Property selling times fall but prices rise

Estate agents say sales are being completed slightly quicker

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ESTATE agents Guy Hoquet and Century 21 say the delay in completing property sales is falling, with their national averages down three days to 89 days for the former and down five days to 90 for Century 21.

Paris buyers can bring in the removal vans even quicker as sales there take just 65 days at Guy Hoquet (down two days) and 67 days with Century 21 (again down five days).

Speedier sales and more market activity – with 839,000 pro­perties sold in the 12 months to end July – mean prices are starting to bubble and Century 21 noted a ‘steady rise’ of 2% in the 12 months to September to €2,459/m2 across the country while Guy Hoquet reported a 1.5% rise to €2,400/m2 (+2.7% in Paris to €8,149/m2) and Laforêt saw +1.3%, €2,774/m2.

As the Notaires de France noted last month, investors and those with the ability to buy are acting ahead of impending rises in mortgage rates as property prices are seen to be at their lowest possible level.

In addition, they are worried about changes in loan terms which have been demanded by the European Central Bank which wants France to move more to a variable interest rate system as in the UK and other countries.

As the market picks up prices have soared in some towns with the LPI-SeLoger price survey finding property in Nîmes, Gard, has jumped 44.6% in the past three months with flats going for €2,204/m². In Alsace, prices in Mulhouse have risen 25.3% to €1,374/m² while those in Metz, Moselle, are up 23.5% to €2,595/m².

Tours, Le Mans and Le Havre also saw significant rises, with property in Tours up 12.2% to €2,560/m² while Le Mans is up 11.5% to €1,472/m² and Le Havre has risen 10.1% to €2,012/m².

Besançon, Rennes, Bordeaux and Nantes filled out the remaining places in the top 10, with rises from 9.4% to 6.9%.

In Paris, average prices have risen 1.9% to €8,751/m².