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Viewing posts from: November 2000

“La Coulée Verte”

01.02.16

Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, has been the driver behind a significant new development to create a ‘green lung’ in the centre of Nice. ‘La Coulée Verte’, literally a ‘green corridor’ will link the National Theatre and the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art (MAMAC) with the Promenade des Anglais and the sea; slicing through Place Massena and incorporating the existing green spaces of the ‘Jardin Albert 1er’ and the ‘Theatre du Verdure’ (the outdoor concert venue). The intention is to not only reintroduce nature into the heart of the city, but to create a central location for major events, art and culture.

The project has already witnessed the demolition of an above ground car park and the bus station. This act alone has opened up the urban landscape, revealing beautiful views of the hills surrounding Nice, as well as the attractive facades of the old town and the 19th century buildings along avenue Felix Faure, including the striking Lycée Massena.

The project is being undertaken in an environmentally friendly manner via the use of:

  • ‘green’ building techniques
  • a plant selection that promotes biodiversity
  • recycled and sustainable materials
  • energy-saving lighting
  • and minimal water consumption

 

The park will combine sections of manicured lawn with contemporary landscaping design using natural materials and water features. One stage already completed is comprised of numerous orange trees offering shady places to sit and wooden misting poles to keep you cool throughout summer. All existing trees will be retained, with over 70 new mature trees planted - mainly camphor and palms plus Mediterranean citrus trees, providing both colour and aroma - an environment calculated to appeal to all the senses.

According to Aideen O’Brien, Managing Director of Chez Riviera (one of the leading real estate agencies in the South of France) “this unique urban park of 12 hectares in the heart of the city, which is due for completion September 2013, will add immeasurable appeal to the heart of Nice and will elevate the value of property in the centre, especially those apartments situated either side of the green corridor. So now is a great time to buy!”

Aideen further notes that this project is just one of many large-scale infrastructure and beautification developments that have either been initiated or completed over the last few years in Nice – all of which have enhanced the lifestyle of those fortunate enough to live or holiday in this beautiful part of the world, and are part of what continue to make the French Riviera such an attractive region for property investors.

Chez Riviera- Attika Real Estate Sales Agent

01.02.16

Chez Riviera - Attika is Nice’s leading sales agency for International buyers. It offers a client based approach to buying and selling real estate in Nice and the French Riviera. Acting as property finders, exclusive sales agents and fulfilling people’s dreams are the core values of Chez Riviera business.

Chez Riviera offers today’s real estate customer a complete menu of services that includes helping customers buy and sell property while streamlining the process and making it as easy as possible for all involved.

If you would like to be part of a company who values their sales people as their most important competitive edge, consider a real estate sales career with Chez Riviera - Attika.

Please send us your application to: info@chezriviera.com

Job Description

Our Chez Riviera Office- 12 rue Dalpozzo, 06000

Our Real Estate Sales Associates are passionate about their work and love what they do because it is rewarding. They build lifelong relationships with people in their local community and help them through the process of buying a property in France. Our sales associates also find the unique aspects of this job to be very appealing. A career in real estate sales offers several perks that a regular corporate position cannot, such as:

  • Flexibility in schedule and setting your own hours; you can choose to work full-time or part-time
  • Control over your income and ability to set goals for what you want to earn
  • Ability to work independently and be your own boss, but with the benefit of a strong and successful sales organization supporting your efforts
  • The position is a commission only position

 

Specific Responsibilities Include

At Chez Riviera, we take real estate sales and training seriously. Our standards and expectations are high, and our real estate sales associates are committed to the highest standards in the industry. Here is what we expect from our real estate sales associate team:

  • Prospect clients and taking in new sales listing
  • Build a client base through various marketing and networking activities
  • Participate in monthly sales meetings and other office activities to stay connected and up-to-date on available properties and new potential clients in your local area
  • Provide a high level of customer service to all clients and maintain solid relationships with past clients to generate additional referral business

 

