The euphoria is over! While real estate transactions remain numerous in the country, sales volumes are significantly lower than the figures observed in 2021. a marked slowdown in the signing of sales agreements since the start of 2022″, anticipates Olivier Colcombet, president of the Optimhome network.

Mid-sized cities, which have been popular with buyers for the past two years, are seeing their real estate market stall. In its survey carried out in May 2022 among notarial studies spread over the whole of France, the real estate portal Immonot thus notes that “the proportion of studies to have recorded a drop in activity has fallen in two months from 32% to 44%, while that of the studies registering an increase fell from 23% to 13%”.

The network of real estate agencies Laforêt evokes a drop in the volume of transactions of 6% in its agencies. The reasons cited by professionals are multiple: the end of the postponement of aborted transactions from 2020, the rise in mortgage rates, the tightening of loan conditions and above all… the spectacular rise in prices.

From Rouen (Seine-Maritime) to Caen (Calvados), via Angers (Maine-et-Loire), real estate agents are all reporting unsustainable double-digit increases for certain categories of the population. “In Angoulême, we have gone, in two years, from average prices between 1,100 euros and 1,600 euros per square meter to prices between 2,000 euros and 3,000 euros per square meter. The price of quality properties with a garage or parking space has increased by 20% to 30% over the past two years,” reports Arnaud Potel, of the Etude Saint-André Immobilier agency in Angoulême. The stock of goods for sale is affected. “If the market is stalling here today, it’s because the city has become so full that there is a waiting list to buy a property,” he adds.

Up to “30% in two years”

Same observation on a national scale for the network of real estate agencies Laforêt, which notes that, while the stock of properties for sale is being reconstituted in Paris (4% over one year) in the regions, it is falling (–5% over one year). year).

The situation is similar in Angers, according to a local Nestenn agency, especially on small surfaces: “The prices for these apartments in the city center have sometimes increased by 30% in two years. Investors from outside the city love it for seasonal rentals. Large surfaces are also sought after for shared accommodation, and the most modest Angevins are forced to look in the suburbs of Angers, where prices are closer to 2,000 euros per square meter, compared to 5,000 euros in downtown,” said Laurent Bouly, director of the said agency.

Among the most sought-after towns on the Angevin outskirts, those of Trélazé and Lion-d’Angers seem to be preferred by buyers, “but beware, these carry-over markets are seeing their prices rise sharply”, warns Brice Cardi , president of the real estate agency network L’Adresse. “In one year, they have already increased by 14%, to reach 2,100 euros per square meter”, he specifies.

The capital of the Dukes of Anjou is also a good example of the decline in the real estate purchasing power of households in medium-sized towns in recent years. According to a study carried out by the mortgage broker Meilleurtaux in April 2022, the price per square meter in the city was estimated at 2,308 euros in 2019.

A household could thus afford a 90-m² apartment by borrowing 207,234 euros over twenty years at a rate of 1.50% and repaying 1,000 euros every month. Today, average prices are closer to 3,516 euros per square meter. By borrowing 212,254 euros over twenty years at a rate of 1.25% with a monthly repayment of 1,000 euros, a household will only be able to afford 60 square meters in the city, the equivalent of two rooms less.

Criteria revised by necessity

The new market is no exception. In its latest barometer of new property prices, the Real Estate Laboratory notes significant price increases in cities such as Dunkirk (7.9%), Vannes (7.9%) and Mulhouse (6.8%). %) in just one year.

The average price in municipalities with more than 45,000 inhabitants in the region reached 4,638 euros per square meter, up 7.8% over the last twelve months. A new apartment whose price in May 2021 was around 4,900 euros per square meter in 2021 thus sells, in 2022, for more than 5,250 euros per square meter. An increase which does not yet take into account the RE2020, a new environmental regulation applying to new housing since January 1st which could well weigh on the price of new housing in the years to come.

The market is also slowed down by second-time buyers who negotiate more before buying. The network of real estate agencies ORPI also observes that the average price negotiation margin on a national scale is around 2.6%, or even more if the property requires work.

An observation shared by Brice Cardi: “The owners are taking over. They can resell their home for a higher price and thus buy behind it. Those who are struggling are first-time buyers, modest households and young people, who have no other solution than to review the area of ​​the property they were hoping to buy, to move away or to fall back on a transfer market or a district less popular with buyers. This is the case in Rouen, where now first-time buyers are moving towards the left bank, more popular and long neglected, as prices have increased on the right bank of the city. What a profound influence on the settlement of municipalities with less than 100,000 inhabitants.