French property prices to rise 3pc in 2017?

French property prices could rise by 3 per cent in the coming year, according to agents, as the mood remains upbeat in 2017, following the country’s election result.

French property prices could rise by 3 per cent in the coming year, according to agents, as the mood remains upbeat in 2017, following the country’s election result.

The latest figures from Notaries de France confirmed the trend noted at the start of 2016, as prices of older properties in France rose by 0.5 per cent in Q4 2016, compared with the previous quarter, and by 1.7 per cent over one year, according to the INSEE and Notary indexes. Prices of apartments rose by 1.9 per cent and those of houses rose by 1.5 per cent. While in Greater Paris, the price rise for older properties is sharper, it was less marked in the provinces (up 0.4 per cent between the third and fourth quarters of 2016). Unlike the Ile-de-France region, prices are above all being driven by house prices, which rose by 1.4 per cent between the end of 2015 and the end of 2016, whereas those of apartments rose by only 0.4 per cent.

Of the main provincial towns and cities, only Saint-Etienne (down 5 per cent), Toulouse (down 1.5 per cent) and Marseille (down 1.3 per cent) showed a fall in the prices of older apartments. In other towns and cities they rose between 1 per cent and 2 per cent in Reims, Dijon, Nice and Tours; between 2 per cent et 5 per cent in Rennes, Toulon, Aix-en-Provence, Lille, Montpellier, Nantes, Grenoble, Besançon and Brest; more than 5 per cent in Lyon (up 6.2 per cent), Strasbourg (up 6.8 per cent) and Bordeaux (up 11.2 per cent).

Prices of older houses in the main provincial urban centres mostly rose, although they were down in Nancy (down 6.9 per cent), Valenciennes (down 4.3 per cent) and Béthune (down 3.6 per cent). In other urban centres, prices rose by as much as 8 per cent (Bordeaux or Toulon).

The figures mark a general turn towards the positive, after a long period of stagnation in most markets.

Trevor Leggett, Chairman of Leggett Immobilier, predicts that national growth of prices could reach between 3 and 5 per cent in the coming 12 months.

“Our view is positive,” he said, after Macron’s victory in the French election. “Above all, Macron wants to boost the French economy – he is vehemently “pro business” and “pro Europe.” We have already seen that he is trying to attract foreign investment into France and a growing economy will only help an already strengthening property market. Don’t forget that in the last 12 months we have seen transaction levels rise by 7.7 per cent with 867,000 sales. This increase in the number of sales has heralded a steady rise in prices over the last year and we’re likely to see more of the same.”

How do French property prices compare with the rest of Europe? See our interactive chart mapping out performance across the continent.


France holds great value for British buyers in 2015

7th January 2015

The dream of owning   French property   is a more affordable reality for many Brits   Photo:   JPEStana

Concerns about the eurozone have seen uncertainty spread across the country once more, but the euro’s weakness is only boosting the British pound’s strength, says Angelos Koutsoudes, Head of the Overseas Guides Company (OGC).

“Fresh worries about the Greek economy and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) ability to stimulate the Eurozone economy has led to an immediate strengthening of Sterling in the first week of January,” says Koutsoudes.

“This of course goes in favour of UK buyers. Then, given how tough the year ahead is looking for the Eurozone, interest rates are not likely to rise again in the foreseeable future, meaning French mortgage rates should remain very attractive and could even fall further below three per cent and the current historic lows.”

France’s property prices have already stagnated in 2014, despite mortgage rates hitting record lows. Combined with the attractive exchange rate, France’s conditions are increasingly favourable, he adds.

“All the ingredients are there for British buyers to find their dream French home at an attractive price. Just compare what you could buy with the average UK house price of circa £190K (or €243K) in France and the UK, and the appeal of France is easy to see.” – managed by OGC – will be exhibiting and offering free assistance to French property-buyers and expats at The France Show at London’s Olympia from 23rd to 25th January. The first ever French property auction in the UK will be held at the event.


French property prices to rise next year

6th August 2014

Rural regions such as Loire are bringing in the British bucks   Photo:   Erminig Gwenn

The rating agency says that after an overall drop of 4 per cent in 2014, 2015 will see property values bounce back. Prices are forecast to climb 1 per cent next year and by a further 2 per cent in 2016, boosting the potential returns for investors entering the market now.

2014 has already marked a positive period for French real estate, with demand increasing significantly on Indeed, France overtook Spain to become the second most popular country on the portal at the end of 2013, holding onto to its position for eight months in a row. The rise in interest from overseas buyers has been fuelled by the affordable prices as well as historic low mortgage rates and the country’s timeless lifestyle appeal.

Demand has continued to climb this summer, with France’s share of enquiries on jumping from 6.54 per cent in May 2014 to 6.84 per cent in June 2014.

French commercial real estate is enjoying a period of growth too, with investors injecting €10.7 billion into property in the first half of 2014, up 73 per cent year-on-year and the best start to a year since 2007.

The country, though, is suffering from a housing shortage, notes Standard & Poor’s. Construction slumped to the lowest level in 13 years in 2013, with major cities particularly badly hit. With buyer interest on the up, especially in such cities, where leisure facilities are more common, the lack of supply is set to drive values higher once more.

As a result, investors are making a move. According to BNP Paribas, British buyers returned to the country in force last year, rising 5 per cent to snap up more second homes than any other nationality. In the prime area of Paris, wealthy Russian and Chinese buyers overtook the Brits to dominate activity.

Global property investment specialists Target Markets , who are marketing a luxury development of villas in Poitou-Charentes , say that now is the time to buy in France.

Robert Stones, Managing Director at Target Markets , comments: “We have seen a drastic increase in the number of clients registering for investment and life-style properties in France. We now have the perfect storm for investors in French property with prices set to see increases in value, a lack of supply, record low interest rates which can be locked in for the life of the mortgage, strong rental income due to France’s position as the Number 1 tourist destination in the world, and excellent new products which are ideal as investments but which can also be used by clients for their own holidays.”

Stones believes that there is currently a unique opportunity to capitalise on the current French property market:

“France currently offers investors opportunities which no other market can offer. Mortgage loan to values can be gained up to 90% with low interest rates. The market is proven to grow strongly and even during the recent long-downturn property values in France did not dip the way they did in say, England. Rental incomes are proven and demand for rental property is high at all times. Indeed, there are French government schemes devoted to assisting investors to purchase property to let as there is a real shortage of supply in coastal and city locations as well as in ski areas.”

So which properties are proving most popular with investors at present and why?

Stones continues:

“Top of the list are freehold apartments and houses/villas which are in good locations and which have on-site management. This seems to be the growing trend. Our clients want to use their properties when they wish to themselves and when they are not using their property, they want management on-hand to let their property and manage all aspects of this process.

“The ideal property for investors allows them flexible use while taking advantage of the high returns available in good French locations. Hassle free property investments with the added benefits of free holidays in key French locations. With the average holiday in France costing 6,000 Euros for a 2 week villa break, there are all sorts of advantages to buying investment property in France.”

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