The bottom has fallen out of top of the housing market in France. Falls of as much as 40% have been reported. Film star Catherine Deneuve has failed to sell her magnificent 18th century mansion, complete with lake, moat, and exquisite garden, despite lowering the price. And when the top falls, prices of regular housing are necessarily squeezed downward.
Because of the “we hate the rich” policies of Hollande’s government the market is being hit by a double whammy. French high net worth individuals are leaving the country, and the global rich think twice before investing in France.
Of course if France still had the Franc, the result would be a sharp drop in it’s value. Stuck with the Euro, France will now how to absorb the pressure elsewhere in its economy.
David Lesperance and I are about to sign the contract for The Flight of the Golden Geese, our book about how the world’s high net worth individuals are fleeing taxation. I’ll let you know when we have finally put pen to paper, and about the publication dates.
Meanwhile, some of you have asked me about the cartoon video that David produced, summarising the attitude of the Golden Geese. In response I have posted it on the video page of this website, or you can find it on YouTube:
There’s a great article in the Sunday Times today (March 16, 2014), all about the perils of British expat’s in EU countries. If ever we needed proof that governments are thrashing around, frantic to tax everything in sight, then this is it.
In France you have to declare bank accounts held in other countries you are fined €1500 per account per year; this includes PayPal. One expat has been fined a total of €25,000 because he had totally forgotten about a dormant account.
Of course the real target is property. Renting out a second home in France now incurs a 15.5% ‘social charge’ on top of a %20 tax, and this cannot be offset against British Income tax. Selling a second home incurs a 19% capital gains tax, and a 15.5% ‘social charge’ if the property was owned for less than 22 years.