Nice and Cannes refuse second home tax increase

There’s good news for second-home owners in Nice and Cannes, with the mayors of both cities declaring they will not implement a hefty tax increase as part of the new national budget. Opponents say the controversial bill won’t free up housing, as the government intends, but rather may hurt the struggling property market.  

The increase will be 20% and charged on the annual Tax d’habitation.

Due to the large numbers of second homes in the Côte d’Azur, cities such as Nice and Cannes would be significantly affected by the new property tax. However, as the application of the tax is down to the municipal authorities, some are choosing to opt out.

“I have not applied this measure to Cannes; I think it would be extremely detrimental,” said Mayor of Cannes David Lisnard.  And, it appears that Nice is following suit. A spokesperson for Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, today said: “The City of Nice is categorically opposed to this tax.”

Both announcements came after Finance Minister Michael Sapin confirmed yesterday that affected communities are allowed to simply refuse to apply the tax if they wish. “The principle is simple, the tax goes into the funds of the community; if they do not want the tax then a simple vote will be sufficient to ensure that it is not applicable in that area,” said the finance minister, adding, “the State is not forcing this upon anyone.”

The bill was included in amendments to the supplementary budget for 2014. Communities have the option to enforce the tax increase of 20% upon owners of furnished accommodation which is not their principal residence. The aim is to encourage the huge numbers of predominantly empty second homes to be “freed up” for others, in areas of housing shortage.

The taxe d’habitation increase concerns 105 areas, which comprises 1,150 towns – if the respective authorities don’t reject it.

There are some exceptions to the tax for second-home owners in certain circumstances. For example, those who are forced to own a second home near where they work, as well as those of “modest means” who settle permanently in a nursing home or institution of long-term care, will be eligible for a rebate, according to a local newspaper. This will also be the case for those who can prove that unpreventable reasons are stopping them from using their second home.

Opinion has been divided on the tax, with many doubting whether it will impact the housing shortage. “Do you think for one moment that this measure will help to free up some of the stock [of empty housing]? … Do you think that people, for 300 to 400 euros per month, will even temporarily rent out their apartment?” the vice president said.

The most severe effects are expected to be felt in the real estate industry, with concerns that fewer people will consider purchasing property in France.

So, contact me, Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search, and I will arrange viewings for you in areas where this tax has been rejected.


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A new large advertising screen in Cannes – the largest on the French Riviera

Go to for the video about this large screen – fixed on top of the Grand Hotel in the middle of the Cannes Croisette.

What a great place to advertise!  You can bet that the largest companies will take this space during their conventions – don’t forget that Cannes is the convention town on the French Riviera.  We have a major convention nearly every month.

Contact Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search – she will explain the practical and financial advantages of owning an apartment in this convention town.

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Riviera Sailing Regatta

Jackie Pressman of French Riviera Property Search brings you this information about life on the French Riviera.

Did you know that the end of September is racing time on the Riviera coast and the boats are magnificent.  The racing starts at one end of the Cote d’Azur in Monaco where they race class by class in the bays.  Then they move down to Cannes and this photo was taken in the bay outside our Cannes apartment.

Racing in the bay of Cannes

The racing continues each day, all week, in their different categories.  They race in 3 different size categories and the bay is filled with sails.  They all leave together at the end of the week and sail majestically down to St. Tropez where they race again for a week.

Leaving for St. Tropez

This racing is called the ROYAL REGATTA – one of the most interesting and fascinating occasions of the year.  These amazing sailing crafts are often over 100 years old and mastered by large crews – they are the largest of them all and race in their own class with others of the same size.

Each night the boats are moored in the harbour where there is a temporary village set up for them with several shops selling sailing clothes and other gear.  It is wonderful to visit the sailing boats in the evening before the sun goes down and whilst they are being cleaned by their crew after a day’s racing.  Quite amusing to see all the brass-polishing going on!

By the way, these wonderful sailing boats in the Royal Regatta follow the annual Cannes boat show where the new and second-hand yachts are all for sale.  None of the sailing boats in the Royal Regatta are for sale of course – they race each other for the prestige of winning and then off to another location.

