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PROPERTY: 2016, an active year for French real estate

Sales are on the rise and loan rates are decreasing, the French real estate market is getting better both inland and on the seaside.

For several years of sluggishness, the French property business is waking up. The numbers of the first semester of 2016 are promising and confirms the recovery that began in 2015.

Even though sales prices have slightly increased (+0.2% since 2015 according to French real estate network Orpi), loan rates are at an all-time low (1.60% in June according the Observatoire Logement / CSA). Moreover, despite the overall trend, sales prices are downwards in some seaside cities especially in the French Riviera. There is still time to invest in a sea view house in Antibes or to buy a waterfront apartment in Toulon.

The first semester of 2016 has invigorated the French property market. The numbers given by Orpi’s estate agencies bear this analysis out. Between May of 2015 and May of 2016, sales prices have dropped in many coastal cities to align with the market, according to expert. In this way, in Antibes we notice a 3.6% drop, -2.3% in Arcachon, -3.4% in Carnac and Royan, -3.4% in Touquet and -2.1% in Nice. In other cities like Biarritz, transactions value has increased by 1.5%.

On the other hand, the average price per square meter has decreased by 0.3% (Orpi). According to’s data of June 2016, the prices reported in Toulon would have dropped by 1.4% in one year, with an average of 3030€ / m² for a house and 2459€ / m² for an apartment. In Marseille, the square meter amounts to 3105 € for a house and 2411 € for an apartment. However, in Montpellier and Brest, prices have increased by 1.5% and 0.3% in a year’s time.

Finally, mortgage rates have never been more suitable for investors. With an estimated 1.62% rates in new-build and 1.59% for existing property (June 2016 - Observatoire Logement / CSA), these rates are 3.5 times lower than the ones in 2000. Sales volume has increased by 7.6 % between the first semester of 2015 and the one of 2016 (Orpi), in addition to the 11% increase registered between 2014 and 2015.

During the first semester of 2016, the French property market has been characterized by a decrease in the price per square metre, attractive loan rates, more buyers, and less negotiations.

Translated by Sylvain Muller –

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