Property loan: you can borrow for less than 4%

It is the journalists who make the market», real estate broker Angers (49) confides. “Ever since they read or heard that banks are lowering their rates, buyers keep coming back“, he rejoices. This is the case of Louis (41), who took the plunge and got a 25-year mortgage at less than 4%. “In a year or two, I think rates will come down enough. It will be time for me to renegotiate“, he says. Others like Sophie and Christophe, in their thirties, prefer to wait until “rates are falling even more“. With the risk that the competition will become even stronger. In short, the mood on the buyers’ side is mixed.

On the other hand, the banks are unanimous: the time has come to acquire new customers. “Banks have restored their margins and are looking to reopen the floodgates to potential investors and even rental investors. 10-year OAT – an indicator with which banks consult when setting their loan rates – fell back below 2.5%. Unheard of for over a year, at a time when banks were still lending at 2.2%. This of course leads to lower rates», explains Sandrine Allonier from Vousfinancer, a real estate loan broker. These are slight declines at the moment, but should be highlighted as they trigger a new cycle. “In December, a third of our banking partners reduced their ratespoints out Cécile Roquelaure, Studio Director at Empruntis. This is an excellent signal for a January recovery!»

Three drops per month in SG

In one month, Société Générale reduced rates (excluding insurance and fees) from 4.35% to 3.95% over 20 years for the best profiles (more than 8,000 euros per month for two). Which corresponds to roughly forty euros less per month for repaying the bank for a loan of 200,000 euros. Not to mention the additional discount that borrowers can get. Because this rate of 3.95% is understood before the negotiation. For less affluent households, you will probably have to wait until next summer. They currently have to borrow for less than 20 years to get the lower 4% rate.

However, the easing of mortgage rates is ongoing. “The big national banks are starting to initiate cuts of 0.2 or 0.3 points», says Maël Bernier of Meilleurtaux, a real estate agent. Whether others will follow suit remains to be seen. “Banks will agree to give small rate cuts to stimulate demand, but not significant cuts, at least before the summer, so as not to squeeze their margins.», deciphers Sandrine Allonier, who confirms that banks want to increase the production of real estate loans by 10% in 2024. Excessive rate cuts could also push prices back up – a scenario the French believe in – by boosting demand. Such an outburst would not be welcome in a market that is trying to turn things around at the end of the year. A priori, this does not seem possible: the trend is more towards a decline – undoubtedly moderate for the time being – in real estate prices, which should accelerate in 2024. Good news for households, who can count on wage growth next year.

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