As Paris Imposes A Massive Tax Hike On Second Homes, Other European Cities Gain In Popularity

When your second home taxes jump to 60 percent, as they have done in Paris, you have some decisions to make.

By Jeff Vasishta February 13, 2017

Ever dreamed of buying second home in Paris, the City of Lights? So, apparently, have a lot of other people. Now it will cost them more than just the price of the property and a romantic dinner or two.

Whether for a scenic getaway—or simply as an investment in one of the most famous capitals in the world—Paris has lured lured both French and foreigners alike to shell out big bucks for apartments along its historic streets. The problem is it has left the city with a deluge of vacant homes. In an effort to curb this, Paris has announced that will increase the tax it levies on second homes from 20 percent to 60 percent. Even for the wealthiest of speculators, that’s got to hurt.

RelatedForeign Investment In Australia Is Shunned To Keep Prices Affordable

The tax is applied to homes that are mostly vacant and assessed at the rentable value of the property. The goal is to get investors and part-time Parisians to sell their properties or rent them out. According to LeMonde, the move will alleviate the pressure on rented housing.

“In a city as dense as Paris, where it is very difficult to build, controlling the occupancy of housing is strategic,” Paris deputy mayor Ian Brossat told Le Monde. “Taxing second homes further will encourage their owners to sell or lease them year-round, which will increase the rental supply. Our objective is that these apartments benefit primarily the Parisians.”

So, Paris for Parisians seems to rallying cry. However, there is a loophole. Rent out an apartment for most of the year to Airbnb tenants, and the 60 percent vacant property tax is avoided. So, amendment: Paris for Parisians —unless they are Airbnb customers.

RelatedKnock Knock! Airbnb Police—Come Out With Your Lease Up!

The increased empty tax revenue by the new law is expected to triple the city’s coffers from $21.5 million a year to $68 million. Speculators will be forced to ask themselves: Should I stay or should I go? Much may depend on the calculating how much of the taxes they can write off on their own taxes. In the U.S., all investment property expenses, including taxes, can be deducted. Paris has always been a strong market, second only to London in recent years, for attracting foreign investors.

However, with the Brexit vote and the generally poor shape of the economy in France, that is changing. Germany is now the safest bet for investors to park their cash, according to ULI (Urban Land Institute). Owners emotionally attached to Paris, unwilling to consider Berlin, Hamburg, or Frankfurt, and not open to Airbnb tenants will be forced to make a calculation based on taxable expenses and equity appreciation versus the actual cost of paying 60 percent in property taxes.

Of course, there is another option. They could actually live there.


Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

    Avocado toasts are the reason why millennials can’t afford a home, says one Australian real estate developer. #AvocadoToast #Millennials
    Five years on since Superstorm Sandy, Queens’ coastal peninsula is in the midst of a development boom. #Development #Rockaways
    It turns out, renters can’t get enough of good ol’ no-doorman-no-frills apartments. Too bad developers aren’t building any. #Doorman #LuxuryRentals
Developers Jump Aboard The Trend To Revamp Transit Hubs And Remake Cities
Never has the often used marketing term, “close to transportation” been more important when attracting home buyers. These days it’s not just homes that are…
Millennials Are Fueling The Current Sizzling Real Estate Market
Ever wondered why the hosts of home improvement shows seem to be getting progressively younger, along with the fresh-faced couples getting their new properties made…
The Best Cities For Recent Grads To Rent – Without Blowing Their Entire Paycheck
What’s next post graduation? For most, the logical answer is to find a job. After the excitement of finishing your studies and the big celebration,…
Luxury Knows No Limit In Malaysia As A Deluge Of New Developments Hit The Market
The amount of newly constructed high-end real estate in Malaysia is almost as abundant as the lush vegetation which covers the tropical landscape. Despite vacant…
Don’t Call It A Commune – Upscale Co-Living Is Attracting Major Development
What may have once been referred to as a commune is today termed a co-living space. The big news that it’s not hippies with hemp…
It’s Official—New York Is Now The Most Expensive City In The World To Build
As if you didn’t already know, it’s expensive to build in New York City. Not just expensive but now officially the most expensive place in…
An Ultimate Destination For The Most Comprehensive Real Estate Data, Agorafy Prepares To Launch Nationwide
In the coming days, Agorafy will be entering a new chapter. It is the beginning of a new growth cycle in real estate technology with…
A New Beach Front Condo Building Slated For the Rockaways Amid A Slew Of New Development
Proving that New Yorkers are the masters of reinvention, particularly when it comes to real estate, a new millennial-friendly condo tower is due to rise…

TOP 10