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Inside the Market / Market Trends

Property Market Analysts Predict 880,000 Transactions in France this year

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France’s national mortgage bank has predicted 880,000 transactions in the French residential property market this year, a significant increase on previous estimates. 

After 850,000 transactions in France in 2016 market observers were hoping for the same this year, as previous election years have seen a fall in year-on-year transactions. News that mortgage lending would break records in 2017 offered a glimmer of hope for optimists, while today’s announcement was nothing less than a celestial fireball.

The Credit Foncier, France’s national mortgage bank, has predicted 880,000 transactions in France in 2017, accompanied by ‘varying price increases’ according to a statement. “The housing market revival continues,” the Credit Foncier press release reads, “supported by ever-low interest rates and help-to-buy schemes such as the interest-free loan (PTZ) and the Pinel device.”

The ‘varied price increases’ refers to particularly high growth in small towns that are said to be ‘catching up’ with the larger metropolises of Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux; though the capital of Nouvelle Aquitaine is seeing double-digit growth over the last 12 months.

The prediction is a U-turn after the bank predicted in February that we would see fewer transactions this year than 2016 despite record-breaking mortgage borrowing, with Meilleursagent giving an equally conservative estimate at the start of the year.

And some observers have asked whether the number could go as high as 900,000, with others labelling the 880k estimate ‘cautious’ considering that the 12 months to April saw 881,00 transactions. That the 2017 estimate is not higher than the 880k year-to-April figure is not too surprising: both figures will be carried by the first quarter of the year, normally the busiest period.

The bank’s study reveals that more than two-thirds (71%) of fiscal households surveyed hope to become property owners within the next 12 months, versus only half (53%) in 2014. The average time it takes to find the desired property is also down since 2014, from 7 months to 4.4 months. Four out of five (80%) property professionals are optimistic about this year’s market prospects.

New-build and commercial property markets were also looked at in the analysis. The Credit Foncier is anticipating 410,000 new homes being built in 2017 versus 384,000 last year, a 6% increase. And the commercial property – offices and retail space – sector’s prospects look equally good: a 27% increase in commercialisation year-on-year in the first quarter, with the year’s total expected to match 2016’s figure (around 2.4 million m2).

image © Wikicommons

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