Bordeaux: why rising real estate prices could not last (1/11)

"Bordeaux has changed a lot, today we only pass two categories of people: tourists with their suitcases and estate agents looking for houses for sale", laughs the Bordeaux notary Thibault Sudre. An exaggerated nod to the real estate craze that has gripped the city since late 2015 with a price increase of almost 19% in 24 months. In line with the national trend, the year 2017 in Bordeaux was traditionally good for real estate professionals. Their number has almost doubled in ten years, not to mention the hundreds of agents attracted by the promising market on the banks of the Garonne. Bordeaux has indeed become the second most expensive city in France and at the end of 2017 the prospect of a real estate bubble was on everyone's lips with an average price approaching 4,500 € / m2. Nowadays the climate has become a little quieter for accommodating the acquiring households, even if the prices have not really decreased over a year and therefore remain at a considerably high level.

"We no longer buy at any price"

"Until the end of 2017 we were still growing strongly in the order of 10 to 12% over twelve months, but since January the prices in the city are weak, we are in the process of consolidating the market"says Thibault Sudre. The price increase on the Bordeaux market has indeed been a sudden stop since the beginning of the year with a trend change that is currently under way, as the latest figures from the Gironde Chamber of Notaries show. For example, at the end of May 2018, the price of apartments + 8.2% over a year and that of homes had changed by + 5.3%, but decreased by -1.2% and -0.3% respectively in the third quarter compared to the previous three months. Double-digit growth is therefore behind us and the year 2018 should end on a growth of about + 8% over twelve months, despite the slight decrease of about -2% during the last three months in October, according to

"Potential buyers will rather ask at what price their property will be sold out given current prices, which contributes to price stability and longer lead times", says Philippe Santacatalina, director of real estate development at Crédit Agricole d & # 39; Aquitaine. The selling times have been slightly extended, but remain at a very smooth level: about fifty days against a quarantine last year.

At the same time, buyers no longer hesitate to negotiate when this practice has almost disappeared in 2017 : "We do not buy anything at any price! The negotiations remain reasonable, about 3 to 4% of the price of the goods, and the demand dries a bit compared to last year, even if nothing is worrying", confirms Michel Lechenault, the chief editor at Selling at the price of the day, which makes many buyers desperate, are now rarer, even in the cities of the 1st metropolitan crown : "Since January we have had more important negotiations up to 10 or 15% of the price, while last year's houses have been left in two days to 10 or 15% too expensive!" testifies Stéphanie Domenc, director of the Axel Immobilier agency in Pessac and also active in Mérignac, Le Bouscat and Taillan-Médoc.

Property Bordeaux

The prices in Bordeaux vary from 2,972 to 3,527 € / m2 (dark green) to 5,057 to 6,001 € (bright red). (Credits:, September 2018)

The brake of economic activity

The market seems to be establishing itself mechanically and adjusting again, knowing that the price increase in Bordeaux was so great that it could not be compensated by the historically low loan rates. "The purchasing power of real estate has fallen sharply in the last two years and especially the Bordeaux people go bankrupt and can no longer buy Bordeaux, especially for starters", says Thomas Lefebvre, the scientific director of the MeilleursAgents network. The surface that a household of two people with median incomes in Bordeaux can buy is only 32 m2 in September 2018, against more than 45 m2 in Toulouse, Nantes, Lille or Strasbourg. The price increase was fueled by population growth and structural factors such as the renovation and beautification of the city, the UNESCO label, the use of the tram and, since 2017, the arrival of the LGV that places Bordeaux in 2h05 from Paris. But these same foundations reach their own limits today. "People have anticipated the arrival of jobs that are slowly developing, so the gold rush of recent months marks time and this contributes to the slowdown of the real estate market.says the notary Thibault Sudre. An analysis shared by Thomas Lefebvre, from MeilleurAgents:

"Real real estate engines remain economic activity and fall in unemployment rates, and this is where Bordeaux faces a certain reality, with 8.9% remaining at a high unemployment rate compared to other comparable agglomerations such as Lyon (8, 1%), Nantes (7.1%) or Rennes (6.8%). "

The Lyon mirror is often brought forward: "Compared to the metropolis of Lyon, which is larger and has more economic activities, the Bordeaux market is losing its consistency", warn Daniel Seignat, the president of the Union of Real Estate Unions (US) in Bordeaux. Too high prices that also discouraged investors: while they accounted for a third of the transactions in Bordeaux in 2017, their share fell to around 15% this year. Here, too, the Lyonnais developer does his work: "Rent investors in the new, both locally and externally from the Gironde, hesitate because Bordeaux, although classified in zone B1 with rental prices capped at 10.07 € / m2, has become more expensive than Lyon, which is nevertheless classified in zone A with rentals up to 12 , 50 € / m2. Profitability takes a hit ", notes Sébastien Lagrave, managing director of the new real estate activity of Square Habitat.

