French house prices increased by 141% from 1998 to 2010 according to the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. And 2010 saw the return to positive growth for the French property market after a rocky 2009.
The number of transactions by foreign buyers in France amounted to over 50,000 in 2010 versus almost 40,000 in 2009 – an increase of over 20%, which was also seen in the market for French property sold to French nationals. The average loan amount was up 10% to €210,000 based on an average transaction amount up 6% to €238,000, with approximately 30% of buyers taking a mortgage. The most popular areas were Paris with 35%, Province/Cote d’Azur with 13%, Rhône-Alps with 11% and the Languedoc Roussillon with 5%.
British buyers represented 11% of the market overall with close to 6,000 recorded transactions in 2010. The Brits are the number one overseas buyers in the Languedoc Roussillon, followed Aquitaine, Midi Pyrenees, then Normandy, Brittany, Poitou Charente and the Limousin. In terms of numbers of transactions, the highest level for British buyers could be found in Province/ Cote d’Azure, after the Italians. In Paris the numbers of recorded transactions by British buyers was limited to approximately 400.
Overall the profile of those buying in France has changed over the last few years and affluent buyers are now starting to come from emerging market economies. The sector has seen large increases in the numbers of Russian and Chinese buyers.