Survey of Morale Among Prospective Buyers in France Reveals Jitters
What is morale like among prospective buyers in France regarding prices in the near future, the housing stock on offer, and the significance of rising rates and the election? This monthly survey reveals all.
The 22nd edition of Logic-Immo’s monthly barometer of market morale has shone a light on how prospective buyers view the market as a whole and relative to their search efforts. The site interviewed 2067 people looking to buy within 12 months, asking them a variety of questions.
The context for this survey is a record of 881,000 transactions in the 12 months to April, and prices rising faster than anyone could have predicted. The report claims that there are 3.5 million people looking to buy property in France right now, with 2.5 million looking to sell; a buyer-to-seller ratio of 1.4.
For a variety of reasons, fewer people are optimistic than at this point a year ago. When asked if now was a good time to buy, 71% replied ‘yes’, 10% less than in May 2016. The recent Presidential Election period had little effect on those responding positively while reducing the percentage of No’s from 9% to 5%. It did increase the number of people responding positively to questions regarding the wider economy and quality of life.
Those who see mortgage interest rates as cheap are also fewer in number than a year ago: 74% now versus 84% in May last year. This is despite rates being lower than a year ago and reveals that respondents tend to look at the trend rather than the figure. Figures released since the survey show rates have all but stopped rising and might even fall soon, a development which might affect the results of the next survey.
When asked about where prices will go in the next six months half (49%) think they will continue to rise; 41% see them staying stable; 9% envisage falls.
The survey has also revealed a strong consensus on the solution to rising prices. While 71% of buyers are looking at properties in a large city, 73% – the overlap is unclear – believe that more should be done to make the countryside a more attractive proposition, mainly through economic development. Macron’s recent appointment of a minister for regional equality in charge of property and housing rather than a dedicated role is aimed at doing that, though the move received a mixed response – to put it mildly – from the property industry.
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