Come and live on the French Riviera and you will also love your life here.  Contact me, Jackie Pressman, and I will send you a selection of apartments or villas to your specification for you to visit.  See my website:


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“Magic in the Moonlight” highlights the French Riviera

‘Magic in the Moonlight’ is the latest offering by one of New York’s favourite directors, Woody Allen, and it was filmed in the summer of 2013 in Nice, Mouans Sartoux and Cap d’Antibes. The film stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone and is set for release in France on 22nd October.

A scene from the trailer from Woody Allen’s new film “Magic in the Moonlight”

In a similar vein to his recent film Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen has chosen to return to 1920s France with Magic in the Moonlight. The film revolves around a cynical illusionist, played by Colin Firth, and a clairvoyant (Emma Stone) who he is determined to prove is a fraud. According to Nice Matin, director Woody Allen fell in love with the Côte d’Azur when he first visited, and it is against a summer Riviera backdrop that the story of his latest film unfolds.

The Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (PACA) invested €200,000 in the production out of a total budget of €13.5 million as the film will showcase the region to filmgoers around the world. Christine Mirauchaux, vice president of the Regional Council for Culture, said that the region is “extremely proud of the collaboration.”

The film was released in the US during the month of July and in the UK on 19th September. Reviews of Magic in the Moonlight have been generally positive with the Independent commenting “in its own breezy way, the film is perfectly enjoyable.”

Watch the film trailer:



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Nice Cote d’Azur Airport is voted the most stunning approach in the world!

The world’s most stunning airport approach

Nice Cote d’Azur airport has just won the international poll of the most scenic airport approaches organised by an online booking service for private jets beating, among others, the airports of London City, Los Angeles LAX and Rio de Janeiro.

The company consulted a panel of international experts from the travel industry and seasoned travellers who came up with a short-list of airports which were then subject to a public vote. From almost 5,000 votes recorded, the majority chose the Nice airport and its fabulous view on landing. Voters talked about its “sublime beauty”, the “richness of its range of colours at a glance” and the “extraordinary view of the Cote d’Azur”.

From a member of the panel and editor of Aviation Magazine Altitudes Europe, who voted for Nice Cote d’Azur, the airport offers “a beautiful approach either from North East over the Alps then Monaco or West with the red Esterel mountains on the left and blue Med on the right”.

stunning approach to Nice Cote d’Azur airport

Nice Cote d’Azur Airport is a worthy winner indeed. The breathtaking approach embodies the timeless glamour and character of the Cote d’Azur, you couldn’t be anywhere else. It offers a winning combination of blue sea, sky and mountains, along with glimpses of the stunning homes, yachts and helicopters buzzing below.

Dominique Thillaud, Chairman of the Board for Cote dAzur Airports, adds: “We are extremely proud that our Nice hub has been voted the most stunning approach in the world in 2014. This is an indisputable sign of international recognition that brings to mind all the attractiveness of our region. Indeed, it is the Cote d’Azur’s exceptional setting between sea and mountains that visitors from all over the globe come to see, passing through our airports for both business and pleasure”.

Record traffic for Nice Cote d’Azur airport in April!

For the first time, Nice Cote d’Azur airport has exceeded one million passengers in a single month. France’s 2nd largest international airport saw its traffic increase by 4.8% in April to 1.023 million people.

 (Thank you to Team Cote d’Azur for the basis of this article)
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Top Marques Monaco News from the French Riviera

Each year we are treated to a visit from some of the most amazing super cars at Top Marques Monaco. If you love speed and the roar of an engine then this is the event for you. Not only are you able to see these exceptional machines up close at the Grimaldi Forum but for the lucky few there is the chance to test drive the cars and experience the roar of the engine as you drive through the famous tunnel in Monaco which later in the year becomes part of the F1 circuit.

And for those of you who are not that fond of cars then beside all that machinery there is an exhibition of wonderful jewellery and watches. And as if that isn’t enough then you can wander outside and enjoy the Super Yachts anchored just outside the main exhibition hall.

