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I’ve been asked a number of times recently about the current state of the property market in the Alps. Periodically I write my thoughts down on the subject as a reference and this blog is as good as place as any to carry on with that.
If you need to save time…just read this….the current market feels like a good balance between buyers and sellers. The French are buoyant but new British enquiries are hesitant. Long term British searchers are making the most of the good supply of properties and thanks to this we are agreeing a plenty of sales.
Some history…..I’ve been in this business now since the year 2000. Since then I saw a steady rise in interest in ski properties in the Haute Savoie until we hit the top of the market in 2006/7. It felt like a bit of a bubble back then and with the benefit of hindsight it was! The Banking Crisis hit at the end of 2008 which brought everything to a grinding halt for 6 months, a slow recovery followed until 2015 which was boom time again. Brexit hit in June 2016 and the market has been taking stock since. It’s not been like 2009 by any means but the interest has certainly ebbed and flowed somewhat over the last year.
- The French are buoyant. In general they are genuinely pleased with how the Presidential election went and they are positive about the parliamentary elections this Sunday. The feeling is that the country will get behind Macron and “En Marche!” to give him control of the Parliament. He has various reforms planned to boost the economy which all bode well for us. We shall see! All this optimism has led to an up turn in contacts in French. For reference we generally work 50/50 Franco/Anglo, at the moment that’s more like 60/40 to the French.
- New Anglophone enquiries are flat compared to 2016 and down on 2015. This is normal in the run up to an election. The vote is tomorrow and (IMO) the result is too uncertain to call. The pundits seem to hand it to the Conservatives. If the Conservatives win that will probably stabilise things. Otherwise it is “wait and see”.
- BUT, Anglo clients seem to be securing deals at the moment. We’ve signed a record number of offers over the last couple of weeks. These are with people that started their search some time ago.
- The Spring is traditionally the time when we get a surge of new instructions. This Spring is no different. We’ve put one new property on the website everyday for the last few weeks. Some of them have gone under offer already. Click here for a list of our latest new properties.
- New building projects are flying up all over the Haute Savoie. Keep in mind that these projects take 18 months or so to get off the ground so this is a result of the boom market of 2015.
- Overall I would say that the market is more buoyant under €500,000, normal up to €1m and then the €1m+ buyers seem to have gone a bit quiet.
- The £/€ exchange rate is always one of the most important factors. It seemed to have stabilised around 1.17 but recently due to the uncertainty in the outcome of the election has slipped to 1.15. For reference you can see that here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/currency/11/13/twelve_month.stm
My thoughts in 2014
Update. As predicted Macron won with a strong parliamentary majority (but with a low turnout). That was easy to predict. I got the UK election right too. “Too close to call”, whereas the papers where predicting a good majority for the conservatives. The next prediction will be for how long the shaky Conservative government will survive. I think I’ll ask the dog…he probably knows as much as anyone else.