Real estate: why the French rush to obtain credit

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In order not to see their real estate project fall through, many French people have rushed to their broker and their banker in recent months. At issue: rising interest rates and tougher loan conditions. The vast majority of banking establishments thus experienced a particularly dynamic second quarter, reports Les Echos.

According to the Banque de France, outstandings have increased by 6.5% in recent months and returned to pre-health crisis levels. A trend observed in all establishments. The 39 regional banks of Crédit Agricole saw their outstanding home loans jump by 5.9% to 372.8 billion euros. The dynamic is even stronger at LCL, a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole, with outstandings which increased by 9.2% to 96 billion euros.

The Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale, for its part, recorded a historic semester according to its president Nicolas Théry. Outstandings increased by 9.5% to €248 billion. Same phenomenon at La Banque Postale, with outstandings which increased by 5.5% in the first half to 65.7 billion euros. The latter also saw its production of mortgages increase by 21% over this period, or 10 times faster than the market average.

BNP Paribas and Société Générale, which target wealthier borrowers and therefore hold lower market shares, also saw their outstandings increase. Plus 5.9% to 98.6 billion euros at the end of June for BNP Paribas. Plus 4% for Société Générale and 27% for its subsidiary Boursorama.

Several market professionals, however, predict a slowdown for the end of the year. In particular because of the “wear rate”, which is the maximum rate at which banks can lend. This tends to progress more slowly than interest rates, which is already blocking many files.

According to the latest figures from the Banque de France, the rate of new loans was around 1.34% at the end of June, against 1.1% last January. Progress accelerated further in July with an average rate of 1.68%, according to the Crédit Logement CSA barometer, whose calculation methods differ from the Banque de France.

Despite this recovery, rates remain very low and still well below inflation. In other words, the real rates are always negative and therefore very advantageous for borrowers.

According to the Banque de France, the production of new mortgages should be only 21.6 billion euros in July. That is 1.1 billion euros less than in June and 5.2 billion less than in May. Sign that a slowdown is slowly beginning.