Requirements

  • Willingness and ability to obtain a sales listings
  • Fluent English and French, with other languages a plus
  • Desire to work independently and have control over your professional growth
  • Comfortable meeting new people and networking to develop a client base
  • Entrepreneurial mind set and a high degree of self-discipline
  • Computer savvy – MS Office, Internet, Social Networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Strong work ethic and desire to be successful
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Professional and personable demeanour
  • Prior experience in sales and/or customer service is a plus

 

Benefits

  • Flexibility: The ability to control your schedule allows you to create a positive work-life balance where you can choose to work full-time or part-time
  • Advancement Opportunities: You set your own goals and have control of your income as well as your future growth within the real estate industry
  • Sales Training: Chez Riviera offers one effective real estate sales training
  • Rewarding and Fun: Our sales associates enjoy what they do and have fun doing it because they take pride in helping people make one of the most important decisions of their lives

Winter Fun in the South of France

01.12.15

Holiday celebrations in the South of France are in full force. The Christmas Village in Place Massena is just one of the numerous events that take place over the winter period on the French Riviera and what makes this region such a great all year round destination.

During the winter period, the city of Nice remains a vibrant location for both locals and tourists alike, due to the expansive array of free events and activities hosted throughout the region. The bulk of the festivities in Nice are centred around Avenue Jean Medecin, the Promenade des Anglais, Place Massena and the newly renovated Place Garibaldi. In the evenings you will find the city sparkling with thousands of coloured lights.

Baroque’ is the theme chosen for this year’s Christmas Fair, and accordingly the city is festooned with glittering chandeliers, dramatic ‘light’ curtains, ribbons, columns of crystals, gift boxes, and of course giant snowmen and Santa Claus’. However despite all the glitz and glitter, the environment has not been forgotten. All of the lights use new generation LEDs that offer a luminous power 5 - 10 times greater than the formerly used halogen lamps, whilst requiring only one ninth of the power. One of the most popular sites is Place Massena.

Here you will find loads of fun activities for the entire family including an ice rink, various rides, as well as a grand Ferris Wheel – the perfect means of obtaining a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Cote d’Azur, be it day or night. Also found at Place Massena is the Christmas market, a conglomeration of little chalets selling a diverse range of original arts, crafts, and fresh produce – a great source of gifts for friends and relatives. You can also find hearty winter food, ‘vin chaud’ (hot spiced wine) and even a champagne and oyster bar!

French Riviera real estate expert Aideen O’Brien (Managing Director of leading Nice estate agency, Chez Riviera) notes that she is often surprised that people don’t necessarily think of the South of France as a winter destination, “but the very fact that it has a mild climate in winter, does not exclude it from enjoying numerous winter sport opportunities. Snow and the Cote d’Azur are not generally associated together in peoples minds, however the French Alps are easily accessible from Nice”.

There are in fact 10 ski areas in close proximity to Nice with two of the closest being Auron and Isola 2000, bothsituated in the Parc National du Mercantour and only 90 minutes drive from Nice. These two fields alone offer skiers and snowboarders over 250 kilometres of piste. You can take the special Ski Bus from the centre of Nice to both of these ski slopes. The tickets are incredibly reasonable at only 35 euros, which includes a return bus trip as well as a day ski pass.

Aideen concludes that “the abundance of activities available throughout the year, combined with the pleasant all year weather conditions make Nice and the French Riviera such a great destination no matter what the season”.

Abolition French Fiscal Representative from 2015

Abolition French Fiscal Representative from 2015

Non-residents selling French land for more than €150.000 have for many years been obliged to appoint a French fiscal representative (“tax agent”). The tax agents have worked out the non-resident’s capital gains tax (and social charge) bill which is deducted by the notaire on completion. The tax agents have provided a guarantee to the French government that the correct amount of capital gains tax has been paid. The seller has had to pay around 1% of the sale price to the tax agent for this privilege. Many sellers have found this cost excessive especially as it is linked to the sale price and not the gain. You could accordingly end up with a tax agent bill running into tens or hundreds of thousands of euros with a minimal gain.

