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How Brexit has made a Paris suburb the most expensive place to buy property in France

A new survey has revealed that one Paris suburb has leapfrogged the French capital in terms of property prices to become the most expensive place to buy in France. And it turns out that one of the main reasons for this is... Brexit.

How Brexit has made a Paris suburb the most expensive place to buy property in France
Photo: AFP

The latest LPI-Se Loger property barometer shows that the French capital is no longer the most expensive place to buy property in France. 

Leapfrogging the capital to become the most expensive place to buy in France is Neuilly-sur-Seine, located to the western edge of Paris, sandwiched between the plush 16th and 17th arrondissements of the capital and the business district of La Defense.

According to the barometer the price per square metre in Neuilly-sur-Seine, which data shows is the wealthiest town in France, is now €10,344 per square metre. That compares to the average price of an apartment in Paris which is €9,827 per square metre, according to the barometer.

Although it's worth pointing out that that is the price for Paris as a whole, where property prices vary widely between the west and the east of the city. In some central and western arrondissements of the capital, such as the 8th and 16th, the price per square metre is much higher than Neuilly.

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And the reason for this jump in property price in Neuilly, according to experts, is partly due to wealthy French families returning to France from the UK as a result of Brexit.

Once run by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the well-heeled town of Neuilly is attractive to the returning families for its proximity to Paris' financial district La Defense, its bigger apartments (sometimes even houses) and the greater amount of green space on offer there.

It also has the added bonus of being on line 1 of the Paris Metro, which links Neuilly to the centre of the city.

However Neuilly isn't the only town in the Hauts-de-Seine department to the west of Paris which has seen prices sky rocket over the past year. 
 
Of the top five most expensive places to buy in France, according to the LPI-Se Loger barometre, four out of the top five were in Hauts-de-Seine – the other being Paris. 
 
An apartment building in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Photo: AFP
 
Joining Neuilly were Levallois-­Perret (see below) in the north western suburbs of Paris, where the average price per square metre was €8,544 euros, representing a rise of 12.3 percent, Boulogne-Billancourt (in the western suburbs) where the average price was €7.890 euros (a rise of 3.4 percent) and Issy-les-­Moulineaux (average of €7.308, representing a rise of 10.8 percent).
 
“The French coming back from London are choosing the Hauts-de-Seine and Yvelines. As they're used to the very expensive London housing market valued at around €15,000 per metre squared, the property prices in and around Paris, even though they're high, seem affordable to them,” said property analysts Buthaud et Chatry.
 
Levallois-­Perret looking towards La Defense. Photo: couscouschocolat/Wikicommons
 
“Many of them can pay €100,000 over the asking price for a property.”
 
Another survey carried out by real estate company Credit Foncier Immobilier also showed the same trend, saying that French people returning to France as a result of Brexit would see increasing competition for expensive property.  
 
“We have noted a rebound in the number of French buyers for luxury property in Paris (normally the exclusive preserve of foreigners). We attribute this to a repatriation of wealthy French people, although whether this is Brexit or a Macron effect is uncertain.”
 
In Neuilly the prices are particularly high if you are looking to invest in one of the town's older and more prestigious Haussmann buildings.

Photo: AFP

This average price per square metre represents a 4.9 percent increase in prices over the past year, with the average price of a property in Neuilly standing at €744,000. 

The Neuilly 'golden triangle' – made up of the Saint James, Roulle and Jatte areas – is particularly coveted, meaning prices are even higher. 
 
It also happens to be the place in France where the income per capita is the highest in the country.  
 

And while the Brexit effect has so far only been attributed to 6-7 percent of property sales over the €2 million mark, the phenomenon is expected to increase over the next few months as French families move back from Britain in preparation for the beginning of the school year in September 2019.
 
Meanwhile, in Paris, which still made it to second place in the ranking, an apartment costs an average of €9,827 per metre square. 
 
Apartment buildings in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Photo: AFP
 
On top of this, competition for apartments within the boundaries of the French capital is fierce which experts say is driving people to look outside of the the city's 20 arrondissements. 
 
“There is a very strong demand and a very limited supply,” Michel Léchenault a spokesperson for Se Loger told the French press.
 
He says that a Haussmann apartment with three bedrooms (a rarity) on Ile Saint Louis in central Paris which was on sale for €2 million euros was not put on the market because it had already sold by word of mouth. 
 
Prices for real estate in Paris are increasing as buyers scramble to get their hands on flats in the French capital's most well-heeled districts.
 
“The number of buyers is rising unstoppably,” Paris notaire Thierry Delesalle old AFP.
 
Demand was outstripping supply, particularly for the most select properties, “and perhaps because of Brexit,” Delesalle said.
 
The Hauts-de-Seine department is already a popular spot with English speakers in France, particularly Brits and Americans. Find out more here
 
READ ALSO:

Where are all the English speakers in France?

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TAXES

What’s the penalty for failing to file France’s new property tax declaration?

French tax authorities recently issued a new required property tax declaration, here is what you need to know about the potential penalty for failing to file it.

What's the penalty for failing to file France's new property tax declaration?

French tax authorities have threatened to issue fines of up to €150 for those property owners fail to fill submit the new compulsory tax return.

Property owners in France have until June 30th, 2023 to file the new return, which specifies whether the property in question is a primary or secondary residence.

How much is the fine?

It is set to a fixed amount of €150 per property according to the French Public Service website.

Under what circumstances could I be fined?

You can be fined if you fail to submit the declaration prior to June 30th. You can also be fined if the declaration is found to be erroneous, incomplete, or missing information.

When could the fine be issued?

The fine would only be issued after June 30th – the final date to file the tax declaration – if tax authorities do not receive the form by the deadline.

How can I fill out my declaration?

If you live in France and already make your annual tax declaration online then this process should be fairly easy – head to impots.gouv.fr, log in and then click on Biens immobiliers (“Real Estate”) in the menu bar along the top of the website.

You will then be directed to the “Manage my real estate” service of the site which will then list the property or properties in your name, and you can fill out the déclaration d’occupation for each, stating whether it is your main residence or a second home.

The Local has put together a guide to the new tax declaration and how to fill it out here.

READ MORE: France brings in new tax declaration for property-owners

If you have any questions or difficulties in completing the declaration, you can contact the help phone number at 0 809 401 401 – keep in mind that the operator may only speak French, so if you are worried about your language level you may want to ask for assistance from a proficient French speaker.

You can also reach out to the tax authorities using the secure messaging system on the Impôts.Gouv.fr website. The page “J’ai une question sur le service Biens immobiliers” (“I have a question about the Real Estate department”) will allow you to send messages and ask questions, albeit in French.

You can also find the location of your local tax office here

The new tax declaration applies to anyone who owns property in France – whether it is their main residence or a second home – including those who live in another country. If you do not own property and only rent your home, then this does not concern you.

Keep in mind that the tax return is not an extra tax, it’s simply an extra piece of paperwork that has to be filled in, known as a Déclaration d’occupation, and this declaration is concerned with whether the property is your main residence or a second home.

The document will be required this year because of recent changes to the property tax system. There are two types of property tax in France; taxe foncière which is paid by the property owner and taxe d’habitation which is paid by the property occupier. If you own your home home, traditionally you paid both.

READ MORE: UPDATE: New French property tax declaration – your questions answered

However, taxe d’habitation is in the process of being scrapped for most people, and now only high-earners and second-home owners pay it. The problem is that the tax office don’t have a record of whether a property is used as a main home or a second home and therefore don’t know who to send bills to – hence the new declaration.

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