Reports regarding the evolution of the real estate market have been numerous. They do not, however, always correspond with what we are experiencing in the field in our different sectors.
It therefore seemed appropriate to share our observations, comparing the number of transactions achieved by our agencies within three price ranges: (transactions at prices ranging from 750,000 to 2 million euro, from 2 to 3 million euro, and at prices in excess of 3 million euro), and this over the first 4 months of 2019 (pre-pandemic), 2020, 2021 and 2022.
2019, a benchmark year (index 100, regardless of the price range) was until then a record year* for Daniel Féau and Belles demeures de France.
* In 2019, our agencies achieved 27% of all Parisian sales at prices at between 2 and 4 million euro (i.e. 1.526 billion euro)¹., and 42.9% of Parisian sales at prices in excess of 4 million euro (i.e. 515 million euro)¹. Daniel Féau also sold over 600 apartments and single-family houses at prices ranging from 500,000 to 2 million euro (¹Source: Chambre des notaires de Paris).
TRANSACTIONS AT PRICES BETWEEN 750 000 € AND 2 MILLION € PARIS AND THE NEARBY WESTERN SUBURBS
During the first four months of 2021 and 2022, the number of sales achieved by our agencies returned to slightly above its 2019 level after a disastrous first four months in 2020.
Similarly, the number of assets for sale, after increasing significantly in 2020, also gradually returned to its 2019 level.
In terms of the type of apartments attracting buyers:
- The length of time on the market for faultless assets with outdoor areas has never been shorter, and prices are on the rise.
- The prices of otherwise faultless assets lacking an outdoor area are generally stable and quite high.
- As for assets with defects such as being on a lower floor, lacking in sunlight or being affected by noise pollution, the marketing period is longer and prices are dropping.
Buyers’ state of mind:
Slightly fewer (down 10% compared to 2019), buyers are nonetheless increasingly motivated.
Uncertain about their professional future due to the Covid-19 crisis, they now seem to have all the necessary elements in order to make a decision.
Many also expect an increase in interest rates in the coming months, and foresee inflation over the next few years, encouraging them to buy as soon as possible. With an unpredictable stock market, real estate is increasingly seen as a safe haven for investment.
Paris 4th District – Saint-Martin. A 103 sqm two-bed apartment. Sold in February 2022 – Guide Price: 1 700 000€
TRANSACTIONS AT PRICES IN EXCESS OF 2 MILLION € PARIS AND THE NEARBY WESTERN SUBURBS
Activity has never before been so sustained as in has during the first four months of 2021 and 2022.
Consequently, at prices ranging from 2 to 3 million euro, we have witnessed an increase in the number of sales:
- of 48% when comparing the first four months of 2021 to the first four months of 2019
- of 53%when comparing the first four months of 2022 to the first four months of 2019
At prices in excess of 3 million euro, we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of sales:
- of 159% when comparing the first four months of 2021 to the first four months of 2019
- of 188% when comparing the first four months of 2022 to the first four months of 2019
The French have more than replaced international buyers, traditionally particularly active in this price range.
Three reasons may explain this:
- The need for outdoor areas – probably encouraged by lockdown – has led to an explosion in acquisitions of single-family houses and private mansions with gardens, as well as apartments with terraces.
- The “safe haven” dimension of real estate in the current context: historically high EBITDA multiples, historically low rates for bonds, the probability that mortgages will cost more in the future, potential inflation...
- The desire to improve daily life, with buyers ready to allocate a larger part of their assets to the place where they live.
Over the past few weeks, with travel once more possible, we have also witnessed a return – albeit timid – of international customers (especially North American). An appetite for Paris combined with a favourable exchange rate for the dollar seem to have prevailed over concerns related to the war in Ukraine for the moment.
Paris 3rd District – Rue Barbette. A 122 sqm two-bed apartment. Sold in January 2022 - Guide Price: 2 900 000€
Paris 16th District – Galliera Museum. A 132 sqm two-bed apartment. Sold in March 2022 – Guide Price: 3 700 000€
BEAUTIFUL PROPERTIES IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE AND IN DEAUVILLE
The concept of a part-time main residence is not a pipe dream; it appeals to a very small percentage of Parisians.
These potential buyers for luxury assets are numerous enough to have had an effect on the property market in Aix-en-Provence, the Alpilles, the Lubéron, Deauville and maybe even Marseille(where we have just opened an agency).
Although sales are slightly down (around 10%) compared to last year for our agencies in the provinces, this is in no way due to a drop in demand. In the South and on the Normandy coast, there is in fact a real shortage of quality assets for sale.
The delay between marketing and a sale has never been so short, and prices are rising significantly.
Also, a growing number of Parisians in their fifties are looking for a secondary residence, and a future home in which they may spend their retirement.
- If the acquisition can be made with the aid of loan, they don’t hesitate and take the plunge; the feedback from our agencies in Aix, Lourmarin, Saint-Tropez and Deauville is unanimous in this regard.
- If their situation doesn’t allow them to access credit, they sell their main residence at a lower price than its immediate market value while reserving the usufruct until they retire (for a period of 5 to 12 years). The buyers of these properties, which are not immediately available and are sold at a discount due to the associated usufruct, are very often French expats preparing for their future return to their home country.
Daniel Féau's newly created Bare Ownership & Life annuity department specialises in this sector of the real estate market. A significant number of older owners are seeking to obtain ready cash and allow them to supplement their pension, to make tax-free donations to their children and/or grandchildren, and to protect their spouse. It is the frequency of operations of this type that came as a real surprise to us.