Tax agents
The tax agents are nominated by the French government and are effectively tax accountants who agree the French capital gains tax exposure with the French administration so the risks of a claim are extremely small. Competition amongst the small number of tax agents is virtually non-existent. Foreign sellers often do not know about this extra charge until after contracts have been exchanged when the notaire tells them he has to appoint a tax agent.

No need for a tax agent from 1st January 2015
Concerned about attracting foreign money into France, the French government has announced that from 1st January 2015 there will no longer be a need to appoint a tax agent for residents of other EU countries. The capital gains tax will still have to be paid over by the notaire on completion but without a tax agent’s certificate that the correct amount of capital gains tax is being paid. It seems notaires will have to use the procedures for calculating the capital gains tax themselves which they already do for sales under €150.000. This will involve extra vigilance on the part of sellers to ensure that they get all the deductions they are entitled to as notaires will be likely to take a very conservative approach. This is very good news for the French property market as it removes a cost and some bureaucracy from the sale process.

Practicalities

  • If you are selling it is probably best to complete after 31st December 2014 to avoid paying the tax agent’s fees.
  • Check at the outset your notaire will not charge extra for working out the capital gains tax.
  • Check the tax computation carefully to ensure all lawful deductions have been made.

 

November 2014
David Anderson Solicitor Advocate, Chartered Tax Adviser and barrister (unregistered)
Sykes Anderson Perry Limited
9 Devonshire Square
London EC2M 4YF
Telephone 020 3178 3770
david.anderson@saplaw.co.uk

David Anderson Solicitor Advocate, Chartered Tax Adviser and barrister (unregistered) at Sykes Anderson Perry Limited Solicitors and Chartered Tax Advisers in London, England

This information has been prepared by Sykes Anderson Perry Limited as a general guide only and does not constitute advice on any specific matter. We strongly recommend that you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of any information or advice given or omitted. The information herein does not constitute investment advice. Always consult an IFA if before taking any investment decision

Pound hits 18-month high, making French property cheaper

12.06.14

Great news if you're a Brit planning to buy a property on the French Riviera! It's now significantly less costly to do so, because the pound has reached an 18-month high versus the euro. To be specific, sterling has touched 1.2346 against the common currency today, its highest since December 10th 2012. How many more euros will you get if you're buying a French Riviera property? If you're buying a French Riviera property, what this means for you is that, if you transfer £1,250,000 to France, you'll receive +€130,250 more today than if you'd done so when the pound was at its weakest, back on March 12th 2013, at just 1.1371. So clearly, this rise in the exchange rate will add greatly to your euro total! Why has the pound climbed versus the euro? Sterling has risen against the euro, because the UK's economy is doing so well at the moment, while the Eurozone's is doing relatively badly. For instance, the UK is thought to have expanded +1.0% between April and June, the fastest since 2007, and more than any other major country. So as the UK has bounced back, so has the pound! Will the pound rise further against the euro, further cutting the cost of French Riviera property? It's impossible to predict with certainty what will happen next to the exchange rate, but the pound certainly looks like it will strengthen further! This is because the Bank of England is tipped to become the 1st major central bank since the financial crisis to hike interest rates, showing us just how well the UK is doing compared to the rest of the world. Given this, 2014 looks like a great time to buy a French Riviera property, as the pound jumps against the euro! About the author Peter Lavelle is a currency dealer at foreign exchange broker Pure FX. For free currency advice when you buy a property on the French Riviera, call him on +44 (0) 1494 671800 or email peter.lavelle@purefx.co.uk.

Nice Carnival – Fun for the whole family

01.02.14

Every year from mid February to early March the largest pre-lent carnival in France takes place in Nice. Originally a pagan festival celebrating the death of winter and the birth of spring and life, the word ‘carnival’ comes from the Latin carnem levare which means ‘to put away the flesh (as food)’ and occurs before the period of Lent, during Shrovetide (Mardi Gras or ‘Fat Tuesday’). This is the last party before a period of abstinence, which therefore justifies all excesses!

