French property prices: indexes and maps
According to the INSEE and Notary indexes, in the third quarter of 2019, prices for older properties in France (excluding Mayotte) continued to rise: up 1% on the second quarter of 2019 (provisional seasonally adjusted ﬁgures), slightly more than in the previous quarter (+0.7%). Over one year, price rises have accelerated slightly: +3.2%, after +3.1%. As has been observed since the end of 2016, the upturn over one year was greater in apartments (+4%) than in houses (+2.5%).
- the table of Notaires-INSEE Indexes
- the map of median prices per sq.m. for older apartments in the 3rd quarter of 2019
- the map of median selling price of older houses in the 3rd quarter of 2019
Median price per sq.m. for older apartments in the 3rd quarter of 2019
Analysis of the prices of older appartments and older houses in the 3rd quarter 2019
As for the price of older properties in Greater Paris, in the third quarter of 2019 they have risen slightly more quickly than in the two previous quarters : up 0.9% on the second quarter, after +0.8% and +0.6%. Over one year, prices have continued to rise at a steady pace: +3.6% between the third quarter of 2018 and the third quarter of 2019, after +3.6% and +4%. Apartment prices have increased by 4.7% over one year and house prices have risen by 1.2%. Paris continues to push up the price of apartments: +6.1% over one year in the third quarter of 2019, after +6.3% in the second quarter and +6.6% in the ﬁrst.
Outside Paris, the prices of older properties in Greater Paris over one year rose by 2.3% in the third quarter of 2019. In the provinces, compared with the two previous quarters, the prices of older properties continued to rise at a more sustained rate in the third quarter of 2019: +1%, after +0.7% and +0.6%.
In median prices, in the older apartments market, the upward trend observed in the previous quarters is still more marked. This trend is potentially due, in part and as every year, to a seasonal effect entailing a slight price rise during the holidays, a good period for moving house. In the third quarter of 2019, prices were steady (11%) or on the increase (69%) in 80% of the French departments, against 72% in the previous quarter. Older houses follow the same trend as apartments. However, the rises are more moderate and do not exceed 7%, a ﬁgure observed in particular in Calvados, Haute-Garonne, Ain, Gironde, Indre-et-Loire and Maine-et-Loire.
However, prices need to be indexed for comparison purposes. They cannot be compared at constant inﬂation rates. Adjusted for inﬂation, the prices of apartments in the third quarter of 2019 in the provinces were still lower than those in the fourth quarter of 20111 (mainland France 0%, Greater Paris +5.5%, Province -4.9%), as well as those of houses (mainland France -3.8%, Greater Paris -4.3%, Province -3.7%).
Median selling price of older houses in the 3rd quarter of 2019
Change in early indicators based on pre-contracts in mainland France: projection at the end of January 2020
According to forecasts based on pre-contracts, the increase in price in mainland France is expected to continue until January 2020, at a quicker pace for houses (+3.8%) and a similar pace for apartments (+5.8%).
After levelling off at the end of 2019, the prices of apartments in Greater Paris are expected to pick up again in January 2020. Still drive by the dynamism of the Paris and nearby suburbs market, the annual rise in the prices of apartments should continue into January 2020 (+5.9% forecast in January 2020). More speciﬁcally, the annual trend should be +7% in Paris and +5.8% in the nearby suburbs. It should be lower in the outer suburbs (+2.7%). Early indicators on the pre-contracts of notaries in Greater Paris show that the selling price of a house in Greater Paris should be 311,400 euros in January 2020, against 310,500 euros in January 2019. The price of houses should thus remain virtually unchanged (+0.3% in one year).
In the provinces, the increase in price is expected to gather pace until January 2020, at annual rates of between +5% and +6% for older apartments and between +3.5% and +4.5% for older houses. In all the big provincial cities, the prices of apartments should continue to rise until the end of January 2020. The rise should accelerate more particularly in Caen (+11%) and Besançon (+10%), but should slow down in Villeurbanne (+3%) and Nantes (+5%). House prices in some large urban areas where they were previously stable or in decline are expected to rise at the end of January 2020, in Saint-Nazaire (+12%), Douai-Lens (+5%) and Dijon (+3%), or level off in Rennes. Two-ﬁgure rises are expected in Angers, Toulouse and Lyon. In Bordeaux, we observe a downturn in the sharp rises of the past few years since the end of 2019.
Real estate credit & interest rate
The proposals of the Haut Conseil de stabilisation ﬁnancière concerning real estate credit
In response to the non-contractual regime of rate decreases introduced by the European Central Bank, the proposals for changes to the real estate credit rules are just as innovative: ﬁxing a minimum borrowing rate that guarantees proﬁtability for the bank, a sort of reverse statutory rate of interest, a rise in the early redemption penalty and a proposal for strict observance of creditworthiness at 33% of the borrower’s net income. Even if this rate is traditionally considered prudent, such a measure might exclude ﬁrst-time buyers from the market, as they would not have sufﬁcient additional personal contributions.
Interest rate prospects
Even if French 10-year “medium or long-term bond” rates were adjusted back to 0% in December 2019, the same rate as at the end of July, they remain historically low, and this increase should not compromise the repayment capacity of buyers. A 0.3% rate rise for 100,000 euros borrowed over 15 to 20 years entails a measured increase in repayments of 13 to 14 euros per month.
Borrowing terms are expected to remain favourable in 2020, but if the rate rise were to be higher, we may - as in the past - observe not a decline in volumes but rather a “buying frenzy”, as buyers would rush to complete their purchase before the introduction of higher rates and consequently higher monthly payments.
Credit - Banque de France data
A quarter of home loans granted in October 2019 were renegotiated.
- In October, the rise in home loans to individuals continued (+6.7%) (after + 6.6% in September), whereas consumer credit fell somewhat (+5.6%, after + 6.5% in September).
- Home loans, which totalled €24 billion in October, at their highest level since May 2017, are largely supported by renegotiations. Their share of new loans again grew in October, reaching 26% (after 23.6% in September and 16.4% in October 2018).
- The average interest rate for new long-term ﬁxed-rate home loans again fell to an all-time low in October (1.24%, after 1.27% in September), whereas the consumer credit rate rose to 3.68%.