France Coronavirus Real Estate Forecast
It has been some interesting times during this Coronavirus crisis.
So what does this mean for the France luxury real estate market?
There were warning signs in the media and in conversation we had with those in the property market back as early as November 2019. Would the virus make its way to this France? How hard would it be on the population and how would it overall affect day to day life?
You could already sense some apprehension when it came to travel as the Covid-19 news grew stronger every day, yet work still continued with calls, emails and listing information sent out to interested clients along with deals being done.
We should preface this by saying this is not what will happen in the real estate industry, just an observant opinion from monitoring media reports and in speaking with other luxury real estate professionals and clients during the past months.
When President Macron made his initial speech pertaining to the Coronavirus and what the new full restrictions would be you could tell there was some confusion. People wanted to be as safe as possible but how would the work atmosphere be maintained?
After the initial first day or two of silence, a real estate agency wasn’t deemed an essential service so everyone closed their business doors and those proactive agencies had their staff work from home while a portion of others seemed to have stop working altogether.
Fortunately we work with a very strong and close number of luxury property professionals around the world who have a positive and truly optimistic attitude that realize people are always going to need a home. What has been refreshing to discover during this time was it no longer about making the most commission, it became even more about finding the ideal property that will best fit the future lifestyle of the people involved. In major cities such as Paris, it has been said that approximately one million people left metropolitan areas as soon as possible and headed to either secondary properties or rented long term homes closer to families or friends.
This has all lead to some interesting real estate requests as early as week two of the confinement, that being people living in cities were noticing how well they could work from home with employer approval. Combined with a yearning to be surrounded by nature instead of being confined to an apartment, we started to get requests for countryside retreats that offered both plenty of space but also within a short commute to work for when the virus has cleared. Much of the feedback we have been getting is that Covid-19 in many ways has given people time to analyze what they really want out of life.
This does not mean that demand for apartments will decrease, in fact we are seeing more people considering apartments close to key tourist attractions as being prime investment opportunities so there has been an increase from people looking to make a first purchase or add to their property portfolio especially for the rental market.
What does this mean for prices? Over the past 40 plus days of confinement the level of requests has only decreased a small margin from what it was months before. The more serious, patient buyer is out there now and willing to take their time to find their next investment and there is nothing more exciting to us than seeking out that right property for that type of client. To add to that, for investing in a property in France, stats have shown that the percentage of those over the age of 35 stayed the same but those under dropped 5%.
Purchasing a property and getting the best deal for your money always depends on the location. Currently we find that Paris is staying steady in their prices yet to an extent negotiable.
Countryside retreats have dropped slightly in price leading to more interest and depending on size of the property can be very negotiable.
Places in our region such as in Cannes, Nice and the Saint Tropez are also holding steady with homes moving slightly lower in price which will not be dramatic as experts only forecast a slowdown if anything.
Exclusive real estate such as on the peninsula of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is staying very steady, buying there is always a smart investment move given that there are many new building restrictions in place as to not change the overall landscape and exclusive feel of the area.
Between Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Monaco there are many vacant plots available for new builds with amazing sea views open to negotiation along with villas in places like Eze and Cap d’Ail readily available.
Monaco is holding steady as ever. With places from just outside the principality offering top deals in areas such as Roquebrune Cap Martin and Menton.
Experts do not foresee a collapse of the real estate market, only perhaps a slowdown at first but because of the confinement people have been under there may even be a surge because of the crisis for those to get back to their plans of buying or selling. And with the bank interest rates in France being exceptionally low, this is encouraging for buyers to pursue bank loan requests to invest in the property market, and if possible during this time a property investment can be in your favor.
There is little doubt the market will take a hit in various aspects but it will bounce back as history in the country has shown so also consider this, any hot spot travel destination in France has always had a stable real estate market with tourism numbers either staying the same or increasing seemingly no matter the economic situation.
Focus on the whole surrounding area you are interested in, this is one of the factors we specialize in, we love providing the most complete and updated information on a property on an area you love and the surrounding lifestyle the location provides.
Now is the time to plan for your future and we are here to help.
Stay strong, stay safe.