Real estate: should you buy now or wait for prices to fall?


After years of uninterrupted growth, the real estate market is slowing down. The National Real Estate Federation (Fnaim) announces a 7% drop in sales agreement signatures between September and December 2022 compared to 2021.

While in the past two years, the bar of 1 million transactions was largely crossed, we could be below the threshold of 900,000 transactions in 2023. “Everywhere, we see that the stocks of goods for sale are increasing and buyers have regained control, prices should fall”predicts Philippe de Ligniville, deputy general manager of Bien’ici, a platform for distributing real estate ads.

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The February 2023 barometer of the association Les Prix immobiliers (LPI), kept by several banks and networks of real estate agencies, indicates that prices, all regions and all properties combined, have fallen by 1.4% over the past three months. .

In January, the fall in prices was observed in 20% of cities with more than 40,000 inhabitants, compared to 17% in the same period in 2022. This is particularly the case in Paris (– 1.2% over the last three months) or in Lyon (–1.9%). The margin of negotiation between the price indicated in the advertisement and the real sale price increases: “It went from 2.1% to 3.7% in 2023 and the sales times are longer, they are now 84 days, compared to 67 a year ago”notes Thomas Venturini, president of the Liberkeys agent network.

Another factor favorable to buyers: between 2025 and 2034, energy-intensive homes bearing the labels of E, F or G will be gradually withdrawn from the rental market, pushing some owners to sell without delay. “We can clearly see that buyers no longer want to visit these homes, because they are afraid of having to undertake major work with the costs and hassle that this entails”testifies Yann Jéhanno, president of the network of Laforêt France agencies.

If the impact of the energy label on the market is confirmed, this should ultimately mean a drop in price for 40% of French homes out of the 30 million in the current stock. And the 5.2 million homes rated F or G are expected to see their prices cut faster as they will be banned from renting between 2025 and 2028.

Loss of purchasing power

Waiting a few months to take advantage of lower prices can therefore be justified. But the drop in price is not the only criterion to be taken into consideration when buying a home: interest rates are also crucial since more than half of households borrow to buy, according to INSEE. “Yet the rise in rates is accelerating, it is expected to reach 4% in the coming months. And even with inflation that erases this rise a little, prices would have to drop considerably, around 21%, to compensate for the loss of purchasing power.believes Martin Menez, founder of Bevouac, specializing in rental investment.

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