What help can the government offer you to buy your property ?

21 December 2023

The support available from the state for buying a property includes support from local authorities (support offered by the regions, départements and communes), for example the Prêt Paris Logement (for Parisians to obtain interest-free credit) or the Chèque Premier Logement in Marseille (to help families and young people make their first purchase). Renovation grants, for example to adapt homes for people with reduced mobility, or subsidies to improve thermal comfort.

Most local authority grants are available subject to certain conditions. Generally speaking, the eligibility criteria require the purchase of a principal residence and compliance with an income ceiling.

The subsidised property loan is available to owners of a principal residence who wish to carry out renovation work, or to those who wish to become owners of their principal residence. It applies to new-build properties, existing properties (with or without work) and properties under construction.

The PAS (prêt à l'accession sociale) helps people on low incomes to buy their own home :

  • - This subsidised loan is distributed by financial institutions that have signed an agreement with the government;
  • - it enables you to finance up to 100% of your property project;
  • - it is repayable over a period of between 5 and 30 years, or even 35 years in some cases;
  • - it can be combined with other subsidised loans, such as the homebuyer loan, the home savings loan or the zero-rate loan;
  • - the interest rate is capped and varies according to the lending institution and the repayment period;
  • - notary fees are reduced and taxes are included (local and building taxes, inventory of fixtures and insurance).

It can cover the whole of a property purchase, but cannot finance all the costs. You will need to make a downpayment to cover notary fees, administrative fees and mortgage costs.

The PTZ (zero-rate loan) for first-time buyers enables them to benefit from financial assistance and tax breaks. It is an interest-free loan granted in addition to a conventional or traditional property loan, and can be used to finance up to 40% of the purchase price. To be eligible for the PTZ, you must :

  • - you must not have owned your own home during the two years preceding the loan application;
  • - the PTZ must be used to finance the purchase of a principal residence;
  • - not to exceed the income ceiling, which varies according to the geographical area of the property and the composition of the household;

The repayment period for a PTZ is 20 to 25 years, including an initial period of deferment (5 to 15 years). This means that you do not repay your zero-rate loan during this initial phase.

The PEL (Prêt Épargne Logement) is a regulated account that allows you to finance your first property purchase (new build, new or old) after four years' savings.

Available to first-time buyers of a primary residence, the conditions of the PEL are as follows:

  • - you can apply for a loan at a preferential rate from the end of the 4th year of your PEL;
  • - a PEL entitles you to a single loan repayable over a period of 2 to 15 years;
  • - the amount of the PEL is capped at 92,000 euros.

The prêt à l'accession sociale à la propriété (social home ownership loan) is a means-tested loan offering a reduced rate of interest to first-time buyers who are building or buying a primary residence, and to homeowners who are carrying out work on the property they live in. Income must not exceed a certain ceiling. It covers up to 100% of the total cost of the project.

The civil servant loan is granted to civil servants to help them buy a home, whether new or old, with or without work. This loan is granted in addition to a social housing loan or a subsidised loan. Certain income conditions must be met.

Housing action loans offer property loans at preferential rates to finance the construction or purchase of a principal residence. This is an employer-subsidised loan available, in principle, to all employees.

The PSLA (prêt social location-accession) is granted to low-income households wishing to become homeowners. It is a subsidised loan available on a means-tested basis, and can cover up to 100% of the cost of the project.

The PSLA loan, also known as Location Vente or Location Achat, comprises two phases:

  • - a rental phase, during which the household pays an amount comprising a rental component (capped rent) and a purchase component (which serves as a down payment);
  • - a purchase phase, from the moment the household exercises the option to buy the home under the conditions initially agreed.

The PSLA loan offers first-time buyers a number of advantages:

  • - a VAT rate of 5.5% ;
  • - a discount on the sale price of at least 1% on each anniversary date of the lease;
  • - exemption from property tax for 15 years;
  • - reduced notary fees.

Buying social housing: a social housing organisation sells the homes it manages to its tenants or to non-occupiers wishing to buy. There are a number of ways to become the owner of a social housing property:

  • - buy a new social housing property, off-plan under a rent-to-own scheme, or PSLA ;
  • - buying an HLM home that has already been built.

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