Top Marques is another great example of the year round appeal of the French Riviera, there is always something to enjoy, an event taking place or simply a long indulgent lunch on the beach to enjoy. This is still a buyers market and if you are thinking of buying a second home here on the French Riviera we are here to help. Our free service takes you right through the purchase process from finding a property, negotiations and of course putting you in touch with our network of English speaking experts.

Contact Jackie Pressman today.

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French Riviera Property Prices Hold Fast – From Jackie Pressman

French Real Estate prices do not collapse.  They may gradually subside in certain areas of France under pressure from buyers determined to strike a good deal – and last year (2013) was the year that many vendors decided to be realistic and to sell – but not here on the French Riviera where the market is still very stable.  Prices did not increase in the same percentage as previously BUT now is the time for you to seriously consider buying.  We will act in your very best interests to secure the very best overall deal for you – contact me, Jackie Pressman, with your specification and budget.

Determined buyers can still get a discount. They are reassured that British investors are back in the French property market buoyed by the strength of the UK  pound and rising values in their own British domestic market. They have read the latest surveys stating that average fixed interest Euro mortgage rates are down. Buyers can now get a French mortgage at 2.9% interest over 10 years or at at 3.05% over 15 years – or even better.

There may not be lots of buyers around but the ones who are, are serious, and the French Riviera has always appealed to anyone with some money from every country in the world.

Looking over the whole of 2014, prices are not expected to drop by more than 5% – and that is an average over the whole of France – but consider this quote from a property professional: “Preliminary sale agreements signed between January and April 2014 indicate a fall of 0.9% in Provence”.

Buyers are well aware that the exceptional Government agreed reduction of 25% on the taxation of capital gains will expire at the end of August 2014, so French property owners know it ‘s time to do a deal if they want to take advantage of this discount – and for buyers this is the time to not delay if they wish to purchase.

Add all these incentives together and you will understand why sellers here are confident of a fast sale at the right price.

“Last year, notaires recorded 2.7% more transactions than in 2012% overall” said Thierry Thomas, president of the Institute of notarial real estate law. “French property prices fell 1.7% on average – NB this is “on average throughout France” – and it is different in every location – you need professional advice – I am here to assist you.

Look at my website  - for properties currently on the market and note well that I am a search agent working only for the buyer, so these are just a general idea – give me your specification and budget and I will search your entire desired area to produce a list of properties for you to view.  

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The Buyers Pack – French Property Surveys

Here in France, at the cost of the seller, there are a number of obligatory surveys that must be carried out before the property is sold – some even before the property is advertised. This is of huge advantage to the buyer not least in terms of the cost of all this information paid for by the seller.

1. DPE Diagnostic de Performance Energétique

Since 2011, it is obligatory to have a Diagnostic de Performance Energétique – DPE carried out prior to the property being advertised for sale. But what is this and how can this benefit the buyer? The DPE is a long document and describes the way the property is heated, how the hot water is produced together with insulation and ventilation. All of these factors are then taken into account to produce an estimated energy consumption and cost. There is a rating given from A – G, A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. There are also two diagrams produced giving the energy levels and the greenhouse gas production – nothing if not thorough, these French.

The final part of the report gives advice on how to make the property more energy efficient and how to reduce energy bills – i.e. double-glazed windows.

The DPE is carried out by an independent professional and is submitted to the buyer’s Notary as part of the purchase process.

Think we can safely say this one has a rather low energy efficiency rate!

2. DDT Dossier de Diagnostic Technique

There are a number of obligatory surveys which make up the DDT including:-

- Asbestos (for properties granted planning permission prior to 1997)

- Termites (only applicable for some areas of France)

- Lead (applicable to paintwork in all properties built before 1949 and some apartment blocks)

- Natural or Industrial Risks (not applicable for all areas)

- Gas Installations (where the installation has been in place for 15 years or more)

- Electrical Wiring (where the installation has been in place for 15 years or more)

- Septic Tank Installation (where the property does not have mains drainage, very common in rural areas)

Phew! That’s a pretty comprehensive list and all of the reports that are applicable to the property you are purchasing must be submitted to the Notary handling the sale and all at the expense of the seller.  Another advantage to buying a property here in France.

