Wednesday, July 7, 2010

French property prices nearly back to pre-crisis levels

Prices of older properties have almost reached the pre-crisis levels recorded before 2008, according to figures just released by Century 21 for sales during the first half of 2010. With an average cost of 2508 euros per m² (7079 euros/m² for Paris), prices have risen by an astonishing 8.48% in just one year, and an even more remarkable 15% in Paris (5.4% higher than the first half of 2008).

Commenting on the figures, Laurent Vimont chairman of Century 21, which has 850 offices throughout France, noted that "We are now suffering a shortage of properties for sale, with 50,000 compared with 63,000 a year ago; with very narrow margins for negotiation, just 4% for apartments and 6.3% for houses. We are also seeing vendors demanding unrealistic prices which only serve to stifle the market".

The French Mediterranean coastal regions continue to record rising prices, an average of 11% in Provence/Cote d'Azur and nearly 7% in Languedoc-Roussillon.

With mortgage interest rates at their lowest for several months, averaging 3.6% over 20 or 25 years, a typical borrower who had access to 146,500 euros in 2008 can now borrow 169,000 euros to finance his acquisition.

Vimont predicts that average property prices will rise 6% during 2010 before stabilising.