An unprecedented year for French Property in the time of Covid

It has been another very strange year for the property market in France; I hesitate to use the word unprecedented, but I have certainly never known there to be so much demand for country properties in France whilst, simultaneously, there being so few properties for sale. That is pretty much the definition of frustration for estate agents who have lots of buyers and nothing to sell them. It has been better for me as I tend to cover a larger area and can look at private sales and Notaire sales too but certainly I have had fewer properties to view for clients than usual this year. In addition, prices are rising fast; something that has not really happened in the property market here in southwest France since the early 2000s.

The demand looks set to continue into 2022 and it does seem that there has been a step change in what people are looking for in their lives and therefore their homes. Certainly, from the enquiries that I am getting, search criteria have changed with the majority of buyers looking for large properties in the middle of the countryside with lots of space, spare rooms or outbuildings for offices and big gardens and the potential for multi-generational living. Our values seem to have been reset and hence it looks as if the demand for a quality of life will continue to drive the demand for rural French property and continue to shift prices upwards.

In the meantime, we are looking forward to a very French Christmas here (despite the fact that the sun is shining, and it is 17 degrees outside). I always think that the French have adopted the best bits of Christmas while discarding the stress and overspending. In our region at least, people seem to just focus on eating, drinking, and enjoying time en famille. We will follow suit and, luckily for us, because we are so close to the mountains, we know that, while we will enjoy our aperitif in the sun on the terrace, we also can pretty much guarantee a white Christmas by driving a short way into the mountains to the snow for a walk, some sledging, some skiing, and some mulled wine.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2022

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