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A vast majority of French people dream of owning a detached house with a garden. The dream usually comes true when you start a family. Where is the detached home market today? Who to contact to build a house? Dominique Duperret, Secretary General of the Union of French Houses, tells us everything.
What is the state of the detached home market today?
Since the 1970s, between 300 and 400,000 new homes have been built every year, more than half of which are single-family homes. This illustrates well the fact that the French, 80%, dream of owning a house rather than an apartment. When people are questioned, the first element of attraction they mention is the garden that goes with it. We want a house to shelter our family and watch our happy children grow up there. Another reason for buying a single-family home is the desire to build up your heritage, to have something of your own that will allow you to better face the future. This motivation, which had disappeared a little, returns in this uncertain economic period.
What does a typical detached house look like?
There are many disparities but if we speak of average, then the house is a type 3 or type 4. It has a living area of 105 to 110 m², with a garden of 1000 to 1500 m². Not in the Paris region, of course, where the garden is much smaller.
What is the profile of buyers?
Still speaking of average, it is a couple 35 to 39 years old with two children, or with one child and another unborn. The monthly net income of the household is around 2300 €. This is why the builders offer many accessible houses for homes that earn between 2000 and 3500 €.
What is the average price of a detached house?
It all depends on who builds it. Going through a manufacturer, it takes an average of € 1,000 per m² including VAT. With a project manager or a craftsman, the m² is around 1100 to 1200 €. With a developer, the average is rather at € 1,800 per m². But the legal and technical constraints are heavier and the future owners do not have to take care of anything. The house is delivered turnkey.
What is the difference between these different construction professionals?
We must first differentiate real estate development and diffuse housing. The promoters file a building permit for a whole set of houses. When we talk about diffuse housing, we need a building permit per house. A promoter offers you accommodation whose plans have already been made. We generally buy from plans and it is generally not possible to make changes. We just choose the floor coverings and wall tiles. The big advantage is that the buyer doesn't take care of anything. He receives his house turnkey without worrying about construction. For construction in diffuse housing, an individual has the choice of using either an assembly builder, a designer or a craftsman. With a builder, he has a single point of contact who takes charge of the project from A to Z. The builder offers a catalog of houses, which are adaptable and customizable. He can help his clients find land and also takes care of the filing of the building permit. Customers sign a highly regulated "house construction contract", which defines the builder's mission. The price of the house is fixed at the start and will be respected whatever the vagaries of construction. If the house is delivered late, the builder will pay late penalties. And if the manufacturer fails, a specialized insurer will finish the work. You can also choose to draw your own house and have it built by a project manager, or have it designed by an architect who can also choose the companies and follow the site. This requires getting more involved in the project. Another solution: make or have plans made for your house then canvass one by one of the craftsmen by trade. There, the implication is very important: find the companies, make the quotes, follow the site yourself ... It takes a lot of time but we will have a custom-made house.
What are the current trends in individual houses?
For a year and a half, consumers have been very interested in energy and sustainable development issues. Manufacturers must therefore be up to date on these subjects. By mid-2010, all builders adhering to the Union of Individual Houses will have to offer a BBC house, that is to say low consumption. And in 2012, new houses will have to consume less than 50 kWh of primary energy per m², which means that there must be changes in the way of building. Construction is therefore moving towards masonry with thin joints, wooden houses, high-performance insulation and heating systems, etc. Another strong trend is the care taken in the kitchen, which becomes the living room par excellence and in which people are ready to invest more than before. The bathroom, which was a hygienic room, becomes more hedonistic. It opens up to other functionalities for body care in the broad sense. People are also fond of rooms that open onto nature such as verandas and patios. We work much more on the interaction between inside and outside.