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Rural House Price Growth in France  

16.09.21

Historically, it has been the popularity of Paris and other major metropolises that has dragged up the average cost of a home in France, while prices in the countryside have stagnated or crept up only modestly. But in the 12 months up to September 2021, Abode2 report that norm flipped on its head. House prices in rural communes jumped by 6.4% compared to a rise of just 4.1% in France’s 10 biggest cities – while prices in central Paris actually fell by 1.5%.

And whereas apartments have traditionally been the drivers of property price growth, now the situation is reversed, with houses 6% more expensive in September than the previous year compared with an increase of only 3.4% for apartments.

This is not a mass urban exodus, the organisation insists in its September report. In the main, lockdown-weary city dwellers are simply moving to outer suburbs or countryside close to town so they can work remotely in larger properties yet still commute for part of the week. It is this semi-rural landscape that has seen the biggest rise in house prices (9.7%), not the truly remote countryside of La France Profonde (1.7%).

People are also snapping up second homes in tourism hotspots that are classed as rural yet have more shops, services and entertainment than you’d expect in the countryside. Seaside resorts have seen the biggest rises, with prices soaring by over 12% in the year up to September 2021, compared with a rise of less than 5% the year before. Mountain resorts have also been popular with an 8.8% rise in price.

Meanwhile, in the major cities, it’s the grande banlieue – the outermost suburbs – that are booming, with twice as many sales here as in the suburbs closer to the centre (proche banlieue). In Paris, prices in these less built-up neighbourhoods rose by more than 8% between March 2020 and August of this year. At the same time they rose by only 5% in the immediate suburbs.

France’s other major cities saw the same trend but to a lesser extreme, with prices rising by 4% in the centres compared to 7.5% in the grande banlieue. Smaller cities fared better, especially in the north, with Brest, Quimper, Angers, Orléans and Reims among the urban centres remaining highly popular with buyers.

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