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Inside the Market / Market Trends

French real estate buyers want to stay close to home, study finds

French mediteranean

A study of mortgage applications by mortgage broker Empruntis reveals that French real estate buyers do not want to relocate.

The mortgage broker Empruntis conducted a study to determine where French people would like to purchase homes. The study analyzed a base of 370,000 loan and credit requests submitted on their site between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2015. Looking at the results, one factor became particularly clear,  the French overwhelmingly want to buy homes in or near their current cities. An impressive 93% of buyers said that they did not want to move from their région (most comparable to state) and 82% expressed the desire to stay in the same département, or county.


Whether these numbers arise from a population highly satisfied with their location, or the convenience of familiar surroundings, the survey didn’t seek to find out. However, it did show that French people are also very interested in living in or near large cities. The six régions with the highest demand for buyers just happen to contain the six biggest French cities.


Ile-de-France, most well known for being home to the French capital, is the clear front runner for buyers, encompassing 25% of the demand. Ile-de-France is followed by Rhône-Alpes (with the help of Lyon) at 10%, , Provence-Alpes-Côte-D’azur (Marseille) has 9%, Nord-Pas-De-Calais (Lille), 6 % , and  Aquitaine (Bordeaux) and Pays de la Loire  (Nantes) tie at 5%.


The Communications and Research Director of Empruntis, Cécile Roquel, explained that attraction to larger cities stems from the better quality of life and greater job opportunities they can offer.


Of course other factors also influence where people would like to buy a home. Age plays a big role for future buyers. While Ile-de-France comes in first once again for attracting buyers from all age groups, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has a unique appeal as the most attractive for the 60 plus year olds. The regions of Aquitaine, Languedoc-Rousillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte-D’azur have slowly gained in popularity over time. Bretagne and Pays de Loire, on the other hand, have maintained throughout the years a stable demand for homes.


Following age, income and family size unfold as the next determining factors for homeownership locale. Under 30 year olds and households with the highest incomes look towards big cities with the most employment opportunities to meet their needs. Within this group, buyers with the highest incomes add a healthy dose of sunshine to their list of priorities.


In general, city-seekers tend to be singles or couples without children, while families with children tend to drift farther from large cities. The 50 year old group also has less interest in staying near large metropoles.


Above all, sharing some of the demand hasn’t lessened the attractiveness for French and international buyers alike to flock to the country’s capital and all it has to offer.



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