Emmanuel Macron Promises to Liberalize Property and Housing
Emmanuel Macron has made great strides since leaving the Socialist Party and running as an independent. Coming second in recent polls, a Macron presidency is a real possibility. What is his policy as regards property and housing?
At only 39 years old, Emmanuel Macron would become France’s youngest ever president. His campaign has been marked by a youthful optimism, with a strategic combination of centrist politics but a nonetheless very reformist agenda. His proposals concerning property tread this middle ground, far from the radical positions taken by the left and right candidates Benoit Hamon and Francois Fillon.
A small gesture but perhaps significant, Macron wants to extend the period of retraction in which parties can pull out of an agreed property purchase, from the current seven days to ten. He also wants to reduce the notice period for break clauses to one month for all leases.
Another policy of Macron is to vastly increase the supply of ‘intermediary’ housing: that which is priced in between the social and private markets. This would both provide more affordable housing for young creative professionals, and also bring those out of social housing where others are more qualified.
Through a combination of the wealth tax and the taxe fonciere, Macron wishes to see the burden lessened on wealth in general and increased on property wealth. The details of this have not been clarified, however. Reducing the burden on wealth in general without massive increases in property taxes would certainly lead to a fall in revenues for the government.
He has also promised to crack down on cancellation of construction projects, which has affected 40,000 properties so far, according to the Ministry of Economy. Local opposition and regulatory standards are often behind these, and sometimes projects have to be cancelled once construction has started. Only areas of natural beauty in the countryside would not be part of the clampdown.
A general simplification of urban regulations around construction and property has been promised. Emmanuel Macron has outlined the general aim of his presidency without giving specifics on how they would be achieved. Unlike Fillon and Hamon, he has not taken a clear position on the ALUR laws, the taxe d’habitation or capital gains tax.
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