Releasing equity from a French property: Viager mutualisé

An alternative to the traditional 'viager' sale for older people looking to release money from their French homes is the 'viager mutualisé'

2 March 2021
By Connexion journalist

In the classic viager, the buyer pays a lump sum (bouquet) then a regular rent to the house-seller, who then stays living in the home for the rest of their life. Rental payment amounts are based on the seller’s age and life expectancy.

In the viager mutualisé, an investment fund buys several properties en viager to spread the risk. Investors can invest in the funds, with their money typically held in the form of assurance-vie.

Maxime Camus, of financial adviser Grisbee, told BFMTV these made a return of 7% last year, with 2% fees, making them more profitable than fonds en euros AV funds, but less risky than stocks and shares-based ones.

In France, he said, the main funds are Viagénérations by Turgot Asset Management and, more recently, Silver Avenir by Arkéa. Both operate by buying en viager and paying just a lump sum – with no rent – meaning that the seller gets a larger amount upfront.

Thibault Corvaisier, of Turgot, said: “We want to give a more modern image to the viager and remove the awkward ‘betting on someone’s death’ element of the classic viager, where a buyer pays a rent.” Those interested in selling to them can find out more at viagenerations.fr.

Certivia is a similar alternative, but organised by the state bank Caisse des Dépots in partnership with notaires.

This viager fund works by offering sellers the more traditional bouquet and rent arrangement, but says it offers advantages such as a guarantee that the rent is always paid regularly.

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