France lost Agincourt and ever since (it seems) has been trying to win it back. Or at least morally, according to sections of the unbiased British press.

Revisionism may take that battle; and clearly that plucky spirit (which some north west of the Channel confuse with being a poor loser) lived on for much of the last year in the halls of the marketing guild charged with churning French property.

However, as much as La Fédération Nationale de l'Immobilier (FNAIM) has twisted and turned to plug a round hole with a square peg...

“the risk of subprime contagion is limited…the USA is not in France” (October 2007)
…a «subprime» crisis scenario can be dismissed in France…credit conditions remain good despite a tightening of rates.” (December 2007)
“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.” (April 2008)
"The idea that there are direct risks of contagion to the French property market from the year-old US subprime crisis well deserves rejection." (July 2008)

...it too eventually bowed to the inevitable arrows (and hammers) of subprime-led credit archers:

"...prices of existing house stock are now oriented towards a decline...expect stagnating prices, or even drops, by year-end." (October 2008)

The moral is, when it is important, smile politely but don't listen to people paid on commission. A more accurate and prescient "forest" view was/is available from the quarterly survey of property developers (via INSEE, latest here) in combination with house starts & permits (Société Générale research).




And if the ongoing trend of new apartments is a sign then a quick turnaround is a long shot.

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1 comments

  1. Anonymous // 11/28/2008 03:00:00 AM

    very timely.
    note to self: must show spouse.
    many thanks , Rawdon

    Just in case you were feeling bad, I had lunch with one of the approximately 300,000 Icelanders the other day and I can tell if if you feeling really rogered or peculiarly persecuted, you've not heard anything until you have a few drinks with a very aggrieved Icelander...

    -C-

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