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Everything posted by Sprogster

  1. From my experience in Var, you also have to pay a fairly hefty water tax for new houses being connected to the water mains. I would strongly recommend that you ensure the electricity, water and telephone connections are all arranged at the outset of construction. Otherwise like me you could end up with a finished house and no telephone line five months later.!
  2. You don't say if your pension is paid in the Channel Islands. If so like all Channel Islanders there is a problem in the lack of  double taxation agreements with France. Therefore, if your pension is Jersey or Guernsey sourced it will be subject to Jersey or Guernsey tax ,even if you have moved to France permanently. Then to add insult to injury as a resident of France you will be taxed on your worldwide income including your pension. However, unlike UK tax deducted on UK source income, you will not be able to offset the Jersey or Guernsey tax against the French tax liability,due to the absence of a Double Tax Treaty between the islands and France. Channel Islanders also appear to loose out under the new more favourable French Capital Gains Tax regime on house sales, as we are not EU residents. Therefore, we would be subject to the higher band rate of 33% rather than 16% a UK resident would incur on the gain made following the sale of a second home there. It actually gets worse as Channel Island residents being outside the EU can be assessed to tax by the French fisc on the deemed rental of their French second home,even if it is not let.! Thankfully,this seems to be rarely enforced. I am not a tax adviser so get proper advice BEFORE you move, because once you have it is usually too late. Good luck.    
  3. I believe there is increasing evidence of a slowdown, as in areas where French house prices are driven primarily by British buyers,it is inevitable that the current slowdown in the UK house market will have a knock on effect. Add in the factors of increasing interest rates, higher French house prices and a stronger Euro and a slowdown is a certainty at some point. In my area in south Var there is strong evidence that house prices have actually fallen back from a peak earlier this year, as a house in my domaine has come on the market for 10% less than similar houses were selling for in May. The so called experts seem to be in two camps. The optimists see a flat market for 2 to 3 years, with the pessimists seeing a negative correction. No one appears to be predicting continued strong growth. If I was a buyer I would hang on a few months to see what happens, as many properties in France are very optimistically priced, and under the predicted economic circumstances vendors might well have to become more realistic if they want to sell. Don't forget the majority of foreign buyers in France have been second home owners and second homes tend to be the first things to go when belts need to be tightened.
  4. Dare I say the whole point of Forum's like these is to learn from other peoples experiences,good and bad. It would also get pretty tedious if all one ever read was how marvellous everything was.! Having taken delivery of a new build house in April ,part of a development of 24 houses, I have been totally unfazed that it was a year late and six months after moving in we still cannot get France Telecom to connect any phone lines to any of the houses. You see,I was prepared by the forum to expect the worse,so no surprises or undue stress. Now where is that next bottle of wine.! 
  5. It appears that the answer is that the French are no longer managing to stay slim,because of their increasing love affair with fast food.(Pizzas and Big Macs.) A French government report issued recently says that some 20 million French people are now sufficiently overweight or obese to negatively impact on their health at some point in the future. (That is a third of the population.) Furthermore,the report says that the situation is deteriating at such a pace that if nothing is done French obesity rates will have caught up the USA by 2010.! It may be that this is less perceptable with people in the countryside, where the insiduous growth of fast food restaurants has been lower. Another interesting statistic was the huge decline in wine consumption by French people. (Something to do with the crackdown on drink driving maybe.)
  6. Thought as a Channel Islander I would respond as OWENS reply is only partially correct. Channel Islanders born in the UK or those born in the Channel Islands,but have a UK born parent or grandparent are treated as full EU citizens.(There is no length of UK residence requirement, merely place of birth.) It is only the unfortunate minority of Channel Islanders who do not meet one of these criteria that have the problems OWEN mentions. Also Jersey and Guernsey have their own excellent recipricol health agreements with France. Jersey residents in France are entitled to full emergency medical cover,less 20%,as for French residents.
  7. In fact it has been widely reported that the referendum on the Euro will now not take place this year. With a minimum lead in time of two years if there was a YES vote,means the earliest possible implementation date is 2006/7. As someone who works in the Finance industry I know that no currency analysts predict currency rates more than twelve months forward,so what the rate will need to be in 3 to 5 years time to allow the UK to enter the Euro at a competitive conversion rate is anyones guess. What is known is that the existing EURO members,especially France and Germany,will not allow the UK to gain unfair competitive advantage for it's exports by entering the Euro at too low a conversion rate.Therefore,any conversion rate under 1.35 is unlikely to be allowed on political grounds. Finally,the French and German politicians are starting to complain about the current strength of the Euro against the US$,and the threat that posses to their fragile economies in competing against US manafacturers.Therefore,increased Euro strength is not only unlikely in the longer term, but would probably be discouraged by the Euro members as being unhelpful to their economies.
  8. The was very strong today up well over a Cent at 1.575. Reasons ? Brown going cold on Euro entry,anticipated cut in Euro base rate and new age of industrial action looking less likely with Fireman's Union blinking first.!
  9. I don't know where you got your rate from but it is not correct. The Euro actually weakened against a stronger today by 0.63cents. When I left the Bank at 7p.m (29/11) the spot rate on my screen was 1.5667. The pound also strengthened against the US$ slightly as well. As I have mentioned before the German economic woes and strengthening US economy does not bode well for any likely major Euro rally,in the short to medium term at least.
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