Time to sell not buy property in France advise majority of notaires

Rising mortgage rates and predictions of a slow decline in property prices are among the likely reasons

A long slow drop in prices is thought likely
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Seventy-seven per cent of notaires think it is a good time to sell rather than buy property in France.

Among the others, 19% advised buying and 4% said it was better to wait to see.

Rising interest rates cited

The unusually high ‘sell’ figure cited by the Immonot website – run by a firm that works in close collaboration with the notaire profession – is linked to factors such as rising mortgage rates, making high-priced property less accessible.

The average interest rate is now 2.65%, compared to 1.84% at the start of the year.

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Property sill good investment

Almost half of notaires said they were expecting to see price drops in the next two months, while another 45% thought they would remain stable.

Just 6% thought they could still rise on average.

Despite this, Immonot is not predicting a property price crash and said bricks and mortar remain a good investment in the main in these economically uncertain times.

A long, slow ‘erosion’ was more likely, along with a slowing down in the number of sales.

Read more: Second-home market in France sees ‘extraordinary’ post-Covid boom

Paris prices down as people move to provinces

October’s Fnaim-Clameur property ‘barometer’, by estate agents’ federation Fnaim, shows that prices year on year were up 6.7% on average, compared to 8.2% in April – thus confirming a slowing trend.

However, in Paris they were down 2.7%, confirming tendencies since the pandemic years which have seen a reversal of property market trends between the provinces and the capital as people move out.

Large estate agent groups Century 21 and Orpi recently said that average prices in Paris have now dipped under €10,000/m² – although this was contested by the president of the notaires’ property figures commission, Thierry Delesalle.

He had predicted €10,600 for the end of this year.

Property website Meilleurs Agents said it did not expect an average of less than €10,000 before summer 2023.

‘Correction’ in Paris market

Another expert, Henry Buzy-Cazaux, cited in Le Figaro, thought a drop in the capital of 5-10% was plausible by that stage, which he called “not a haemorrhage, but certainly a significant drop”.

He described it as a correction – a rebalancing – after unusually high rises in the capital compared to other parts of France since the start of the century, when they were under €3,000/m².

UK price fall predicted

The situation across the Channel has potentially been looking more serious, with many banks holding back on giving new loans, or lending less as interest rates rise.

One expert, Simon French, of investment bank Panmure Gordon, predicted in an interview in The Tele­graph that average house prices would fall 14% over the next three years, taking UK prices back to levels last seen in early 2013.

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