Buying costs to edge higher – don’t delay buying a French ski home!

Posted on 08 October 2013

Anyone on the verge of buying a property in the French Alps could save a few euros by completing their purchase by the end of the year, as stamp duty in France is expected to rise at the end of 2013.

The cap on tax levied on buyers when they complete a property purchase in France, known as ‘les droits de mutation à titre onéreux’ (DMTO) and equivalent to stamp duty in the UK, is set to rise to 4.5 per cent from its current 3.8 per cent from 1st January 2014. DMTO is paid through the notary, or notaire, when a property transaction is completed, along with registration fees and the notary’s own fees. The extra tax is much needed and will be welcomed by most local authorities in France, given the unhealthy state of France’s economy.

Buyers should note that new-build property incurs less in transfer tax and notary fees than resale purchases, making them even more attractive as an investment. Another benefit of new-build ski homes is that they are often exempt from the French council tax ‘taxe foncière’ for the first two years after completion of the property – and longer in some developments.

Remember though, apartments in résidences or blocks in French ski resorts will incur “charges de copropriété” or condominium charges, which tend to be monthly charges to cover maintenance of communal facilities, including lifts and parking areas, the guardian’s wage and buildings insurance.