According to a recent report by the French estate agency group Century-21, the average discount negotiated by buyers of French property is just 5.21% - down from nearly 7% in 2009, and probably less than most potential buyers imagine when embarking on the process of acquiring a French property. Apocryphal stories abound of 'bargains' picked up for half their original asking price but the hard evidence appears to confirm the reality that there is relatively little room for manoeuvre even in a sluggish property market.
The highest average discount of 6.63% is attributed to Marseilles but still down from 8.16% in 2009, and the lowest at 2.56% in Paris (4.36% in 2009).
The average price per square metre is now 2,515 euros - the highest since before the recent property crisis. During 2010 prices actually rose by an average of 8.69% across France, and double that amount (at 18.46%) in Paris.
Despite these figures, buyers it seems will find it difficult to secure a reduction of more than 5% off the property's asking price.
Source: Mireille Weinberg, Les Echos.fr 04 January 2011.