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Prices Down All Over France Except…La Côte d’Azur!

Volume XXII, Issue 22

Cover page for the Notaires de France report

According to a May 21st report issued by the Chambre de Notaires de France, the cumulative volume of transactions in existing homes over the last twelve months in France (excluding Mayotte) reached 835,000 transactions at the end of February 2024.

While the annual fall had been 22% since November 2023, it was down a further point in February 2024 to -23%. The French property market has never seen such a sharp fall over a year. We have to go back to November 2016 to find such low transaction volumes. Sales represent 2.3% of the housing stock, a share that has been falling since its peak in the 3rd quarter of 2021 (3.2%) and is now below the level seen in the early 2000s before the economic crisis of 2008.

While the number of transactions should continue to fall over the coming months, the annual decline, which has been fairly stable over the past few months, could start to ease. The property market is reaching its landing point. Spring, traditionally synonymous with the peak of activity in the property year, had no catch-up effect in 2023, confirming the rapid downturn in the market. This year, however, Notaires are seeing a pick-up in activity in some places, which, while not yet strong, may point to a recovery as the European Central Bank loosens the constraints affecting the property market.

At its meeting on March 7, 2024, the Governing Council decided to leave the ECB’s key rates unchanged, even though inflation is continuing to fall, and projected average price rises of 2.3% in 2024, 2.0% in 2025 and 1.9% in 2026. It also seems almost certain that the European institution will cut its key rates for the first time in June. This has already been incorporated into the rates offered by the banks, stimulating de facto competition between them and mechanically increasing the debt capacity of the French. Without self-fulfilling prediction, the hope of an upturn and a clearer future at the start of the final quarter cannot necessarily be ruled out. There is no doubt that the recovery in demand will require a prolonged fall in interest rates, although the pace of this remains uncertain at present.

Prices for existing homes in mainland France fell by 3.9% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023. Prices fell by 3.8% for houses and 4.1% for flats. This fall is expected to continue over the coming months, reaching 5.5% by the end of May 2024. Prices of existing apartments are expected to fall slightly more than those of existing houses, by 6% year-on-year at the end of May 2024 in the multi-family market, compared with -5.1% in the single-family market.

In the provinces, as prices of existing homes began to fall later, projections at the end of May 2024 predict slightly more moderate annual falls of just under 5%, for both apartments and houses. By the end of May 2024, prices of existing apartments will have remained stable over the year in Marseille, Toulouse, Angers, Caen, Limoges and Brest. While prices were stable in Nîmes and Aix-en-Provence in the 4th quarter of 2023, prices of existing apartments should fall by around 5% by the end of May 2024. The falls recorded in 4th quarter 2023 would be of a similar magnitude in Strasbourg (-3%), Besançon (-3%), Rennes (-7%), Rouen (-5%) and Nantes (-11%), but would accelerate sharply in Villeurbanne (-15%). Prices of existing homes sold in Angers, Le Mans, Saint-Étienne, Saint-Nazaire, Valenciennes and Nantes would fall by at least 10% year-on-year by the end of May 2024. It should be noted that while prices were already falling sharply in the Valenciennes and Nantes conurbations in the fourth quarter of 2023, they were stable in Angers and Le Mans. As in the 4th quarter of 2023, prices of existing homes in Grenoble are expected to remain at the same level at the end of May 2024. Prices in the Nîmes conurbation were still on the rise at the end of May 2024.

In Île-de-France in one year, from June 2023 to June 2024, flat prices are expected to fall by 7.3% (compared with an annual fall of 8.7% in February). Prices are expected to fall by 7.5% in the inner suburbs and by 6.1% in the outer suburbs. House prices are expected to fall by 7.7% between June 2023 and June 2024 (compared with a 10% annual fall in February), by 9.6% in the inner suburbs and by 6.7% in the outer suburbs.

In Paris, according to leading indicators for pre-contracts at the end of June 2024, the price per m² of resale apartments should be €9,360 in June 2024. This should represent an annual fall in prices of 7.6%.

The year 2024 could see a reversal of the pattern seen in 2022, which was split into two phases: the first half of the year was still buoyant, masking the start of the downturn in the second half; the second half of 2024, and even more so the final quarter, could mark the start of a recovery. There are encouraging signs of a more buoyant situation, although the fall in house prices has not yet offset the reduction in households’ borrowing capacity, linked more particularly to the rise in interest rates.

