New wealth tax makes French property even more attractive

Photo: Gilbert Bochenek
Cap d’Ail. Photo: Gilbert Bochenek

From January 1, 2018, the implementation of France’s new Wealth Tax – Impôt sur la fortune immobilière (IFI) – will come into effect.

Keeping his campaign promise, President Macron has announced that this tax – an upgrade to the existing Impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF) – will see investors taxed solely on their real estate assets, rather than all financial assets, meaning all other wealth, such as securities, bank and financial investments, is exempt.

On real estate assets worth €1.3 million or more, IFI will apply a 0.5 percent rate to the net value of property above €800,000. Therefore, the tax is only applicable to the amount of equity an investor has in the property. For example, if an investor owns a €1.3 million property, and has €900,000 equity in it, they will pay 0.5 percent tax on the €100,000 above €800,000.

France is the most popular location for second property investment and those looking to do so may save thousands in tax as a result of the IFI, according to Hugh Wade-Jones, Managing Director of Enness International, the high-end lending division of Enness that caters for clients looking to acquire or refinance overseas properties, specifically those located in France, Monaco, the Balearics and Switzerland.

In 2017, Enness International, arranged over €297 million in French property finance. “Monaco saw the highest total loans, with €167,695,000 worth of finance arranged, followed by Cap Ferrat and Paris, with €29.85 million and €19.3 million respectively. Furthermore, Cap Ferrat saw the highest average loan amount – at €9.95 million,” said Wade-Jones, adding, “Next year will be very interesting to see how the new Wealth Tax changes affect prices and sales.”


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