This Paris Life

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Developments in French property sales to non-residents

The average price per sale of French properties to non-residents increased by 5% in 2012 over 2011, although transaction volumes contracted. Non-residents have their main residence outside France and are liable for taxation in their country of residence.

A BNP Paribas International Buyers survey shows that the number of transactions involving non-residents reduced in 2012 but there was marked variation between French regions. Ile de France, which includes Paris, was comparatively shielded from the decline and saw a decrease of only 4%. Most other regions experienced much sharper reductions in sales volumes.

British, Belgian and Italian non-residents still top the league table for buying French property but their numbers have fallen. Other nationalities have an increased presence. Sales to Russian non-residents, for example, have increased by 27% in two years. They accounted for 4.6% of transaction volumes in 2012.

The survey looked at buying intentions as well. 53% of non-residents surveyed said they planned to buy real estate in the near future and two-thirds of those were focusing on France.

BNP Paribas also surveyed expatriates, i.e. residents in a country that is not their country of origin, and their criteria for buying in France. Most wanted a home for their retirement or a holiday home. Among the main reasons for choosing France were the quality of life and the French health system.

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