Between March 2023 and February 2024, 364,800 homes were authorized for construction, 101,900 fewer than in the previous twelve months (-21.8%) and 21% fewer than in the twelve months preceding the health crisis (March 2019 to February 2020). The number of homes reserved has been falling for seven consecutive quarters. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year (2022 4th quarter), the number of reservations fell sharply in the fourth quarter (-33.9%). This decline concerned both new construction (-33.5%) and existing construction (-37.7%).

The decline in orders for multi-family housing continued for the fourth consecutive quarter. Over one year, reservations for apartments fell by 33.2%. For houses, the year-on-year fall was very pronounced (-44.7% compared with the fourth quarter of 2022). The number of homes put up for sale fell for the fourth consecutive quarter. Over one year, the number of homes put up for sale fell sharply (-45.5%). The fall was 44.1% for new homes and 57.6% for existing homes.

For the first time since early 2022, the average interest rate, excluding fees and insurance, on new home loans (excluding renegotiations), is down 6 basis points (4.11% after 4.17%). Compared with February 2023, outstanding home loans rose by 0.4% (0.5% for households). Home loan production was virtually stable in February at €9.7 billion, of which €7.3 billion excluding renegotiations, and several leading indicators have been encouraging since the start of the year. The rate of growth in consumer credit fell slightly to 1.7% (after 1.9% in January) and new lending remained just below €6 billion.


According to the INSEE, in 2023, 57.2% of households in France (excluding Mayotte) owned their main residence. This proportion rose between 1983 and 1990, from 51.2% to 54.9%, then stabilized until 1997, before rising again steadily until 2014 (57.8%). However, since 2014, it has been falling very slightly. The proportion of homeowners with no repayment charges rose significantly until 2010 (37.8%, compared with 27.7% in 1983), before stabilizing until 2016 and then falling slightly (36.9% in 2023). The proportion of first-time buyers has stabilized at 20% for the past fifteen years, possibly as a result of longer loan terms. Between 1990 and the mid-2000s, it had fallen steadily, from 25.3% to 20%.

In this analysis, the relationship between borrowing capacity and property prices will define the purchasing power of households, i.e. the number of square meters that a household is able to acquire for an older home.


In 2023, house purchase power in mainland France will have fallen by 25 square meters compared with 1999. Over the period studied, from 1999 to 2023, the change in purchasing power can be summarized in 4 phases:

1. Declining period 1999-2008: with purchasing power falling from 99 square meters in 1999 to 58 square meters in 2008 (i.e. around -40 square meters), when it reached its lowest level

2. Upturn 2008-2017 (with the exception of 2011), with purchasing power rising from 58 square meters in 2008 to 85 square meters in 2017 (an increase of around 30 square meters since 2008)

3. A period of slowdown from 2017 to 2021, with almost stable purchasing power, down to 84 square meters in 2021. Nevertheless, the estimated loss between 2019 and 2021 is 2 square meters

4. The downward trend returns between 2021 and 2023, with purchasing power falling from 84 square meters in 2021 to 74 square meters in 2023, a decline of 10%. In particular, the fall is greater in 2023, with a loss of 6 square meters over one year. Over the period 2021-2023, the factors determining purchasing power have changed as follows:

• House prices (in constant 2023€) fall by an average of 1.4% (+1% in 2022 and -4% in 2023).

• Lending rates (annual average) rise from 1.1% in 2021 to 3% in 2023. In particular, they have doubled between 2022 and 2023, rising from 1.5% to 3%.

• Average household disposable income (in constant €) is virtually stable between 2021 and 2023 (-0.9% in 2022 then +1.5% in 2023).

Thus, the fall in house prices has not offset the reduction in households’ borrowing capacity (7% on average per year between 2021 and 2023, and around 10% over one year in 2023), linked more specifically to the rise in interest rates. On the basis of the same monthly mortgage payment as in 2023, property prices falling by 5% year-on-year and mortgage rates (as an annual average) rising from 3% to 3.6%, purchasing power would remain at the same level in the in the 1st quarter of 2024 at 74 square meters.

Special Note: Other than Bourges and the islands west of France, the ONLY area of the country showing increases is the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (PACA) region and Corsica!!! Now’s the time to buy!

Download the report (in French) in its entirety.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds at Apres-Midi in NiceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. Let us help you find your perfect home in France. See our Custom Search page for more information.


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