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When is the best time of year to buy real estate in ?
The holiday season is one of the best times to purchase property in France, with December through February marking one of the strongest periods during the year to negotiate prices. With price negotiation margins at their lowest point of the past few years, though, perhaps there is another, more optimal time of the year to purchase property in ?
Negotiating the price of an apartment has not been very fruitful lately. According to , the margin of price negotiation is at 3.8% in France, and at 2.8% for apartments in Ile-de-France. Michel Mouillart, Economics professor at Université -Ouest explains that this is the lowest the negotiation margin has been in the past few years – a decrease resulting from the reasonableness of sellers’ asking prices – as prices have been quite stable since 2011.
With this in mind, there are different advantages and disadvantages to purchasing property in France at different times of the year. According to , the winter season is actually the best time to make the investment. December through February is a relatively calm period for the market, during which there have traditionally been fewer transactions and properties have a harder time finding buyers. Because of that, it’s the perfect time to negotiate the price, with sellers much more likely to concede.
As we move into spring though, property prices traditionally start rising as more and more properties are put on the market. The period between March and June is characterized by the highest number of properties for sale, but also the high number of buyers. Though buyers are more likely to have abundant choices during this period, they are also more likely to purchase a property at a higher price, or to lose a property to someone who is offering more.
Much calmer than the spring, the summer is also a season that allows for price negotiations. There are fewer transactions taking place: most of them are from sales agreements signed in the spring. Properties that are still on the market during this period are more negotiable because sellers know that if they don’t sell then, the sale will have to be continued in the fall as nothing happens in France during the July / August vacation period. Buyers should take advantage of the slowdown to negotiate the price, as there are also fewer potential buyers in the summer, and thus less competition.
In September, the market activity tends to pick up and increase steadily, though often more slowly. Therefore, a potential buyer should not necessarily believe a seller urging them to close the deal fast, because there aren’t a huge number of potential buyers during the fall. It’s a good time to seek a good deal, without necessarily rushing things.
Even though these seasonal trends are time-tested, ’s Kathryn Brown says “good properties that are well priced are always highly sought after, and competition for them can be fierce regardless of season.” Whatever the season, be sure to get advice from a real estate professional, whose experience, expertise and knowledge of the market will help you throughout your project.
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