Buying property in France as an Australian.

Roberto Efflandrin

Château’s, Bastides or Maison de maître, to see these stunning French properties is one of the reasons why many Australians flock to France each year. Let’s not forget Paris and its awe inspiring architecture that wow’s visitors everyday.

Conveniently located in Western Europe, France not only boasts mountains, quaint seaside towns and charming rural villages, but offers foreign residents, including Australians a unique opportunity to potentially invest in their local property market. Find out what we mean by this through this article.

💰 Wise provides you the mid market rate and low transparent transfer fees shown upfront.

Learn more about
Wise money transfers

This article is purely for general information purposes and is not to be taken as financial advice. We recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment.

Can Australians buy property or real estate in France ?

Yes, there are no restrictions for Australians who want to invest in property or other forms of real estate in France.¹ The only type of property that Australians, and other foreigners cannot buy are state-owned dwellings.²

Nonetheless, that still leaves a whole variety of amazing properties up for grabs. Let’s get a general idea of the French property market for Australian citizens.

What is reciprocity when it comes to buying property in different countries

Reciprocity or a reciprocity agreement is a formalised arrangement that allows citizens of each country involved to enjoy equal benefits when visiting each other's countries. Some countries can have reciprocity agreements for many things including healthcare, free-trade, residency rights or property ownership.

For Australians in France, there is no formal reciprocity agreement in place for buying property, but there are other agreements such as a double tax treaty that can save Australians from paying twice on mandatory property plus other taxes in France. This treaty was implemented to protect the investments made in each country, while aiding in facilitating trade between Australia and France.³

What’s the property market like in France?

The property market in France has slowed in 2023, with prices falling slightly across the country including Paris.⁴ However, It is anticipated to rise in the coming years, so this makes it a favourable time for foreign residents, including Australians to buy a property.

move money

Property prices for different types of property in different locations

When deciding on what to buy in France, you will need to consider what type of property you want. This is because properties across France vary greatly in age, in size, location and in price. We’ll introduce you to a few of these types and how an approximate cost range by city.

City Property type Cost range* (AUD)
Paris⁵ 1 Bed, 1 Bathroom apartment, 24 sqm $350,000+
Marseille⁶ Villa - 5 bed, 4 Bathrooms, 275 sqm $2,000,000+
Lyon⁷ 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment, 14 sqm $130,000+
Toulouse⁸ Mansion - 8 Bedroom, 5 bathroom, 282 sqm $1,100,000+
Nice⁹ House - 4 bedroom, 4 Bathroom $1,900,000+
Bordeaux¹⁰ Castle - 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms $3,000,000+

As seen on 15th September 2023

*Prices are average starting range and converted to AUD based on the current market availability

This is just a quick guide of some of the prices you can expect. In major cities like Paris, there is an opportunity to find property outside of this range, but it is very location dependent.

You should also remember, that unlike in Australia, there are properties that come on sale that are a few hundred years old, especially if you are looking at buying some of the older Chateau’s or an older Maison de maître’s. These types of properties may require significant upkeep.

If you are looking for something that isn’t so grand and off the beaten path, you can generally find cheaper properties outside of the major cities near the smaller villages scattered across the country.

How to find property to buy in France

When it comes to finding the perfect property to buy in France, you’ll quickly discover that the best way to make the process as straightforward as possible is by using a real estate agent. There are both international and local options available around the country that can facilitate your purchase. You can choose to go through the process yourself, but if you are not familiar with France and its processes, it can be a more difficult way to go.

Popular agencies in France and other ways to find properties for sale

With so many different agencies, where do you start to look? We have compiled a list of some popular international and national agencies to check out.

International Agencies

  1. Sotheby's international
  2. Christie's International
  3. CB Richard Ellis
  4. Talvans International
  5. Mercure Groupe

National Agencies

  1. Beaux villages
  2. Daniel Feau
  3. Magrey
  4. French-Property

If you aren’t quite there yet, but still want to check out what sort of properties are available, you can check out properties on the popular Australian property search site If you have a specific location you are interested in, you may find that using a smaller, more local agent may be the best way to go, especially if you are interested in buying in the smaller villages and their surrounding regions.

How to choose the right property to buy in France. What to consider

In terms of choosing the right property to buy in France, that aspect completely comes down to your desires and needs. Nonetheless, here are a few things to ask yourself when deciding what you want to buy.

  1. Which city/region would you like to buy in?
  2. How many bedrooms do you want?
  3. How many bathrooms?
  4. Do you want an apartment, house or something more unique?
  5. Do you want a swimming pool?
  6. What views or surrounding landscapes do you want to live near?
  7. What is your budget range?
  8. Is the property going to be used to live in, rent or for commercial use?

Of course there are far more questions that you can ask yourself, but these will start to help narrow down your search.

