France’s second home market is booming

French houses and second homes
The second home market appears to have recovered since 2008

The second home market is booming, with a dynamic west coast, and increasingly-young owners happy to rent to holidaymakers, according to a new report.

A new study from the legal advice group Notaires de L’Ouest, published this spring, has shown the country’s second home market to be dynamic and growing, and entirely recovered from the problems faced after the 2008 financial crisis.

The market has been growing for two years consecutively, with sales on the Atlantic coast - from Normandie to the Pays Basque - accounting for 44% of the country’s second homes.

This positive movement, the 10-page report says, has been helped by the currently low tax levels and still-attractive prices, and the market has proven itself as remarkably resilient against certain threats that could have halted its growth.  

These include the fact that second homes are still subject to local property taxes, such as the taxe foncière and the taxe d’habitation, even if the property is only occupied for several weeks in the year, which presents an additional charge on top of the existing bills (such as heating and the cost of upkeep).

Similarly, the report explained that extra estate agent taxes and the wider wealth tax (known in French as l’impôt de solidarité sur la fortune, or ISF) - which owners risk qualifying for, depending on the value of their second home - could have slowed market growth.

However, the report concludes that none of these issues seem to be affecting the market’s post-2008 recovery so far.

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