Please consult your Kübler-Ross scale for Property Agents:

  1. Denial – What? Are you crazy? This is nothing – just a blip
  2. Anger – I can’t BELIEVE you think it’s over!
  3. Bargaining – C’mon, just let me sell a few more houses at last year’s prices
  4. Depression – Am I really pond-scum just like all those clients said?
  5. Acceptance – Nothing really wrong with selling tents, is there?
The last post here in April on property prices in France quoted the Fédération Nationale de l'Immobilier (FNAIM) in their quartely letter thus:

“the risk of subprime contagion is limited…the USA is not in France”
and:

“In spite of a decline in prices of -1.0% during Q1 2008, the market environment does not look positioned to enter a scenario of generalised price declines.”
The data for May came out today. Month over month the decline (including apartments) is –1.3%: quarter over quarter it’s -0.72%; year over year it’s –2.7%; and year to date about –2.5%.

FNAIM, however, use a rolling 12 month average which indicates a gain of 1.7%. This allowed them, despite the weakness of the recent data, to say:

“It is clear that, so far, the market is still in the process of stabilization”
For greater accuracy when reading this sentence please substitute "FNAIM" for "market" and "denial" for "stabilization".

How much more of the FNAIM's 'stabilizing' is required for normalcy to reign is not specified. As for the clarity referred to it can been best seen in the chart below from Kurt Saturax at bulle-immobilier.fr


The key point is that even on the FNAIM calculation (yellow) the trend is down (direct link to Kurt's chart here). Moreover, this latest data comes in a traditionally seasonally strong period. Given this, and the prevailing dearth of credit, it is foolish of FNAIM to continue to suggest an annual gain in property prices is on the cards.

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