On the 19th of March, French president Sarkozy outlined his intention to reduce the amount of stamp duty levied against existing properties in France. Appearing on the French television program Capital on the M6 channel, he used this platform to discuss many of the measures he would like to introduce, should be he re-elected at the forthcoming May elections, including a plan to reduce the house purchase taxes by 50%.
This kind of measure would certainly be a boon to the French property market which has slowed since the beginning of the year owing to increases in borrowing costs and the end of certain tax advantages. Many commentators see falls over the year of 5%-10% from the current values of French property on average, though of course popular areas may still rise. Any lightening of the load when it comes to purchasing property will certainly be a popular policy and one that may contribute to Sarkozy celebrating a return to office on the night of May the 5th.