Summary of our market study

The presence of brokers in the French mortgage market has increased, with 39% of mortgage applicants using their services in 2022, up 10% on 2015.

The sector faces significant challenges at the end of 2022 and in 2023, due to rising interest rates and a real estate crisis, which has led to an expected decline in the sector's business volume.

Regulatory developments, in particular the Basel III accords, have imposed stricter rules on the profession, demanding greater transparency and financial stability, contributing to tighter market conditions.

The demographics of French borrowers are diverse, with a notable trend towards migration from big cities to small towns, influenced by remote working arrangements following the COVID-19 law.

The year 2022 was marked by a 5.86% drop in real estate transactions.

Despite these trends, the mortgage brokerage profession remains attractive, enabling buyers to reduce the cost of their loans.

Dynamics of the French mortgage brokerage market

The French mortgage brokerage market has undergone significant change in recent years, with growing demand from Intermédiaires en Opérations de Banque et en Services de Paiement (IOBSP). This increase in demand reflects the efficiency and ease with which mortgage brokers can obtain competitive interest rates and advantageous loan conditions.

The use of mortgage brokers is particularly strong in the younger age groups. The 18-24 age group, for example, has seen its usage rate rise to over 60%. In addition to young people, qualified professionals such as executives and senior professionals also show a preference for mortgage brokers, with over 50% using their services in 2020.

Regional differences were observed in rates of use of brokerage services, with almost 50% of people in the Paris region using IOBSPs. The main motivation behind the use of mortgage brokers is the search for better rates, with 60% citing this as their main reason in 2021.

Securing financing and saving time are also important factors in the decision to use a mortgage broker.

The use of mortgage brokers has influenced market activity, with an annual increase in the number of homes of over 1% by 2022, and a steady rise in the number of homeowners, to almost 58% of homes owned by residents.

The mortgage broker profession, however, faced challenges in late 2022 and early 2023. Rising interest rates and the global real estate crisis put pressure on the mortgage brokerage business. While mortgage and consumer credit ownership rates remained high, reaching over 30% for mortgages, demand for consumer credit declined.

The number of IOBSPs in France rose until 2021, with a peak of over 35,000 professionals, followed by a slight decline in 2022.

Key players in the French mortgage brokerage market

  • Meilleurtaux.com: is a leading player in the digital mortgage brokerage sector.
  • Cafpi: with its 230 branches, is another major player and a veteran on the mortgage brokerage scene.
  • Vousfinancer: operates through a network of 170 branches
  • Cyberpret.com: a purely online entity
  • Acecredi: 80 branches
  • Crédixia: defending a no-fee model
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition of the mortgage brokerage market

A mortgage broker is an intermediary in banking operations and payment services (IOBSP), whose mission is to find the best interest rate and the best offers through its network of partner banks for a purchase, construction, rental investment or renovation project. They can also assist borrowers in their search for consumer credit, credit repurchase or loan insurance. IOBSPs know the rates, offers and lending policies of the credit institutions they work with, enabling them to guide customers according to their banking profile and project; they can also negotiate the best conditions for the customer with their partners. Using a mortgage broker means using an intermediary between banks and buyers, so that borrowers can save time and get better deals, and banks can get new customers without having to seek and convince them themselves. A broker must be registered with ORIAS, the French organization for the unique register of insurance, banking and finance intermediaries.

More and more French people are using a mortgage broker for their loans, and this proportion has risen by 10 points in seven years. In fact, in 2022, 39% of them used a broker for their home loan, the majority to obtain more advantageous rates.

The end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 marked a difficult period for real estate brokers. Rising interest rates and the global real estate crisis put significant pressure on their business. Higher interest rates reduced the attractiveness of home loans, resulting in less sustained demand for brokers' services . At the same time, the uncertainty associated with the global real estate crisis discouraged investors and buyers, while increased competition squeezed brokers' margins. Overall, real estate brokers are facing major challenges as they adapt to this complex economic environment.

The sector's business volume is set to fall by around 25% by 2022, mainly due to the decline in bank lending to individuals (linked to rising interest rates) .

In addition, the profession is subject to tighter regulation, notably with the Basel III accords of 2010, which impose greater transparency, capital requirements and improved liquidity ratios.in 2022, for the first time, the number of real estate brokers declined, highlighting the many current issues facing the sector.

1.2 The global mortgage market

There is no global market size for mortgage brokerage. However, it is possible to look at projections for the size of the real estate lending market, enabling us to better appreciate the growth potential of brokerage in this field.

The global home loan market, estimated at $*,*** billion in ****, is expected to ...

