French property market update: October 2016
PUBLISHED: 16:25 18 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:54 08 November 2016
The French property market is looking strong with transactions up 15%, prices stable and no noticeable impact from Brexit
The French property market is growing in strength with a marked increase in the number of property sales and stable prices, according to the latest official report by the Notaires de France which covers the second quarter of 2016 (April-July). So far, Brexit doesn’t appear to have made any impact on British buyers in France.
Number of property sales
The number of property sales across France in the 12 months to the end of July is estimated at 839,000 which is an increase of 15% year-on-year. The report suggests that buyers believe now is the perfect time to invest in a French property – interest rates have reached historic lows and buyers don’t think property prices will fall any further.
In the second quarter of 2016, re-sale property prices were up year-on-year – house prices increased by 0.7% and apartment prices increased by 0.5%. This is the second quarter in a row that property prices were up year-on-year and the first time in four years that apartment prices increased.
In Île-de-France, house prices increased for the second consecutive quarter and are up 1.2% year-on-year to an average of €291,500. The price of an apartment in Paris rose 2.6% year-on-year to an average of €8,100/m².
The towns that saw the largest fall in house prices year-on-year were Amiens (-11.1%), Reims (-9.5%) and Rouen (-4%) while the ones that had the largest increase in house prices were Montpellier (11.8%), Saint-Étienne (8.4%) and Lyon (8.3%).
The towns that saw the largest fall in apartment prices year-on-year were Besançon (-9.6%), Nîmes (-8.4%) and Amiens (-7.6%) while the towns that had the largest increase in apartment prices were Clermont-Ferrand (12.7%), Limoges (10.6%) and Caen (9.7%).
Effect of Brexit on the French property market
Before Britain voted to leave the EU, British buyers were the largest nationality of foreign buyers of French property, particularly in the second home market. Concerns that this would change because of Brexit appear to be unfounded and the percentage of British buyers purchasing property in France has remained stable so far this year. Since the referendum result in June there has been no noticeable impact on British buyers in the north-west and south-west of France – areas that were traditionally popular with British buyers. However, the report states that it is too soon to measure any possible impact of Brexit on the French property market.