Country home sales are on the rise

The dynamic continues. While sales of country houses had multiplied in the second half of 2020 after the spring lockdown, this market continued to expand in 2021. The sign of an attraction for rural areas.

This is demonstrated by the latest observatory of land markets in Safer presented on May 24, 2021 and carried out thanks to the notifications they receive from notaries.

The latter identify as country houses buildings used as main or secondary residences sold with agricultural or natural land of less than 5 hectares, free to rent when acquired by city dwellers or rural non-farmers.

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An “exceptional” 2021

135,790 is the number of transactions recorded, an increase of 21% compared to 2020. A year that reached “exceptional transaction levels” according to Safer. These sales represented 76,600 hectares and an amount of 32.2 billion euros.

“This is a higher increase than that of the whole of the old real estate market, which saw the number of its transactions increase by 12%”, explained Loic Jegouzo, assistant to the director of studies FNSafer.

This trend hides regional disparities. The Safers who observe this market thanks to the notifications they receive from notaries note that “the highest transaction densities are particularly visible on the north-west quarter, the south-east coast or even the Rhone axis”. Sales were lower in the region Great Eastthe The Massif Central and the Cevennes.

A rising price that ages the age of buyers

The average age of buyers is 45 years and 3 months, i.e. 8 months more than in 2020. “This average age is increasing in line with the price increase”, analyzes Loïc Jégouzo.

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The average lot for a house in the countryside represents 5,650 m² in 2021. While its surface area remains stable compared to the previous year, its price has increased by 9.3% to reach the amount of €199,000. This is the first time since 2015 that the increase in the price of houses in the countryside is greater than the increase in the price of all existing housing (+ 7%).

“A place-based approach underlines the weight of certain buyers, in particular those resulting from the attraction of Paris which constitute at least 10% of buyers throughout the national territory with significantly higher levels in Brittany, along the axis of the Seinein Dordogne or in the Var write the Safers in their observatory.

The urbanization market is also exploding…

If the market for houses already built attracts buyers, this is also the case for agricultural land (with buildings or without) which are intended to be urbanized at the time of their sale.

Their surface area traded in 2021 reached its highest level for 10 years. 33,600 hectares were acquired for 40,710 transactions and for a total amount of 6 billion euros. “These are levels higher than 2020, but also 2019, in a context of lively activity in the construction sector”, specifies Loïc Jégouzo. The acceleration of transactions during 2021 suggests that the phenomenon is more than a catch-up of transactions not carried out in 2020 due to the spring confinement and the health crisis.

“The year 2021 is marked by a very strong increase in individual constructions on land of less than 1 ha in number (+ 33.5%), in surface (+ 33.6%) and especially in value (+ 41.8 %)”, can we read in the Safer observatory. This dynamism is particularly marked in the peri-urban areas of large cities and border areas. The Safers cite in particular the Greater Paristhe Lille conurbation and its outskirtsthe axis Strasbourg/Metz or the Lyon area. Activity was also very intense on the Mediterranean rim and in theWest of France.

… and anticipate measures to fight against land take

This boom in the urbanization market is explained by a recovery of the economy during the year 2021 and the potential anticipation of future constraints on the consumption of rural spaces with the new measures of the climate law and resilience to fight against soil artificialisation.

The objective of this text is to halve the rate of land take over the next ten years and to achieve “zero net land take” by 2050.

Local authorities will have to deploy this policy through their territorial coherence schemes (Scot) in coherence with the regional planning schemes for sustainable development and territorial equality (Sraddet). Measures denounced by certain mayors who consider that they risk putting the countryside under a bell.

In 50 years, between 1970 and 2020, the useful agricultural area has fallen by 10.2%, recall the Safers.

> To read also: Stop the bleeding of agricultural land (26/112020)

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Country home sales are on the rise

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