French property News Jan 2013
About 650,000 properties were sold in France in 2012, slightly down on 2010 and 2011 although above 2009. Price dropped by 1 to 2% as many vendors slightly reduced their asking prices, which seems the key to getting more viewings. International purchasers seen to have a larger budget and the average price paid for a property from international buyers was around €265,000. French buyers are still struggling to get mortgages approved as French banks are still being cautious.
Some French Estate agents with international links are still creating plenty of viewings for holiday homes in France, although buyers are still very picky and will take their time to get the best value for money. With 650,000 buyers of French properties in 2012 the market is still very active. For those still struggling to sell their houses in France in 2013 a fresh approach to marketing their properties needs to be taken. If they have reached their rock bottom asking price, then maybe some minor tidying up of their properties is required. First impressions really count, so a small financially investment in their properties could well pay dividends. They should also compare similar properties on the market in their region of France, as this is what buyers will be doing.
Advertising your own property is very worthwhile, there are plenty of websites including French Classified that offer free or low cost French property advertising. However, with investments made by many large French estate agents it makes sense to also have them marketing your property, remember that it is the buyer who pays the agency fees in France, so it will cost nothing for them to market your French property.
Going by feedback from estate agents here in France and despite the harsh weather they have reported good viewing figures for January 2013, with a number of sales being notched up. The French property market is far from it’s dizzy heights obtained a number of years ago, but it is far from static. With current favourable exchange rates using a foreign currency exchange company and lower property prices it is a good time to purchase a French property. There are always winners and losers in the property market, unfortunately sellers have to sometimes take a loss on a property depending on when they purchased it and buyers at this time will have a good investment for the future. This is a global situation and not just unique to French property, so anyone moving from France should be able to negotiate a good deal on a property in another country, once they have sold their own house.
Property in France is still very cheap compared to many places in the UK, land is also far cheaper for building plots or farming. The average value of agricultural land in the UK is currently £6,073 an acre or £15,182.50 per hectare. At an exchange rate of 1.24 euros to the pound that equates to over €18,800 per hectare. Compare this to agricultural land prices here in France, with an average price of €5,430 per hectare in 2012 which is almost one third of the price.