Real estate: under the effect of the Covid, the city slowly escapes into the countryside

The real estate market seems to have already erased the crisis, forgotten the confinements and caught up with the drop in the number of transactions suffered in 2020. The year 2021 should even, according to notaries and INSEE, break records, to see the 1.155 million transactions carried out on June 30, 2021 over twelve rolling months, i.e. an acceleration compared to the first three months of the year.

According to the Notaires-Insee index for the second quarter, published on September 9, prices are following the movement, also up 5.9% on average over the whole of France, driven by houses (+ 6.9%) rather than by apartments (+ 4.6%), and by the province (+ 7%) rather than by Ile-de-France (+ 3.1%). And in the provinces, rural areas and towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants hold the market high, with an average price increase of 7.2%.

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From quarter to quarter, since 2020, the geography of the real estate market has been changing. Some large city centers are less popular, prices stabilize there, such as in Toulouse (-0.3%, according to MeilleurAgents), Nice (+ 0.5%), Bordeaux (+ 2.2%) and well sure Paris (- 0.2%). The activity is setting up where we no longer expected it, even allowing to hope for a revitalization of certain sleepy cities, such as Brest, Reims, Angers and Orléans, where there is nothing left to sell.

Regional driven market

“From the towns of eastern Seine-et-Marne, Meaux, Coulommiers, Provins, Parisians are arriving who have been buying houses that have been empty for ten years, notes Me Christian Godard, notary in Claye-Souilly (Seine-et-Marne). But will there be a backlash? Will they stay in the countryside when their children, grown up, want to pursue higher education or when they see that there are fewer and fewer shops and few cultural events? “, he adds. “The sliders have moved: buyers choose space, want more square meters, in houses, even if we have to give up proximity to transport”, according to Marc Friedrich, notary in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine).

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“In rural areas, we distinguish three types of zones, explains Thomas Lefebvre, Scientific Director of MeilleurAgents. The sectors of second homes, ie municipalities where they account for more than 20% of all housing and where they are, moreover, less and less secondary. Their owners spend much more time there than vacation alone, and teleworkers even intend to stay there half the year. Their prices jump 9.4%. In deep rural areas, which are not subject to these tensions, prices remain reasonable and the increase limited to 1.7%. Finally, in the peri-urban area, under the influence of a metropolis, housing prices are soaring and have, on average, gained 9.7% between September 2020 and September 2021 ”, he sums up.

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