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House prices soar in France: ‘Covid effect’ leads to property shortage

A new study suggests that a 22% drop in the availability of properties for sale since the start of the pandemic has caused prices to rise

Toy wooden houses and arrows concept to show rising prices

The Covid effect has been felt especially among the house property market, SeLoger said Pic: SewCream / Shutterstock

A lack of houses for sale in France is causing prices to soar, estate agents warn in a new study, which highlights a “before and after Covid” effect.

The study by the SeLoger group found that the number of properties offered for sale on its group websites has dropped by 22% overall over the past two years, between December 2019 and December 2021.

The shortage is particularly affecting houses, it said, and the drop is definitely proof of the “before Covid” and “after Covid” effect.

Read more: House prices: Smaller towns in France are ‘Covid effect’ winners

SeLoger told BFMTV: “Between February 2019 and February 2020, the decline was limited to -2.9%. But with a -11.2% annual loss between December 2019 and December 2021, it is an understatement to say that the scarcity of properties for sale has accelerated in France.”

Houses, rather than apartments, have been in high demand since the health crisis. And although the availability of apartments has been dropping at a rate of 4% per year since the start of the pandemic, the number of houses on estate agents’ books has dropped by 13.8% per year in the same time, SeLoger said.

This has caused prices to rise sharply, at 12.7% (6.4% per year) since the start of the pandemic, compared to flat prices increasing by 7.2% in the same time (3.2% per year).

SeLoger said: “The state of availability and house prices are linked. In 2021, a record year if ever there was one, some 1,178,000 transactions were carried out. However, the demand of people in France for houses means that a high proportion of these transactions concerned houses.”

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