The good news is that if you're suffering from the 'Post Brexit Blues' then we have a fast-acting and effective cure! The climate, lifestyle and abundance of affordable property are scientifically proven to treat even the most severe cases of PBB!
Joking aside, we've been fielding lots of questions over the course of the past week asking about the implications of a Brexit, so here's our take on the situation.
The general consensus is that, once the dust has settled, there will be very few practical differences between the pre and post Brexit world, with regards to living and owning property in France.
The Immediate Impact:
The UK is still a member of the EU and the government has hinted that it may take between 3-5 years to negotiate a Brexit deal. During that time, buying and selling french property and living in France will continue as before.
The exchange rate is unsurprisingly volatile at the moment, it’s at times like these when using a currency broker to navigate the market on your behalf is a really worthwhile exercise.
Brexit is unlikely to have any affect on property prices in France The bulk of the French market is driven by domestic demand and it is likely prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future. However, if the vendor is British you might be able to negotiate a good deal as the exchange rate is now working in favour of Brits returning their capital from Euros to Stirling.
The Most likely Outcome:
Of course, no one knows for sure at them moment, but given the statements coming from the various parties, if the government does commence proceedings to withdraw from the EU, it is likely that the UK will remain a member of the EEA (European Economic Area) and continue to have very close ties with the EU, which includes maintaining the right to live and work anywhere in the European block.
Will The Cost of Buying and Owning Property in France Change?
The cost of buying a house in France is the same regardless of the purchasers nationality, whether they are french, an EU citizen or from anywhere else in the world. In fact, the property purchase costs in France are still amongst the lowest in Europe. Notaires fees and taxes of roughly 7-8% at the time of purchase and capital gains tax, currently at a basic rate of 34.5%.
The ongoing taxes (the taxe fonciere and taxe d’habitation) will not be affected.
Brexit will not affect your ability to get a mortgage.
Whatever the outcome, Britain is likely to remain outside the Schengen group, as we currently are. Technically the French government could impose some kind of time limit in country and visa system, but given that there are 400,000 french citizens in the UK, this is extremely unlikely.
How Will Things Change if I want to Move Permanently to France?
If you are retired and Britain becomes a member of the EEA (as mentioned above), your pension and health entitlements would be protected.
However, if Britain negotiates a different deal, it is possible (although we think it unlikely), that Britons would have to provide information that all the non-EU citizens living in France currently have to provide. This would mean taking out an annual private health insurance and you would have to prove you have enough retirement income to live on. For example, US citizens can take their US pensions to France. They simply informal the US tax authorities that they pay French tax on it. So it is possible, depending on the deal negotiated by Britain, that a permanent move could involve additional red tape and the cost of health insurance.
You will almost certainly still be able to work in France. With 400,000 French citizens in the UK, it is unlikely either the UK or French governments will want to restrict their citizens in this way and you will not need apply for french nationality.
The Long View
Brexit is a bump along the road, but it is unlikely that there will be much noticeable change for Brits living, retiring, working and owning property in France. France still offers an unbeatable way of life and beautiful properties at a fraction of the cost of property in the UK.