Is the dream of a house already a thing of the past? After the acceleration of sales in the wake of the confinements linked to Covid-19, transactions are marking time: -14% for new houses in December 2021, according to the building federation; and for the old one, notaries predict a drop in Île-de-France. This disillusion, Alexandra knows it. “The dream has grown during confinement but it is inaccessible”, regrets this mother of two children who lives in an apartment. She would like to buy a house in Toulouse with two bedrooms and a garden.
This project is thwarted because of the prices: the goods are rare and therefore more expensive, with an increase of 7% on average over one year, even more in certain cities like Rennes where it is necessary to count 19% increase for old houses . “You really have to make concessions on a lot of things: removing a room, having less square meters, a smaller garden or just a terrace, moving away but at the price where gasoline costs now…”testifies Alexandra.
So does the solution come from new homes? Not necessarily because, there too, the trend is towards rising prices. “At the end of March 2022, a house had increased by 6% compared to the end of 2021”, explains Fabien Cuminal, managing director of Cofidim, builder of houses in Île-de-France. An increase due to the increase in the prices of materials, such as cement, steel or aluminum, but also energy. “To make tiles, you need ovens heated by gas, which has increased sharply.” The additional costs are likely to reach 15 to 25%.
Beyond the current situation, the future looks just as complicated for market players. “We are a little worriedsays Fabien Cuminal. We are told every day of future increases. He estimates that prices could rise another 3% by the end of the year. How long will the increase continue? “We do not know”concedes the CEO of Cofidim.
“What is certain is that it will not fall again. Buying a property today means that it increases every two or three months.”Fabien Cuminal, CEO of Cofidim
Under these conditions, customers are not the only ones to review their claims: promoters also adapt. “Rather than going for a comfortable four-room apartment with 80 square meters, we are looking at something more compact around 75 square meters. Where we wanted to go more upscale with advanced finishes, we take an intermediate range , cheaper in outlet price”explains Philippe Zilberstein, from Capelli. Adaptations on the design of the house but also on the land. “IYou have to be careful because going a little further often involves a second car, which is – at the moment – collateral damage”he says.
The icing on the cake, the thermal regulations changed in January to become more demanding on insulation. This again generates price increases