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Buildings in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, in July 2018. Buildings in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, in July 2018. GERARD JULIEN / More Bank

The 2018 balance sheet of the real estate market thwarts the forecasts of last January which anticipated, after the record year 2017, a fall of the number of transactions and a stabilization of the prices. Well no: the market remained at a very high level of 960,000 transactions in the old, and 1.2 million by incorporating the new one. Prices continued to rise and the rise in interest rates for real estate loans, constantly announced, did not take place. All this encourages caution in the art of prediction …

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The network of real estate agents Century 21 publishes, this Monday, January 7, its balance sheet 2018, with more than 40,000 sales or 3.9% better than the previous year: "We must not look far for the reason for this success: the appetite for real estate purchase is always encouraged by the very low interest rates, sometimes even negative, since below inflationexplains Laurent Vimont, its CEO. Buyers are willing to take advantage and use all the levers at their fingertips, especially the extension of credit that allows more young people to become homeowners. Under 40s now account for 47% of buyers. Another lever is to reduce the purchased area, on average 0.5 square meter [m2] in the provinces and 1.3 m2 in Paris, where the average good is today less than 50 m2 », observes Mr. Vimont.

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The Housing Credit / CSA Observatory confirms, in a statement of December 4, that the average rate, at the end of 2018, amounts to a small 1.44%, over a borrowing period of 227 months (eighteen years and eleven months), eight months more than in 2017, an unprecedented leap. Banks are still accommodating since they have, in 2018, distributed more than 165 billion euros in home loans, not counting renegotiations of credits in progress.

"We are witnessing an absolute gentrification of Paris"

For the third consecutive year, prices continue to grow at the annual rate found by Century 21 of 3.5% for houses and 1.1% for apartments: "We are getting closer to the highest in 2011, with an average price, excluding Ile-de-France, of 2,665 euros, says Mr. Vimont. There is, in my opinion, little room for improvement. " The increases are more pronounced in the capital region, at 3.4%, while prices fall slightly in three regions, Brittany (-0.5%), Center-Loire Valley (-1.5%) and Hauts -de-France (-1.9%).