The French government has decided to give access to its huge database of property value which registers the value of all property transactions in France. The database records the value of every property sold in France. A “State decree” was published on the 2nd of August 2013. The database known as “PATRIM usagers” is to offer people the means to carry out a value assessment of their property under specific conditions. Private property owner will be able to get access to the database when subject of an expropriation or a control procedure on the value of a property or when they need to assess the market value of the property for determining the basis of the solidarity tax on wealth (ISF or “Impôt de solidarité sur la fortune”) or stamp duty on inheritance tax. Use of the service will be limited to fifty visits per user per period of three months, above this limit they will be denied access to the service for six months. Access to this database will be completely free of charges, and it will require online self-identification using the same process and access code as for the online income tax declaration. The use of the database will not prevent the right of the tax administration to rectify the price or evaluation, however as part of a tax audit, the administration can not access or use the information provided by the applicant. In this respect the database is to be vetted by the CNIL (“Commission Nationale Informatique et Liberté). The database is to be operational during the 4th quarter 2013.
The person who will access the database will be able to provide the following information on the property he would like to assess: the type and size of property, the geographical area for looking for similar property, the timeline for comparing price of property transaction. He can complete his application by adding the following optional search criteria: total price ratio or price / surface, years of construction, building materials, the number of floors, number of bedrooms, floor location, a lift, rental status, dependencies, area of land.
The database will provide the following information: type and size of property;
location, prefix and code of the “cadastral” section and location of the property (land registry location); references to the property file and publication date of transfer or transaction; total selling price; ratios price / area and price / number of dependencies; year of construction; building Materials; number of Levels; number and types of main parts; floor situation; elevator… The data provided will reflect transactions for sales, auctions, expropriation or exchange for properties comparable to the query and can not relate to transactions for more than nine years, including the current year. The properties will be shown on a map using geolocation data.
The question is whether people will use the database only for the cases describe in the 2nd of August “State decree” or whether they will use the database when selling or buying a property as they could access the database up to 50 times every 3 months. It is not to be excluded, considering the negative feedback from the President of one of the main estate agent federation in France. However, some people may have “cold feet” to get into the database, as it will involve the use of identification code for the income tax declaration, despite the tax authorities will not be able to use the information.