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Chateaux on the cheap

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

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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4 Comments
French Chateau Style Homes for sale
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phyllis lapham
December 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I have lived in France for over 30 years on and off Good luck in purchasing. There is always 10% notary added on.
increasing taxes now for foreignors owning secondary property.
AND WHO IS GOING TO CARE FOR AND CLEAN THE PLACE....the social
security taxes are out of sight for domestic help which MUST
be registered or one faces big fines.
buying is the easy part.
You are telling only part of the story......a big hype.