A bit extreme, the measure has just been adopted in Canada, where since January 1 foreigners no longer have the right to buy housing in the country’s major cities, for a period of two years, the time let the market calm down. The Canadian government’s bet is simple: by limiting access to property for non-resident investors, it hopes to facilitate access to housing for its fellow citizens.
So, to curb real estate inflation in the big cities, would it be wise to apply such a measure in France? The question arose in particular at the time of the euro zone crisis, in the 2010s, when many wealthy Europeans wanted to protect their money by investing in stone in Paris. “Except that, today, the macroeconomic situation would not justify such a measure at all, if only because, tendentially, the Parisian market is much less dynamic than the rest of France”, explains Alain Trannoy , director of studies at the EHESS.
“Despite a post-Covid catch-up effect, non-resident foreigners represent a very small share of Parisian transactions,” adds Thierry Delesalle, president of the real estate statistics commission of the Paris Chamber of Notaries. According to the latest barometer of Île-de-France notaries, in 2022 only 2.8% of acquisitions in Paris were made by non-resident foreigners, compared to 6.8% for resident foreigners, and 3.8% for Non-resident French…
The question of second homes
In reality, in France, the question that arises is rather that of second homes, which have multiplied over the last two decades, especially on the coast. According to INSEE, France has nearly 3.7 million second homes (ie 9.9% of the total housing stock), compared to 2.3 million in 1982 (which represented 9.5% of the stock). One in ten belongs to people (including French) living abroad. This phenomenon has largely contributed to real estate inflation in the most touristic areas. For several years, Corsica has also been seeking to adopt a resident status which would prevent anyone who has not lived on the Isle of Beauty for more than five years from becoming a property owner.
Refusing to go that far, the government favored a significant increase in taxation on second homes. Since 2017, municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants have the right to impose a surcharge, which can reach up to 60% of the old residence tax (20% until 2017). A possibility that has just been extended to all “strained” real estate areas, ie approximately 5,000 municipalities. But for the moment, the amount of this surcharge remains to be put into perspective: €248 more on average in 2020, according to the Directorate General of Public Finance. Not enough to curb the acquisition desires of the rich, foreign or French…
households owned their home in France at the start of 2021, according to statistics from the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Among them, 35% still have to repay the mortgages taken out for the purchase. 79% of the owner-occupied housing stock is made up of houses (against 25% for tenants), with average surface areas of 100 m2. The Vendée is the department where the proportion of owner-occupiers is the highest (72%).
3 106 €
This is the average price per square meter, at the end of 2022, in France, according to Fnaim. But the disparities are huge. On average, the square meter was worth €10,786 in Paris last year, compared to €2,498 outside the Paris region and €1,608 in a rural town.
thermal colanders (labels F and G) are listed in France, according to the latest scores from the National Observatory for Energy Renovation. This represents 17% of the stock of main residences.