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Property in France: A weekly roundup of the latest news and talking points

Property in France: A weekly roundup of the latest news and talking points
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
Whether you're contemplating taking a step on the French property ladder or are already here and need help with renovations, stay up to date with The Local's guide to the latest news around French property.

‘The new Saint-Tropez’

It’s a long way from the Mediterranean, but for its fans, the redeveloped marina at Port-Cergy has all the benefits of living on the Côte d’Azur, without the eye-watering price tag.

Situated in Val d’Oise in the greater Paris area, the small town on the river has a wetlands area with a marina that offers apartments with stunning views.

“When I arrived here, I felt like I was in Saint-Tropez,” enthused one resident to French newspaper Le Parisien.

Ok, you wont benefit from the sunny climate of the Mediterranean, but average rent for marina apartments is around €3,500 a month, compared to nearly double that in Saint-Tropez.

And the same architect worked on the marina at Port-Cergy and Saint-Tropez, so there is a similar feel to some of the development. 

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Escape to the country

The big trend in French property right now is flight from the cities.

Real estate agents in 2020 reported a 12 percent increase (from 2019) of purchases in rural areas as the pandemic prompts people to rethink their lifestyles.

The rise of remote working means that many employees can be more flexible around where they live, and families who faced lockdown in tiny city apartments have decided to move out to a property in the country with a garden.

There are even early indications that the famously expensive property market in Paris is beginning to cool – prices haven’t actually fallen, but their increase slowed throughout 2020.

Internet connections

If you are planning to work from home, however, you will almost certainly need a good internet connection.

This is not something that can be assumed in France, especially in rural areas, so unless you want a very stressful working life of swearing at your computer, check what the connection is like before you buy property.

You can check the government map HERE to see what connection speeds are available.

READ ALSO Readers reveal: What internet connections in rural France are really like

Renovation grants

If you’ve already bought your dream home and are starting a renovation project, you might be able to get help with the costs.

From July 1st 2021, a French government grant scheme for making your home more energy efficient has been extended. With grants available of up to €20,000, this now applies to both second homes and main residences

Rent control

If you’re renting rather than buying – or if you’re buying with a view to becoming a landlord – you might want to know that rent control schemes are being extended in France.

Local authorities in Paris and Lille already operate rent control systems (with mixed success in Paris, as anyone who has recently tried to find affordably priced rental accommodation will know) but from September this is being extended to other areas.

The Paris suburb communes of Aubervilliers, La Courneuve, Épinay-sur-Seine, L’Île-Saint-Denis, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, Stains and Villetaneuse will have this in place in September and it seems likely that other areas, both within the greater Paris region and outside, will follow suit in the months and years to come.

Property law in France is quite heavily weighted in favour of the tenant – read more about tenants’ rights and landlords’ responsibilities HERE.

Dream homes

If you’re on a salary of around €41 million per year – or you just enjoy scrolling through beautiful properties and daydreaming – check out this list of suggested new homes that a French property supplement has put together for Paris-Saint-Germain’s new star signing, Lionel Messi.

Property tip of the week

The notaire fee is a frequently-misunderstood part of the process of buying property in France.

Engaging the services of a notaire is not optional, because the transfer of the property to new ownership cannot be completed without the services of a registered notaire, however the notaire themselves only takes a small proportion of the confusingly named ‘notaire fee’ – the majority of it goes to the government so it’s really a property tax, similar to stamp duty if you are buying in the UK.

 The fee can run to tens of thousands of euros, however, so you need to factor this in to your purchase costs. You can find out more about how it works, plus a calculator to work out how much you will need to pay, HERE.

For more news and information on French property, head to our Property section, while if you’re contemplating a move to France you can find lots of practical help on the Moving to France page.


Member comments

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  1. Anyone equating Cergy to St Tropez is either partaking in illegal substances, or has never personally visited at least 1 of the 2.

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