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Surge In Demand For French Property

25.08.21

The French property market is at its most dynamic since the turn of the millennium reports Abode2. More than 1.13m homes changed hands in France between May 2020 and May 2021, according to the quarterly report by the national association Notaires de France.

The initial surge in activity was due to the release of pent-up demand after the easing of the first Covid lockdown in June. But that alone is not enough to explain the persistent demand throughout the year, which appears to be a long-term trend accelerated by the growing appeal of towns on the outskirts of cities, says the report.

After three lockdowns, homeowners are swapping cramped flats in city centres for houses in leafy suburbs and commuter towns. And there has been a noticeable shift of city dwellers towards communities of fewer than 3,500 inhabitants as the pandemic has both forced and empowered more people to work from home.

Departments that are less than two hours from Paris have been particularly dynamic. In October last year, for example, 27% of all buyers in Yonne, Burgundy, actually hailed from the greater Paris area (Ile de France) compared with only 19% in October 2019. It was a similar picture in Normandy where more than one in five buyers in Orne and Eure last October was from the Ile de France department around Paris compared with one in six the year before.

People are even prepared to leave their department entirely in greater numbers, a 13% rise in the last half of 2020 on the same time the year before. “The desire for greenery, corroborated by the impromptu rise of home-working, seems to reflect a desire for ‘connected disconnection’,” say the Notaires.

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