Tuesday, March 29, 2011

House prices: Ireland slumps, France booms - what on earth!

House prices: Ireland slumps, France booms

This ridiculous headline sits atop a story on todays This is Money site, you can see the full article here.

"....there was better news for those who have bought second homes in France, with house prices in the country actually rising by 9.5% during 2010.

The more conservative French mortgage market means that house prices have been hit less hard by the credit crunch than in some other countries".

As someone who lives & breathes the French property market the thought that the UK press are calling it "booming" seems too stupid for words.  Yes, it may well be picking up but to call it a boom is simply unreal.

Hype like this may well be great fodder for the London dinner party circuit but it does nothing to help us poor souls who make our living in France.  The local agents have enough trouble getting vendors to put houses on at a sensible price as it is.  Over priced houses will lead to lower transaction numbers and a stalling market....no thanks.

You can see the Knight Frank press release here.  I have no idea where they got the 9.5% rise figure from but it's surely skewed by the central Paris market and isn't indicative of the other 94 departments in the country.

If you want to see some useful stats on the market then look at the Notaires figures and "drill down" to the department you're interested in.

Any sensible commentator will tell you that France is a series of hundreds of different markets and that the totality may well see some small growth in house prices this year but it's likely to be at or below inflation levels.

So please all you sub-editors and headline writers out there.....don't hype our market.


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