New calculations for property energy certificates which came into force last year could soon start to hit prices, especially property bought to rent, according to experts.
The Fédération nationale de l’immobilier (FNAIM) is predicting a fall of between 15% and 20% in the number of property transactions in 2022 after last year’s record 1.18 million houses and flats sold.
So far, the drop has been due to fewer properties on the market, so prices have remained high. Other factors, such as increased costs for building materials for new houses, and the fact that investing in property is traditionally a good refuge investment in inflationary times, also point to prices staying buoyant.
A big unknown, however, is the effect of the diagnostic de performance énergétique (DPE) energy efficiency rating, according to FNAIM president Jean-Marc Torrollion.
He said government plans to progressively stop landlords of properties with G (from 2025), F (from 2028) and E energy certificates will see owners try to sell properties, rather than improve their rating.
The cost of any work will be communicated to buyers, and he believes this will lead to lower prices, perhaps by the end of the year.
Paris is likely to be particularly hard hit, as many of the Haussmann-style buildings, built out of stone with little insulation and often with single-glazed windows, fall into lower energy ratings.
A survey by property specialist PriceHubble, commissioned for Le Figaro, showed 33% of Paris flats have, or will have, DPE ratings so low that they will have to leave the rental market under the new rules.
Housing Minister Emmanuelle Wargon welcomed signs that these flats were being sold quicker than others, often at lower prices, anticipating new owners will spend money improving ratings before moving in.