Real estate: “The market in medium-sized towns is more protected, because it is less speculative”

This is a trend that has taken hold since September. In medium-sized towns (between 50,000 and 150,000 inhabitants), there is a marked slowdown in the rise in the prices of goods for sale. And if you look at the last three months, many of them even start to drop slightly. However, one should not draw too hasty conclusions about a hypothetical market reversal.

“We are in a period of economic slump marked by an endless health crisis,” explains Thomas Lefebvre, scientific director at Meilleur Agents, a real estate appraisal site. This slowdown in prices observed over the past six months can be explained by the gradual erosion of demand over the past year. “

Clearly, it is the wait-and-see attitude that prevails everywhere. “There is a form of mistrust of households facing the uncertainty of the coming months, especially once the safety nets put in place by the state have been lifted,” he continues. Because once they are gone, unemployment could start to rise again. “

“We are far from the danger zone”

If medium-sized cities are resisting better, it is because prices are quite simply more in line with the economic reality of the country. Where, in large cities, we approach 5,000 euros / m2 (Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Cannes …), the majority of them are less than 2,500 euros / m2 like Avignon (2,190 euros / m2), Dijon (2,377 euros / m2) or Caen (2,264 euros / m2), or even less than 2,000 euros with Clermont-Ferrand (1,964 euros / m2), Le Havre (1,916 euros / m2) or Brest (1,872 euros / m2).

“In these complicated times, real estate is more than ever a safe haven, insists Eric Allouche, executive director of the Era network. This makes it possible to maintain a certain activity. “Same analysis at Stéphane Moquet, CEO of Orpi. “The medium-sized city market is more protected, because it is less speculative,” he insists. And even if there are fewer sales than before, we are far from the danger zone. The last three years, we have exceeded one million transactions, despite 2020, the year of the pandemic. So even if the market goes down 10% or 15%, that will still make over 850,000 sales ”.

Moreover, the majority of analysts believe that the market, having already proven its resilience, should revive in the spring, a period when real estate activity is the most important of the year. “Sales should remain at relatively high levels thanks to still very low lending rates (less than 1% on average over 15 years) and an increase in household savings in 2020 (200 billion euros during the year) which could increase their personal contribution. “

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