Are you wondering if you should sell your property in France online right now? Perhaps you had been waiting for the results of the French elections of May 7, 2017. Well, the votes are in, the results are out.
Emmanuel Macron is going to be the new President of France. He beat his rival Marine Le Pen quite easily, winning over 60 percent of the votes being polled. Macron’s win is seen as a big positive by real estate investors by and large because it means that France will continue to remain a part of the European Union.
Investors were terrified at the idea of Le Pen coming to power, as the far-right candidate is a Eurosceptic and had talked often about leaving the EU, and the possibility of “Frexit”, much like Brexit. That’s not going to happen now, as the French people have voted for a status quo.
Macron has promised to revive the French economy. But he won’t have any real power until he gains support from the parliament for his policies. His movement, En Marche is not an official political party as yet. He has to win seats in the French Parliament in order to govern effectively.
Property tax in France is excessive and affects those at the higher end of the property market. Another big issue is the wealth tax. Mark Harvey, who heads the French residential team at top global real estate firm Knight Frank says, “Perhaps the top question amongst second home owners in France and those looking to buy, relates to the country’s wealth tax which Macron has promised to review. Whilst I expect to see some changes I do not believe these will be significant for second home owners in France.”
“It is more likely that any changes to the wealth tax will, at least initially, benefit French nationals and primary residences first as a way of encouraging French expats to return to a more tax friendly environment. Residents may also see an improved tax landscape in the medium term.” Mr. Harvey added.
Macron’s win will have significant bearing on the cost of real estate in Paris. As of now, homes are far too expensive for ordinary people, because of which the French government has curbed foreign investment in properties in Paris through a strict enforcement of a system of controls and restrictive regulations.
Macron is not expected to do away with that as yet, so if you are looking to buy a house in France fast, don’t expect things to get any cheaper in 2017 or beyond.
But Macron is known to be pro-business and he will certainly make it easier for foreign investors to do business in France. He will most likely to do away with some of the restrictive policies of the outgoing administration.
Macron has promised support to the construction industry and major cuts in bureaucracy red tape. That is a good thing. But don’t expect any changes to France’s already very high capital gains taxes.