Summary of our market study

The French real estate market has experienced a remarkable boom, with the sector recording almost 1.2 million transactions in 2021 and 1.16 million transactions in 2022

The French estate agency market has seen significant fluctuations since 2020, with a major change in dynamics due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and crises such as the war in Ukraine.

The increase in mortgage interest rates to 4.5% by September 2023 has played a crucial role in influencing market dynamics, leading to a contraction in lending and thus affecting the sector's overall performance.

Demand trends in France

The estate agency market grew at an average annual rate of around 8% between 2015 and 2022, despite a slight dip during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Households increasingly prefer to buy and renovate older properties rather than build new ones.

The rental property sector was also buoyant, with around 43% of the more than 30 million French households renting out their homes.

By contrast, in the commercial property segment, saw a sharp drop in investment in 2020, with a slight recovery in 2022 to €25.9 billion, and a drop in 2023 to around €17 billion.

House prices rose until 2023, when the trend reversed, particularly in Paris.

Franchised real estate agents are ahead of independent agents, although they face stiff competition from digital platforms and online tools, which have not had a significant impact on the share of sales between private individuals over the past decade.

The market has also been subject to national regulations such as the ALUR and ELAN laws, which have imposed strict controls and transparency on real estate activities.

Customers expect real estate agencies to be responsive, with personalized advice.

The main real estate players in France

Traditional agencies:

  • Foncia Transaction: A heavyweight in the sector, a subsidiary of the Foncia group
  • Century 21: World-renowned brand
  • Orpi: cooperative network
  • Laforêt Immobilier: extensive network of agencies
  • Guy Hoquet: a leading player in franchising.
  • L'Adresse: extensive network

Networks of independent agents:

  • CapriFrance: extensive network of independent real estate agents
  • OptimHome: network of independent agents
  • Safti

Digital agencies:

  • Imop: Digital pioneer
  • Welmo: Another digital pioneer
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition of scope and market

A real estate agency is a company operating in the field of property transactions. It acts as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer, or between the owner and the tenant of a property. Its role is either to find a buyer for a property for sale, or to find a tenant for a rental property. The buyer may be a legal entity or a company. The real estate agency employs real estate negotiators/agents to carry out the intermediation.

Estate agencies work for two types of customer:

  • The majority of estate agencies are dedicated to private property : houses, land or garages in urban and rural areas.
  • A minority (less than 10%) of estate agents are specialists in commercial property: offices, industrial land, factories and warehouses or shops.

The French estate agency market is growing, as part of the economic recovery experienced by the entire real estate sector from 2016 onwards. The market is being driven in particular by the rise in sales of existing properties, and by the confidence that the French place in estate agencies, with the majority of French people using them for their real estate transactions. Furthermore,in 2021,the French real estate market recorded its absolute record number of transactions, while in 2022, the market recorded its second most dynamic year ever, with 1.16 million transactions. The average annual growth rate in the number of transactions between 2015 and 2022 is 8.84% .

In 2023, the global real estate market will be in the throes of its worst crisis since 2008, due in part to rising interest rates, a general decline in prices per sq. m. (particularly in Paris, where the number of transactions is expected to rise), and an increase in the number of transactions.square meter (particularly in Paris, where they have fallen below 10,000 euros per square meter), a reduction in lending and a reduction in household purchasing power. How are real estate agencies planning to adapt to this crisis?

In a highly competitive market, independent estate agents are gradually losing ground to franchises, which are better distributed and enjoy greater visibility. Competition from Internet tools, and online platforms in particular, has weighed on the search for properties, although the share of property sales between private individuals has remained stable over the past ten years.

Finally, new regulations on a national scale with the ALUR laws in 2014 and then ELAN in 2018 have had a direct impact on the profession's activities, without triggering growth or decline. There are, however, points of vigilance to take into account when studying the future market.

1.2 A growing French real estate agency market

The real estate market in France is highly dependent on various economic crises, as was the case during the financial crisis in ****, and more recently during the health crisis, as well as the geopolitical crisis with the war in Ukraine. In ****, however, a strong rebound benefited the sector, with the French ...

1.3 Looking back at the impact of the Covid-19 crisis

Despite the strong impact of the Covid-** crisis on the estate agency sector, the crisis and the confinements of **** did not mark a complete halt to real estate activity. In fact, after the first shutdown, almost **% of French people continued to consult real estate ads, and over **% continued to request information ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Buoyant market for existing and rental properties, while new-build and commercial property suffer from crises

Existing homes The property market is particularly buoyant in the existing homes segment. Households increasingly prefer to buy an existing property and renovate it, rather than build a new one. Between **** and ****, the number of transactions in existing properties rose steadily, then fell by *.*% in **** to reach *.** million transactions in ****. We ...

2.2 Demand drivers

The main factors influencing demand from estate agents are as follows

government measures (***), detailed in section *.* property prices, as detailed in section *.* mortgage interest rates residential mobility of tenants

Bank rates

By ****, **% of buyers will have taken out a mortgage to purchase their main residence. This figure is even higher for ...

