French Property News - - Contents -

Prop­erty, travel and events

Op­ti­mism is soar­ing among French es­tate agents and prop­erty de­vel­op­ers with more than four out of five feel­ing up­beat about the com­ing year, new re­search shows.

Back in 2015, only 35% of pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in the French prop­erty mar­ket felt pos­i­tive about the year ahead, but this pro­por­tion has climbed steeply to hit 82% in the lat­est sur­vey by Crédit Foncier/csa.

Sent out ev­ery four months, the ‘pro­fes­sional morale barom­e­ter’ asks 400 pro­fes­sion­als across the coun­try, in­clud­ing es­tate agents, de­vel­op­ers and prop­erty man­agers, to re­flect on the past four months.

An im­pres­sive 86% of re­spon­dents in the lat­est sur­vey thought the prop­erty mar­ket had im­proved or sta­bilised be­tween May and Septem­ber this year.

More than a quar­ter thought prices would rise in the next year, es­pe­cially for new-builds, though the ma­jor­ity thought they would stay roughly the same. Only 6% of re­spon­dents thought new-build prices would fall, while 16% thought there would be a drop in prices for older ‘re­sale’ homes.

The re­search find­ings ring true for Leggett Im­mo­bilier, a Bri­tish-led agency with of­fices across France. “Morale couldn’t be higher,” said com­pany chair­man Trevor Leggett. “Our sales sup­port team are tak­ing 9,000 fresh en­quiries a month, which is the high­est I’ve known in 20 years. The do­mes­tic mar­ket has bounced back at last and in­ter­na­tional buy­ers are tak­ing ad­van­tage of bar­gain prop­erty prices and cheap fi­nanc­ing.”

The sense of op­ti­mism was wide­spread across France, but higher than av­er­age around Paris and slightly lower in the south-west where one in five re­spon­dents was pes­simistic about the next 12 months.

Con­tin­u­ing low mort­gage rates were the main cause for cel­e­bra­tion along with the dy­namism in the mar­ket and the gen­eral eco­nomic cli­mate.

Of the 17% of pro­fes­sion­als who re­mained pes­simistic, most cited un­cer­tainty around the con­tin­u­ance of gov­ern­ment mea­sures to stim­u­late the mar­ket, such as fi­nan­cial sup­port for first-time buy­ers.

A record 907,000 homes changed hands in France in the year end­ing May 2017 – a 10% in­crease on the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from No­taires de France. This com­fort­ably beats the pre­vi­ous high set be­fore the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, though not quite if you take into con­sid­er­a­tion the es­ti­mated 1% rise in the hous­ing stock ev­ery year due to new con­struc­tion projects.

There is no short­age of prop­er­ties on the mar­ket, but those that are avail­able are sell­ing more quickly than in re­cent years, say the No­taires de France.

How­ever, Laura Par­sons, of cur­rency bro­kers TORFX , sounded a cau­tion­ary note. “De­mand for French prop­erty from Bri­tish na­tion­als may be sub­dued in the first half of 2018 if lim­ited progress in Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions keeps the pound-to-euro ex­change rate de­pressed,” she said. “How­ever, if dis­cus­sions take a turn for the bet­ter, and the Bank of Eng­land’s ex­pected rate hike also lends ster­ling sup­port, for­eign in­vest­ment in French prop­erty is likely to rise next year as a higher GBP/EUR ex­change rate helps buy­ers get more for their money.”

74 28 years in Nor­mandy

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