France’s taxe d’habitation (householders’ tax) is in the process of being phased out for most French residents, second-home owners are still required to pay it.

This year more towns have voted to increase it, and others have recently gained the ability to add a surcharge for second-home owners, with French daily Le Parisien reporting that the residence tax “continues to soar.” 

Municipalities in zones tendues (areas with a housing shortage) have the ability to choose to increase taxe d’habitation by up to 60 percent for second home owners.

From 2023, several new areas – including Nantes – will join the list of zones tendues, meaning they will be able to vote to increase taxes for second-home owners.

This year, large cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Biarritz, Arles and Saint-Jean-de-Luz saw their city councils vote to increase the tax at the maximum 60 percent.

READ MORE: Why some French cities are increasing taxes for second-home owners

Some areas have still not chosen to apply the increase, but those looking to buy a second home in France should beware that these municipalities could vote to increase the taxe d’habitation in the future.

In 2020, cities on average voted to increase the residence tax on second homes by 248.50, in comparison to €217 in 2017. This year, that amount is expected to be even higher.

On top of the taxe d’habitation, second-home owners also have to pay the separate taxe foncière property tax, which is itself rising sharply in many areas.