Advice for Australian Buyers of Property in France
Originally posted on & updated on 17th February, 2024
This is our Essential Guide for Australian buyers wanting to buy property or invest in real estate in the main cities of France. We have witnessed increased interest from Australians looking to buy or invest in property in France. This is primarily due to the high prices in Oz, with the average property in Sydney now a staggering 1,450,000 Australian dollars, according to NineNews.
Australia was one of the most expensive markets pre-pandemic, and as it was for most of the world, the property market has unexpectedly boomed during Covid. Property prices have come off the boil in recent months; one of the factors holding prices up is very low stock levels while most borrowers are still enjoying historically low fixed rates.
Following recent years’ lack of travel opportunities, property buyers are more confident about investing in Europe. Moving to France is a lifestyle choice for many expats, and finding a city apartment, a stone country house, or a B&B / gîte that can become a home and a source of income is the perfect way to begin a new adventure.
Advice for Australian Citizens in France
Over the years we’ve assisted many Austalian citizens, it’s safe to say they divide into two categories. Those wanting a property providing easy access to Paris are house hunting in the Loire, Normandy, and Burgundy. And those seeking guaranteed sunshine in the bottom half of the country, looking in Dordogne, in the Occitanie region and on the Côte d’Azur or Riviera.
Here’s our top 5 tips for buying a country property in France; firstly, consider its condition, secondly think about the land size and thirdly find out about the state of the roof and sanitation.
Our fourth tip is to focus on an area or at least a region that you believe could be suitable for you and your family. France is much smaller than Australia but is probably bigger that you realise. It’s not always easy get around and journeys need to be planned with care. Think strategically, use our draw map, paper maps with your notes, look at airports, ferry ports, schools, golf course, universities, rivers, elevation, train tracks, etc…
Our fifth tip, don’t wait to land in Paris to start learning French, there are many courses, apps, tools and tuition courses, news reports in French are also great to learn everyday vocabulary. This will save time later, will help thru the purchase process and you will make new friends faster.
In Property, Knowledge is Power
Research is key, we have 20 years’ worth of resources a simple click away. For busy people looking to work or study in a city, or to enjoy metropolitan lifestyle, our ‘Buy à La Carte’ service is ideal.
Here’s a few Q and A’s with the most common queries we receive from Australian buyers.
Q - What are the rules? Do Aussies need a visa to buy French property?
A – People and families have been buying and holidaying in France for decades, this is not a new trend. The travel rules for Aussies are the same as they are for Americans, all-non EU residents including British travellers due to Brexit.
Q - Do Aussies need a Visa to travel to France?
A – If you are planning a trip to Europe and are an Australian citizen or passport holder, the duration of your stay and the purpose of your visit are crucial factors to consider. If you plan to stay for less than 90 days and will not be earning any income, you do not need to apply for a visa. However, if you intend to work or stay for a longer period, it is essential to contact the nearest French embassy to inquire about the necessary visa requirements. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information about the process of obtaining a visa and other legal requirements for working and staying in France.
If you are a family planning to live and work in France for an extended period, you need to obtain a long-term visa, also known as Carte de Séjour. This visa is mandatory for non-EU passport holders and allows you to stay in France legally. It is essential to apply for the visa before your arrival in France, and the application process may take some time, so it is recommended to start the process well in advance of your planned stay. More information can be found on the French Government website and also on
- The Australian embassy in Paris
- The French Embassy in Sydney
- The Honorary Consulate of France in Melbourne
Q - Are there any pitfalls to look out for?
A – It is important to conduct thorough research on visa requirements and tax implications before making any decisions. If you plan to start a business or earn income, setting up a company is a common practice. This can be done through an SCI. Our team of agents and tax advisors are available to provide guidance and support throughout the process.
Q - Any tips for Australians who want to buy property in France?
A - It’s important to stay grounded and keep your goals in mind. Begin with a straightforward strategy and basic projections, and take notes until you can discuss them with someone face-to-face. Determine your financial situation and timeline, as obtaining approval for French mortgages can be challenging, especially for non-EU citizens. This can serve as a starting point for your planning.
Arranging Property Visits in France
On average, a property viewing lasts for about 2 hours. During this time, you will explore the property, take photos of the rooms, park, land, and outbuildings, and discuss furniture that you may purchase with the vendors. If you find a property that you really like, the visit may take longer. To ensure that you have enough time to fully explore each property, it’s best to plan for no more than four visits per day. Three visits per day maybe even better, particularly if you’re viewing properties outside of the peak season when the days are shorter.
At my-french-house we believe your house hunting experience in France should be focussed, especially coming from the other side of the world. We hope you this guide is helpful. Feel free to register and tell us about your project and timeline, let us guide you through your ‘French adventure’.