The detached house and the criteria of comfort are very popular.

In this month of August and since the deconfinement, how is the residential real estate market doing?

Christine Fumagalli: Over the period from May 11 to July 22, we have seen a 40% increase in the number of searches on orpi.com compared to last year. Generally speaking, demand is still there, and we are noticing that the desire for confinement is becoming a reality. The house, for example, is really popular with 4 points more over the period from June 1 to July 29.

This is particularly true in the inner suburbs of Paris, which is doing well, and especially in the cities with the best public transport links. Another effect is the growing importance of research in cities within an hour of the capital, which had already become preferred carry-over markets in 2019, but whose ratings have been confirmed. The city of Evreux in particular, which has made great efforts to beautify the city centre, is highly sought-after.

Another lesson: customers are becoming more demanding in terms of comfort criteria, which we anticipated as the logical next step after two months locked in their homes, but we could not predict that future buyers would make it their priority a few months later.

The ideal home today means more luminosity – with the explosion in demand for south and west exposure -, more calm – induced by living in a detached house rather than a condominium – and with an exterior. In direct relation to the desire for a home, it is the garden that comes first, of course. But surprisingly, we see an unexpected increase of +113% in the swimming pool criterion! Is this an effect linked to the summer season? In any case, one thing is certain: the notions of pleasure and cocooning are redefining our vision of living.

Why are property prices holding up? Can prices still go up or down? If so, where and why?

I’m not telling you anything new by saying that the market is linked to supply and demand. In markets that were already very dynamic, several buyers were competing for the same property. With the impact of the economic crisis and the evolution of search criteria, it is possible that properties with some small defects (works or 5th floor without lift for example) that until now continued to follow price inflation in Paris for example, stagnate.

If the solvency of households is more affected than expected, the priority for them will no longer be home ownership or a change of location, then prices could adjust. A property will probably be sold at a price that takes into account its location, exposure, condition, access, environment, etc., which was no longer always the case on saturated markets such as Paris or Lyon. Everything will depend on supply and demand. We will have a clearer view at the end of the school year to decide on the real evolution of prices.

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