If we take the overall picture, what we have seen is that the French property market has grown strongly over the last 2 years. But this growth trend has hidden some wide discrepancies between regions and towns. So for example, house prices in Nantes grew by +8.4% during Q2 2019, compared to the same quarter in 2018. Whereas, for Dijon, prices fell by -9.1% in 2019 compared to 2018. The average house sale price in Bordeaux was €334,800 compared to just €176,000 in Nancy. So the price growth is not uniform and there are wide variations in the price per meter squared across the country. Also it is not just a geographical difference. If you look at two cities in my own region of Languedoc, prices in Montpellier fell by -2.6% in Q2 2019 (after strong growth in 2018), but in the nearby city of Nimes, just 50km up the road, prices grew by +1.4% in the same period. The average house price in Nimes was just €201,000, compared to €305,000 in Montpellier (Source: Notaires de France).
2019 House prices in France
According to the most recent statistics produced by body representing French Notaires, up to April 2019 property prices in France rose by +3.7% for apartments and +3.0% for houses (Source: Notaires.fr). A recently published report by Standard & Poor into the European housing market, predicts that the current rise in house prices in France during 2019 will stabilise at around 2.5% during 2020 (Source: S&PGlobalratings.com).
House prices in France still remain below the market peak of 2006. Here in the Languedoc, I know through my contacts with the local Real Estate agents that houses are selling for around 15% less than the 2006 purchase prices. This is bad news for owners, but great news for people looking to buy houses in France during 2020.
House sales in France 2020
In terms of house sales, the dramatic increase in the number of property sales in France that started in late 2016, has continued into 2019. The professional association of Notaires in France reported that the number of house sale transactions in the 12 months to April 2019 remained at historically high levels (985,000). This is the second year in a row that house sales in France have topped 950,000 (965,000 properties were sold in France during the 12 months to December 2018) and the Notaires body is predicting that house sale transactions could top 1 million by the end of 2019 if they continue at their current rate.
In addition, the Notaires body is predicting that these level of sales volumes will continue into 2020. In particular, they note that the new mortgage lending from the French banks remains high and 85% of banks report steady demand for home mortgages (Source: www.notaires.fr).