Thursday, April 30, 2015

French property prices - latest trends

One of the most accurate surveys of French property prices comes from Notaires de France, who together with INSEE (a government research organisation) base their figures on actual transactions completed over a 12 month period. They have just produced their report for 2014 and the main conclusions are as follows:

House prices have fallen dramatically only in some areas, particularly second homes located remote inland sectors. Examples include  La Creuse a 50% drop (since 2008), and Périgord, le Gers and Normandie (20 to 25% drop). Whereas overall prices are down from 1 to 3% overall in the rest of France.

Prices for apartments show similar wide variations, from extremes such as Reims (11.1% drop), Toulon (11.2% drop), Limoges (9.1% drop), St Etienne (10.1% drop), while overall in  the rest of the country price deductions have been in the order of 1 to 4 per cent.

Some cities showed significant rises in house prices (older properties) during 2014 compared with 2013, and include Marseille (4.2%), Grenoble (10.9%), and Dijon (7.3%), while several towns in the north of France showed significant falls - Le Havre (14.2%), Rouen (9.1%), Lille (6.6%) and Orléans (9.3%).

Overall there were an estimated 700 000 proerty transactions completed during 2014 - just 3% less than recorded in January 2014 for the previous year.

The overall outlook is seen as promising, with mortgage interest rates at a record low, but France's high unemployment and general uncertainty about the 'recovery' are discouraging many would-be buyers from purchasing.

Bear in mind always that average prices and overall trends are simply indicators, and no two properties are precisely alike, as are the individual circumstances in which sellers and buyers arrive at a common accord.