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Brits selling their French holiday homes?


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It seems that many Brits are selling their holiday homes in France and the new destination for buying is Devon, Cornwall, and other places in the UK. A French estate agent was telling me that Parisian work-from-homers are snapping up the types of properties that British second homers like to buy, and with high prices, the temptation to sell is great.  

Brexit has made a French holiday home less attractive, and some of the Brexit effects are not immediately apparent, for example, some capital gains tax reliefs are no longer available to Brits as non-EU citizens. Covid-19 has emphasised the added difficulties of travel between Britain and France.

Taxes on international travel – already applied to aviation, will doubtless hit passenger shipping before long, making the cost of a short break across the channel more expensive. Plus the Taxe d’habitation will increasingly hit overseas holiday home owners – it is being abolished for main French residences but non-voting second home owners will remain an easy tax target.

So I raise three questions:

1.    .   What will be the effects on Brittany Ferries if the number of British holiday home owners declines sharply? My sense is that these provide a solid year round level of repeat business, especially important during the quieter months.

       Should I be selling my holiday home in Calvados now?

2.       Should other Brits be reconsidering whether they should buy or sell in France?

3.      

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The time to sell would have been before we left the EU, I am not sure if the tax rules are against us yet, however I believe that we need to pay for a professional calculation of taxes due now.

Buying a French property is not about making money, however we will be looking at selling in a few years time.

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We have a house in Manche and we are considering taking key bits of furniture back to UK and going on the market in a couple of years time when we hit 80. We get the grass cut by a contractor, but too much time gets taken up with maintenance and repairs. And the ferry travel is geting less enjoyable.

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We will continue with our little bolt hole in central Brittany for as long as we can. I've just turned 80 but I don't see that as a problem.

Talking to local residents there are still lots of sales to Brits.

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We are a bit younger, however intend to sell before it becomes a problem, we don't want to get involved with the French Inheritance tax rules ! 

The last two times we went, a leak had to be repaired, in part due to washers drying out. One of them needed a plumber.

We use the flat for about 5 weeks a year and I can rent a flat in the local Pierre et Vacances for about the same cost as my annual costs.

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

 

The last two times we went, a leak had to be repaired, in part due to washers drying out. One of them needed a plumber.

 

We had exactly the same problem on our previous visit. New washer, mole wrench and a bit of swearing.

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6 minutes ago, BobCrox said:

Which in turn makes room for Londoners to retire to Cornwall.

Why would a Londoner want to retire to Cornwall, the London Suburbs are a great place to live with plenty of Green Space, loads of free frequent public transport for retirees and fast access to good roads and railway lines in all directions.

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

Why would a Londoner want to retire to Cornwall, the London Suburbs are a great place to live with plenty of Green Space, loads of free frequent public transport for retirees and fast access to good roads and railway lines in all directions.

Perhaps you should ask all the Londoners moving down here. It isn't until they move that they realise it's not a bed of roses, no bus stop at the end of every road, no underground, no motorway and most of all only one Hospital to cover most of Cornwall.

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1 hour ago, Solo said:

Perhaps you should ask all the Londoners moving down here. It isn't until they move that they realise it's not a bed of roses, no bus stop at the end of every road, no underground, no motorway and most of all only one Hospital to cover most of Cornwall.

Exactly, Cornwall is a lovely place to visit, however West London is a very convenient place to live ! 

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4 hours ago, David Williams said:

Why would a Londoner want to retire to Cornwall,

The vast majority of house purchases in Cornwall are to Londoners. With what they get for their London home they can buy in Cornwall and live off the rest.

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3 hours ago, BobCrox said:

The vast majority of house purchases in Cornwall are to Londoners. With what they get for their London home they can buy in Cornwall and live off the rest.

We have the same problem here in West Wales, the locals are all being driven out, it's like an ethnic cleansing but with money not tanks. 

The people being shoved out in Cornwall, like those in rural Wales, are not being shoved out to Brittany, they are just being shoved out. 

When we bought our little pile in Morbihan, it has been empty for about 15 years and the houses around it for even longer.

Now the economic climate out there has changed and it's time for us to get out.

Goodness knows if we will ever get the proceeds of the sale out of France, or how.

Rhys

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8 hours ago, David Williams said:

We are a bit younger, however intend to sell before it becomes a problem, we don't want to get involved with the French Inheritance tax rules ! 

The last two times we went, a leak had to be repaired, in part due to washers drying out. One of them needed a plumber.

We use the flat for about 5 weeks a year and I can rent a flat in the local Pierre et Vacances for about the same cost as my annual costs.

No reason for you to be subject to French inheritance tax. Even we as residents can opt for UK rules for our wills.

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Sadly people from the cities can buy property in pretty parts of the UK (Cornwall, West Wales, Northwest Scotland and the islands, Lake District, etc) with inflated offers which prevent local young people starting out from finding their own home, either rented or bought. So many young people in these areas end up renting caravans (and even then they are booted out so that tourists can rent at much higher rates). 

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It is not confined to Cornwall etc. Our daughters rent in Surrey because local house prices are at ridiculous levels. The basic problem is that housing is treated as an investment rather than a means of having somewhere to live. The market is broken really,

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