Latest news on French house prices and mortgage rates

As in many countries around the world, French mortgage rates are starting to rise. During 2022, mortgage interest rates rose from the 50-year low of 1.05% in December 2021 to 2.5% in December 2022. Currently it is still possible to find a mortgage offer at 2.95% fixed rate over 20 years but there is talk of another rise in the Euribor possibly reaching 3.849% by December 2023 according to the ECB. However, despite the rises this year, mortgages are still good value in France compared to many places and, because the majority of house buyers take out a fixed rate for the term of the mortgage, there is much more stability in the housing market here than in, for example, the US and the UK.

The other metric for buyers to take into account is of course house prices which have also increased across the whole of the Occitanie region since 2020. However, they are also predicted to stabilise in the next year. Rural house prices rose by a national average of 5.7% last year according to SAFER but with significant differences between departments. That compares to annual prices increase of 9.3% in 2021.

In the Occitanie region, prices increased most slowly in the eastern side of the region; up 1.9% in the Hérault region. In contrast, further west, prices in the Gers region rose 8.8%, and 9% in the Haute Garonne region (not including city prices in Toulouse) with the largest increase in the Ariège at 18%.

From these figures, it seems that buyers are looking at more rural and unspoiled regions and wanting a less hot and dry climate which would match with my own experience of client searches during the last two years.

So far this year, the housing market has felt very buoyant in this region with far more buyers than there are decent properties for sale. Will this change? Let me just clean off my crystal ball…

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