Corsica has passed a proposal to make it impossible for non-residents to buy property on the island.
The French island on Friday made it compulsory for people to be permanent residents for a minimum of five years, in a bid to curb speculation and ease development pressure.
Foreign investors have contributed to inflated house, apartment and land prices on the island, officials have said. Currently, holiday homes owned by non-Corsicans account for up to 40% of all Corsican real estate. The number of holiday homes on Corsica has soared from 7000 in 1968 to 710,000 today, according to statistics agency INSEE. The subsequent high demand for land has been linked to gang crime and high homicide rates, further garnering negative feeling towards foreign investors.
The law will provide exceptions for native Corsicans living abroad.
The new proposal has garnered hot debate since it was introduced last summer. Those against the bill, mainly from the far left, have voiced concerns that the changes could create a black market in real estate – while nationalists in the country are strongly against foreigners using Corsican properties as holiday homes, sometimes resorting to violent tactics.
The bill also includes a tax rise on holiday homes.
The proposal will …read more