The economic crisis triggered in recent months by the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on many sectors, including the French real estate sector.
But let’s not underestimate the resilience and stability of the French real estate market. According to the French property market report of January 2021 issued by the Notaries of France, the transaction volume in France reached “1,020,000 transactions at the end of November 2020 [for old properties], down only 4% compared to November 2019”. A moderate decline.
The public health crisis has caused major upheavals in the real estate market in France
There was only a slight drop in the number of real estate transactions in France in 2020. But other constraints have disrupted professional practices.
One example is the immobilization of French real estate agents since the first lockdown. The nationwide ban on face-to-face visits and transactions has made their job difficult. Some agents have even decided to address the President and the French government. Last November, several estate groups and networks submitted a request for exemption.
Alexandra Levy, a real estate agent in Paris, explained to France Info: “We are allowed to meet with our seller clients to accept mandates, while those renting out properties have the right to do inspections, and therefore meet with another person in the apartment. But, for real estate visits, this is not allowed [...].” Many professionals find the measures implemented in response to the pandemic confusing.
These upheavals in the French housing market have prompted real estate agencies to review their practices. Many of them decided to switch to tools that are more compatible with the rules in force. In most cases, this means digitalizing processes. From prospecting/marketing to client retention, as well as sales pitches and supporting clients throughout the process of buying a residential property... there is no shortage of tools available.
Our findings on the market trends for French real estate in recent months
The challenges in 2020 were unfortunately not limited to logistics. The volatility of property prices in France has created problems for many real estate agents. Setting and explaining the “right” selling price was already a difficult task in normal times. It has now become even more complicated than it was in previous years.
Here are our findings based on price data from real estate listings in recent months:
1. Paris: real estate prices in central Paris did not change much in 2020, but decreased in 2021
Loeiz Bourdic, Director of PriceHubble France, already reported changes in the Paris real estate market to Le Figaro in August 2020. “For the first time since 2014, our data now shows the beginnings of a decline in real estate prices, which for the time being remains confined to Paris.”
PriceHubble detected this downward trend early on in the prices of online listings. A decrease in the price of parisian properties put up for sale was then confirmed at the end of 2020 by the Chambre des Notaires de Paris.