This Paris Life

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Tours’ property market recovery slowed by rising prices

A sustained price drop in the first six months of 2015 led to Tours’ real estate market regaining activity after a quiet couple of years. Buyers returned, leading to a price increase reducing sales volumes.

After a slow 2014, Tours’ property wheel began to spin again this year. No doubt encouraged by low interest rates and gradually falling prices, investors and buyers returned to the Tourangeau market.

Realtors welcomed this renewed dynamism, which endured throughout the first half of 2015. Vincent Briand, of real estate agency Era Touraine, was quoted in August saying “the buyers are back, with investors leading the way.” The period saw an increase in purchases of small apartments near the city’s three main university campuses.

The new build sector also speeded up, benefitting from the new Pinel legislation — brought in to amend its complex predecessor, the Duflot law — which gives tax rebates to owners renting out their new property in areas lacking in rental offer. Extra advantages are given to owners renting to their children or parents.

However, the return of property purchasers prompted many sellers to increase their rates. Meanwhile buyers’ budgets remained the same. As a result, the market’s regained activity has slowed, with sales volumes decreasing since September.

Ghislaine Cosne tells Capital that while properties advertised at reasonable rates sell in three to four months, “we see more and more overpriced homes remaining on the market for six months before their prices are brought down.”

Fortunately, most central neighborhoods continue to attract buyers, especially the station area which still holds a strong appeal for professionals working in Paris. There, prices start as low as 1,500 euros per square meter.

In certain areas of Tours’ city center prices hover between 2,800 and 3,800 euros per m2, depending on the date the building was built and its energy certification. In the chic district neighboring the city’s famous cathedral, property costs between 3,000 and 3,200 euros per m2. Approximately 4,000 euros per m2 can buy central late nineteenth century townhouses — complete with gardens at the rear.

Capital of the Indres-et-Loire department, Tours is famous for the medieval half-timbered houses found in its historic city center and for its inhabitants allegedly speaking the purest form of French. The Woodrow Wilson bridge crossing the River Loire recalls the presence of an American military base near Tours during WWI.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Guilaca

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