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French Buyers' Info

  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Austria

Property Restrictions for Foreigners

How much can I borrow from a French bank?

French banks will lend up to 85% of the purchase price for a classic freehold, 80% for a leaseback to EU citizens. Non EU citizens are limited to 70% for sale and leaseback. US citizens will find it difficult, though not impossible, to borrow from Austrian or Swiss banks, but French banks will lend up to 70% on a sale and leaseback and more on a classic freehold, making France their best option in the Alps.

The repayment period is usually 15 or 20 years.

We are able to recommend mortgage brokers which specialise in French finance and deal with all the major French banks.

Whilst in many countries, mortgages are granted on the basis of a multiple of your earnings, this is not the case in France. French law does not allow lenders in France to offer mortgages if the repayments on that mortgage amount to more than 30% of the borrower’s monthly income (joint income for joint mortgages). This 30% includes any existing mortgage you pay for your principal residence.

The percentage level of the loan (LTV) will be reduced but if you have a high and stable income, the lending criteria can be relaxed. It may be necessary to consider re-mortgaging your principal residence to release equity.