French Property Prices and FNAIM Predictions for 2012

An overview of the French property market in 2012

French property prices increased in 2010 and 2011

2010 and 2011 saw some strong performances in house prices in France and in sales numbers. In 2010, sales increased by 2% and by 7.3% in 2011. This had the welcome effect of bringing the market back to a stable footing, following the price falls and decrease in numbers of property sales of the preceding years. The sale of French property peaked in 2007.

French property market has tight lending controls

The property market in France is always more level than in Britain and Spain, largely thanks to the tighter lending controls. French mortgages are only given for up to 80% of the property value, and usually represent not more than 33% of your total income. Proof of a stable income and ability to repay the loan is vital. France, and French property, presents as ever a lower risk factor which keeps buyers and investors interested.

French property sales in 2012 - a return to realistic property prices

Although FNAIM (National Federation of French Estate Agents) predicts that property prices in parts of France will drop a little in 2012, there is unlikely to be a huge fall. Sellers will have to become more realistic in pricing their properties in order to sell them, but this is likely to revitalise the market and keep things moving rather than to have a detrimental effect. (Selling houses in France.)

Buying French property in 2012

France in 2012 is, to some extent at least, a buyer's market, which is great news for anyone looking to buy French property this year. The artificially inflated prices of 2007 are slowly disappearing, leaving many excellent properties for sale at more affordable costs. In fact, in many regions there are some real bargains to be had.

French property sales are high in certain areas

Certain regions of France are, however, bucking the trend. Higher demand than supply of property in the Alps, the Pays de la Loire and the Côte d'Azur is preventing significant falls in prices and even seeing increases in some cases. (Best Property for Sale in Provence in March 2012.)

Popular regions of France for property buyers

Other regions which are still popular with overseas buyers include the Languedoc (The Best Property for Sale in the Languedoc in March 2012) and Poitou-Charentes. Here, prices are a little lower than last year, with some properties being reduced to effect quick sales, but interest from abroad (notably Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, the USA and Australia) is still strong. In Poitou-Charentes in particular, sales to the French increased significantly in 2011, and look set to continue to do so in 2012. (Best Property for Sale in Poitou-Charentes in March 2012.)

Types of French property that sell well

Village properties are selling well, perhaps because of the generally lower price range (from around 40,000 Euros to 250,000 Euros). Properties needing total renovation are becoming less sought after, but part renovated properties which are habitable though in need of some finishing, still sell well. As long as the price is realistic and reflects the work to be done (House Renovations in France). And luxury and high end properties in sought after locations like the Riviera are still selling.

French property market may be stabilised by Sarkozy's recent new rules

The French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, has recently announced changes (actionable from January 2012) that will have an effect on the property market in France. By removing the need for planning permission to extend existing property by up to 30%, and by selling off some state owned land for building, he hopes to create more housing and further stabilise prices.

French property prices in 2012

So, 2012 looks set to be a relatively stable year for French property. The message to sellers is: "Get real about prices. If you price your property right, it will sell." Yes, there is likely to be a reduction in prices overall, but as long as this keeps the market moving nothing too disastrous should happen. And bargain hunters should enjoy an excellent year! There has rarely been a better time to invest in French property.

Additional articles which may be of interest:

French Planning - new planning laws from 1st January 2012
Property sales in France
Best Reduced Price Property for Sale in France in January 2012

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