Speaking with Experts – Liam Wilkinson Sheds Light On French Mortgages for non-resident buyers on The French Riviera In 2021/22

Speaking with Experts – Liam Wilkinson Sheds Light On French Mortgages for non-resident buyers on The French Riviera In 2021/22

The purchase of property has for decades been an ideal way for investors to diversify, protect and grow their portfolios. Real estate has always been an important segment of any investment portfolio however before a purchase is made, one should be well versed in the laws and regulations of the country in which the property is located. 

With 40-50% of buyers along the French Riviera being non-resident, it is evident that the need for internationally targeted expertise pertaining to French property purchases is in high demand.

We have asked our trusted independent mortgage advisor Liam Wilkinson of Enness Global Mortgages to answer a selection of frequently asked questions, in order to help you better navigate the purchase and financing of a property in France.


How has the Covid pandemic affected the luxury real estate market in the south of France and what further implications do you predict?

There has been much discussion surrounding virtual viewings but for first time buyers in France with a budget above 5 million euros. It is a big investment so clients want to feel the property and explore its space and surroundings.

Many of the transactions moving forward in 2021 are from existing clients who have previously viewed a luxury property and are negotiating vigorously to obtain the price they want! 
There currently seems to be a stand off between opportunistic buyers and reluctant sellers.


What is the most important piece of advice you can give clients interested in investing in property on the Cote d’Azur? 

  • Pick your investment team wisely and ensure that it not only works well but that everyone is on the same page. 
  • Choose an agent whom you trust to find the best deals. 
  • Use the services of a Mortgage Broker to prepare your financing so you are comfortable with your budget before viewing properties. It is certainly comforting for any seller to hear that the client is pre mortgage approved. 
  • Use an internationally minded Notaire who can answer all of your pertinent non-resident questions.

Why is it advisable to obtain a mortgage when purchasing a luxury villa on the French Riviera? 

UHNW clients and entrepreneurs understand that cash is king when exploring new investment opportunities anywhere in the world.

A mortgage provides day 1 leverage secured against a luxury asset which clients can access with extremely low interest rates for up to 25 years.


What is important for first time buyers in the south of France to know? (5 most important tips) – taxes, specificities regarding mortgages, charges, other costs etc.

  • The domestic market is strong. Do not risk losing your dream property by negotiating too hard. 
  • Remember the Notaire fee – circa 7% (this is always a surprise to non residents). 
  • Keep in mind the importance of different holding structures when purchasing a luxury property – personal name, SCI and SARL. 
  • Employ the services of a Tax Consultant for property wealth tax. 
  • Choose an estate agent you trust and with whom you share a good rapport.


What type of properties around Monaco attract the interest of your clients?


The areas of most interest to my clients include: Eze, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cap Ferrat and increasingly Roquebrune Cap Martin for Monaco residents. There is currently great value in Cap Martin. 

For more information about French Mortgages or to organise a personal consultation with Liam to discuss your financing options, please contact [email protected] 


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