Are the French becoming less stubborn over property prices?

A new barometer of price differentials, launched in April by the Orpi network in partnership with Le Figaro and real estate Explorimmo, continues to suggest that French vendors are relaxing their property prices. The indicator measures the difference between the actual sale price of an apartment or a house and the listing price.

At the national level, the gap between selling and listing price fell to 4.5% against 4.55% this summer and 4.74% in April. To September 2015 the average selling price across France was €200,425, after being placed on the market for an average of €200,860. One bedroom prices have held the ground with a price differential of 3.95% against 4.9% for the four bedroom.

Whilst these differentials seem marginal, when you compare them to years gone by the gap is big. Around two years ago selling prices could be 15% less than the listing price, but now the margins are limited. And this is largely down to a shortening of the transaction process.

In 2014 it took on average 120 days to finalise a sale, but the deadline has now dropped to 70 days for apartments and 80 days for homes. But perhaps it’s more down to simple pricing, with sellers now understanding that by putting their home on at the right price they will sell faster.

Although the average margin is 4.5% nationally, and seems low, it is substantially lower in some cities. The capital, often an exception, has a gap of 2.6% but Lyon who holds the record for the tightest margin: only 2.4% on average and just 2% for 3 bedroom properties. Elsewhere, the figures rise. Nantes has a big gap of 6.3% but the highest is in Béziers with 10.9%.