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French property price decreased again , albeit moderately by nearly 3% , according to the property network “Century 21”. Thus 2014 followed the slow sliding trend that occurred in 2012 (-1.9%) and -1.8% in 2013 (-1.8%) , (also from the network data). There was less disparities between French regions in 2014 as all regions experienced a price decrease except the “Limousin”, while in 2013 seven areas experienced a price decrease versus 6 an increase, according to Century 21.
Transaction volume was down in 2014, particularly for flats (-6.9%) and to a lesser extent for houses (-1.7%) leading to a total number of property sold of 720 000, despite significantly lower mortgage rate. Century 21 also commented that the average time length for selling a home increased in Paris to 76 days (+11 days compared to 2013) and to 95 days on average over France.
The property network forecasts another moderate 3% price decrease in 2015.
Overall, the property market becomes very favourable for British buyers due to the cumulative effect of the property price decrease and the constant increase of the GBP versus EUR over the past 3 years.
However, the leading French property network “pap” (direct selling from landlords to buyers without the help of an estate agent) disclosed a 1.33% price decrease over 2014 for the apartment market and a slight price increase of 0.17% for the house market. This would still lead to an overall – albeit very moderate- price decrease for the French property market, as the sales volume for flats is always significantly higher than for houses. The “pap” property price index is the only which shows a more moderate property price decline, compared to Century 21, or to “meilleursagents.com” (do read our post “Paris property market to follow its downward slope in 2015“). “Pap” network also disclosed the average price rebate between the asking price and the final agreed price: 5,02% for flats and 4.38% for houses. The time lag for selling a flat remained unchanged in 2014 compared to 2013 at 8 weeks for flats and 12 weeks for houses.
Additionally, the French “notaires” disclosed their data -early in December 2014-, assessing a 1.9% price decrease for the flats market and a near stability (-0.1%) for the houses market over a year at the end of September 2014. However, there was significant disparities at “departments” level (a 5 to 8 times smaller areas than the French “regions” mentioned above). The strongest price drop happened in two Burgundy departments : Cote d’Or (around Dijon) -21%, in Saone et Loire (around Macon, Chalon sur Saone) -10%, while the area around Nimes experienced a 6% decrease. On the other hand, in the Pyrenees- Orientales (French Catalogne, area of Perpignan) price increased by 16%, in Morbihan (part of South Brittany) by 12%, and in Oise by 11% (Northern border of “Ile de France” ).
Among the main French cities, Bordeaux experienced a significant 6% price increase throwing the “girondine” city into the small league of French cities with a property price above € 3000 /m2 (3080 for Bordeaux, 3300/m2 in Lyon and 3560 m2 in Nice) . According to the notaire the property price would remain above € 8000/m2 in Paris. This is higher than the price disclosed by “meilleursagents.com” early this year in January. (please read our post “Paris property market to follow its downward slope in 2015“).
“Notaires” data are generally more reliable as they record all property sold in France. However, the “notaires” data records the price at the signature of the “acte de vente” (final contract) while the data disclosed by other network (estate agents or pap…) record the price a the preliminary contract or “promesse de vente” which happens on average 2 to 3 months before the final contract. Please do read our post “compromis de vente or promesse de vente” if you would like to know more about this important matter when buying a French property…