Despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the French property market performed well last year. So, how has 2021 fared for French property so far and is there demand from overseas buyers?

Overseas buyers

There has been demand from overseas buyers so far this year, with estate agents seeing a large number of enquiries since January.

As a result of the pandemic, there is still a trend of people looking for properties in the countryside and away from urban areas. Many see a holiday home in France as the key to escaping the crowds, bubbling up with family and enjoying the tranquility and clean air of the French countryside.

The popularity of virtual viewings has also gone through the roof. People are now searching for, and sometimes buying their overseas property ‘sight unseen’ – before seeing it in the flesh. It is now standard practice for most estate agents to offer a virtual viewing, even for domestic buyers.

The cheapest area to buy in France in 2021 is Saint-Etienne.

French buyers

Due to a rise in working from home, many French buyers are relocating to areas within 40 to 45 minutes of towns and transport hubs. Property that is located within easy distance of a town or city is very sought after.

France has recently increased lockdown restrictions due to rising infections, so working from home is still very much on the cards. French buyers are, therefore, moving out of busy cities and relocating to quieter spots with good broadband, outdoor space and a home office.

A similar trend continues to take place throughout Europe, including in the UK.

Rennes has seen a surge in property prices over the past year.

Property prices

Property prices in France have increased for the 20th consecutive quarter, hitting an average of +5.8% in Q2 2020 (+7.0% for apartments and +4.9% for houses). House prices increases in France now stand at their highest levels since Q4 2011.

This is due to sustained demand from both domestic buyers and overseas buyers, and prices are expected to increase throughout 2021.

The cheapest area to buy in France in 2021 is Saint-Etienne, an industrial city and capital of the Loire département. An apartment in the city centre will cost you just €1000 per m2. Although property prices in Saint-Etienne are rising, they are increasing at a far slower pace than the neighbouring city of Lyon.

In contrast to this, the capital of Brittany, Rennes, has seen a surge in property prices over the past year. The city was pitched at number 5 in the best cities to live in France and prides itself on being one of the greenest cities in the country. An apartment will cost you roughly €3,070 per square meter.

If you would like further advice on the selling process in France, download your free France Guide.

Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday home in France by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family.

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