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Where in France are property prices are starting to dip and by how much?

Half of France’s 35 largest cities have seen property prices fall by as much as 3 percent in the last three months, figures show.

Where in France are property prices are starting to dip and by how much?
(Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP)

After two years of steadily rising prices across France, the property market is starting to change. Three of France’s 10 largest cities saw falling house prices in October, rising to six in November, and – as of now – the property market is dipping in eight of the biggest conurbations in the country.

Only Lille and Marseille continue to show slight increases in property prices, respectively of 0.7 percent in Lille (to €3,567 per square metre) and 0.8% in Marseille (€3,868 per square metre) in the past month.

On average, France’s 10 biggest cities saw a 0.1 percent fall in property prices in the last month – not a large fall, but an indicative one, according to the experts. Over the past three months, property prices have gone down in 18 of France’s 35 largest towns and cities.

READ ALSO A buyer’s market? How French property prices are set to fall in 2023

We are entering a new cycle,” Thomas Lefebvre, of online property agent Meilleurs Agents, told Le Parisien. “We are not experiencing a correction, nor a stall in terms of prices, but rather a downward cycle that is spreading to all of France’s major cities.” 

While the winter period traditionally sees a slowdown in sales, rising interest rates are also preventing property hunters from putting in offers, Lefebvre added, with renters now waiting eight years on average to take the plunge into property ownership, compared to four years as recently as 2020.

READ ALSO Courtier: Should you hire a broker when buying property in France?

Increased inflation and soaring energy prices are also having an impact, leading to what Lefebvre described as a “market freeze”, with fewer buyers and sellers still reluctant to accept lower offers.

As a result, the number of sales agreements has dipped between nine and 10 percent on an out-of-the-ordinary 2021 property market, according to the Orpi property cooperative.

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: Time-frame for buying and selling property in France

The length of time it takes for a Parisian property to be sold has jumped five days to an average of 68 days, in 2022, while the average price per square metre in the capital has dropped 1.3 percent to €10,312 on average – a figure inflated by high-end properties.

While 60 percent of property sales in Paris are still above €10,000 per square metre, at the lower end of the market prices have dipped below the threshold for the first time in several years.

READ ALSO Revealed: The ‘hidden’ extra costs when buying property in France

Bordeaux, meanwhile, has seen property prices drop 3.1 percent in 2022, and 2.4 percent in the past three months alone; while prices have fallen 3.4 percent in Mulhouse in the last three months after jumping 2.6 percent earlier in the year, and have dropped 3.1 percent in Nîmes and Rouen.

But, although prices are starting to fall in larger cities, the opposite is true in satellite towns where transportation is good, as buyers start to look further afield.

READ ALSO MAP: The 20 cheapest French towns and cities to live in

In Chambéry, between Grenoble, Annecy and Lyon, the Laforêt Immobilier group has recorded an increase of more than 50% in its sales – it’s location is ideal for all cities, while the rise of remote working allows for the possibility of just one or two commutes per week.

Here are average property price changes the 20 biggest towns and cities in France:

City

Percentage price change
in the
past 3 months

Percentage price
change
in 2022
Mulhouse
-3,4 percent
2,6 percent
Nîmes
-3,1 percent
1,3 percent
Rouen
-3,1 percent
2,2 percent
Rennes
-3 percent
3 percent
Dijon
-2,9 percent
0 percent
Strasbourg
-2,9 percent
2,4 percent
Angers
-2,7 percent
1,2 percent
Bordeaux
-2,4 percent
-3,1 percent
Aix-en-Provence
-2,3 percent
5,9 percent
Boulogne-Billancourt
-1,9 percent
0,1 percent
Le Havre
-1,6 percent
-0,8 percent
Toulouse
-1,3 percent
1 percent
Paris
-1,3 percent
-1 percent
Lyon
-0,9 percent
-0,1 percent
Saint-Denis
-0,9 percent
4,5 percent
Brest
-0,3 percent
1,6 percent
Montreuil
-0,3 percent
3,8 percent
Limoges
-0,2 percent
5,4 percent
Nice
0 percent
6,1 percent
Nantes
0,1 percent
3.4 percent

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SECOND HOMES

New French property tax declaration – your questions answered

This year the French tax office has announced that property-owners have to complete an extra tax declaration - from the rules for non-residents to second-home owners, we answer your questions on this.

