The British were buying property in France without problems long before the EEC came into being and having left the EU we will still be able to do so either for a permanent residence or a holiday home. We will be subject to the same regulations as other non-EU persons such as Australian and American buyers who have been buying without problems.
Full information and advice can be seen on the Buying in France page.
Prior to Brexit British buyers could borrow up to 80% of the buying price. However, following Brexit this has dropped 60-65%, which is the amount allowed to non-Europeans.
Time in France:
A most important consideration is the amount of time you can spend in France over the course of a year. Buyers will be able to spend a maximum of 180 days in France over a year, but this must be split in two separate periods of 90 days. After the first 90 days is is mandatory to return to the U.K. for 3 months before returning for the second period.
Remember that your 90 days will start as soon as you enter the 'Schengen' area. If you spend time in say Belgium or Holland before going to your property in France those days are included in your allowance.
It is possible for owners of second homes to apply for a year-long visa, visa de long séjour temporaire visiteur, allowing for a year-long stay. However, this cannot be for work or study and ability to fund the stay must be proven.
Further helpful information is available from the French Consulate in London:
The costs of buying are the same as they were - allow approximately 7.5% for the notaires fees and taxes, and about 2.5% for new builds.
New rules apply when selling your property:
If it is your main residence you are exempt from capital gains tax. The regulations state that you should be resident in the property at the time of selling - that is when the initial contract or compromis de vente is signed. When a sale has been agreed, it is possible to leave the property and move elsewhere before the sale on the French property has completed - provided the time lag is not ‘ unreasonable’.
If the property is not your main home when you sell it, then plus value may be payable. The basic rate of plus value for non-residents is currently 19% on the difference between the purchase and selling price. For those who are resident in France and who are selling a property that is not their main residence, the rate is 31.3%. This higher rate includes a social tax that does not apply to non-residents. You will be required to provide proof that you were residents outside France at the time of the sale in the form of a declaration from the Inland Revenue to that effect.
Allowances are made for the costs incurred at the time of purchase such as notaire’s and agent’s fees. You can also offset the costs associated with the sale such as the cost of the survey reports mentioned above. There is a general allowance of €1000 for each seller so €2000 is allowed for joint owners, even if they are married. You can also offset the cost of works which could be described as construction, reconstruction or improvements that amount to ‘ a new element of comfort’ such as a new bathroom. The cost of renovating an existing bathroom or kitchen would not count. The tax authority will only make allowances if proper VAT invoices from French registered builders are provided and very often evidence of payment is also needed.
After allowances, the plus values liability is then reduced by 2% a year after five years of ownership, 4% after 17 years and 8% after 25 years. Thus after 30 years no capital gains tax is due.
Fiscal representation: If any plus values are due and the selling price of the property is over €150,000, then you will be required to appoint a fiscal representative in France. The cost of doing this is approximately 1% of the sale price.
Since 1963 there has been a dual - tax treaty with France whereby you do not pay the same tax twice - on capital gains for example. This is unlikely to change.
Those issued with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before the end of 2020 may continue to use it before its expiry date. After which a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will let you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.
Personal travel insurance is still advised.
WHILST WE BELIEVE THIS INFORMATION TO BE CORRECT, IT IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND WE DO NOT ACCEPT LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS.