Real Estate: 2019 will be a half-hearted year

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After an exceptional 2018 vintage, the market seems to be landing while the French are worried about the future.

The end of the year are always conducive to balance sheets. The real estate sector is no exception. Laforêt thus chose to release its study on the market on December 26, ignoring the confectioners' truce, in order to look forward to an "exceptional" 2018 year: transactions exploded, reaching almost the 2017 record and prices continued their prodigious ascension. Better, according to the network with 700 branches across France, the last quarter was particularly dynamic, with an impressive number of French in a hurry to make their purchase plan a reality. That is to say that the demand pressure has been maintained in 2018, driven by the historical credit conditions – and the desire to benefit before it is too late – as the return of investors and foreigners , mainly in major cities.

Signs of a return to calm

However, even if "the year 2019 promises overall overall very reassuring," says Yann Jéhanno, more and more signals plead for a soft landing, after three years of uninterrupted progress. First, despite the continued rise in prices, professionals all observe a deceleration in the rise. In most provincial towns, the market has already stabilized. Only major cities such as Bordeaux, Lyon or Nantes continue their momentum.

In Paris, it is even more obvious since the average price per square meter reached 9,550 euros in October 2018 (+ 5.9% in one year), or even more than 10 000 euros per square meter in half of the twenty arrondissements of the capital city. But even in these sought-after places, fervor seems to fall. In Île-de-France, where demand remains strong and supply largely insufficient, the situation is starting to change: based on their pre-contracts, the notaries of the Grand Paris are predicting a real lull – even a slight decline – on prices by the end of February 2019.

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Then, as a result of a market that relaxes and normalizes, sales times are growing everywhere in France, including Paris. While negotiations, almost nonexistent in recent years, make a return noticed (4.60% on average in 2018, according to Laforêt).

Flipping in the nine

Another sign of a foreseeable downturn: the withdrawal of First-time buyers. Back in force three years ago, they are disengaging again from the market: the immoderate rise in prices – less and less offset by low interest rates – and the refocusing of the zero-interest loan are increasingly dissuading young couples. to access the property. The disaffection is even stronger in the sector of the nine, more concerned with the aid of the State: the limitation of the PTZ to the tense zones caused a drastic decline of the starts and a fall of the sales. To the point that the National Building Federation no longer hesitates to talk about a turnaround: 25% of new homes authorized in 2018 have been canceled by the developers. A record.

French worries

The professionals of the old remain, them, a little more optimistic. But the growing concern of the French militates in favor of a year 2019 half-hearted. Uncertainties about growth, the timid decline in unemployment and lack of confidence in the future make them more cautious. "The social movement of yellow vests has had a real impact on our compatriots, whose morale has reached its lowest level for four years according to INSEE," observes Yann Jéhanno. The establishment, next January, of the levy at source, is also feared. "It could cause a sense of impoverishment and cause some wait-and-see attitude among buyers," says Laforêt boss. What cool the ardor … but not discourage the love -durable- the French for the stone.