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Higher proportion of buyers aged 60 years and over for 10 years

The distribution of buyers of second-hand properties in the French pro-vinces according to age v changed over these past ten years, affecting mainly those below the age of 40 and those aged 60 years and over.

The proportion of buyers aged 60 years and over rose steadily between 2007 and 2012, increasing from 13% to 17.8% all second-hand pro-perties combined. Between 2013 and 2015, their share fell back slightly and fluctuated between 16% and 17%. In 2016 and 2017, their share regained the 17.8% peak reached in 2012.

In detail, this high point was sharper on the older apartment market where buyers aged 60 and over represented up to 22.5% of buyers in 2012 compared with 15.4% in 2007. In 2017, their share was 21.6%. On the older house market, buyers aged 60 years and over represented 15.8% of buyers in 2017 compared with 11.4% in 2007.

This increase in buyers aged 60 years and over should be linked to ageing of the population. With the longer life expectancy and the increasing age of the baby boom generation, the ageing of the French population continues. Inhabitants aged 60 years or more in the French provinces thus represented 26.9% of the population in 2017, i.e. a 4.3% rise over ten years.

In contrast, the proportion of buyers below the age of 40 was lower in 2017 than in 2007: -1.5% for those below the age of 30 and -2.8% for the 30-  to 39-year-olds.

Having risen until 2009 (19.2%), the share of the under 30s dropped from 2010 to 2012 to reach 16.1%. Following an upturn in 2013 (17.6%), their share has fluctuated between 16% and 17% since 2014. This drop affected more the older apartment market (22.9% in 2007 and 17.8% in 2012). For individual properties, the under-30s represented 15.2% of buyers both in 2017 and in 2007.

The share of buyers aged 30 to 39 years old dropped mainly in 2011 and 2012. Since 2013, their share has varied between 27% and 28%. Like the under-30s, their share declined more in multi-occupancy buildings than in individual properties and -3.7 points and -2.8 points respectively between 2007 and 2017. In 2017, 30- to 39-year-olds purchased 22.5% of older apartments and 30.5% of older houses.

Distribution, by age group, of buyers of older properties in the French provinces

(Please click to enlarge the graph)