Average property prices and sales falling in France

Property prices in France have fallen nationally

Nationally property prices in France have fallen, sales are also down but there is considerable regional variation, according to figures from notaires and estate agents.

The latest data from Notaires de France show that over the first quarter of the year prices fell 1.6% for properties, with new homes falling 1.4%. The new build market also saw sales plummet 19%.

It is also taking longer to sell a property with average selling times for apartments increasing from seven months to nine and a half months and for houses from ten to 11 months. But prices are still 3.9% higher than a year ago.

Amiens and Limoges saw the biggest price increases, up 10.3%, while Bourges was up 8.8%, Bayonne up 7.3% and Paris up 7%. Tours has seen property prices rise 6.9%, Rennes is up 7%, Bordeaux up 5.7%, Lille up 5.5% and Lyon up 5%. There were also increases of 4.9% in Toulon, 4.5% in Toulouse, 3.7% in Nancy, 3.5% in Caen, 3.1% in Besançon and 3% in Nice.

This was offset by steep falls in other cities. There was a 13.3% fall in prices in Nîmes and a 12.3% fall in Mulhouse. Reims, Saint-Etienne, Rouen and Montpellier also saw falls of 6.7%, 6.5%, 3.2% and 2.9% respectively.

There is also considerable variation in prices per square meter. Paris is the most expensive at €8,259 per square meter followed by Nice at €3,650, Lyon at €3,170 and Lille at €3,040. The cheapest city is Saint-Etienne at €1,120 per square meter, followed by Mulhouse at €1,140, Limoges at €1,360, Bourges at €1,510 and Poitiers at €1,580.

The FNAIM, the leading body representing estate agents predicts that overall property prices will fall by a maximum of 3.5% in 2012 after a rise of 7% in 2011. It puts the average price per square meter at €2,623.

The organisation said that the weak economic outlook is having an impact on prices with worries over unemployment in particular affecting sales.

‘The market is blocked. Sellers don’t want to lower their prices sufficiently for buyers and sales are not taking place. In the second quarter sales fell by 15%,’ said Jean-Francois Buet, FNAIM president.

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