2 workmen wearing hardhats in house under construction Since 2008 the ‘Scellier” scheme has provided affluent French taxpayers with valuable tax breaks on new homes that are to be rented out, but the benefit is gradually being eroded by the government.

Overall in France during 2010 the number of new-built house permits issued for all types of buildings increased by about 3.1% over 2009, but there were some large regional variations – notably, the Pays de la Loire, which saw a 40% increase in the number of building permits issued.

You can do a lot with statistics, and I imagine that this increase is largely the result of a poor showing the year before, but I have certainly noticed a proliferation of new homes being built in Loire-Atlantique over the past year or two. Mostly, these appear to be privately owned and I guessed it was a combination of “English-style” property ownership trends starting to spread to this under-populated region of France, rising prices, and continuing low-interest rates that was fuelling it. I also wonder whether the planned new airport for Nantes and the Pays de la Loire is having an effect. Yellow crane outside green building under construction

Have you noticed the same? Is it due to a real demand for new housing in the region or is it investment-led? Can the region sustain the growth in housing or are we set to see lots of unfinished or uninhabited properties?

I would be interested in your comments…

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