This is a brand new survey of new trends for potential buyers of property in France during February and March 2021. The findings, based on just under 500 responses, provide an insight into homebuyer motivations and desires today.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about changes to the way people live and work, altering what buyers deem important in their homes. From the search for more space, the need for connectivity to facilitate increased homeworking, to rising environmental awareness, the findings highlight trends which are being seen not only in the markets surveyed, but across residential markets globally.
In search of a rural idyll
In the search for more space, 58% of those in the market for a main residence are planning to buy in a rural environment. For those seeking a second home, the figure rises to 80%.
Of those aged 60 to 69 years old, 73% are hoping to purchase in a rural environment (for either a main or second home purchase), this compares with just 37% for those aged under 40.
Connectivity and amenities
Proximity to amenities, high-speed internet access and a good view rank as the top three factors for homebuyers. Outdoor space matters too, with those buying in an urban environment placing high importance on small or medium-sized outdoor spaces, such as balconies or patios, while those purchasing in a rural setting are prioritising larger gardens.
Of those aged under 40, 53% deem proximity to sports facilities as important, compared to 34% for those over 40.
Over 40s place greater emphasis on proximity to the countryside: 57% deem this important compared with 32% of those aged under 40.
Part home, part office
With the pandemic forcing many people to work from home, over a quarter (27%) of respondents stated increased home working had influenced their purchasing decision in some way.
Just under three-quarters of those surveyed (74%) expect to work from home at least one day per week after Covid-19, up from only half prior to the pandemic.
Buyers are increasingly considering their environmental footprint when it comes to their property, something that can also help to minimise running costs for homeowners.
Almost 70% of buyers deemed energy efficiency an important property feature, while half of those surveyed cited sustainable building materials as important.
For those seeking a new-build property, these factors are of even greater importance: 87% deemed energy efficiency important, while almost three-quarters (74%) stated sustainable building materials are important.
FOCUS ON SECOND HOMES
Buying a second or holiday home remains a significant motivation for prime property purchasers. Of those surveyed, 37% stated this was their reason for purchase.
In a boost to the sector, increased remote working means that owners will be spending more time in their second homes. Property preferences vary by country and nationality.
23% of respondents plan to spend between 9 and 12 weeks at their second home per year.
Buyers intend to spend more time at their second homes as a result of the pandemic
How the amount of time purchasers plan to spend at their second home has changed because of the pandemic:
+40% in France
What do property buyers in France deem important?
Buyer motivation for buying a French property:
France remains a predominantly domestic market.
Nationality of second-home buyers in France:
Nearly half of those surveyed had a budget greater than €1 million, 13% had a budget over €3 million to purchase a French property.
Sourcing from Savills