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French will snap up overseas property after Francois Hollande victory

French will snap up overseas property after Francois Hollande victory

French will snap up overseas property after Francois Hollande victory

By: Nick Marr -  Category: France - Added: 2012-05-22

Francois Hollande’s election victory is set to spark ‘the third biggest exodus from France’.  That’s the view of many estate agents who expect France’s wealthy to leave the country ahead of the socialist president’s plans to increase taxes for the rich.

And, many London based property experts believe that the capital is set to benefit from an influx of wealthy French expats.  Keep reading to learn more about the impact of these overseas property purchases by disgruntled French residents.

Tax rules set to drive out high earners

New president Hollande plans to implement a 75% tax rate on earnings over €1 million (around £800,000) on top of a 45% rate for people making €150,000 or more.  He is also expected to raise ‘wealth taxes’ on property assets.

Noel de Keyzer, at the Sloane Street branch of agents Savills, said: "Even before the French election, I spoke to several affluent French nationals about their fears of what Hollande proposed, and they all said that we will see an increase in French nationals buying during the next quarter in prime central London."

James Pace, head of Knight Frank's Chelsea and South Kensington offices, agrees.  He said that one French financier told him Hollande's arrival would mark ‘the third biggest exodus from France - the first being the Revolution and the second when Mitterrand [the last socialist president] got into power’.

London the preferred destination for French clients buying luxury overseas property

French clients looking for overseas homes often turn to Switzerland, Belgium or the UK.  However, many experts believe that London will be the preferred destination should Hollande implement harsh tax rules for the rich.

David Blanc, a partner at wealth manager Vestra Wealth, said: “In the UK you have the largest community of French people outside France and this is getting bigger every year as it is becoming easier to settle in the UK for a French family.

"London is becoming the number one choice for relocating French people for many reasons.  A very welcoming business and tax environment, a vibrant international city, great entertainment, very good French and international schools, and other services targeted at the French community like French doctors, French food."

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