1.3 The French mortgage brokerage market

The proportion of brokers

Market share of real estate brokers France, **** - ****, in percent Source: ****

The French are increasingly turning to mortgage brokers when they want to borrow. In ****, they were **% of loan applicants; by ****, this figure had risen to **%, an increase of ** points in * years. We'll look at the details ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The French and mortgage brokers

The French and mortgage brokers

Percentage of French people who have used a broker for their home loan France, **** - ****, in percent Source: ****

The French are using IOBSPs more and more, with the proportion of French people using them increasing by ** points between **** and ****, from **% to **% of home loan applicants in ...

2.2 The French and mortgages

According to an Ifop survey in May ****, **% of those polled have taken out a home loan to buy their main residence, with as many loans lasting more and less than ** years.

Home loans in France

A buoyant property market almost necessarily implies more home loans, the primary determinant of demand for ...

2.3 The French and real estate: revitalizing territories

By ****, */* of French people had already bought a property (***), and over the period ****-****, **% of French people said they had made an acquisition[***].

Housing stock

In ****, there were **.* million housing units in France, an annual increase of *.*% and **.*% compared to ****. Here is the breakdown of these dwellings in ****[***] :

A tenth of ...

2.4 A very sharp rise in interest rates in 2023

After a steady decline since ****, interest rates have exploded in ****

Annual interest rate on new personal housing loans France, ****-****, in percent Source: ****

We can see that :

Early ****s: rates were around *% p.a. **** to ****: economic crisis triggered a fall in prices and rates to around *.*% over ** years Same trend until ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Brokers, agents and ORIAS

ORIAS

ORIAS, the body responsible for the unique register of insurance, banking and finance intermediaries, is an association under the law of ****, under the supervision of the French Treasury, created in ****. Since the law of October **, **** on Intermédiaires en opérations de banque et en services de paiement (***), it has ...

3.2 A constantly growing workforce

Number of approved IOBSPs, i.e. registered with ORIAS :

Growth in the number of IOBSPs France, ****-****, in number of IOBSPs Source: ****

The number of IOBSPs in France has grown steadily since ****, reaching a peak of **,*** in ****. However, in ****, it recorded a decline for the first time of almost *%, revealing challenges ...

3.3 Distribution contact points

Mortgage brokerage can take two forms:

In person : in the traditional way, brokers meet with customers in their branch and explain loan solutions to them face-to-face. Online: customers fill in a form about their financial profile and borrowing requirements, and receive loan proposals without any physical contact. New digital solutions are ...

3.4 Market players: independent brokers resist a powerful trend towards concentration

The mortgage brokerage market is essentially structured around two types of players: the big names on the one hand, and small, independent, local companies on the other.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards concentration among mortgage brokerage firms, driven by the sector's big players seeking to consolidate their ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Broker revenue structure

In most cases, brokers are remunerated in two ways:

Bank commission: ranging from *.*% to *% of the total loan, paid by the bank to the broker as a business introducer. There may also be certain ceilings and floors depending on the total amount borrowed. Fees: paid by the customer as a lump ...

4.2 Realized margins

Costs associated with the mortgage brokerage business tend to vary widely, depending on the size of the structure. Nevertheless, the business quickly becomes attractive: set-up costs would rise to **,*** euros, and the break-even point would be reached with around ** financings per year. [***]

In addition, and particularly in the case of a ...

4.3 Broker comparisons

Comparison of some real estate brokersFrance, ****

Source: ****

All brokers operate in mainland France, but some are also present overseas, particularly those offering an online service.

The main element negotiated by the mortgage broker is the interest rate. He or she often works on the basis of rate grids based on the ...

4.4 Real estate prices

It's worth keeping an eye on real estate prices for a broker:

by property

Variation in price indices for existing homesFrance, October ****, in percentages

Source: ****

Between the *rd quarter of **** and the *nd quarter of ****, the price of older homes in France as a whole rose by *.*% in * year, with only ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Overview

Since the real estate crisis of ****, regulations have had a major impact on the brokerage business.

On the one hand, the Basel III accords published on December **, **** imposed limits on risk-taking by banks, leading to the withdrawal of specialized banks from the brokerage segment. [***]

On the other hand, in France, the ...

5.2 Some rules applicable to the IOBSP profession

The Association Professionnelle des Intermédiaires de Crédits (***) provides a complete and succinct overview of the applicable rules and current legislation governing the profession and activity of real estate loan broker.

Non-cumulation rule

Pursuant to article R. ***-* II of the CMF, except for banking operations of a different nature ...

5.3 Texts governing the IOBSP profession

The main text framing this activity is available in articles L.***-* et seq. of the Monetary and Financial Code, as well as articles R.***-* et seq.

