To say that 2020 was a turbulent year would be the understatement of the century so far. However, despite the global pandemic and multiple lockdowns causing disruption to practically every industry, France’s property market has remained resilient.


So, what can we expect for 2021? Today, your friendly South of France property surveyor considers the property market trends of 2020 and looks at some predictions for the year ahead. 

Will House Prices Continue to Rise in 2021?

Recent data shows that house prices in France continued to rise last year – and many Notaires, estate agents and industry experts predict that they will continue to do so throughout 2021. FNAIM, for instance – the professional body for real estate agents in France – forecasts house price increases of +3.5% during 2021, with the number of house sale transactions reaching about 950,000.



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Even though property market activity all but ceased during March and April last year, there was no lasting negative impact on house prices in France. Paddy Gibbins of South of France-based international real estate agency Artaxa Immo puts this down to three main factors


“You would think that the confinement would have negatively affected the property market in France,” says Gibbins. “But what we are seeing is that firstly, people confined to their own homes during March to May 2020, suddenly decided that they didn’t like their home and they wanted to change – to move to a more remote location or to acquire some outdoor space. Secondly, people in lockdown in the town centres are definitely looking to move to cheaper locations where they can get more property for their money. Thirdly, people who were able to continue working remotely during the shutdown, have now decided that they would like to continue doing so. They can therefore be based anywhere they want in France. So maybe a more sunnier climate in the South of the country or an area with much more open space and nature, is starting to appeal more than the convenience of living in a big city.”


As the pandemic continues, so too will these trends, continuing to push up prices. 


That said, analysis reveals that property prices in certain desirable locations in the South of France, such as Montpellier and Toulon on the Mediterranean coast and Bayonne on the South-West Atlantic coast remain comparably reasonable to other parts of the country. 


Writing in Long Term Rentals in France, Iain Laverock also highlights the small city of Nimes in the South of France as a location that will likely offer good value for property in 2021. “Nimes is just 50 kms north of Montpellier, but despite a similar transport infrastructure, old architecture and relaxed way of life, the two cities could not be more different,” says Laverock. “In 2020, property prices in Montpellier increased by +8.0% and an average house will cost around €329,000. In comparison, a similar house in Nimes will set you back only €216,200. The Square meter price for apartments in Montpellier are currently running at €2,860 m2, whereas in central Nimes, you can buy an apartment for €1,820 per m2.”

Charles Mackintosh – South of France Property Surveyor

As house prices look set to continue rising next year, buyers need to know what they’re putting their money into. RICS chartered South of France property surveyor Charles Mackintosh has over 30 years’ experience living and operating in the region. Charles provides highly regarded English language property surveys and advice for British buyers in the South of France. Get in touch today for more information.