The punishing tax hike on the French is a buying opportunity for homebuyers looking for upscale property in the country of wine and cheese.
Charles-Marie Jottras, president of brokerage Daniel Féau Group, told The Wall Street Journal that the number of luxury homes on the market has increased due to expatriation of wealthy French citizens such as Lindsay Owen-Jones, formerly the head of L'Oreal, who has moved to Switzerland.
Half of the homes for sale between $6.4 million and $19.2 million that the brokerage lists are on the market because its owners expatriated, compared with 10 percent of such homes last year, Jottras said. He also noted that prices on luxury properties have fallen about 6 percent from last year.
In 2013, France proposes an income tax of 75 percent on salaries above $1.3 million, an increase of more than 25 percent. Taxes on capital gains and household wealth are also set to rise but foreigners who buy in France and spend less than half the year there will not be subject to the taxes.
So what could you buy at a discount? The Wall Street Journal lists a 3,000-square-foot-plus penthouse in Nice with a view of the Mediterranean for $4.9 million and a restored 5,382-square-foot farmhouse in Provence on 15 acres for $3.8 million. By the way, the French word for welcome is "bienvenue."
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