The number of Brits looking to buy holiday homes in France has increased nearly 600%, after the country passed a law that gave British second homeowners an automatic right to remain for six months.
Data from Kyero, a British international properties merchant, revealed that in the three weeks since the new post-Brexit law passed on December 21, there was a 582% increase in the number of Brits looking into French properties on the site.
The data, first reported by the Telegraph, showed that the highest number of enquiries was for the Alpes-Maritimes area, in southeast France, a region that is homes to Cannes, and borders Monaco.
Close behind in the rankings were Charente, home to the town of Cognac, known for being the birthplace of the spirit, and Haute-Vienne.
France relaxed its post-Brexit visa rules, which previously forced British property owners to apply for a long-stay visa of up to six months, and limited the amount of time they could stay in the country without applying for a formal visa.
Data from Kyero, a British international properties merchant, revealed that in the three weeks since the new post-Brexit law passed on December 21, there was a 582% increase in the number of Brits looking into French properties (File image)
France relaxed its post-Brexit visa rule, which forced British property owners to apply for a long-stay visa of up to six months (File image)
Though visa rules have been relaxed, second homeowners in France face a litany of problems (File image)
Applications for long-stay visas are often expensive and time consuming, with many people claiming that they face increasingly long waiting times at application centres.
But the new rules, part of an amendment package for the immigration bill, will give second homeowners an automatic long-stay visa.
Though the law has passed through the two houses of France’s senate, it faces one final hurdle when it is vetted by the country’s Constitutional Council, a top-level body that makes decisions on whether proposed laws are in line with the constitution.
After this, the law will be signed into effect by President Macron, whose government has previously signaled its opposition to the bill, claiming that the previous rules were already generous to British second homeowners.
Though visa rules have been relaxed, second homeowners in France face a litany of problems.
Early last year year, France hit British homeowners with a rise of up to 60% in council tax charges, adding further to their woes.
One British couple previously told the Mail that they were thinking of selling their five-bed home in France, built in the 15th Century, due to the tax increases.
Creative director Simon Amster, 55, and his wife bought the five-bed 15th century hideaway in the village of Sauveterre-de-Bearn near Biarritz for just 50,000 euros (£42,000) eight years ago.
The couple, who live in Lewes, East Sussex, currently pay 1,400 euros in annual property taxes. But they are among 86,000 British households with second homes who now face a significant tax rise thanks to President Macron’s latest reforms.
Mr Amster said: ‘Macron’s tax hikes have made us consider selling. All these additional costs mean our second home, which used to be a source of pleasure, is now a source of worry.
‘My wife’s mother lives in the neighbouring village so it is really useful for us to have the house so we can look after her if we need to.
‘There’s also a lot of uncertainty about how badly these taxes will affect us. We’re expecting quite a big jump, maybe around 20 per cent.
‘It’s a first world problem, but it makes what used to feel like a relatively affordable holiday something which is now a serious financial concern.’