French Connections

Find Holiday accommodation in France

With the UK now out of the European Union, you might be wondering what the procedures are for obtaining the legal right to purchase property and move to France. As citizens of the European Union, British nationals were able to travel to France for up to ninety days on a valid passport and entitled to stay for more than 90 days as long as they were working, studying, or running a business. Households that were economically inactive also benefitted from free movement to and from France provided that they had comprehensive healthcare cover and sufficient resources.

Buying a House in France After Brexit:

If you are planning to relocate to France, the good news is that you are still within your rights to purchase property in France after Brexit, with no restrictions. You are able to purchase a home in France to use as your second home, or as your permanent residence if you obtain the right to live in the country.

How Easy is Buying French Property Post Brexit?

The good news is that little has changed in terms of purchasing French property after Brexit. UK nationals are still welcome to invest in property in France without the need to get any additional permissions. If you are considering purchasing a second home in the country, you will be able to freely move between the UK and France for up to ninety days without the need to apply for a visa.

Should I Buy a House After Brexit?

Combined with the pandemic, Brexit has had a huge impact on the housing market both at home in the UK and in France. If you are looking to invest in property, this might be the best time to take advantage of falling house prices in both countries as a result of the political and economic uncertainty due to the two huge events occurring at the same time. Right now, it is definitely a buyer’s market and many overseas buyers are interested in purchasing a property in the UK to take advantage of falling prices, particularly in areas like the capital.

Buying Property in France After Brexit – What to Consider:

If you are planning to live permanently in your French home after Brexit, there are several changes to consider. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, anybody who has permanent residency in France already, or has lived there for at least five years, is protected and does not need to meet any minimum requirements in order to continue staying in the country. However, if you have lived in France for less than five years or are planning to relocate in the future, you will need to apply for the right to stay in the country and show evidence of sufficient funds, assets, or employment. If you want to live and work in France, you will need to obtain a work visa from the French embassy, which might require you to have an existing job offer before you apply.

Buying a Car After Brexit in France:

Of course, it’s not just property that UK citizens are worried about when it comes to moving to France. If you are planning to relocate to France, the question of driving is also likely to come up. The good news is that you will still be able to purchase a vehicle in France or bring your own vehicle over from the UK. However, you will no longer be able to drive as normal in France using your UK driving license unless you are only planning to stay for a short period of time. In addition, you may need to upgrade your car insurance cover to include driving in the EU if you are planning to drive your car from the UK to France. If you are planning to relocate to France permanently, you will be able to use your UK driving license for the first year but will be expected to replace it with a French license during that time.

What About Buying Property in the UK After Brexit?

Even though a Withdrawal Agreement was made just in time, many experts are yet to understand the full impact of Brexit on the housing market. According to predictions by the Bank of England, a worst-case scenario could mean that house prices in the UK will fall by 35% over the three years after Brexit, although the research says the opposite. However, right now, there is currently a stamp duty holiday in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven the demand for houses and seen house prices climb. Overall, house prices in the UK have risen by 14.1% since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016. The slowest growth, however, has been in the capital, which has not seen the rate of growth that would normally be expected and has turned London into an even bigger haven for overseas property investors looking to take advantage of the lower prices. A handful of areas in the UK have seen house prices fall since the EU Referendum vote, and the rate of house price growth has slowed down in almost 70% of the UK since that time.

Should I Buy Property Now or After Brexit?

Although the UK’s exit from the EU has been finalised and a Withdrawal Agreement put in place, there are still several areas to be worked out and adjusted to, particularly with travel restrictions currently in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are considering purchasing a property in France, you might be wondering if it is worth buying now or waiting until after the dust has settled from Brexit. The truth is that this is entirely up to you since it is unlikely that any difference will be made to purchasing a property in France for UK citizens in the future, who are likely to still be free to buy at any point regardless of whether or not they plan to move to France permanently.

Should I Buy a House in the UK or France After Brexit?

If you want to buy a property but aren’t sure whether to go for a house on UK soil or property in France after Brexit, it’s important to weigh up the situation and your options. If you are planning to buy a property to use as a second residence or holiday home, France is still the ideal choice since UK homeowners in France will still be free to move back and forth between the UK and France for ninety-day periods at a time. However, if you are looking for a more permanent move, you may want to consider purchasing a property in the UK. Not only can you take advantage of the slower rate of house price growth in the UK right now as a result of Brexit, but relocating to France permanently is now trickier with the need to apply for permanent residency and show evidence of assets, savings, or employment with no guarantee that you will be allowed to move.

I Retired in France Before Brexit – Buying a House:

The good news for those who retired to France before Brexit is that little has changed in your situation. If you receive your British pension while living in France as a retiree, this will continue and you are free to purchase property as a French resident. In addition, if you worked in several EU member states and contributed to different pension funds in each state, you will continue to have these taken into account when your state pension is calculated.

Other Considerations to Make When Buying a House with Brexit:

If you plan to buy a house in France, it’s important to consider the differences between now and before Brexit. One of the main differences for UK citizens is the right to access healthcare in France. While you may have been covered as an EU citizen in the past, you will now need to get comprehensive healthcare insurance to cover you in France whether you are visiting or relocating. The exception to this is UK citizens currently retired in France. If you are British and retired in France, your health insurance coverage will continue to be provided by the UK, as long as you receive a UK state pension.

For those who are planning to work in France, it’s not only important to consider the need to apply for a visa and potentially have an employment offer in advance, but you will also need to think about paying tax. Thankfully, the UK’s double taxation agreement with France has not changed as a result of Brexit, so you will not pay tax on the same income in both countries if you are either employed or self-employed in the UK and France. If you have an A1/E101 form issued in the UK and are either working for an employer or running your own business in France, you will continue paying tax in the UK until the date stated. When paying tax in France, you will need to declare assets that you hold in the UK such as bank accounts and property, so it is worth getting financial advice.

Although Brexit has changed the way we travel to the EU from the UK, the good news is that those planning to purchase a house in France can still go ahead.