Your chance to buy a house in France for one euro (but there’s a catch)

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a house in France, you’ll soon have the chance to buy one for just one euro. There are a total of 18 for sale at this bargain basement price. But there's a catch. Actually there's a few.

Your chance to buy a house in France for one euro (but there’s a catch)
Photos: AFP

First, you will have to commit to renovating the property, which will likely cost tens of thousands of euros. Then you have to promise to live in it for at least six years.

You’ll also need to have a family that will live there with you, and you’ll have to be a first time buyer.

Still interested? If so, you should know that the house you would get for this price is not going to be a desirable residence in a beauty spot in Dordogne or Provence.

It’s in Roubaix, one of the poorest towns in France and one plagued by urban decay, drugs and unemployment.

Council chiefs in the town, which is situated near Lille close to the border with Belgian, have approved a plan to sell off eighteen properties – all currently derelict – from its social housing stock in 2018.

The scheme was inspired by a similar project that was successfully carried out in the city of Liverpool in the UK, and is part of a larger plan to deal with the 2,000 empty social housing units in the town.


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If you’re still keen, one final criterion is that you would have to complete renovations within one year and would not be allowed to actually live in the house until council officials check that you have had the work done to a satisfactory standard.

If you are still interested you can click HERE for a link to the Town Hall's website and here are a few pics of Roubaix to whet your appetite.




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.