According to a survey by our Artémis brokerage group “The French and real estate after lockdown”, 14% of French people have been thinking about buying a home with a garden since 11 May 2020, and 11% about a home with a terrace. Another 8% have taken advantage of the lockdown to think about buying a second home (16% of whom are under 35).
There is a growing demand for spacious homes with an outdoor area and the market for country houses is booming. Here is the impact of the lockdown on second homes.
More Parisians are on the lookout for second homes
While the number of properties for sale in Paris rose sharply in the aftermath of the lockdown (+39% between 6 March and 16 June), the supply of second homes in the regions is becoming increasingly scarce. Parisians who endured the lockdown in small areas with no outside space are no stranger to this scarcity.
According to the director of the Martinot network of estate agencies based in Provins, Troyes, Montereau-Fault-Yonne, Sens, Parisians are indeed more numerous than last year, and demand for second homes since the end of the lockdown has increased by 150% compared to the same period in 2019. However, a good number of these Parisians in search of greenery are still undecided as to the region in which they wish to invest, but also as to the use they wish to make of their future country home. Whether it is a future main residence or a second home, there is little clarity as to the use of the property.
The seaside is always a popular choice to buy a second home
Places that are easily accessible, close to major roads and served by train are those that are popular with city dwellers. Close to the A6 motorway south of Paris, towns such as Nemours, Sens and Montargis attract buyers, as do Bazoches-sur-le-Betz, Foucherolles, and Saint-Loup-de-Gonois, where second homes are plentiful. Burgundy and Perche, easily accessible from the capital, are also at the top of the list of regions where to look for a second home. Although a little further afield, Luberon, Alpilles and Brittany are also highly sought-after regions.
However, the countryside is not at the top of the list of destinations for second homes. In fact, according to a recent study by Orpi, seaside homes are the most sought-after, at 54%. Country houses represent only 25% of demand, and properties located in the mountains 11%. Towns such as Biarritz, Deauville, La Baule, Arcachon, Cannes and Saint-Tropez are still a must for second homes.
Younger buyers struggling to obtain mortgages
Again according to this Orpi study, a quarter of the people surveyed said they wanted to buy a second home and among them, a third are aged under 40 and 11% under 30. Most of them (25%) are tenants of their main residence and are looking for a fallback solution to escape the big, densely populated cities where prices are high. The second home, which has been in decline in recent years, is therefore once again popular with young people.
In reality, even if studies show the impact of the lockdown on second homes, real estate transactions involving second homes are not on the rise. 70% of sale deeds concern main residences and only 4.5% second homes. This can be explained by the financing of these properties. Many applications for loans for second homes are often difficult to finance. The use of a credit broker such as Carte Financement is therefore recommended.