Each year the participants devote thousands of hours to creating the floats and costumes exhibited during the various parades, each inspired by a theme announced during the prior spring. This international event encompasses three weeks of music, comedy, and parades; not to mention confetti street battles, masked balls, and fireworks. The end of the carnival is signified by a tradition going back over 100 years: the burning in effigy of the King of the Carnival.

By the late 1800s, during the Belle Époque era, the Nice Carnival was the most famous in the world, and served as the model for the renowned carnivals in New Orleans, Quebec and Viareggio. What started out as a simple celebration by the working classes was eventually adopted by the nobility and bourgeoisie during the 18th century. Elaborate masquerade balls were held, as well as gala parades with the aristocracy aboard carriages or marching in splendid costumes.

During some of the parades the throwing of various projectiles was established and became a pivotal part of the festival - flowers, candy, and cigars for the elite; beans, flour, eggs and chickpeas for the everyday folk. These ‘projectiles’ were replaced by the more ‘health and safety’ option of paper confetti in 1892. Several royals (the Prince of Wales, the Emperor of Brazil, King Charles of France, Charles Felix the King of Sardinia) participated in the Bataille de Fleurs or ‘Battle of the Flowers’. Today, this ‘battle’ includes some thirty floats in full bloom with beautiful models sumptuously dressed in costumes of feathers, sequins and beads tossing flowers into the crowd. The decoration of the costumes and floats is all done by hand, using thousands of flower petals (carnations, roses, gladioli, gerberas, mimosas, dahlias, lilies, etc.) each glued or stitched on during the night before and into the early hours preceding each battle.

French property expert, Aideen O’Brien (Managing Director of leading Cote d’Azur real estate agency Chez Riviera) notes, "the Nice Carnival has become a major draw card for tourists from all over the world. The city of Nice is extremely proactive in promoting its city to ensure there are events to attract people, not just in summer, but throughout the entire year. This is great news if you have, or intendto purchase an apartment to rent out to the lucrative holiday rental market, as your season is not limited from just May to September as in some locations, but extends to the entire year – increasing your yield significantly”.

Statistics for Nice Carnival 2013 are yet to be released, but in 2012 there were some impressive numbers achieved; like almost 200,000 tickets sold, 20 tons of confetti tossed, and 100,000 flowers thrown during the Battles of the Flowers (of which 85% are produced locally). The theme for the 130th edition of the Nice Carnival in 2014 has been unveiled as the ‘King of Gastronomy’, now that sounds like something delicious to participate in!

Tram Line 2 – Investing in the Future of Nice

01.06.13

Tram Line 2 – Investing in the Future of Nice

Work on Tram Line 2 (T2) is scheduled to commence late 2013, and at a total cost of €770 million is a major undertaking for the city of Nice. Planned for completion at the end of 2017, T2 will be 11.3 km in length (3.2 km of that underground) and link the airport with the port. The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi has made improving transportation a priority and implementation of the tram network is just one part of his 2030 Master Plan for the city of Nice.

T2 will complement the existing Tram Line 1 (T1) which is 8.7 km long and runs from the Northern suburbs to the city centre and continues onto the Eastern suburbs; with 21 convenient stops it serves over 100,000 people a day. Work is also underway on T1, which is being extended to Pont Michel Pasteur. Commissioning of the extension is scheduled for spring 2013. Combined, the two lines will serve 260,000 people daily (two-thirds of the population) and over 85% of Nice hotels.

At peak times trams run every 4 minutes, representing great value with tickets only €1, as well as making a positive impact both visually and environmentally. Original artwork has been installed at many points along the tramline, enhancing the aesthetics of the city. In addition T2 alone will remove 20,000 cars each day from the roads, representing a 5.3% drop in traffic. Fewer cars equates to a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly city; less noise and a significant reduction in air pollutants (by up to 17.5%).

Furthermore, a major trade centre and transportation hub will be constructed at St. Augustine interconnecting all modes of transport: trams, planes (direct access to the airport), buses (city and intercity), trains (TGV and regional), private cars (park and ride stations), electric cars (Auto-Bleue stations) and bikes (Velo-Bleu stations). This interchange will be in the image of other major European cities such as Baelona and Lisbon.

