top of page

Difficult exercise

No statistics leads to unrealistic prices

It is very difficult to value properties in France. The main reason is that there simply isn’t the huge array of statistics and comparable evidence that is available in the United-Kingdom, in the United-States or elsewhere – where most people know the value of their home to within 5%. So, to decide the value of their property home owners in France must rely on what they read in the press, or hear from their friends. This often leads to unrealistic prices. And it is only after a few months (or even few years…) that home owners understand that if they really want to sell, they should lower their expectations. This is why you may see the same property on the market for years.

Some online resources

French notaires have a website presenting pricing data and market tendencies. It used to so “macro” level that it was not useful to the average prospective buyer. Earlier this year things have changed, and the granularity has improved. But as of November 2017, the site doesn’t provide village-per-village information – only Pays d’Uzès statistics.

You can find some online assistance about real estate prices. But you should only use this information as a guideline, mainly because (again) it is usually compiled from regional data and only “estimated” down to the micro-level you require – not using past transactions. In notable contrast, PAP (the oldest French for-sale-by-owner service) is providing useful (albeit limited in scope) information about the past transactions its members have conducted – possibly 10-15% of total transactions in a given market.

The French government has recently opened up its database of past transactions online. But unfortunately this will not benefit foreign prospective buyers as to be able to access the service you have to be a registered French tax payer. And, because of the way the database is organized, the information is provided street by street (not aggregated at neighborhood level) and only if it exists (no recent transaction, no information).

Get an expert

Although unlike estate agents, they are not regulated, there are professional appraisers in France who mostly work for courts in legal disputes. If all else fails, you could hire one at your own cost – between €800 and €4,000 depending on the size of the property and the depth of the assessment required.

bottom of page