A year of surprises in the French property market, with plenty of political upheaval, comfortingly ended with a stable property market and many areas seeing a rise in house prices

Photo Credit: Bigstock – Madrabothair

For the Home Hunts team, 2018 has been the year of surprises. The never-ending problem of Brexit has brought another level of complexity and uncertainty for Britons buying French property, particularly holiday homes, but there has been a greater flow of buyers from other European countries.

“It was quite an up and down year in many ways, the ongoing saga of Brexit keeps having a big impact for our British buyers of course – exchange rates and uncertainty two of the biggest reasons – but we have had more clients from mainland Europe over this past year or two, particularly from Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries and Benelux,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts.

“Interest rates have also remained low, so France is continuing to attract clients from all over the world,” he adds.

Buyers investing in Paris over London

Home Hunts has found that prices and the market in general has remained quite stable over the last couple of years. The April 2019 review from Notaires de France reflects this and reports that the number of properties sold in 2018 was 970,000, practically the same as the year before which was 968,000.

The report’s data shows that property prices have increased by around 5% in Paris and the Île-de-France, and confirms that house prices have risen in many locations that are popular with Home Hunts’ clients.

“Paris has been booming for the past few years and it is really benefitting from Brexit currently,” stresses Tim. “This is particularly from buyers outside the EU, such as the Middle East, China and USA, who are now choosing Paris instead of London as the best city to have their European base.”

Over the last twelve months property in Bordeaux (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) has risen by 7.8%, a surprising 13% in Montauban, more than the 7% in neighbouring Occitanie capital Toulouse.

In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Marseille and Aix-en-Provence property prices have increased by 6.8% and Montpellier by 4.2%. The few areas that have experienced a drop in house prices include Limoges (2.8%) and Toulon (0.9%).

Many over-priced properties still on the market

For international buyers investing in France, it is more essential than ever to work with independent property specialists like Home Hunts who are knowledgeable about the status of the market you’re buying in to.

Whether a property has been valued at the correct price point and what to negotiate are particular areas of support that buyers can benefit from.

“Everyone is looking for a good deal, so property prices are key and there are still a large number of properties on the market that are over-priced,” says Tim. “There are a lot of buyers out there, so owners need to be realistic if they want to sell their property.”

While Brexit is causing upheavals in the market, so is the Gilet Jaune movement. “The Gilet Jaunes are not exactly painting France in a positive light, particularly in the international press,” says Tim. “Overall it has caused relatively few issues in everyday life throughout the majority of France. The disturbances in Paris have been a little troublesome, but the Paris property market has never been stronger. Some news reports have made it look like France is having a civil war, but, in reality, support for this movement has dwindled substantially in recent months.”

Home Hunts feels confident that Macron’s government is set to make some positive changes in the France and that despite uncertainty the property market has remained buoyant.

“Now is certainly a good time to buy because the interest rates are low and you can negotiate a good deal in most areas,” says Tim.

If you are looking to buy a property in France, visit www.home-hunts.com, but to speak to a consultant about your specific needs, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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