Real estate prices on the French Atlantic coast increase by up to 29% in five years
House prices are skyrocketing along France’s Atlantic coast, with the average cost of real estate rising 29% in five years in Brittany – in part due to the influx of people who have started to work from home during the pandemic.
Prices also increased by 26% in New Aquitaine and 16% in Normandy, over the same period.
These figures come from a report by the national real estate agency Meilleur Agents and the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE).
This is in part due to the rise in short-term rentals, such as those listed on platforms such as Airbnb; and the increase in the number of people moving from cities to coastal areas during the pandemic, when many jobs were fully online.
Gilles Ménard, mayor of Granville in La Manche, is fighting against the continuous rise in prices. He told FranceInfo: “There are investors who today buy entire blocks of buildings to create apartments solely for tourist rental, so imposing quotas would help us to solve certain problems.
Several municipalities are asking to be recognized as a “tight zone (pressure zone)” for housing, so that they can benefit from the regulations against short-term rentals.
Protests from owners of second homes
It comes in the middle of a weekend of protests calling for more regulations on owners of second homes in Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantique) and Brittany over the weekend (20-21 November).
Demonstrators’ demands included adding purchase restrictions for second home owners, limits on short-term rentals, higher taxes for second home owners and the phasing out of non-residents from their homes. .
Nil Caouissin, leader of one of the organizers of the event, the UDB (Union Démocratique Bretonne (UDB)), says that up to 80% of accommodation in popular seaside areas are second homes in the region, which does not are inhabited only for three months of the year.
“[Yet] competition from wealthy second home buyers drives up prices, so low-income residents can only find housing far from their jobs, ”he said. “If we want to provide decent accommodation for the growing population, one solution is to transform holiday homes into main residences. ”
He called for the gradual eviction of secondary owners or a ban on selling any property to non-permanent residents.
He said: “The idea is not aimed at the British, or any other population, and anyone who wishes to make Brittany their permanent home is welcome.”
However, some local leaders called the proposals “an attack on individual property.”
Rising house prices
Globally, the prices of new homes in France have also skyrocketed over the past year *, reaching a record of 5,195 € / m² in cities with more than 45,000 inhabitants, a record never reached.
This was attributed to the “Covid effect”, which caused a “structural lack of supply” and skyrocketed the cost of raw materials, according to the study.
The largest increase was recorded in Rennes, Brittany, where the cost of new housing increased 9.7% year on year, exceeding € 5,000 / m², to € 5,055.
This means that Rennes has become more expensive per m² than Bordeaux.
Prices in Toulouse and Grenoble also increased by more than 8% (8.4% and 8.1% respectively).
In Lille, prices soared 7.9% over one year to reach € 4,203 per m², while the city of Villeurbanne (sometimes considered the 10th arrondissement of Lyon) saw prices increase by 8.8% in one year.
Paris remains the most expensive city for new housing, at € 12,498 per m² on average, followed by Lyon (€ 6,386) and Nice (€ 6,098).
* The figures are taken from the latest barometer from the new housing specialist, the Real Estate Laboratory, published by BFM Company.
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