Finding a property is much easier nowadays, it also requires less time according to a French bank as they published the results of their latest survey on the acquisition processes for a main residence.
In June 2016, the ‘Crédit Foncier bank’ published the results of their annual survey around the acquisition processes for a main residence. Between March 25th and April,19th this year, they interviewed 2,000 French people who were looking for a residence over the last 12 months. The results are casting interesting lights on the psychology involved with the acquisition of a property, such as motivation and hurdles. There are transactional factors to take into account as well such as budgeting and finding the financial solutions for the acquisition. This survey confirmed two important facts: first of all, it takes on average four months and half to locate a property and secondly, only 61% of the real estate transactions have involved negotiation on the selling price.
Four and a half months: the time it takes before acquiring a property
According to that survey, French households spend around four and a half months trying to find a property before actually signing a sale agreement. Although this number is similar to the one in 2015 (4.4 months), it has been decreasing overall. Indeed, in 2014, households have been searching for a new home for nearly 7 months. This survey also highlighted the fact that finding a property is faster in cities between 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants (4.1 months) compared to smaller cities with population ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 inhabitants (around 5 months) – that is 22% longer.
In addition, during this timeframe, prospective buyers have visited on average 6 properties. In 2015 this number was very similar. On the other hand, households were visiting more properties in cities with more than 5,000 inhabitants (around 5.3) compared to cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants (6.5 properties).
Only 61% of the real estate transactions were conducted with selling price negotiation
In 2016, around 61% of the real estate transactions involved a selling price negotiation. This figure has been decreasing over the last 2 years. In 2014, 65 out of 100 of real estate transactions were conducted with price negotiation, and 63 the following year. In 2016, the average percentage on the selling price reduction was around 7%.
This study also showed that the best negotiators were households aged of more than 60 years old and those having a monthly income over 4,000 euros, that was 74% for both segments. On the revenue one, only 59% of households with a monthly income lower than 4, 000 euros had attempted to negotiate.
To find their new dwelling, around 44% of the 2,000 people who were surveyed also confirmed that they had to review original objectives about the property they had envisaged to begin with. Those concessions are related to the size of the property (34%), the geographic distance (32%), the surface area of the land or the garden (21%), the presence of a parking space (20%) or of a cellar (15%). In some cases, even the orientation of the house was changed (14%).
Additional factors outlined in this study
After a full year of real estate research, seven households out of 10 (70%) managed to buy a new property, primarily in the Ile-de-France region (76%), 21% were still looking for a home, 9% had given up. Scouters had 4 key criteria for their investigation: the number of rooms, the surface area of the property, the geographic setting and the presence of a balcony, terrace or garden.
There were other interesting findings, for example the duration of the acquisition varies a lot with age brackets. During the first year of investigation, 80% of households with an age set around 30 years old managed to find a property, compared to 63% for households between 41 to 50 years old. This difference is mainly related to additional factors such as the presence of children or the proximity to a working place for certain age brackets. Finally, around 96 out of 100 future buyers have carried out their research online. Around 82% just to find a property, 55% to find means to finance their acquisition and 43% to find out more about the real estate market.