French prop­erty sales reach record lev­els

Living France - - Les Pratiques - no­

The num­ber of prop­erty sales across France in the 12 months to the end of July was es­ti­mated at 839,000, rep­re­sent­ing an in­crease of 15% year-onyear, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est mar­ket re­port from No­taires de France which cov­ers the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016. This also ex­ceeded the high­est num­ber of trans­ac­tions pre­vi­ously recorded (834,000 in Fe­bru­ary 2012). The re­port also noted that prices have re­mained sta­ble, while it seems that Brexit has so far had no no­tice­able im­pact on Bri­tish buy­ers in France.

A sug­gested ex­pla­na­tion for the rise in sales is that buy­ers are not ex­pect­ing prices to fall any fur­ther and that they con­sider now to be an op­por­tune time to get a foot on the prop­erty lad­der as in­ter­est rates have reached his­toric lows.

Ac­cord­ing to No­taires de France-INSEE fig­ures, re­sale prop­erty prices re­mained sta­ble be­tween the first and sec­ond quar­ters of 2016, fol­low­ing three con­sec­u­tive quar­ters of ris­ing prices.

For the sec­ond quar­ter in a row, re­sale prop­erty prices were up year-on-year – a 0.6% in­crease was recorded from the same pe­riod in 2015. House prices in­creased by 0.7% while apart­ment prices in­creased by 0.5% – the first time the lat­ter had done so in four years.

In Île-de-France, prices in­creased for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive quar­ter (up 0.8% com­pared with the first quar­ter).

Out­side of Île-de-France, re­sale prices fell slightly be­tween the first and sec­ond quar­ters (down by 0.5%) af­ter 12 months of ris­ing prices. House prices con­tin­ued to rise (up 0.6% from Q2 2015 to Q2 2016). The fall in apart­ment prices re­duced be­tween Q1 and Q2 2016 (0.5% down in Q2 vs 0.9% down in Q1).

Av­er­age prices con­tinue to vary from depart­ment to depart­ment, with apart­ment prices tend­ing to de­cline while house prices are gen­er­ally on the rise.

Apart­ment prices in France’s main cities out­side of Île-de-France (for ex­am­ple Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse, Mar­seille, Lille and Stras­bourg), have in­creased by be­tween 1% and 6%, while they have con­tin­ued to fall in Rennes (-1.2%) and Mont­pel­lier (-3.8%).

The num­ber of new-build projects given

the go-ahead for con­struc­tion in the 12 months to the end of July reached 401,200, a year-on-year in­crease of 8.3%.

Be­fore Brexit, the Bri­tish were the largest na­tion­al­ity of for­eign buy­ers of French prop­erty, par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond home mar­ket. Since the ref­er­en­dum re­sult in June there has been no no­tice­able im­pact in the ar­eas that were tra­di­tion­ally pop­u­lar with Bri­tish buy­ers such as the north-west and south-west. The per­cent­age of Bri­tish buy­ers pur­chas­ing prop­erty in France has re­mained sta­ble so far in 2016, but the re­port con­cludes it is too soon to mea­sure any pos­si­ble im­pact of Brexit on the French prop­erty mar­ket.

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