Can you get a mortgage in France as an Australian

Fortunately, it is possible to get a mortgage as an Australian in France. This is because it is quite common for foreigners to buy property, so many banks cater to this, even having English speaking staff ready to help. There are a few restrictions though, one is that your mortgage debt should not take up more than ⅓ of your total income. The second is the mortgage taken out must be at least equivalent to 50,000 euros.¹¹

Documents needed for buying a property in France as an Australian

When you do find an agent, you will be asked to provide:

  • Your identity documents,
  • Proof of French bank account

Once you have found a property you want to purchase, and your agent has made an offer on a property, you will need these documents to finalise the deal²:

  • A Sous-Seing Prive or a formal agreement between the parties involved in the transaction
  • An Acte de Vente - a final contract

Your chosen agent or lawyer will take you through and provide you with the documents you need to make your purchase.

What are the legal requirements for buying property in France as an Australian

Although there are no restrictions for Australians to buy a property in France, you will need to take into consideration your visa requirements if you are not an EU citizen. This includes if you have only temporary residency status. Otherwise, consulting a French lawyer or your chosen real estate agent will help guide you through the key legal requirements for buying and owning property in France.

What are the taxes and fees usually levied on property purchases in France

Apart from the initial deposit, there are additional expenses associated with buying a property in France. You are required by law to pay a Notaire's (Notary) fee which is regulated by the government. These are based on the property's tax bracket, and capped at 10% of the property's value.

Depending on the age of the property you buy, different rates of Stamp duty apply. For properties older than 5 years, the rate is around 5.8% and for newer homes, the cost is 0.7% plus VAT which is currently at 20% of the property price.

However, you should review your contract, as sometimes properties are sold as "toutes tax comprises" (TTC), covering all taxes which are common in off-plan purchases. Owning a residential property also entails ongoing pro-rata land tax known as Taxe Foncière and other local taxes, known as Taxe d'habitation. However, there are conditions around these other ongoing taxes.¹²

Steps to take to buy a house in France

If you are interested in buying a house in France, you should know that despite no restrictions, it is a slightly tougher journey for foreign residents. That means as an Australian, you should be prepared to tackle French bureaucracy.

Here are just some of the steps to buy a house in France.

    1. Choose your desired location
    1. Set a budget
    1. Find a realtor to assist with your property search
    1. Visit the location to view property options
    1. Review the seller's Diagnostic Report (Dossier De Diagnostic Technique).
    1. Make an offer.
    1. Sign the initial contract
    1. Pay the deposit (around 5- 10% of the purchase price)
    1. Seek guidance from a French Property Lawyer for legal complexities.
    1. Sign the final deed of sale contract at the notaire's office.

Even with this list in mind, it is imperative that you do your own research, so you can avoid any unnecessary hurdles.

Avoiding scams when buying a property in France

Purchasing a property anywhere is a big deal, and in most cases large sums of money need to be exchanged. This means that scams are common and possible. Here are some ways to avoid being scammed as an Australian buying a property in France.

  • Use a reputable agent or agency
  • Avoid making purchases before meeting all parties involved
  • All fees should be clearly listed in your contract
  • Don’t send any money to anyone you don’t know or have met
  • Seek legal guidance wherever necessary

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

What else to keep in mind

As an amazing place to buy a property, navigating the French property market can be daunting for newcomers. So, no matter where you are looking to buy a property, the better you prepare yourself through your own research, the easier the process will be.

Wise for sending large amounts

Sending large amounts of money can be frightening and the fees add up fast — but not with the Wise large money transfer service.³

Wise is a specialist in sending large amounts overseas, securely. The added bonus is that with a sliding fee scale, the more you send, the more you save. The exchange rate is always based on the mid-market rate, like the one you’d see on Google.

Safety is super important at Wise and it’s regulated wherever it operates. In Australia, it is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL number 513764). On top of this, Wise has dedicated compliance teams and systems working around the clock to keep our customers’ money safe.

You’ll need to keep in mind how much your receiving bank will accept in one transaction, check with them first before making the transfer.

Join over 16 million customers currently enjoying Wise. It’ll only take a few minutes to register and see what’s inside.

Register your Wise account
in minutes 🚀

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.
This article is purely for general information purposes and is not to be taken as financial advice. We recommend that you obtain independent financial advice before making any form of investment.


  1. Talvans restrictions on property purchases
  2. Lawyers France foreign purchases
  3. Australian Parliament double taxation
  4. Notaires France property prices
  5. Real estate Paris
  6. Real estate Marseille
  7. Real estate Lyon
  8. Real estate Toulouse
  9. Sotheby's Nice
  10. Bordeaux Castle
  11. HSBC France mortgage factsheet
  12. French Property taxes
  13. Eligibility is subject to verification of customers' identity

Sources checked on: 26th August 2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location