New French property tax declaration - your questions answered

In 2023 there is an additional requirement for anyone who owns a home in France – they must fill in a one-off Déclaration d’occupation, stating whether their property is their main residence or a second home.

The reason for this is changes to the tax system that are gradually phasing out taxe d’habitation for all but the highest earners – with the exception of second homes.

You can find a full explanation of how to file the declaration HERE.

Many of our readers have contacted us with questions about this new requirement, so we’ve answered some of the most frequently-asked here;

Do I still have to do this even though I don’t live in France?

A fairly sizeable number of people own property in France (usually holiday homes) but live elsewhere, such as the UK or the US. If you don’t live in France or have income in France you probably won’t have to do the annual income tax declaration, but the Déclaration d’occupation is different.

It concerns anyone who owns property in France, including second-home owners who live in another country.

Do I have to do this even though I pay all my taxes in another country?

If you own property in France you probably do, in fact, pay tax here – property taxes. Bills go out every autumn for the taxe foncière (the property owners’ tax) and taxe d’habitation (the householders tax) – and second-home owners would usually pay both. You may also receive a bill from your commune for waste-collection services, although the annual TV licence bill (which used to be sent out at the same time as the property tax bill) has been scrapped this year.

If you own property in France and have never paid property taxes, it might be worth a trip to the local tax office to check that you are registered correctly, as almost all property owners are liable for property taxes.

Do I have to do this every year now?

No, this is a one off. You complete the declaration this year (before June 30th) and then you don’t have to do it again until your situation changes – eg a second home becomes your main residence.

Why do we have to do this?

It’s because of changes to the tax rules. Taxe d’habitation – the occupier’s tax – used to be paid by virtually everyone, but is now gradually being phased out for all but high earners. The exception to this is second homes, so the tax office needs to know whether your property is used as your main residence or a second home so that they know whether to send you a bill in autumn.

Does this mean more taxes?

No, the declaration is purely for information – if your property is a second home you will continue to get your annual taxe d’habitation bill as normal, if it is a main residence you may receive no bill or a reduced bill, depending on your income.

What about commercial property?

If you own commercial property such as a workshop, bar or retail premises, then this does not affect you, the tax declaration is in relation to homes.

It’s all about clearing up the property status for taxe d’habitation, and you don’t pay this type of tax if it is a commercial premises.

What about gîtes, holiday homes or Airbnb properties?

It’s really all down to what you use the property for – if you run it entirely as a business it should be registered as a business and is therefore not concerned by this.

If the property is your home and you occasionally rent it out on Airbnb (say, when you’re on holiday) then it still counts as a home and you will need to complete the déclaration d’occupation. Be aware that certain areas, including Paris, limit how many days per year you can rent out a property on Airbnb without registering it as a business.

Some people keep properties mostly for their own use as second homes but sometimes rent them out for extra money – be aware that if you do this, you may need to register as a business and declare any income received – full details here.

Can I just ignore it, or tell them my second home is a main residence?

Ignoring or lying to the tax office is generally quite a bad idea whatever country you’re in – they can get quite cross.

This sounds like a massive pain

Welcome to France – home of bureaucracy! Paperwork is a fact of life in France and that’s probably unlikely to change soon. If you’re already registered in the impots.gouv site then this is one of the more painless admin tasks – a couple of clicks, fill out the form and file it online and you’re done.  

If you have questions on the property tax declaration, you can email us on [email protected] and we will do our best to answer them

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