Question for Eurodopers regarding American buyers of land

Suppose I was visiting somewhere in Europe and I came across some vacant land that was for sale that I wanted to buy. Would I face any restrictions or added costs (e.g., taxes) because I’m from outside the country? This would not be the purchase of some huge expanse of land but instead a modest little lot that would be no greater than one hectare (or two acres). I’m curious if each European country still varies with its policies toward foreign buyers of small parcels of land or if the EU has streamlined things (although I’m including the UK in my inquiry).

In Denmark, foreigners (incl. citizens from other EU countries) are not generally allowed to buy land (or real estate) unless they have some significant affiliation with Denmark. For example, if you were married to a Dane, or payed taxes here, or intended to live here for parts of the year (and I think it has to be more than an annual holiday, but I don’t know what the lower limit is).

:confused: Britain is a member of the EU, so I don’t quite understand why you would exclude it? Norway is not, and would make a better example, I think.

Sweden is the same as Denmark

Brits are buying land all over Europe, this includes the established countries such as France and Spain as well as Eastern Europe and Turkey. From my understanding there doesn’t seem to be any restrictions as long as you can get past the bureaucracy.

No problem in Italy either, as far as I know. Buyers have to remember to pay their taxes, though - land and houses are seen as sources of income whether you actually make money out of them or not, so you have to pay taxes in proportion to the potential income they could carry.

I understand this was not understood by a number of non Italians who bought property there and were fined and/or jailed as a consequence.

You’re welcome in Switzerland! :slight_smile:

Sorry, I made that mistake because the UK doesn’t use the Euro as currency. Somehow I’d momentarily gotten it into my mind that meant the country was not a full member of the EU.

In any case, thanks for the advice. I knew some countries like Denmark had some hoops foreigners had to jump through if they wanted to purchase land in the country but I wasn’t sure if the EU regulations affected them.

Not that I’m seriously considering doing it but would I, as an American with no marital or family ties, have any problems purchasing a small vacant lot in France, Ireland, the UK, or Norway? Would my property taxes be higher than that for a citizen of those countries?

Here in the UK I don’t think you would be affected because you’re a foreign owner- but some areas have higher council tax for second home owners as they’re seen as driving up the property prices for “local people” (and they figure you’re rich and can get away with it).

It varies by country and even by region, but in Spain at least transmission taxes are the same no matter where both parties are from. They do vary by region, though. Property taxes are the same no matter who owns the property.

Now that the Oresund Bridge has connected them? :smiley: