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Covid-19: new property prices by the sea

According to real estate agents, the second home market has rarely been the subject of such a frenzy. Traumatized by successive confinements, many city dwellers are rethinking their way of life. “The second home is no longer just a place of relaxation and leisure where you spend a few weeks a year. It is more accurate to speak of a second residence. We always come there on weekends, for the holidays, but we can also telecommute there part of the week, ”notes Christine Fumagalli, president of the Orpi network.

According to a recent study by the Society & Consumption Observatory (Obsoco), 5% of French people questioned express the desire to buy a second home within 2 years, or 2.3 million of our fellow citizens. Knowing that they are already 2.7 million to own one. “In 2020, our network recorded a 12% increase in sales in this usually stable market,” confirms Philippe Buyens, Managing Director of Capifrance. The fact that real estate remains a safe bet, a refuge in times of crisis, accentuates the phenomenon.

“Parisian prices”

However, you have to be right and, in a market that seems to be overheating, avoid overpaying for your acquisition. Sellers know that they are dealing with a population whose purchasing power is rather high and do not hesitate, in the most sought-after regions, to set their prices accordingly. "Parisian prices", we often hear in the mouths of locals who do not appreciate the invasion and the tensions on the local real estate market.

Moreover, whatever the name given to it, a second residence is twice as expensive. Renovation work, subscriptions, consumption, maintenance, insurance, taxes, so many hidden costs that should be anticipated. To cover these costs, renting your house quickly becomes essential. It is still necessary to be in a popular area that will interest tourists, even out of season, when the owner will no longer set foot there.

The Atlantic on the coast

And, for that, nothing like the proximity of the sea. Admittedly, the Parisians, the Lyonnais, the Bordelais or the Toulouse residents have rediscovered with the health crisis the charms of their respective neighborhoods, from the Norman Vexin to the Dordogne. But, according to a recent study by the Orpi network, the French still favor the coast, at 54%, against the countryside, at 25%.

The current rush of buyers to the coasts testifies to this, provoking a surge of fever in markets that are sometimes already tight. The novelty ? "We note more requests on the Atlantic coast than elsewhere", notes Julien Haussy, founder of Espaces atypiques. The milder climate and prices seem to make the difference. The Picardy and Normandy resorts were thus taken by storm. On the Opal Coast, "lack of goods for sale, prices have risen 5 to 10% over the past year," notes Cécile Windal, sector manager for Sotheby's Realty. At Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, a chic resort on this stretch of coast, it is not uncommon to pay 10,000 €/m 2 for an apartment on the seafront with works. More popular, Fort-Mahon sees its rating climb. A 100 m 2 apartment with an exterior and a view of the sea has just found a buyer there for 650,000 €. boss of the Victoria Immobilier agency. As soon as we bring in a property for sale, it leaves in 10 to 15 days”. The hinterland of Deauville benefits just as much from the arrival of new buyers, who can find around Lisieux, Livarot or Orbec a small half-timbered farmhouse from 200,000 to 230,000 €. “In the Pays d'Auge, there is also a craze for Caen stone houses, which sometimes sell in a week,” notes Béatrice Gayon, sector manager for Mercure Normandie.

The TGV effect plays out

Covid-19 : les nouveaux prix de l’immobilier en bord de mer

But it is Brittany that wins the Oscar for the most sought-after destination. The TGV effect has played out in favor of cities like Saint-Malo, located just over 2 hours from Paris. Supported by demand, prices increased by 10 to 15% year-on-year. "In the bay of Douarnenez, I sold a 140 m 2 house with one hectare of land to a Parisian, without a visit, for €650,000", notes Ronan Pradeau, director of Bretagne Sud Sotheby's International Realty.

It must be said that Quimper, nearby, is only 3 h 15 from Paris by train. Ditto in Quiberon, 30 minutes by car from the Auray TGV station: "Houses are negotiated in 24 or 48 hours and, due to a lack of properties in the portfolio, prices have risen by 10 to 15%", notes Marie Postollec, manager of a Century 21 agency. A success that can also be explained by the prices charged: "The Brittany coast remains the cheapest, even if prices have increased by 6% in 2020 and will no doubt do the same this year", says Barbara Castillo Rico, head of economic studies at MeilleursAgents.

The expert's opinion

Questions to Christophe Billet, associate lawyer in tax law at DS Avocats.

What is the interest of creating a civil real estate company (SCI) to acquire a second home with family or friends?

Christophe Billet: There are several. First of all the simplicity of the process. It is enough to be at least two associates. It is then necessary to open a bank account in the name of the company in formation in order to deposit the contributions to the capital and to draft the statutes with a lawyer, who will take care of having it registered. It is the business of a few hundred euros, excluding fees. It will then be easier for the partners to obtain a single loan from the bank in the name of the SCI. It is therefore a good way to invest jointly in real estate.

Is the SCI still as advantageous if you want to rent your second home for several weeks a year?

CB: In principle, the SCI is fiscally transparent, that is to say that, if the result is determined at company level, the tax is paid by the partners. This result, equal to the rental income after deduction of the charges relating to the building, is declared by the SCI by means of a declaration number 2072. Once the result of the SCI has been established, each partner declares his share in the profits. of the society. He will then be taxed on his income according to his participation in the capital. But the SCI, as its name suggests, must have a civil purpose. However, the secondary residence is generally rented under the furnished rental regime, which is considered a commercial activity. And the exercise of a commercial activity by an SCI automatically makes it liable to corporation tax. It therefore loses its tax “transparency”. In addition, in the event of a sale, the SCI which makes the furnished property does not benefit from the capital gains allowances applied according to the period of detention of the property. The capital gain will then be distributed to the partners who will be taxed on the dividends. It is better, to rent furnished, to create a family SARL.

What about the transmission of the property held by the SCI?

CB: The advantage in the context of the transmission of one's assets is that one can make savings on the inheritance rights to be paid by gradually transmitting shares in the SCI, a fortiori if it is indebted.

Is it easy to sell or buy shares in an already incorporated SCI?

CB: A sale of SCI shares takes place by private sub-signature contract, that is to say that the intervention of a notary is not compulsory, unlike the sale of buildings. Prior to the acquisition, however, prudence would advise having a financial, legal and tax audit of the company carried out, since the acquirer will be responsible for its debts. It is therefore necessary to know precisely its assets and liabilities, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

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