Fall in Paris Property Prices Accelerates

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In the French capital, prices fell by 1% on average in September and by 3.5% since the start of the summer, according to website MeilleursAgents. The average price per square metre fell to €7,850.

The trend that was evident in the summer was even more pronounced in September. In Paris, the drop in the prices of property is accelerating. Last month, property prices fell by 1% on average, after a fall of 1.5% between the 1st of July and the 31st of August, according to MeilleursAgents (roughly the French equivalent of Daft.ie). Since the start of the year, prices have dropped by 3%. They have fallen by 9.1% since the high point of the market, which for Paris, was not in 2007 but in June 2011.

These averages mask strong disparities between quality properties, whose prices have really dropped about 3% since the start of the year, and those of more faulty quality (dark, poorly located, in poor condition, situated on the ground floor or the first floor, in a badly-maintained building…), whose values may have fallen back by anywhere from 10% to 25%. Purchasers are more demanding than before, it appears and they tend to separate the wheat from the chaff more than was the practice a decade ago.

But buyers are still proceeding ultra-cautiously in an economic atmosphere of negative sentiment. At the end of September, the average price per square metre in Paris went to €7,850; down by €80 compared to the end of August, according to MeilleursAgents. This is still quite high despite everything. During the back-to-school month, it’s the larger apartments that seem to have suffered the most, even though they were the very ones that held their prices during the summer months.

“The large family apartments are no longer supported by the seasonal demand and are seeing their values drop by 1.9% in September,” notes the poll.

On the other hand, the smaller apartments (studios and 2-roomed) whose prices had fallen sharply in the last few months, are resisting (down 0.2% after a drop of 2.9% from July and August). Buyers are inclined to adopt a wait-and-see approach and vendors are inclined to be lacking in flexibility or reality in their prices.

“Haunted by the prices drops and the loan rates, buyers are afraid of missing out on a really good bargain or of paying too high a price. Vendors are also somewhat stressed – they’re not able to put a truly accurate price on their property because of a lack of comparable prices on the market,” explains Sébastien de Lafond, head of MeilleursAgents.com.

Property experts are predicting an overall drop of 5% in property values in the French capital. The pollsters note a fairly similar if less pronounced pattern emerging from the banlieues. Average prices in the suburbs fell back by 1% in September in the Val de Marne but by only 0.3% in the greater Paris region and by 0.6% in the smaller extended Parisian city limits (known as the Petite Couronne)

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