Slow and steady
Anew report released by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank suggests a solid return of stability to the French property market, with a significant upturn in sales during 2015, particularly during the last quarter, signalling a continuation of the trend.
However, with market recovery still relatively fresh, the property experts have noticed a marked difference in buyers’ demands and requirements as they emerge from the credit crisis.
Buyers, still reluctant to take any real significant risk, have shown an increased interest in investing in properties with working assets; property that can potentially cover its costs and bring in returns. With a strong rental demand, buyers are increasingly seeking rentappropriate property; in particular property that is turnkey ready with no need for structural work and any legal complications already ironed out.
While some potential buyers are still holding back, many others are keen to go ahead with a property purchase. Where prices are right, properties are attracting multiple bids and are achieving the asking price for the first time in five years.
Among Knight Frank’s buyers, of whom 56% are British, the south of France and the Alps remain the most sought-after destinations for a property purchase.
According to figures from Notaires de France, residential sales across France increased by 12.5% year-on-year while Knight Frank reported a doubling of sales between 2014 and 2015 and as a more stable economic outlook prevailed, the estate agency reported a rise of 87% on enquiries from prospective buyers in 2015.
According to Notaires de France figures, house prices increased for the third quarter in a row, while the number of transactions increased by 100,000 in 2015 to reach 809,000. This represented a rise of 16%.
The biggest increase in house prices occurred in Châteauroux, capital of the Indre department with an average resale house price of €120,000, an increase of 20%. House prices in Grenoble saw the largest decline with an average resale price of €291,000, a fall of 13.9%.
There was a marked decline in apartment prices across France, with the largest drop recorded in Bourges (-11.4%).
A renewed sense of optimism, that looks likely to remain, is being attributed to favourable mortgage rates, a stablising of prices in prime markets and the weakening of the euro against the pound.