Property in Normandy Sees Prices Stabilize in a Busy 2016
Property in Normandy had a strong 2016. After five years of falling prices, the year saw big growth in volume and prices stabilize.
Upper Normandy, a region that encompasses the major cities of Le Havre and Rouen, saw transaction volumes fly up and away in 2016. And prices finally saw stabilization and then slight growth after sluggish performance since 2011. In Rouen, the number of transactions was up a massive 17% in 2016, far eclipsing the rises in the previous years. The last three months of the year saw a 1.2% increase in prices in the city.
Property prices in existing properties in the Upper Normandy region generally were also up 3.3% by year’s end. While older properties in traditional Haussmann buildings or timbered constructions carried the market, new-builds did not see the same growth. Taking these into account, the market still saw a 1% increase over the year. Great news, after the years since 2011 saw falls of 7% to 8% cumulatively.
Le Havre did not fare so well in 2016, as property prices there fell 3% to 4% on the year. This was not due to a stagnating market, however: transactions ballooned, up 16% from the previous year. Low interest rates encouraged buyers to snap up second homes, thanks to increased purchase power. They also encouraged others to sell their existing homes and use their increased purchasing power to move up the housing ladder into bigger properties or to more prosperous regions. Le Havre has a much higher unemployment rate than Rouen; as a port city it is more susceptible to the effects of a struggling national economy.
The upper Normandy region remains very affordable compared to the nearby regions. A recent listing advertised a 44m2 apartment with a balcony, terrace and underground storage cavern, proposing a €70,000 asking price. This corresponds to the average price for the region, which is around €1,600/m2 for both apartments and houses.
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