French housing boom in heat-loss homes expected in 2022

Infrared thermovision image showing lack of thermal insulation on house

Infrared thermovision image showing a house's lack of insulation - Credit: Ivan Smuk Getty Images/iStockphoto

A housing boom is forecast next year – in France's worst insulated, least energy-efficient homes.

If you're looking for a French renovation project this could be an opportunity to pick up a bargain.

Every French flat or house that comes up for sale or rent must be audited for energy efficiency and rated on a scale of A to G, with A being the best and G the worst. A new law that was originally due to come into force in January will make it illegal for landlords to put up the rent of properties with ratings of F or G and illegal to rent out the property full-stop from 2025.  

The ban on rental hikes has now been delayed until September due to a lack of experienced auditors. However, industry analysts SeLoger say these ‘thermal sinks’ have already started to appear on the market in greater numbers, suggesting landlords are trying to get rid of them before the new rules come in.  

The number of houses and flats classified as F and G for sale increased by 8% in the year up to September 2021, reports SeLoger. And between September and October, the number of listings jumped by 74% in Rennes, by 72% in Paris and by 70% in Nantes.  

“If the good thermal performance of a house gives it an added value, on resale the opposite is true,” the report goes on. “Indeed, the prospect of having to pay extra-high heating bills or of not being able to rent out a property with an F or G rating will make potential buyers cold and probably encourage them to lower the sale price.”   

SeLoger estimates that in 2021, A-rated properties across the country cost an average of 11% more than F-rated properties, but says that in some cities the difference was greater than 50%.