Monday, February 6, 2012

French Property News, February 2012 (our 200th post!)

In this issue I have offered an up-to-date review of the French property market, looking at France's housing stock and how it is divided between apartments (just 20%) and individual homes of varying sizes, and 32 millions households, just over half of whom are home owners. This last figure contrasts with higher levels of home ownership in Europe - including Spain (83%), Ireland (78%) and Great Britain (70%).

Although France's housing stock has risen from 25 million in 1984 to today's figure, there is still a housing shortage due to marriage breakup and newly constitutde family units, as well as larger numbers of people living on their own. An estimated 2 to 4 million properties are considered to be sub-standard and requiring replacement, including many large estates constructed in the sixties and seventies. 

French people also own three million second homes, either inherited or purchased as security for retirement, though the majority are sold by their owners within 10 years of acquisition. Reasons given include children growing up, the trend to travelling further afield and taking holidays outside France, and the need to raise capital (noting that in the last decade some property values have risen by 150%).

Nonetheless transactions involving second homes represent just 7% of the market, though this can be considerably higher in coastal and holiday areas, where the proportion of second homes can be s high as 70% of the local housing stock. 

Source: February 2012, Expert Advice, Peter-Danton de Rouffignac