Two modern tram stations will be installed at each of the airport terminals, showcasing Nice and the Côte d'Azur, and connecting passengers with downtown Nice in less than 20 minutes (26 minutes to the Port). The aim is to have a greener, more beautiful city, to improve the life of the city’s inhabitants and visitors. More initiatives include widening footpaths to encourage pedestrian travel and enhance business activity, and the establishment of a green belt through the plantation of 1700 trees and the creation of parks.

French Riviera real estate expert Aideen O’Brien (Managing Director of leading Nice estate agency, Chez Riviera) notes that “this is just one of many exciting large-scale projects underway or already completed in Nice in an effort to create a modern, green city while preserving its special heritage. T2 is the final element in creating a fully comprehensive, efficient public transportation network. This will help make Nice one of the truly great cities of Europe and therefore an excellent place to invest. Particularly in light of the fact that many other cities are cutting back spending to the detriment of their environment and infrastructure. Nice is one of the few places in Europe that is investing for the future”.

Glamour events on the Cote d’Azur

01.05.13

Glamour events on the Cote d'Azur

The ‘terres de festivals’ (land of festivals) is the moniker attached to Provence and the Côte d’Azur for the simple reason that there are more than 500 festivals, and a staggering 4000 events held every year. They cover the entire spectrum from the glamorous attracting the famous and infamous,to little rural village affairs celebrating everything from goats to chestnuts. Some of the more notable events in April include the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis Championship April 13th – 21st; where you can witness the world’s best players go head to head on the clay courts of the prestigious Monte-Carlo Country Club. For lovers of luxury motor vehicles the Top Marques Monaco (April 18th – 21st) is a trade show certain to interest amateurs and connoisseurs alike. While for those with a more nautical bent, the Antibes Yacht Show April 18th – 21st is held in Europe’s principle luxury yacht port.

Two of the most prestigious are hovering on the horizon. The first that we speak of is the renowned Cannes Film Festival. In 2013 it takes place May 15th – 26th. This remarkable film festival allows you to see the crème de la crème of the movie world who descend upon Cannes each year, transforming the city into a great destination for voyeurs intent on getting close up and personal with their favourite stars. This year director Steven Spielberg will head the judging jury. The films play 24 hours per day during the event, however it’s still necessary to reserve early as tickets sell fast.

The second occasion is perhaps even more famous - the Monaco Grand Prix (May 23rd – 26th). This prestigious event sees Formula One cars racing at break neck speed through the incredibly tight public streets of Monaco. The high-octane racing is matched by some glamorous soirées. Try and swing yourself an invitation, and you could be rubbing shoulders with celebrities and the wealthy elite.

This year after two races, Team Red Bull is well in the lead with 66 points, 26 points ahead of their closest rivals. The next three teams: Lotus-Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes are all within 3 points, vying for second place. Monaco is the 6th race of 19 on the grand prix circuit. We have only reached May, but to name just a couple further afield, there is the Monaco Boat Show June 20th – 23rd; the international competitive Fireworks Festival July 4th – August 24th; and the Nice Jazz Festival July 8th – 12th. Aideen O’Brien, Managing Director of French Riviera real estate agency, Chez Riviera notes that “the multitude of events held throughout the year along the Cote d’Azur, especially the ‘glamour’ events like the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival enable foreign investors to gain top dollar rentals for their properties. Accommodation is always in short supply during these events, and increasingly people prefer to have the comfort of renting an apartment or villa – making this region so attractive to investors.”

Capital Gains Tax Reduction for 2013

01.12.12

Capital Gains Tax Reduction for 2013

As of January 1st 2013, the French government has introduced a reduction on the capital gains tax rate for second home owners. This concession is a temporary one and will apply only to those homes sold in 2013; so French property holders wishing to take advantage of this initiative will need to act soon.

The new proposal recently announced by the French government to reduce the capital gains tax on the sale of second homes by 20% is good news for anyone intending to sell a holiday home or investment property in 2013. Hollande’s government anticipates that this policy will encourage greater activity in the property market, and the increase in real estate transactions will offset the tax reduction, resulting in a net revenue gain to aid in rebalancing the Republic’s books.

