1,100 estate agents shut down in year due to French property slowdown

The property market is poised for a ‘restart’, an industry expert says, but warns that political instability could bring disruption

A view of an urban building with a ‘to rent’ sign on it in France

More than 1,100 estate agencies have shut down in France in a year, amid the ongoing property slowdown, a leading industry federation has warned.

The Fédération nationale de l’immobilier (Fnaim) said that estate agency closures had increased by 114 % between May 2023 and April 2024, with 1,120 agencies shutting up shop nationwide.

Fnaim president Loïc Cantin, said the “trend is continuing”. He told 20 Minutes that he expected the number of closing agencies to exceed that seen during the height of the economic crisis in July 2009 when 1,385 closed in the previous 12 months.

It comes in “an environment where transactions are difficult, financing is less accessible and the constraints [on property selling and purchasing] are greater and greater," said Mr Cantin.

‘A market restart’?

Yet, while property transactions are still dropping, he said, they are stabilising at around 800,000 per year, laying the foundation for “a market restart”. He said that transactions had stabilised thanks to a drop in property prices across the country.

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Despite this, Mr Cantin warned that the political instability in France - particularly President Macron’s dissolution of parliament - could yet lead to more changes in the market.

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“Political instability can lead to a credit crisis and a financial crisis in our country, so this is an indicator that we will be keeping a particularly close eye on,” he said. “Whatever the economic policies [that the government] advances, we will remain in our role as arbiter and mediator.”