The number of old housing transactions should stabilize in the coming months, 2021 remaining an “abnormal year where the French have, as a whole, accelerated, concretized, even anticipated their real estate projects”, indicate the Notaries of France. According to them, this is “proof of a market that is returning to a more traditional activity, wisely but surely. Prices, meanwhile, continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Sales volumes: uncertainties over the coming months
At the end of February 2022, the cumulative volume of second-hand housing transactions over the last 12 months in France reached 1,187,000 transactions, after having peaked at 1,212,000 at the end of August 2021. Over the past five months, notaries have noted a slow decline in sales volumes.
“Indeed, if the notaries were able to observe an increase in the signatures of preliminary contracts [compromis et promesses de vente, ndlr] at the end of the year, a fairly standard phenomenon at this period and which is reflected in the sales data observed, the months of January and February will have been synonymous with a proven lull in the notarial offices which will manifest itself in the months to come” , underline the notaries.
Inflation, at 4.8% in April over one year, could alter the number of transactions, “especially since it is likely to weigh on the “living rest” of potential buyers, especially if the wages do not increase correlatively over time,” they observe.
Not to mention the rise in mortgage interest rates, notaries noting an increase in the number of loan refusals.
Ever higher prices for houses
However, the French’s appetite for stone is not over, “the shortage of goods for sale shows this. Although the trend is less strong, the market is still driven by sellers”, note the notaries.
As a result, prices continue to rise. In the 4th quarter of 2021, over one year, the rise in prices of existing housing in France continued with + 7.2%. Since the 4th quarter of 2020, the increase has been more marked for houses (+9.1% in one year in the 4th quarter of 2021) than for apartments (+4.6%), which had not happened since the end of 2016.
Apartments: price increases of 3% to 13.5% in our regions
In the 4th quarter of 2021, over one year, the prices of old apartments increased by 3.1% in Lyon (€5,090 per median m²) and Grenoble (€2,500), by 4.3% in Strasbourg (€3,200 ), 9% in Dijon (€2,470), 10.3% in Nancy (€2,210), 11.7% in Besançon (€1,990), 11.8% in Saint-Étienne (€1,150) and 13.5% in Metz (€2,330).
While the prices of old apartments had fallen in Mulhouse by 15.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2021, they increased by 7.1% in the city in the 4th quarter of 2021 (€1,250 per median m²).
Houses: price increases continue in our regions
The sale prices of old houses, in the 4th quarter of 2021, are up by 0.8% for Dijon and its agglomeration (€276,300), by 1.2% for Nancy and its agglomeration (€216,700), 2, 2% for Metz and its conurbation (€255,000), 7% for Grenoble and its conurbation (median €319,300), 8.3% for Lyon and its conurbation (€426,000) and 12.4% for Saint- Étienne and its agglomeration (€215,000), compared to the 4th quarter of 2020.
More price increases planned for the end of May
According to the notaries, the projections resulting from the preliminary contracts in France foresee, for the end of May 2022, a continuation of the annual increase in prices: from May 2021 to May 2022, the prices of old houses would increase twice as fast (+ 9.9%) than those of old apartments (+ 4.1%).
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