This post is also available in: Français (French)
If you read my last report , written in December 21, you’ll remember that I used the words ‘frenzy’, ‘inflation busting prices’ and ‘busiest market in 20 years’. This trend continues; the local property market remains exceptionally busy right now.
The massive surge we experienced in August last year (2021) carried into the winter season, that’s certainly the case for our French buyers, however British buyers had a short wobble in December when travel restrictions between the UK and France were frustratingly reintroduced and it looked like the Winter 21/22 season might not begin for people coming from the UK. Saying that the British are 100% back in the market now and we have many sales ongoing, indeed the only potential to slow things down is a lack of new property coming online. On several occasions this winter and right now in springtime, we’re selling property before it even goes live on our website, generally to buyers who’ve registered their interest, waited patiently and who understand the pace of the market right now. Blink and you’ll miss it!
Has the war in Ukraine caused any panic in the property market? It did briefly, but that has settled down now, there’s some uncertainty when it comes to lending from the banks who are, of course, concerned that the situation will be protracted. Our March enquiries this year were lower than last, but April has recovered and the enquiries are ahead again, we’re meeting new buyers each day who are increasingly worried about rising inflation and they want to move their funds into property instead.
I’m always interested in how our buyers break down in terms of nationality. As a business, and prior to COVID-19, 40% of our clients were French, 40% British and 10% ‘other’ nationalities. Right now, that combination looks more like 50%/20%/30% so we can reasonably assume that COVID-19 combined with Brexit is having an impact on British buyers.
Aside from the pandemic, Brexit and the war, we’ve also seen some changes to mortgage availability too. Whilst fixed rate mortgages are still available at interest rates of 2.5%, such rates are becoming rare; we’re seeing them slowly increasing. Mortgages also appear to be harder to get in recent months, especially if you really need one. However they are very easy to source for those who have the actual cash required to buy a property outright!
Thanks to a shortage of property and the high demand from buyers, valuations are increasing too, probably between 4% and 20% year on year and depending on location. So, as I said previously, blink and you’ll miss it. These really are frenzied times in the Alpine property market!
If you own a property in the Alps and wondered what it is currently worth. Head over to our property valuation page, it’s free and accurate.