2.3 Expectations and level of satisfaction with real estate agents

The French are particularly sensitive to the responsiveness of real estate agents, which they consider to be the primary criterion inspiring trust. Personalized advice, reputation and the agent's ability to listen also come into play. The importance attached to the agency they work for is low, with only *% of respondents citing ...

2.4 Demand trends: the customer journey goes digital

While physical channels, such as contact with real estate professionals and friends and family, are still a widespread means of information when looking for a property, ad sites, apps and social networks are also highly represented among the various information channels in ****. Indeed, apps and social networks are also widely used ...

2.5 France's favorite real estate agencies

The graph below is based on OpinionWay's survey of French people's favorite brands in March ****. Foreach agency, the percentage corresponds to the proportion of respondents who answered "yes ".

Stephane Plaza Immobilier topped the list, with **.*% of respondents saying they liked it. Foncia was the least popular of the real estate agencies, ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market structure and organization

Breakdown by category

Real estate agencies fall into three main categories:

Traditional agencies: Orpi, Century **, Laforêt Immobilier etc. Agent networks: IAD, Safti, Capifrance etc. Online agencies: Marton, Imop, Liberkeys, Proprioo etc.

The rise of agents at the expense of franchises

Franchise networks account for a quarter of the real estate ...

3.2 Market structure

In ****, France will have ***** registered estate agencies. After a sharp fall after the crisis of ****, the number of estate agencies has seen a structural increase since ****, corresponding to the period when the real estate sector experienced an economic recovery.

Number of real estate agencies France, ****-****, in units Source: ****

The number ...

3.3 Digitizing the market

The real estate agency market has been strongly impacted by the digital and digital revolution and its effects, on three businesses in particular:

innovative services to improve sales tools ; platforms platforms for private individuals; increased competition from private players and online advertisers vis-à-vis real estate agencies.

Physical real estate agencies ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Property prices on the rise in most conurbations

The rise in prices seen for several years has become more pronounced since ****. In the first quarter of ****, prices of older homes rose by *.*% compared to the first quarter of the previous year. New homes also saw a substantial increase over the same period, albeit a smaller one (***).

In ****, however, we ...

4.2 Rising prices benefit estate agents

The intermediary's commission rate is a key factor in the customer's decision whether or not to use a real estate agency. Real estate agencies are increasingly facing competition from free, one-to-one platforms and agent networks that can offer more attractive rates.

Since ****, there has been no ceiling on commissions, which can ...

5 Regulations

5.1 A strict, evolving regulatory framework

Loi Hoguet: regulation of real estate activity

The activities of real estate professionals (***).

The zero-rate loan (***)

The PTZ is an interest-free loan granted in addition to another loan to buy or build a home. To qualify for this loan, a number of conditions must be met, notably concerning the property, its ...

5.2 ALUR and ELAN laws

The ALUR law

LAW no. ****-*** of March **, **** for access to housing and renovated urban planning (***) pursues three major objectives:

to regulate real estate markets and control abusive practices ; promote access to housing, while protecting the most vulnerable populations ; develop innovation and transparency.

With regard to the activities of real estate ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Century 21 (Arche Groupe)
  • Orpi
  • LAFORET Immobilier (Arche Groupe)
  • Guy Hoquet (Arche Groupe)
  • L'Adresse
  • Emeria (ex Foncia Groupe)
  • Zillow
  • Liberkeys
  • Nomad Homes
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Woopen

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the French real estate agency market
  • Number of sales of older homes
  • Marketing new homes (sales to individuals)
  • Proportion of transactions for rental property
  • Value of commercial real estate investments
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Latest news

Real Estate: The impact of Zillow's failure on French start-ups. - 17/11/2021
  • Zillow abandons iBuying in France, abandoning 17,000 homes, far more than the number of transactions recorded by the French leaders
  • Strong impact on French start-ups in the sector:
  • Homeloop expects to grow to 450 transactions in 2021, representing 100 million euros in purchases and 70 million in resales.
  • Homeloop believes that the market is large enough for several players to compete.
  • Homeloop does not foresee any slowdown in its growth, with a target of 200 million euros in purchases and 150 million in resales next year.
  • Having raised 4 million euros in 2020 after its first transaction, Zéfir estimates that it has reached a monthly rate of fifty transactions on an annual volume basis of 220 million euros.
Nomad Homes, the property hunter aiming to overtake SeLoger - 29/09/2021
  • Nomad Homes operates in Dubai and Paris
  • The start-up was able to expand into France and a new European country thanks to a $20 million round of financing
  • It offers a lower commission than the market (between 3% and 8%)
  • Nomad Homes charges 1% for the full service until March 2022
  • This fresh financing will enable the company to grow from 40 to 70 employees by the end of the year

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. :

Century 21 (Arche Groupe)
LAFORET Immobilier (Arche Groupe)
Guy Hoquet (Arche Groupe)
Emeria (ex Foncia Groupe)

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