Taxes and VAT rates when buying a property

  When the property will be the Principal Residence of the buyer When the property will be, for its buyer, either a Secondary or an Investment Residence
Purchase of land  VAT exonerated – registration tax instead VAT exonerated – registration tax instead
Purchase of an existing building VAT exonerated – registration tax instead VAT exonerated – registration tax instead
Purchase of a – or part of a – building not built yet Super reduced rate of 3% Standard rate of 17%
Renovation work Super reduced rate of 3% applies for some renovation works; otherwise standard rate of 17% applies Super reduced rate of 3% applies for some renovation works; otherwise standard rate of 17% applies

Buying land with a view to build on it – part 1/3

The acquisition of the land:

The authorities distinguish between “existing neighbourhoods” (“quartiers existants”) inside a commune, and “new neighbourhoods” (“nouveaux quartiers”) usually found on the outline of a commune. Outside of these areas, it is impossible to find a site unless you purchase a working farm with the intent of running it.

When buying a piece of land in an “existing neighbourhood”, the site for sale will be an isolated one tucked in between two fully developed sites. Usually all the infrastructures are already all in place.

Some agricultural lands are regularly rezoned as residential sites and then named “new neighbourhoods” so as to accommodate the ever growing housing expansion. When you buy there, you usually come across builders and promoters who acquire the entire neighbourhood for future developments.

Smaller developments such as those on a single site are less attractive to developers as the next administrative and planning steps are lengthy, expensive and more profitable as the site to be developed grows in size.