Here there is also a pre-emption right of the local town-hall and your Notary will handle this to ensure the seller has the right to sell.  This is very handy for you.

Also there is no completion insurance required here in France.  The Notary is an Officer of the State and his job is to register the new owners’ right to the property;  register any loan or mortgage taken out by the buyer; pay back any loan or mortgage registered in the name of the seller; and to hand you proof of complete ownership at the final act meeting.

Contact Jackie Pressman at French Riviera Property Search for all your property requirements here on the French Riviera.

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Now is the time to buy French Riviera property

Just read an article in the French Property Interactive Digital Magazine, but it applies to all of France and not just to our specific area.  However a lot of the information is  interesting and applicable to the French Riviera.

Property purchasers or renters come to the Cote d’Azur because of our sparkling blue warm Mediterranean sea; our wonderful weather; the great fresh markets; the exceedingly large choice of very good food; excellent local wine; and in general our marvellous lifestyle.

But some of the article’s International points are excellent and I give you extracts below these three wonderful French properties.


Authentic village house – our FRPS077

Village house in the Provencal village of Aups – Read More…..


Apartment in famous development – our FRPS071

Apartment at Marina Baie des Anges – Read More….


apartment in centre of village with views to the sea – our FRPS063

Apartment in the heart of Mougins Village – Read More…

“So the pound is back almost to its former robust self. Soon to surpass that level and climb further. Maybe even as high as 1.30.” (We certainly can’t look into a crystal ball and confirm that!) “And the French property market is out of intensive care. That is to say it is now stable.”

NB.  this article covers property in all of France and the prices here on the French Riviera hold their value but it is true there is a large choice of properties to buy here between now and the end of August as the owners/sellers will benefit from a one-off 25% discount on their Capital Gains Tax (CGT is not applicable on primary residence but many here have a second home).

“But there’s one thing that will impact the number of houses sold in France this year and it has nothing to do with the French economy, the health of the Euro or anything else exchange rate related.

And it is this…Nationwide UK house price increases

The UK economy is turning out to be one of the fastest growing globally. Confidence is on the up. The UK government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is turning the housing market round and not just in London and the south east. The Nationwide recently reported that UK house prices have risen month on month for the last 12 months.

The Francophiles out there, carefully nuturing their dream of buying a second home in France or indeed selling up altogether and emigrating now have a clear opportunity to sell their house in the UK, trade down to a smaller place and buy in France as they had always planned.

You may not be British so what has this got to do with you?”

Simple … The French Riviera is a dream destination for all countries’ second home buyers so you will need someone here on the ground to search for your ideal property from the hundreds of offers around and although you may find yourself in competition with a newly affluent British buyer, I am here with local knowledge and will be acting just for you – the buyer.

We here on the French Riviera believe that 2014 will be a buyers market  - so consider buying your ideal second home and/or investment property here now.

I, Jackie Pressman at French Riviera Property Search, can find you the perfect property according to your specification; I can usually obtain a good discount from the asking price; Euro mortgage rates are at an all-time low; and I will be with you every step of the way to give you confidence and any information you will require.

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International Women’s Day – by Jackie Pressman

We call these “violon” and the taste is superb

marvellous taste

I had a WONDERFUL day.  Went to the marvellous Italian covered market in Ventimiglia (less than 1 hour away).  We were with friends who go regularly and showed us exactly what vegetable and fruit and flower stands to visit and what Italian cheeses, meats and pastas to buy – you won’t be surprised to know we bought up a storm!

amazing selection – all local Italian fare

Then to an absolutely fabulous very Italian restaurant for a fresh fish lunch right on the coast overlooking the Mediterranean.  We had our drinks out on the terrace in the hot sunshine and then our lovely lunch inside, followed by a glass of their local ‘Limoncello’.  We then drove home along the spectacular coast road.
This was my first outing for so many weeks without a cane and walking freely, and with this beautiful Spring weather, who could ask for anything more? 
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