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French property 2021: House sales are down but prices rise

Paris has seen the sharpest impact with an 18% fall in the number of sales, however year-on-year house figures showed a 5.2% price rise

Notaires recorded a lower than-feared drop in the number of property purchases in the year to September 2020.

Housing sales data for the period show a 4% fall in the number of deals, though the picture hides one big change, with the volume of transactions in Paris falling 18%.

Lower volumes did not really affect prices, which remained higher than in 2019.

Notaires recorded a national 0.5% rise in prices for the third quarter for existing homes, compared to the third quarter of 2019. Year-on-year figures showed a 5.2% price rise.

For the third quarter, both the Ile-de-France figures and the province figures showed 0.5% rises in prices, but year-on-year figures show a 6% rise for Ile-de-France and a 4.8% rise for rest of the country.

There were higher price rises for flats than houses across France, with national year-on-year figures showing a 6.5% rise in prices for flats and a 4.2% rise for houses.

The sharpest percentage rise was in Le Havre, where prices rose 9.2% for an average house sale of €176,900, closely followed by Orléans, which rose 9.1% to €228,000.

Other studies have shown an overall price rise of around 2% last year, which still leaves property prices a long way short of the highs of 2006, before the financial crisis which provoked a fall in prices of 25% in some areas.

For new-builds, notaires recorded an 8.6% fall in the number of declarations of a start of works, which was attributed to the lockdown periods.

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