The Fédération Nationale de l’Immobilier Côte d’Azur (FNAIM) has welcomed a decision by the Municipal Council of Nice not to increase the taxe d’habitation surcharge on people who own second homes in the city. In 2015, France implemented the law requiring a 20% surcharge on properties that aren’t registered as a primary residence in areas of France where there is a recognised housing shortage.
The measure was designed to free up housing for long-term, full-time occupants in parts of the country where accommodation can be tricky to find. These so-called ‘stressed areas’ include the much of the Côte d’Azur and almost all of France’s major cities. While Nice may well be one of these such areas - a zone tendue - the local council has decided not to increase the surcharges in 2017.
Other large agglomerations, however, such as Paris, are taking full advantage of the Loi de Finances Rectificative 2014 that introduced the taxe d’habitation surcharge and have risen contributions to 60% of the standard property tax. People in the capital who own a second home (and there are believed to be more than 100,000 of these properties in a city that has seen the holiday home market grow by over 40% in the last 15 years) will now be paying three times the amount of tax as other home owners who live in their property or who rent it out full-time and unfurnished to tenants.
The Côte d’Azur’s FNAIM argues that any new taxation will only serve to further paralyse an very important part of the real estate market in the Alpes-Maritimes. The FNAIM also criticised the law for failing to provide a route for people to rent out their second home long-term and also reserve a period of annual occupation for themselves ‘despite the property having been bought for this reason’.
In a statement released in February 2017, the regional chapter of the federation moved to highlight that second home owners will find it difficult to find a buyer for their property because there are not the homes that the market desperately needs, for example, first-time buyer and affordable, family-sized homes.