Population 65.62 million
Area 551,500 km sq
Timezone GMT +1
Language French
A long standing favourite for holidays but also relocation, retirement and second home ownership, France is a ‘go to’ destination for those wanting character, space, value or splendour, rich culture, diverse scenery, quality food and drink in a climate away from home.

There’s easy access by boat or train and selection of well-placed airports. The transport networks make exploration straightforward, within reach to other parts of Europe too.

Long-term visitor visas must be obtained in advance for any British passport holders looking to stay longer than 90 days in any 180 day period.
As the country maintains a stable economy, property prices have increased steadily, as has rental demand. Paris is one of the most popular cities in the world and, as the leading tourist destination for the last 30 years, there is opportunity for income from holiday short let, gites and related business, subject to permissions. For such purchases, get advice on buying as an SCI (Societe Civile Immobiliere), one of three ways to buy property in France.

For non-residents, annual tax forms are submitted on income generated in France only.

Buying costs on a re-sale property average 8% of agreed price to include notary fees, registration and taxes. Agent fees are additional if advertised as part of the sale price as are any checks, additional fees or translations. Buying land, off plan or a property less than five years old (new) qualifies for lower purchase fees and VAT (20%).

Property tends to be freehold. In the Alps, tenure includes leaseback options that can have cost advantages.

There may be grants and funding for some types of renovation, especially energy efficiency improvements.

Check out ongoing taxation and charges in advance with the local notary. The agent can help. There are inheritance laws, Wealth Tax, Capital Gains and Social tax to be aware of too.

With its size offering a variety of favourable locations, property prices, styles and climate choices, we anticipate France will remain top of our search lists.

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