French property market set to see growth in 2016
Image Enquiries into French property are up by 60% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the previous year, the latest data shows, with steady growth predicted for the rest of the year.
Figures from the FNAIM, the national association of French estate agents, show that a record breaking 800,000 older properties were sold in 2015.
The annual analysis of the French property market from Home Hunts suggests that there was a large resurgence of British buyers last year. It says that it was a good a year for negotiations due to a combination of flexible property prices, low interest rates and favourable currency pairings
Overall the prime property market on the Riviera is booming, boosted by price falls inland, and an increase in sales in coastal locations, such as Cannes and Saint Tropez, the report says. It predicts that the prime markets on the Riviera, in Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux and parts of Provence and the Alps are due to see price rises throughout 2016.
While the upcoming referendum in June on the future of the UK in the European Union could have an effect on British buyers’ confidence in the market, the firm reports that so far there hasn’t been much of a noticeable effect.
‘While the market continues to improve, June’s EU referendum will certainly unsettle certain British clients, but, if there is a Brexit, I don’t believe it will greatly impact those buying property overseas,’ said Tim Swannie, Home Hunts director.
‘So far it does not seem to have affected British buyers’ appetite for French property. The pound has lost a little strength compared to last year, but it is still comparatively high if you look at it over the past five to six years, so British buyers can still really make the most of their budgets,’ he added.
However there are also many Dutch, Belgian, German, Scandinavian, Swiss, American and Middle Eastern buyers active in the market and the report points out that the new LGV (Ligne à Grande Vitesse) train line which will connect Bordeaux with Paris in 2017 means that property in the area is increasing in value. Similarly, the TGV now runs from London to Marseille and areas of Provence are becoming more popular as a result.
Looking ahead the report suggests which areas of France are likely to be good buys. It says that on the popular Riviera locations such as Biot, Opio, Roquefort-les-pins, and Chateauneuf de Grasse could prove popular as buyers are now getting more for their money. In neighbouring Provence areas such as Bormes-les-Mimosas and Carqueiranne are described as offering excellent value for money.
In the south west of the country, another location popular with British buyers, Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, and Figeac currently offer better value than the Dordogne, while in Languedoc the city of Beziers is in an area undergoing a facelift and housing stock is starting to move.
The report also says that Paris saw increased sales in 2015, particularly in November and December and is likely to continue to be popular with buyers from all over the world as they see property there as a safe investment while prices are attractive compared to London.
Property sales increased in Paris throughout the year and according to the Paris-Ile-de-France Notaires saw an unprecedented level of activity in September and November 2015 where property sales were up 42% on the same period in 2014. This was an overall increase of 21% when compared with the average over the last decade.
‘Paris prices are very attractive if you compare with London where prices are almost three times higher. Investors prefer to invest their funds in acquiring prime apartments rather than the uncertainty of the stock exchange at the moment,’ said Hervé Lévy, Home Hunts’ Paris based consultant.
“Overall in 2015, Home Hunts found that the most coveted areas are the north of the 16th arrondissement, next to avenues Foch and Victor Hugo, and along the Ranelagh gardens, the 8th arrondissement and its golden triangle, as well as the 8th and the 17th arrondissements by Monceau Park and property in the 7th or 16th arrondissements that offer views of the Eiffel Tower,” reported by propertywire.
‘Our clients want to live in a prime location, in security, in a property that is a long term investment. In terms of how the market is going to progress, we expect slight price increases in 2016 followed by further rises in 2017, so it is currently still an excellent time to buy prime property in Paris,’ added Lévy.