On the way to an increase of less than + 2% in 2019

Nevertheless, professionals in the sector are not worried and expect no market turnaround in Bordeaux, despite the fact that the national context is more bleak than last year. The number of transactions has certainly dropped by 15% since 1 January, but it is in comparison with a historically productive year 2017. And if the forecasting game is never obvious, the year 2018 should end with an increase of twelve months around 8 % or even 10%, despite the slight decrease measured by the various real estate networks over the past three months to end October.

And the year 2019 should confirm price stability. No discussion partner counts on an increase of more than 5% over a period of twelve months next year and many anticipate a positive trend but less than 2%. "A reversal of the market seems difficult to foresee Bordeaux and Bordeaux Métropole, there is a big advantage of image that guarantees attraction and population growth. considers Philippe Santacatalina, Crédit Agricole d & # 39; Aquitaine. An analysis shared by Olivia Lachambre, head of the Guy Hoquet Bordeaux Chartrons agency:

"Phalf of our buyers are first-time buyers (46%) or investors (16%), which means that they have nothing to sell to supply the market. Supply should therefore not increase significantly in the coming months, even if the retention of sellers is over. "

Especially because the construction of new homes, which have been very dynamic in recent years, seems to be stagnating.

Still good deals?

Prices therefore remain dynamic in the hyper center and in the golden triangle, while the rest of the Bordeaux market is drying up. Even the beloved Chartrons district traded a jump of + 17% last year, for a more reasonable growth of + 3% since January. So, does Bordeaux still offer good deals?

"It is increasingly complex because there are no neglected sectors, Saint-Augustin and the Chartrons are particularly dynamic, but the district of Saint-Jean and the right bank have also been transformed, the districts Victoire and Caudéran are less popular", says Daniel Seignat, of the United States. "To find a property at € 3000 / m2 in Bordeaux, we have to go to the apartments of the 80s residences in Caudéran, they are not served by the tram and do not attract young people", confirms Thibault Sudre.

Elsewhere, bargains and stalls or lofts to renovate to achieve great added value have become very rare, including in the last accessible areas such as Bacalan, which is about 3,200 € / m2, but with a high price volatility. And even the new districts of Bordeaux Lac, which offer almost exclusively apartments, reach 3,500 € / m2. "If you buy in Bordeaux today, the added value of reselling will clearly be more complicated than a few years ago, but a property with a good location remains a safe and solid investment", complete Michel Lechenault from We are therefore more focused on investments from a good father, those who have the means, than on opportunities for tipping the key with great added value.

Finally a symptom of the transformation of the Bordeaux market: the emergence of a prestigious real estate. The agency Sotheby & # 39; s Bordeaux, which brings goods of at least one million euros to the market, experienced a 30% increase in the number of transactions last year. But even in this market segment, we are seeing a slowdown. "The rise in all high-end goods has been the last two years, and from now on the market is dividing and only the goods that are considered ultra-luxury, with the best locations and the best benefits, can still justify an increase", tells Nathalie Combet, marketing manager at the Sotheby & # 39; s Bordeaux agency. In this new niche that flourishes in the center of Bordeaux, prices are now often higher than € 8.500 / m2. A house of 286 m2 near the public garden has risen to 11,800 € / m2, while an "exceptional apartment", Jean Jaurès, across the Garonne, has found more than 12.000 € / m2 buyers! Property miles away from the average number of transactions registered in Bordeaux that reached only € 300,000.


In numbers:

  • + 25%: the rise in property prices in Bordeaux in five years according to
  • 430,000 €: the median price of an old house that was sold in Bordeaux between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2018.
  • 199.100 €: the median price of an old apartment sold in Bordeaux between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2018.
  • 4.570 €: the price of the m2 of an apartment in the old Bordeaux in September 2018, according to


In the next few days, we will publish our full survey: "Property in Bordeaux: the time of the turnaround?" Dedicated to the ins and outs of the real estate market of the metropolis and published in La Tribune Hebdo of 12 October 2018. You can consult the digital version here in pdf format.