Generally, Europe has fared better than the U.S. in real estate market troubles over the last three years. France is an excellent example, with a market that, though down, did not experience the depth of price and demand drops evident elsewhere around the globe. Recently, Dr. Robert Shiller, noted co-founder of the Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes in the U.S., was quoted as saying "France's Real estate Economy has performed markedly better than most international indexes. France and Germany are leading the the European rebound." He went on to comment that the 10 year prospects for real estate in France looked quite upbeat.
A recent report from the FNAIM, the national association for real estate agents in France, indicated that prices may be stabilizing, with lower drops by a third in August than those in July. The same report stated that prices over the last 12 months dropped 7.2% for apartments and 8.9% for homes. This was less volatile than markets in the neighboring UK and Spain. Other positive news:
* Athena Mortgages, with offices in London and Paris, reports that there has been a significant rise in inquiries from investors about financing property purchases in France.
Sextant French Property Agents reports a 30% rise in inquiries and a 15% rise in sales in August over July's numbers.
John Luke Busby, director at Athena Mortgages has this to say:
"There's a feeling among prospective buyers of French property that we're now in the bottom of the trough and that if they don't make the move soon, they will lose out on some of the most competitive prices to be had in a long, long time. This is reflected in the growing number of estate agent inquiries and mortgage applications."
It's not just residential market improvement, as the commercial French real estate sector seems to be doing better as well. The commercial market was static the first quarter of 2009. This followed two years of reduced sales and valuation declines, and appears to have signaled stabilization in the markets. Three big recent deals show that the market may be on the mend:
* A major Paris retail outlet at Rue du Faubourt Honore was purchased.
In the summer a German firm snapped up offices in Lyon.
Another Parisian store, in the famous Boulevard Haussmann, has been bought.
The big picture in French real estate is one of improvement and brighter prospects going forward than markets have exhibited over the last two years.
By www.holprop.com (October 13, 2009)
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