Record sales for the French property market

French properties are selling quickly.

Record sales for the French property market

Enzo Marchetti (pictured) is an associate at Enness International

New data from the ‘Notaires de France’ has revealed record property sales in France, backing up our recent report on the bright future of the French property market.

French ‘notaires’ are legal specialists, who draw up authenticated contracts on behalf of their clients. Buying or selling property in France requires the use of a notaire, as their role is to ensure the transaction proceeds according to French property law. As such, they are an authority on French property transactions.

Who’s buying what in the French property market?

The report shows ‘in May, the number of transactions completed in the previous 12 months reached a historic high, distinctly higher than the aggregate volume on year earlier (824,000 in May 2016).’ Although there is ‘no shortage of properties for sale’, properties are selling quickly—and primarily, these purchases are by people intending to live in the properties. The majority of purchases were made ‘for residential purposes on a market comprising 90% of users’.

In terms of price, certain properties are performing better than others; prices on older properties showed a more significant growth. On such properties, prices ‘continued to rise in the first quarter of 2017, 1.6% up on the fourth quarter of 2016.’

What does the future hold?

Interest rates have been very low for quite some time now, but if there was to be a rise in the near future, the report indicates this would not be enough to stifle the market—only a ‘sharp rise’ in rates would have an effect. Instead, the report identifies tax as a potential herald of change, predicting ‘new tax measures rather than the slight rise in interest rates’ could ‘curb the current boom.’

As ever, competition for properties in the most desirable parts of the country—such as the French Riviera—is strong, and lenders will continue to perceive properties in such areas as a safe bet. However, if you are looking to purchase in France, you’ll need to be aware of local and legal tax regulations.

A good broker with contacts in the region can be invaluable in helping you to secure a large mortgage with a reputable private bank.