Buying a property in France? Then it’s worth being aware that French stamp duty, or taxe de publicité foncière, increased by almost 1% on 1 March. Find out more about the change and which regions have opted out.
The increase of 0.71% is applied to the sale price of all completed purchases (actes authentiques) that take place from 1 March 2014. The rise only affects properties built at least five years ago (a lower rate applies to newer properties, which hasn’t been changed).
A temporary rise?
The extra money generated from the increase will be going to local councils, forming an important part of their budgets and compensating for reduced government grants.
Booking a family holiday? If you’re based in France, then take a look at the French school holiday dates for 2014 and 2015 to see when the children will be free.
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French school holidays 2014
Running a B&B in France? The French government has recently redefined what they class as a chambre d’hôte (bed and breakfast) under the Chambre d’Hôte regulations. Depending on how you run your B&B, it may mean that you need to apply for hotel status.
What is a ‘chambre d’hôte’?
You need to comply with the regulations if your lodging:
- Is a B&B in France, i.e. providing overnight accommodation plus breakfast
- Is in your own home, i.e. the house you live in – your permanent residence (this is the recent change)
- Has no more than five bedrooms for 15 people
‘No-frills’ ferry travel has finally arrived on Brittany Ferries who are now running a low-cost ferry service to France and Spain from the UK.
The new économie service begins on 24 March and comes as a welcome option for both travellers holidaying in mainland Europe and owners of holiday lets visiting their properties.
Costs and journey times
Running between Portsmouth and Le Havre or Santander, the ferry service is 20-25% cheaper than the company’s standard crossings:
- France: the Portsmouth-Le Havre service runs five times each week and is from £79 (journey time 5hrs 30 mins)
With around 10 public holidays in France each year, there are many peak times when French travellers are looking for a short break or long weekend away.
Arranging your calendar around the French public holidays will widen the appeal of your holiday let (read on to find out more). And if you have a place in France, you can even encourage guests to come and be part of the festivities.
When you advertise with Holiday Lettings, your listing will be translated into French and seen by thousands more travellers on www.tripadvisor.fr. It’s well worth taking the time to market your place to guests in other countries – also see our advice for the Spanish public holidays.
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Marketing your holiday let around French public holidays
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Thinking about selling your French holiday home? If so, make sure you’re up to date with the new capital gains tax rules first.
From this autumn, the tax is being applied to property sales of second homes in France unless you’ve owned your place for 22 years or more (reduced from 30 years).
There’s no change to the period of exemption from social charges – if you’ve owned your second home for 30 years, social charges don’t apply.
Supplementary capital gains tax, meanwhile, will continue to apply on gains over €50,000 (£41,943).
After a successful trial this year, a Eurostar train service between London, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence could be introduced permanently by 2015. If it goes through, the new service will help attract more guests to your Provençal holiday home.
6hrs to the south of France
Eurostar’s new Route du Soleil service promises speedy train travel from London to the south of France in less than six hours. The route proved popular with tourists this season when it ran at 90% capacity during the spring and summer months.
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Eurostar: plans for a direct train to the south of France
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Planning on buying a property in France? If you can, buy before the end of this year to avoid the stamp duty rise of almost 15%.
This summer the French government announced that on 1 January 2014 the stamp duty rate (droits de mutation) will increase from the current 5.09% to 5.80%. The increase is said to ‘plug a financial hole that is appearing in the accounts of many departmental councils’.
As an example, if you’re buying a €250,000 property in France on or after 1 January, you’ll pay an extra €1,792 in stamp duty (€14,517 rather than €12,752).
Jun 11, 2013
Does your French holiday home get a lot of sun? See whether your location is in the top 20 sunniest spots in the country according to a Météo France list based on weather over 2011.
The big hitters are departments on the Cote d’Azur, but the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and the Rhône-Alpes also feature.
The Bouches-du-Rhône held on to its long-cherished number one spot, racking up 2,801 hours of sunshine in 2011.
These figures are a general guide as many French departments vary in size and have different climate zones within them. Check out the full chart on www.french-property.com
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