This tax concession will be a temporary measure, applicable only to real estate transactions that take place in the calendar year of 2013. However, any properties sold in 2012, but whose legal process is not completed until 2013 will also be eligible for this tax saving. The policy does not affect one’s primary residence, which remains exempt from capital gains tax.

As a reminder the capital gains tax only applies on the net gain; after eligible costs are deducted, as well as those deductions related to the duration of the period of ownership (see our September release: “Hollande Increases Taxes on French Property” for full details). In summary, the current capital gains tax is 19%, decreasing incrementally after 5 years of ownership. On top of this is added a social security contribution of 15.5%, bringing the total rate to 34.5% The 2013 tax break will pertain only to the capital gains component of the taxes, i.e. not to the social security contributions element.

French property expert, Aideen O’Brien (Managing Director of leading Cote d’Azur real estate agency Chez Riviera) notes "this initiative will no doubt encourage people to put their properties on the market and thereby provide a significant boost to the property sector. Consequently, 2013 should prove an excellent time to not only sell, but also an excellent time to buy due to the greater choice of properties that will become available.”

So for those who have been considering making a move in the French property market, be it on the buy or sell side, this may well prove to be the prompt that many have been waiting for.

Hollande Increases Taxes on French Property

01.12.11

Hollande Increases Taxes on French Property

Like many new leaders wishing to draw a distinction with their predecessor, Francois Hollande, the newly elected French president has wasted little time in introducing several new law changes. As a current or future owner of French property some of these changes could affect you; notably an increase in the capital gains tax and income tax on rental earnings.

While on the surface these changes may seem troubling, according to Aideen O’Brien, Managing Director of Chez Riviera (one of the leading real estate agencies in the South of France) “there are further facts you need to be aware of before being overly concerned. For example, those of you already owning, or planning to own rental property in France will only be affected by this tax increase if your property is rented unfurnished. Since the vast majority of overseas owners elect to rent their property furnished, this change will impact only a small percentage”. The tax on rental income has been raised from 20% to 35.5% (a 15.5% social charge has been added to the previous rate of 20%). This change is retroactive, effecting transactions from 1st January 2012 onwards.

The capital gains tax rate is dependent on where you reside. Effective from 17th August 2012, it has increased from 19% to 34.5% for EU and French residents (this is comprised of 19% capital gains plus 15.5% social charges), and 48.3% for non-EU residents (capital gains tax of 33.3% plus the social charges). If you are based in a tax haven that does not have a tax treaty with France the applicable rate is 50% plus the social charges.

Aideen O’Brien notes that “the good news is that there are several tax exemptions”, namely:

  • Primary Residence – there is no capital gains tax on your primary residence.
  • Length of Ownership - the minimum period you need to own a property to avoid capital gains tax has jumped from 15 to 30 years. However after 5 years the tax rate diminishes e.g. between years 6 and 17 there is a 2% allowance per year; from 18 to 24 years a 4% allowance per year; and between 25 and 30 years, 8% per year.
  • Renting Primary Residence – those who are tenants of their main French home, but own a property located in France, are granted exemption.
  • Elderly & Disabled - French residents of retirement age, or registered disabled, are exempt provided their annual income is below the threshold obviating them from payment of the habitation tax.
  • Divorced or Separated - there is an exemption for those couples in the midst of separation or divorce, where one of the parties stays in the property until it is sold, then both benefit from capital gains tax exemption.
  • Allowable Deductions - the capital gain is determined by the difference between the sale price (less eligible expenses such as agent fees and other mandatory costs) and the purchase price (plus eligible expenses such as notaire costs, stamp duty, improvements).NB. only those building works carried out by a building professional registered in France along with valid invoices will enable tax relief on the costs.

 

In summary, it is important to realise that these tax increases were expected as EU residents previously paid significantly less capital gains tax and rental income tax than their French cousins, therefore these new laws will simply create a more equitable situation between French and EU residents and will no doubt prove popular with the French constituency!

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