Home-buying in the 2000s
French real estate remained attractive for investors between 2002 and 2006. The late-1990s rebound persisted, with the number of buyers up by one-third from the 1980s. However, since the 2000s, the most modest households and first-time home-buyers faced greater difficulties in acquiring residential real estate. Housing prices outgrew income, even as lenders maintained their solvency requirements for loan applicants. On the positive side, thanks to lower interest rates, lenders increased loan durations by three years with respect to the late 1990s, a change that initially benefited young households. As a result, buyers' personal financial contributions, although higher, rose only three points. The insolvency risk therefore remains low.