Property Prices Stable in Upper Normandy, According to FNAIM Data prices are falling in Lower Normandy but have remained stable in Upper Normandy, according to the latest figures from various providers.

When it comes to prices in France as a whole they are generally continuing to fall but with considerable regional variations across the country.

The major estate agent chains Century 21, Laforêt, and Orpi, as well as the national association of estate agents FNAIM, all report a moderate fall in average prices in the first six months of this year, and of between 2.5% and 3.6% over the past year.

According to FNAIM figures prices have remained stable in Upper Normandy in the 12 months to the end of June 2013 but have fallen in all other regions with Lower Normandy seeing a fall of 7.7%.

Prices fell 7.6% in France-Comte, were down 7.3% in Picardie, down 5.9% in Provence Cote-d’Azur, down 5.7% in Languedoc-Roussillon and down 5.2% in Brittany.

Data from Century 21 also shows a steep decline in Lower Normandy with prices falling 8.8% and a 7.4% fall in neighbouring Brittany.

Century 21 and Laforêt report that sales have increased in many regions in the first half of the year over 2012, albeit at lower prices.

Looking ahead, French bank Credit Agricole, says that the French property market is characterised by fundamentals that are structurally favourable and which should enable the process of price correction to be slow and gradual.

Sales of properties in Normandy could benefit from the recent French government announcement on real estate capital gains tax.
The reduction in the qualifying period of ownership from 30 years to 22 years for property sellers to now be eligible for exemption from real estate capital gains tax is expected to boost sales volumes.

According to euro mortgage brokers Offshoreonline this decision along with historically low interest rates and relatively stable prices makes the French property market more attractive for buyers.

It says that headline grabbing mortgage rates as low as 2.8% for 10 year fixed rates or 2.15% for variable rate products are good news both for domestic and expat buyers.

‘In the traditional centres where expatriates like to buy, the French market has shown an enviable combination of relative price stability, even when volumes have fallen significantly. Unlike in the UK, though, mortgage finance remains readily available, making this an attractive proposition for investors who are focussed on return and lifestyle, rather than a specific location,’ said Tim Harvey, the firm’s managing director.

The clarification of the GCT rule is tempting wealthy buyers, according to Trevor Leggett, chief executive of Leggett Immobilier. ‘Mortgage rates are at historical lows, starting at 2.1% for a loan up to 80% of the purchase price and wealthy international buyers can sense that there are some excellent deals to be had,’ he said.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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