Like any industry, the French property market is a fluid and constantly shifting beast and, whether you are purchasing a new home on your own, or with the assistance of a South of France surveyor, it can be helpful to have an idea of the current trends.


#1 Changes to Rural Property Values

Many people interested in purchasing property in the South of France dream of living in an idyllic countryside location, (relatively) far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. However, prices of these properties have risen significantly between 2016 and 2017, with some of the biggest increases being for properties near the cities of Lyon, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.

Therefore, 2018 may be the time to strike while the iron is hot and invest in these properties before they rise further.

#2 A Housing Surplus

Also of relevance to those of you looking to purchase French property, is the news that the French housing stock is increasing at a faster rate than the population, leading to a surplus in the number of properties sitting vacant.

The National Statistics Office state that an average of 374,000 new homes were built each year between 2010 and 2015, a rate which outstrips the UK house building programme by two to one, and the growth in the French population by the same factor.

This has partly been explained by the fact that many French properties are in need of renovation, leading people to desire new over old. This presents an opportunity for those looking to buy a property in the South of France as a renovation project, as a lack of French desire for these older premises opens negotiation opportunities.

#3 A Fall in UK Buyers

Sales of French property to UK buyers fell for the third year running in 2017. Total purchases by UK-based buyers in 2017 was just 4,527, compared to 5,492 in 2016, and 6,066 in 2015.

One likely explanation for this drop is the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. With less than a year to go until the process is due to be completed, much of the UK’s position is still incredibly confusing and vague.

With decisions still to be made about whether the UK will remain a part of the customs union, and the free movement of people which is an intrinsic part of that agreement, many potential buyers seem to be taking a “wait and see” approach before committing to purchasing continental property.

Final Thoughts

These trends in the French housing market offer a reason for both excitement and caution, but nothing stays still for long when it comes to property.

If you want expert and up to date advice on the best way to start your journey in the South of France, the best option is to employ the services of an experienced surveyor whose local knowledge and expertise will ensure that the advice you receive is the most up to date possible.


Please get in touch today for more information.