<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
Just £2 per issue Subscribe to one of our France Magazines click here

Election fever grips France

PUBLISHED: 16:39 30 March 2012

Closed for business? How will the election affect the market?

Closed for business? How will the election affect the market?

Karen Tait

As the election in France draws nearer, how will the property market be affected?

The election in France is fast approaching. President Nicolas Sarkozy, of the centre-right UMP party, is campaigning to be re-elected, but is facing stiff opposition from the likes of François Hollande, the socialist who, for many, is regarded as the frontrunner in the election. Another François, M. Bayrou of the MoDem party is seen as a threat too, while, Sarkozy will also be nervously eyeing the far right, where another challenge to him is coming from Marine Le Pen of the National Front.

Sarkozy is fighting to avoid being the first one-term incumbent since Valéry Giscard, who failed to be re-elected in 1981. And the timing could certainly be better for Sarkozy, with the two-round election (on 22 April and 6 May) following hot on the heels of the financial crisis and uncertainty in the eurozone.

But what of the French property market? How will this be affected by the election?

Peter-Danton de Rouffignac, who advises on buying and selling property around Perpignan (www.FranceMedProperty.blogspot.com), says: “Looking back at comments in the early part of 2007, several referred to the election and predicted that 2007 would be l’année de la rupture with a dramatic fall in property prices compared with 2006 and earlier. Some even talked of a 25% drop till 2010 – in the event there was an overall reduction of 3% in 2008 and 7% in 2009, followed by a recovery in 2010.

“In early 2007 there was more concern about interest rates and the policies of the European Central Bank, amid admissions that housing demand remained ahead of supply. This was before the US sub-prime crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 which precipitated our current situation.

“Coming to 2012, there is a feeling that everything is on hold until June, though nobody can justify why. There were around 783,000 sales in 2011 (Notaires de France). Athough a report by L’Observatoire crédit logement CSA (8 February 2012) states that electoral years always provoke a ‘wait and see attitude’ among purchasers, it also cites the ending of the no-interest loan (PTZ) on 1 January, general economic uncertainty and concerns about unemployment among the factors that might contribute to a slowdown in the market in 2012 .

“Interest rates remain stable, the report concludes, and ‘the loss of France’s AAA rating appears to have had little practical effect. At worst there might be a rise of 0.5 to 1%.

“It is hard to find a reason for the caution simply due to 2012 being an election year. The parties have announced their programmes, and on the question of housing there is nothing dramatic in any of their proposals.”

Peter goes on to point out that all the major electoral contenders have drawn up rafts of proposals to help the supply of housing in France meet demand. Sarkozy’s include an emphasis on new-builds, the existing programme to sell or lease redundant public buildings and land to create more space for housing, and a proposal to cap rentals. François Hollande has spoken of building more social housing, giving away public land for social housing, penalising communes that do not build social housing according to current government levels, and capping rentals.

François Bayrou (MoDem) talks of putting onto the market the 500,000 empty properties (“Although analysis shows that there is generally a reason why a property is temporarily empty,” says Peter), helping tenants of private landlords, and ‘financial initiatives’ towards building and improvement.

0 comments

More from Complete France

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Enter this competition to win a great family holiday with Les Castels on one of France’s top four- and five-star campsites in Ardèche

Read more
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We have three copies of Curiosities of Paris by Dominique Lesbros for you to win

Read more
Friday, July 21, 2017

The annual Voyages à Nantes art festival transforms the streets of Nantes into a giant exhibition space. These are some of our favourite parts of this year’s festival including a skydiving walrus and a giant slide!

Read more
Pays de la Loire
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The August 2017 issue of French Property News is now on sale! This special travel issue is packed with house hunting inspiration and travel tips to help you get to and from your French property. Here are 12 reasons to read the new issue

Read more
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Do you know the correct meanings of some common French false friends? Take our quiz and find out!

Read more
Learning French
Thursday, July 20, 2017

From asking for a particular type of car to telling someone there might be a problem with your vehicle, here is the essential French vocabulary for hiring a car in France

Read more
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Test your French with our quick quiz and find out whether you are almost fluent or need to take some more French lessons

Read more
Learning French
Monday, July 17, 2017

Make your own traditional French desserts with our recipes, including the classics tarte au citron, tarte tatin and fondant au chocolat...

Read more
French recipes
Tue, 11:22

Franco-American couple Johann and Lisa Pepin left behind their high-flying jobs in Chicago to take over Johann’s family farm, Les Pastras, in rural Vaucluse where they run Provençal activity tours including truffle hunting and grape harvests

Read more
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Americans, Australians and other non-EU residents need a visa or permit in order to visit or live in France – here’s our guide to the different visas and permits and how to apply for them

Read more
Brexit

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now