France: Finally tax changes to tempt buyers
Since the start of the year some changes to the fiscal landscape in France have begun to tempt overseas buyers back (along with some of the French too).
A European Court of Justice ruling overthrew the French social tax of 15.5 per cent on the income derived from second homes - rental returns and capital gains (imposed in 2012); and the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for non-European investors has been reduced from 33.3 to 19 percent: in line with the level for EU citizens.
Also, home-owners in France used to be exempt from CGT after 35 years of ownership of a property; it is now 22 years and is likely to be reduced further to 15, according to agents - a time-frame that buyers can more easily plan-ahead with.
Greece: Threat of grexit not deterring buyers
As President Obama says: "Greece must make tough decisions that include reducing bureaucracy and raising taxes". If the deadlock isn't broken, and the Greeks default on its loans it won't necessarily mean an exit from the eurozone - or so called 'Grexit'. But one agent selling to overseas buyers in Greece makes light of the crisis and actually reports that the average sale has gone up from €250,000 to €500,000 this year.
"The worse thing that could happen [out of the current situation] is that Greece does leave the euro, but if they did, well it hasn't done us any harm," says Spyros Mantzos of A Property in Greece. "People still think it's great value for money and homes there are very cheap to maintain." He says the three hot spots are Crete, Corfu and the Peloponnese (apropertyingreece.com).
New Eurostar routes to the Med
Brits seek to move to their favourite holiday places
Spain: House prices beat EU average in 2014
Cyprus: New laws help mortgage debtors
"It is not for those who believe they were mis-sold a mortgage or for those wishing, through taking up their rights before the Cyprus Courts, to be rid of their properties." The mediation concept is one of six laws under the umbrella 'Foreclosures Act'.
(This article was first published in the current A Place in the Sun magazine - Summer 2015 issue 122)
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