Despite high prices and housing shortages in Paris France has actually been the top builder in Europe for many years now, constructing more new houses than any other European country.
For the past 10 years, France has constructed on average about six houses per 1,000 inhabitant every single year.
In 2015, when France reached its peak construction year with 517,900 new houses, only two other European countries (Finland and Austria) constructed more than 5 houses per 1,000 inhabitants.
Sweden, which came 7th on the list, constructed on average less than four houses per 1,000 inhabitant per year. For Germany (8th place) and the Netherlands (11th) the numbers were three and slightly less than three.
The UK came 16th, with a little more than two houses per 1,000 inhabitants.
Overseas, the United States has been constructing about 1.2 million new houses per year, which sounds huge but is actually also less than 3 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Apartments are being constructed in the French city of Rennes. Photo: AFP
A champion in decline?
It's a trend that France has managed to keep relatively stable. In 2017, France constructed 490,100 new houses, while the UK – which has nearly the same population size – constructed 184,000.
However, some worry that France is a champion in decline. According to the French Housing Observatory FPI, the construction rate slumped by 3 percent between 2018 and 2019 – despite a still-growing demand.
Property prices in Paris remain very steep, where the average price is now more than €10,000 per square metre.
According to the latest FPI report, housing prices for newly constructed homes increased by 5.2 percent on average in France at large from Q4 in 2018 to Q4 in 2019 and by 6.5 percent in Île-de-France).