Clay shrinkage report, château sale: French property updates

We recap four stories from the world of property in France last week

Our round-up of the week's most interesting property news
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Shrinkage reports for new home purchases?

A report by an MP to the French parliament has brought a host of recommendations to improve the crisis over ‘shrinkage’ damage in homes built on clay soil.The main recommendation is for people buying homes in at-risk areas to be urged to undergo a risk-assessment report on the issue before purchasing a property.

Whilst these would be up to the purchaser’s choice, estate agents offering links to government resources about shrinkage would become mandatory.

Other changes focus on a shake-up of the compensation process, resulting in easier declarations of catastrophe naturelle zones that are a prerequisite for claims.

Read more: French MP urges shrinkage report before property purchases

Largest chateau in Provence on sale

A tenth-century chateau, one of the largest in the south of France, has gone on sale.

Our article gives an overview of the upcoming auction – which starts at an eye-watering €9 million – as well as a history of the site. Photos of the outside and inside are included.

Read more: PHOTOS: Largest chateau in Provence is for sale

Chateau owner angry over motorway construction

Another story focusing on a chateau – this one not up for sale – details the owner’s frustrations over the construction of a nearby motorway.

The owner of the Château de Scopont in Tarn said he found out ‘too late’ about the construction of the nearby A69 motorway to protest it but that the motorway will cause damage to his property.

Principally, hydraulic dams used in the construction will drain the wetlands associated with the château.

Read more: French chateau owner heartbroken over motorway planned 300m away

Increase in interest-free property loans

An expansion to the Prêt à taux zéro (interest-free property loan) will come into force from January 2024 to help more potential buyers purchase a property.

The loan will offer more money (up to €100,000 in some areas) for more people, as well as have the potential to cover a higher percentage of the overall cost of a property purchase.

The exact ceiling to the loan depends on the area you are buying a property – handily, our article contains a graph showing these limits.

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