French News

Property Market

French Farmhouse Prices in 2014

Thursday 02 July 2015

The French rural land agency SAFER have published their review of the property market for 2014, reporting that prices fell by an average of 2.3% to €158,000.

SAFER (Société d'Aménagement Foncier et d'Etablissement Rural) is the French rural land agency, who each year publish a report on the market for country properties and agricultural land.

Their ability to offer an analysis of the market stems from the fact that they are active participants in it, with a right of pre-emption over rural property sales.

Their perspective is hampered by the limited number of house sales in which they are involved, normally around 30,000 transactions a year, against around 700,000 total residential sales in France.

Nevertheless, as their right of pre-emption gives them a view of all activity that takes place, the report is a useful addition to the range of information available, and the focus on rural properties is of particular interest to international buyers.

In their latest review SAFER continue on the same vein as recent years, reporting a low level of sales and falling prices.

The following graphic shows the comparative position across the country for the last two years, from which it can be seen that in some areas prices fell by more than 15%, but actually increased by over 10% in other localities.

Given the limited number of transactions on which these figures are based they should really only be used as an indication of the trend.

Price Movements

Average Prices by Department

As far as average prices are concerned, the following graphic shows that highest prices are around the Parisian Basin, Alsace, Haute-Savoie, Lyon, the Mediterranean coast, the Atlantic coast, Toulouse and Bordeaux.

By contrast, cheaper areas are the regions of Brittany, Centre, Auvergne, Limousin and Champagne-Ardenne, as well as parts of some other regions.

The 'moyenne national 2013-14' figure of €184,000 includes all transactions, whilst the lower figure of €158,000 excludes the lowest and highest 10% of sales.

The graphic is particularly useful in highlighting the variation in average prices within a department.

International Buyers

The percentage number of international buyers in 2014 was 7.2% of total sales, up from around 6% in 2013, although substantially below the record figure of over 14% in 2004.

The British continue to represent by far the largest contingent of buyers, with 48% of all international sales to buyers originating from the United Kingdom. Total sales to British buyers in which SAFER were involved was 1,060, well below the record of 4500 in 2004, when they accounted for 78% of all purchases by non-resident international buyers.

As can be seen from the graphic, international buyers are also continuing to buy in those places where they have done so in the past, with most sales in the Central West of the country, notably in Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes, Limousin, and also parts of Midi-Pyrenees, Burgundy and Languedoc-Roussillon. 'Dordogneshire' continues to be a popular area to buy with British buyers.

By contrast, the departments around the Mediterranean continue to attract buyers of a diverse range of countries.

All images courtesy of Terres d’Europe-Scafr d’après Safer.

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