The price of French farmhouses fell by a whopping 10.9% in 2009, to reach an average price of €188,000.
This fall occurred after an average price fall of 4.1% in 2008.
Sales were down 10.2%, following on from a 17% fall in 2008.
These figures come from the French national rural land agency SAFER (Société d'Aménagement Foncier et d'Etablissement Rural).
Although only a few thousand rural property sales pass through the hands of SAFER each year, their market analysis is a very good barometer of prices and activity, as they have a close view of what is taking place in the sector.
In their latest review of the market they report that the average price of old farm properties containing less than 5 hectares of land fell from €211,000 in 2008 to €188,000 in 2009, meaning the prices of these properties have fallen in the last three consecutive years.
The average amount of land purchased with these properties in 2009 was 7,300 m².
As usual, the national average disguises large differences in prices across the country, as can be seen from the following table.
Source : SAFER
Fewer International Buyers
International buyers accounted for 7% of the sales in 2009, half of what it was in the halcyon days of 2004.
British buyers remain the largest group of foreign buyers, accounting last year for 54% of all such sales, although this figure was itself down from 78% in 2004.
In total, British buyers bought around 750 properties through SAFER last year (4500 purchased in 2004).
Buyers from The Netherlands bought 10% of the property, and the Belgians 9% of all sales.
Despite the fall in sales, buyers from abroad are continuing to buy property in their traditional hunting grounds, with the British favouring, as ever, the West and South West.
In January, we wrote a substantial article on the role of SAFER and the process of house buying through them, which you can read about in the first link below.