So here we are, nearly half way through the year, and what’s that I hear, a collective gasp of “What, already?” Okay, so what has the housing market been like to date.
It’s not all bad news, folks, the notaires’ society of France recently “called” the bottom of the market and suggested that things are beginning to improve in terms of transaction numbers. And, in some areas of France, prices have begun to climb a little, while overall across the country resale houses show a rise of 1.4% for the first quarter of 2016. I must stress this is based on actual sales prices, so please don’t rush out and put your price up, especially if you haven’t allowed for the fact the market has had 36 months of consecutive drops.
I do tend to treat general statements such as this from the notaires with caution, though, as for sure it is still a buyer’s market.
As I said, it is not all doom and gloom. We have experienced a fantastic increase in transactions and enquiries so far this year and in speaking with other agencies this trend seems to be matched.
One area that has surprised us has been the continued high levels of interest from UK buyers, and it seems all this talk of referendum has not diminished interest from this prime market for the French Riviera. We did notice a downward blip when the pound weakened against the euro in March, but this was temporary and sterling has since rallied a little and the clients are back in force.
We are cautiously optimistic for the remainder of the year and at two recent UK property shows we attended, we asked the million dollar question about whether a Brexit would stop you buying in France and there was a unanimous: “NO!”
With all of this in mind, if you are currently looking for a buyer, you need to consider how you can maximise your chances of a sale in this market. Presentation and preparation are still the most important aspect if you want to ensure you capture a buyer this year.
Refer to past Reporter property articles about presentation, ask your agent to come and retake photos, for example, as we are in late spring and your garden and pool will be looking fabulous. Consider the price, is it realistic in comparison to properties that are on the market in the same location and also talk to your agent about what has actually sold recently and at what price.
My final point is a personal bugbear and one I have raised previously (see Rules and regulations when selling a property that has a septic tank). You have to get your septic tank tested if you find a buyer, so why not now when you bring your home to market? I know of two cases in the last week where agreed sales are in jeopardy because the septic tank test has been left to the last minute. Talk about waste ...