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Inside the Market / Market Stats

In 2015, property prices fell across France — except for Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux

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The year 2015 saw French real estate recover, with sales volumes reaching those of the boom years. While prices dropped steadily across most of the country, they soared in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux, among a few others.

Last Spring, the real estate market in France began a steady recovery, which it sustained throughout 2015. The Notaires de France recorded 753,000 sales between September 2014 and September 2015, representing a 4% increase in transaction volumes over the previous year.
This level of sales is close to that achieved during the market’s period of high activity between 1999 and 2007. Transaction volumes are only 6.2% lower than the boom period’s average.

Transaction volumes swelled most substantially in the Calvados region (+20%), the North and the Gironde (18%) and the Alpes-Maritime (17%). With sellers increasingly willing to offer their properties for sale at reasonable prices, the market for second homes has also experienced a notable recovery.

Prices, on the other hand, dropped by 2.8% across the country over a year — -3.1% for apartments and -2.6% for houses. In the Ile-de-France region, prices decreased by 1.7% in the 12 months preceding September 2015.

Over the past decade, only a handful of large cities apart from Paris saw their real estate prices increase, according to a report recently published by the notaires. In Bordeaux, average prices swelled by 57% between 2005 and 2015 to reach 3,080 euros per square meter. Prices also increased significantly in Lyon (+42% to 3,275€/m2), Lille (+36% to 2,8405€/m2), Nice (+31% to 3,515€/m2), Strasbourg (+29% to 2,420€/m2) and Toulouse (+22% to 2,500€/m2).

While price increases have not deterred buyers in most of these cities over the last year, experts believe that the decision taken by most local authorities to increase real estate transfer taxes — frais de mutation in French from 3.8% to 4.5% may slow the market.

A barometer by SeLoger finds that over the last year, real estate prices experienced the sharpest decline in Perpignan (-7.2%), Metz (-5.5%), Toulon (-5.2%), Marseille (-3.5%) and Angers (-3.2%). It also reveals the most expensive cities in France for real estate. Unsurprisingly, Paris tops the list, with average property prices at 8,359€/m2 — 8,020€/m2 according to the notaires’ figures. Aix-en Provence, Lyon, Nice and Bordeaux follow far behind, with average prices in these cities ranging from 3,406€/m2 in Bordeaux to 3,884€/m2 in Aix-en-Provence.

Although it is not included in the list, St Tropez regularly sees property selling for 10,000€/m2. In this town, rendered famous by actors Brigitte Bardot and Louis de Funès, real estate prices can even reach 30,000€/m2, especially in the chic Ponche area.

As a point of comparison, average price per square meter for both apartments and houses in France — excluding new builds — stands at an average of 3,260 euros.

Photo credit: Pixabay / AlexanderStein

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