French property to maintain perk
By Peter Mindenhall

France 'to maintain property perk' says minister

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A leading French minister has ruled out the changing of regulations in the country that would see an alteration in a popular property law. At current, the regulated home buyers savings account exempts individuals from income tax on interest earned for a period of up to 12 years, and budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve said it will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The Plan d'épargne logement (PEL) scheme is one designed to promote health in the property market by encouraging people to buy. Much like schemes operated in other nations - such as the UK's Help to Buy initiative - it also allows buyers the chance to get themselves a house purchase loan with a low rate of interest to help them make their repayments more affordable.

On top of this, buyers are also given a cashback incentive that amounts to some €1,000 (£830) to €1,500. And despite the fact that the government has admitted it is in talks about how to take PEL forward, Mr Cazeneuve said that there is no question of the scheme ending.

Some 12 million people in the nation currently make use of the scheme, at a cost of €700 million to the French government, which has sparked a review. The government said it has no plans to remove the tax exemptions that make the scheme attractive to buyers, but admitted it will look to review certain aspects.

These will include the likes of the bonus scheme and favorable loan interest rates, together with the existing PEL product ceiling that sees investment through this method capped at €61,200. The government said that this will help to limit the abuse of the scheme, making it more beneficial in the long run to those who are legitimately buying through it.

Speaking on Grand Jury RTL-LCI-Le Figaro, Mr Cazeneuve confirmed that investors in France will continue to enjoy favourable conditions, with the benefits of the PEL savings scheme and the bonuses enjoyed through this still likely to be protected moving forward. 
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