The Yvelines property market has recorded a historic acceleration in early 2021, with transaction volumes, prices and flash sales skyrocketing. Bénédicte Petitcol and Nicolas Moirignot, from BARNES Yvelines, give us their insight.
80% of the Yvelines département is made up of natural spaces, forests and agricultural land, right on the outskirts of Paris. With an unparalleled variety of luxury properties, ranging from manor houses to family apartments in the historic communes in the east of the département (Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Louveciennes, etc.) and rural properties to the west and south, particularly in the Chevreuse Valley and forest of Rambouillet. In addition to the unspoilt nature, Yvelines also boasts a leading school and university network and an efficient public transport system to reach the centre of Paris in just 15 to 30 minutes.
2020 stronger than expected
With an average of one sale per week in 2020, BARNES Yvelines posted a solid year despite the almost complete market standstill during the first lockdown last spring. “The market bounced back as of May 2020, notably under the impetus of Parisians who didn’t want to run the risk of being stuck without an exterior again for several weeks on end”, explains Bénédicte Petitcol, Manager of BARNES Yvelines Nord. The second lockdown at the end of the year caused another drop in activity, but less so than in the spring largely thanks to virtual viewings. For Nicolas Moirignot, Manager of BARNES Yvelines Sud: “The popularity of the Yvelines area has been steadily growing for a number of years. As have its luxury property prices. But a clear before and after effect as of the second half of 2020 can be seen in the market.” »
Business volumes up fivefold since 1 January 2021
With average prices of €8,094/sq.m (+10.8% in 2020) for apartments and €7,327/sq.m for houses (+14.24% in 2020), Yvelines has paradoxically benefited from a “COVID-19 effect”. A trend that has continued in the first quarter of 2021. BARNES Yvelines Nord has thus seen its sales volume increase by a factor of 5.5: “The market acceleration we have seen at the start of 2021 is unprecedented in the last 15 years”, says Bénédicte Petitcol. “Some properties attract such large numbers of calls that we have to take them down from our website within just a few hours”. »
Flash sales are also becoming the norm. For example, a 200 sq.m (2,153 sq ft) house in Le Vésinet sold on the same day it was posted online, one hour after the first viewing, with no price negotiation (€1.5 million). In Versailles, BARNES Yvelines listed a townhouse for sale near the château, for which the owner had authorised one viewing only! The result: the transaction was concluded after a single viewing, in the space of a few days, for a price upwards of €2.5 million.
The clients are generally younger than previously, between 35 and 40 compared to 45-50 up until early 2020. Families with young children account for 70% of the clientèle.
Outlooks for 2021
Demand is fuelled by Parisians and inhabitants of the city’s inner suburbs looking to move to towns closer to nature, such as Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye, while numerous inhabitants of these towns are opting to move to the west of Yvelines to take advantage of a more rural lifestyle. This criss-crossing should maintain the property market until 2022. As demand significantly outstrips supply, the price rise observed since 2018 should continue in 2021, although a plateau may be reached in the course of the year. It is vital that vendors keep in mind that properties with no major defects sell in just a few days if listed at a fair price.
“The phenomenon seen over the last few months has taken root in the long term. Yvelines is thus on track to regain its long-standing leading position held since the 17th century,” concludes Bénédicte Petitcol.
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