Recent figures released last year by the “Fédération National de l’immobilier” (FNAIM -French: National Real Estate Federation) show a positive growth in the French housing market for the first time since the economic crisis. There has been a trend across France where previous price reductions have given way to stabilization, and sometimes small rises in property prices.
Many estate agents have seen an increase in the number of transactions and visiting clients and expect this trend to continue into 2011. The French property market has, for a long time, been a ‘buyers market’ but this is soon likely to change and buyers seem keen to invest while the prices are low.
Many members of the FNAIM predict generally small price rises in 2011 but that there will be some substantial growth in certain areas – for example Normandy property and ski apartments and chalets in the Alps have recently shown an increased interest from potential buyers. The Dordogne is always a popular choice for British clients.
However, what makes France an attractive proposition for many people is that the market is more stable than some other countries. Traditionally, French house prices have risen roughly in line with inflation – there have been some steep rises – but not the excessive “roller-coaster” trends found in some countries. The French mentality for house buying is a little different to the speculative nature previously seen in countries such as the USA and UK. The French generally buy a house for use as a home or a long term investment rather than to turn a quick profit.