Viager: release money from your French property

Typical Paris apartment
With rising prices, Paris viagers are in demand

A new type of viager property sale now exists and could revive the industry as it gives a full cash sum to owners, solid prospects of profit for investors and the opening up of a stifled market for in-demand older properties.

Viager, where a person sells their home for a reduced price in exchange for the right to live in it until they die, makes up just 1% of property sales each year – about 4,000-5,000 sales, mostly in Ile-de-France and the sunny south where property prices are high.

France has 16million over-65s and the new Viager Mutualisé can give many a cash lift to allow them to live more comfortably by taking money  out of their home, while giving buyers the security of a rising property price.

Traditional viager has key drawbacks. One is that few people like the idea of betting on an old person dying early so they can have the property before having paid the full price.

Another is buyers’ fear of buying from someone who, with increasing life expectancy, does not die ‘when’ expected, making any sale costly or even financially ruinous.

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