The Order of June *, **** relating to Article L.***-* of the Monetary and Financial Code gives a nomenclature of the diplomas required to ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Cafpi
  • Kereis (ACE Crédit, Empruntis, Immoprêt)
  • Vousfinancer.com
  • Credixia
  • In&Fi
  • Cheval Blanc Patrimoine
  • La Centrale de Financement
  • KG Crédit
  • Idésia
  • Premista
  • SoCrédit
  • Immofinances.net
  • Empruntis
  • Meilleurtaux
  • April group
  • J&G Conseil Immobilier
  • Vilavi Groupe (ex Assu 2000)
  • Vilavi Groupe (AB Courtage)
  • PresseTaux
  • Crédit expert
  • Emprunt direct
  • Pretto
  • Artemis Courtage
  • Credipro
  • Solutis
  • Prêt Partners
  • K Finances
  • Ombrea (TotalEnergies)
  • 360Brokers
  • Lucya

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Reasons to use a real estate broker
  • Percentage of French people who have used a broker for their home loan
  • Important categories of French people who use an IOBSP
  • Mortgages and consumer credit rates
  • Average monthly amount of new housing loans to individuals, flows CVS
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Latest news

April in talks with DLPK to expand its savings business - 08/12/2023
  • The KKR fund acquired the April broker eight months earlier.
  • April is preparing a major acquisition with the DLPK Group.
  • April acquired the Magnacarta network of asset managers in 2022.
  • With DLPK, April could manage around 15 billion euros in financial assets.
  • The size of these assets would be close to that of the total assets of Groupe Cyrus and Maison Herez.
  • The KKR fund bought April for a valuation of almost 2.4 billion euros.
  • DLPK has 250 employees and sales of 135 million euros in 2022.
  • DLPK currently has around 12 billion euros in savings assets.
  • The BlackFin fund owns 34% of DLPK, and acquired a stake in 2018.
Agritech: start-up Ombrea acquired by TotalEnergies - 29/09/2023
  • TotalEnergies has announced the purchase of all shares in Ombrea, the amount of the transaction is not disclosed.
  • Deploys and controls intelligent panels to shade agricultural crops
  • Start-up Ombrea had raised 7 million euros (including 1 million in convertible bonds) in 2021.
  • Ombrea achieved sales of 1.7 million euros in 2022 (compared with 900,000 euros in 2021).
  • Ombrea has a portfolio of around ten contracts with agricultural sites in France.
  • Ombrea plans to develop 140 sites, equivalent to the production of 1.5 gigawatts.
HLD acquires Vilavi - 02/08/2023
  • Investment group HLD Europe plans to acquire the Vilavi group, one of France's leading insurance brokerage firms.
  • Vilavi's main insurance partners include the French entities of Allianz, Generali, Swiss Life, MFA and Wakam.
  • 1,500 employees and 550,000 insured customers.
  • Vilavi, founded in 1975, has 320 branches, online platforms and a wholesale broker.
  • It generated sales of almost 150 million euros last year.
Bridgepoint envisage de vendre sa participation dans le courtier d'assurance français Kereis, selon des sources - 13/04/2023
KKR buys April for 2.4 billion euros - 28/11/2022
  • Transaction value when April is acquired by CVC Capital Partners (2019): 900 million euros.
  • Expected value of the sale of April by CVC: 2.5 billion euros.
  • Valuation of April following the transaction with KKR: approximately 16 times its expected Ebitda for 2022.
  • April sales in 2021: 544 million euros.
  • April's organic sales growth between 2020 and 2021: 8%.
  • Number of April employees: 2,300.
  • Number of April broker partners: 15,000.
  • April's presence in over fifteen countries.
KKR buys insurance broker from CVC for nearly 2.4 billion euros - 26/11/2022
  • Group sales of over 540 million euros
  • 2.300 employees
  • Active in 16 countries
  • Bought by KKR for 2.4 billion euros, CVC acquired for 900 million euros in 2019
  • Ebitda expected in 2022, valued at 16 times
  • Refocused on health, personal protection, VSEs, loan insurance
  • Takeover of the Magnacarta network of wealth management advisors
  • Takeover of insurance comparator Comparadise in 2020
  • Sale of property-casualty subsidiary Axeria IARD and health and provident insurance company Axéria

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Cafpi
Kereis (ACE Crédit, Empruntis, Immoprêt)
Vousfinancer.com
Credixia
In&Fi
Cheval Blanc Patrimoine
La Centrale de Financement
KG Crédit
Idésia
Premista
SoCrédit
Immofinances.net

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