French property market rediscovered its fluidity

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2017 was a record year for French real estate in terms of both the number of transactions and loans, with demand for older properties flourishing once again.

The French property market has rediscovered its fluidity. This has been helped by very low interest rates, which meant that 2017 saw a new record of 968000 sales, an increase of 120000 units, or 15.5%, according to Notaires de France, compared to the figures for 2016. This is the highest figure to have ever been recorded in France. This increase in sales is especially noticeable if one considers the 2015-2017 period, during which sales leapt up by 300000 units, that is an increase of 42%.
Regarding prices, almost all cities in France saw an increase in price per square metre in 2017. The Notaires say this rise was driven by apartments; the average price rise for properties in general was 4%, but stood at 5% for apartments compared to 3.2% for houses.

These price rises weren’t offset by credit rates, however, which remained very low. French mortgages received a boost over the year as a result. This was surely good news for buyers in search of a second home or holiday home in France, and indeed over the course of 2017, foreign buyers and non-residents wishing to do exactly this made up 4.2% of the number of purchasers outside the Paris region.

The forecast for 2018 is that the market should remain buoyant, but price rises are unlikely to be as significant and are not expected to exceed a 2% increase, which is again encouraging for prospective buyers and makes it an ideal time to think about getting a French mortgage.