Interest-free property loans to be available to more buyers in France

Millions more people may be eligible with more money on offer and hundreds more communes qualifying

The interest-free loan system will be increasingly generous from 2024
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France’s interest-free loan scheme is to be extended to more people and more communes, with extra money on offer from next year.

Millions more people may become eligible after the scheme’s qualification criteria were widened this week by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

The extension comes as a response to the increasingly tense housing market, which has seen mortgage rates rise nearly fourfold, from 1% in December 2021 to 3.8% in August 2023.

“I have asked banks to commit to the scheme,” said Mr Le Maire, announcing the changes.

“If the state is putting €850m on the table, our partners, who are the banks, should also commit in a similar manner to unlock new loan offers.

“Our aim is to ensure that as many families as possible have access to a home loan,” he added.

What is the prêt à taux zéro?

The prêt à taux zéro, or PTZ, interest-free loan is intended to help people get a mortgage to purchase their main home, particularly in communes with limited housing options.

Created in 1995, it was devised to preempt a housing crisis in areas deemed to be at risk.

To qualify, you must have revenue within certain thresholds, live in an approved area and must not have owned a main home in the past two years.

Foreign residents in France are eligible if they have a French carte de séjour and meet the criteria.

What changes have been announced?

The PTZ is to be extended in four ways from January 1, 2024 :

  • People (or households) with higher incomes will qualify.
  • 209 communes will qualify for the higher levels of PTZ aid. Check if your commune is eligible for the PTZ or other housing aid here.
  • Up to €100,000 will be on offer, up from €80,000.
  • The interest-free loan can account for up to 50% of the total loan, with the bank providing the rest. At present, this proportion is 40%.

What are the new income thresholds for the prêt à taux zéro?

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