Nov 23, 2012 8:56 PM GMT
The French are fleeing. A spate of proposed tax hikes is leading hundreds of wealthy French to consider leaving the country and putting their homes on the market, real-estate agents say. The result: the best opportunity in years for foreigners to buy a Parisian pied-à-terre or country château.
The number of high-end homes on the market has increased, with sales due to expatriations skyrocketing this year to several a week from a few a month, says Charles-Marie Jottras, president of leading luxury brokerage Daniel Féau. Fiscal expats account for more than half of the homes Daniel Féau lists between $6.4 million and $19.2 million, compared with about 10% in prior years. [...]
Flush French are fleeing the new government's attempts to repair France's public finances by increasing taxes on salaries, capital gains and household wealth. Among the controversial proposals in the 2013 draft budget is a 75% tax rate on salaries higher than $1.3 million, up from less than 50% currently. "Wealthy French are not that masochistic," says Mr. Jottras. The proposed taxes apply only to primary residents of France, however; those who buy a property as a vacation home and spend less than half the year in France will not be affected.