French property sales plummet but not prices, says major agency

‘Prices have to go down in 2024 to counter the excessive rises of recent years’

Property prices in Paris fell by more than the national average
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House sales declined in 2023, but prices overall remained high according to the annual report by France's largest real estate agency.

It concludes that “prices have to go down more than they did in 2023 to counter the excessive rises of recent years”.

A significant drop in prices over 2023 was widely expected, after a previous report by the Notaires de France for the period June 2022 to June 2023 showed that they dropped on average by around 10% over the period.

However, the new annual report by France’s largest real estate agency, 21 Century, shows that while annual sales dropped by 16%, house prices per m² decreased by only 1.7%.

How did French house prices change in 2023?

The overall picture in the report by Century 21 is of a declining market:

  • -1.7% decrease in house prices per m²
  • -3.4% decrease in apartment prices per m²
  • -1.3 metre decrease in the average surface area of purchased properties
  • -4.2% transaction value
  • 16% fewer transactions than in 2022
  • 8 days longer average transaction time for houses
  • 14 days longer average transaction time for apartments

The report also found that there are significant regional differences in the state of decline in the housing market compared to the national average.

Pic: Century 21 / The Connexion

Certain regions also present significant internal differences, such as in Nouvelle-Aquitaine where prices decreased significantly in Bordeaux (-11.5%) but increased in Charentes-Maritimes (+8.4%).

‘All market levers have been pushed all the way’

“Down payments on average are up to 36.6% of the total purchase price, which is a level that has never been reached before,” said the report by Century 21.

“And the surface area of properties can hardly be reduced anymore.”

“There is only one market lever remaining that can rescue the market: prices. They have to go down more than they did in 2023 to counter the excessive rises of recent years.”

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