What is the impact of energy ratings on French house prices?

The French diagnostic de performance énergétique indicates how energy-efficient a property is from A to G, with better ratings sometimes fetching higher sale prices

11 November 2021

The French diagnostic de performance énergétique indicates how energy-efficient a property is from A to G, with better ratings sometimes fetching higher sale prices Pic: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

When a house is put up for sale or rent in France, its owner must hire a professional to carry out a diagnostic de performance énergétique (energy performance certificate or DPE).

This uses a graded rating scheme – from A to G – to indicate how energy-efficient the property is, and to encourage efforts to reduce its consumption. 

A recent study published by Notaires de France has examined the effect of this certificate on house and apartment prices. 

Overall, it concluded that in some areas of France, properties with a more efficient rating will sell for more than those with a lower rating.

It found that in 2020, 7% of sales concerned properties placed in the most efficient brackets (A and B), while 11% were placed in the least efficient (F and G).

In comparison to 2019, the proportion of A and B-rated properties had increased by 1%, but that of F and G-rated properties had stayed the same.

Houses and apartments are often more energy-efficient on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts where the climate is milder, while in the north of France there is a higher proportion of properties with less favourable ratings.

In general, properties with A-B energy ratings are sold for higher prices than those classed in the D bracket, while F-G rated houses and flats are sold for less. 

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, for example, a class A or B house will sell for 12% more than a class D house. However, in other regions the difference is smaller, with Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes recording a variance of just 7%.

In Centre-Val-de-Loire, an energy-efficient apartment will fetch 17% more than a D-rated flat, while in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur there will be no difference whatsoever.

For houses with poor energy ratings, the drop in value ranged between 6% (in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and 20% (in Nouvelle Aquitaine). For apartments, the variation was less extreme, with regions including Centre-Val-de-Loire and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté recording no difference to the value of a D-rated flat.

In general, the price of F or G rated properties dipped slightly lower in comparison to a D-grade property in 2020 than it did in 2019.

For example, the price of a Nouvelle-Aquitaine apartment with a poor rating was 9% lower than average in 2019, but 14% lower in 2020.

It was recently discovered that around 185,000 French properties had been given incorrectly low scores, making them more difficult to sell.

A new calculation supposed to resolve these errors was set to come into force on November 1.

Related stories 

185,000 homes in France with wrong energy ratings to get new ones free

Is there a recourse over French home diagnostic error?

Why do my French electricity bills keep rising despite competition?

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