Friday, November 06, 2009
The yawning chasm between house buyers & sellers
I've had the same discussion with three different people over the last couple of days.
There seems to be a huge gap between what UK & international property buyers are prepared to offer for French property and what the locals are prepared to accept.
This means that although there are increased activity levels (enquiries, viewings and offers) the number of transactions involving international purchasers are still very low.
All three discussions have commented on the fact that the "mindset" in France is very different to the UK or USA.
I remember that when I lived in Surrey we wouldn't dream of visiting a house that had been on the market for more than a few months. If the owners had been trying to sell it for over a year then quite clearly it was blighted with all kinds of hidden terrors awaiting the fool who bought it.
If a house has been marketed for a while then Brits tend to make a low offer and more often than not it's accepted, no one wants to hang around.
Out here there are thousands of houses that have been on the market for a year or more. Locals don't see them as tainted or over-priced....they just haven't had the right buyer come along yet. Prices here just don't fluctuate like they do in the UK and we haven't seen anywhere near the drop in value as my family and friends on the other side of the channel.
All of this is a huge generalisation of course and ultimately individual circumstances will dicate the price that someone will offer or accept. However until this gap between "bottom of the market bargain hunters" and "intransigent owners" closes then times are going to remain tough for all of us who make our living in the property arena.