The war in Ukraine and the uncertainties linked to inflation caused a very sharp drop in sales of new housing in Toulouse, in the 1st quarter of 2022. Developers and social landlords are calling for a reaction from the State
“This is unheard of since the 2009 financial crisis.” Laetitia Vidal does not go there by four paths. “If the State does not react, we are heading towards a housing shortage and extreme difficulty in absorbing newcomers to the territory”. The new president of the Toulouse real estate Observer, which brings together the main promoters of Toulouse, begins a three-year term by sounding the alarm.
In Toulouse, only 504 new housing units were launched for sale in the 1st quarter of 2022, a figure down by 5% compared to the 4th quarter of 2021, but above all by 28% compared to the 1st quarter of 2021. The level is at its lowest since the 2009 crisis for a 1st quarter, indicates the Real Estate Observer.
“Investor confidence has soared”
The new housing market is a clear marker of a city’s dynamism. Or, the war in Ukraine, which has led to a rise in raw materials and above all great uncertainty at the global level, is weighing on investments. The observations are expected to be the same in the major cities of the Great South, including Bordeaux and Montpellier.
“The market has clearly swung into a shortage, analyzes Laetitia Vidal. Toulouse only has 8.3 months of inventory left. That is to say, at the rate of purchases over the last four quarters, all available homes will be sold in eight months.
Homes are no longer selling, commodities are expensive and investor confidence has waned. “There is a collapse in sales to investors (-41%). Their confidence flew away. Fortunately, the owner-occupiers made their purchase in a hurry in this first quarter (647 sales), which maintained a level of sales that was down, but limited. We saw it during the new housing fair, where contacts and especially the transformation of contacts into sales have never been so strong. Nearly 60% of sales to owner-occupiers over the quarter, I have never seen that”.
The building will also toast
A swaying new market, and the entire building ecosystem is in danger of toasting “Which industry would be able to catch up with 60% less activity in 3 years? It should be remembered that housing is two jobs that cannot be relocated. Construction companies will also be in the red. This will impact a lot of people, ”warns the president of the Observer.
So what to do? Will the crisis of confidence last? Will inflation continue?
“Today there are still cranes, but these are the lights of the past. Current projects correspond to programs launched 3 or 4 years ago. But in two years, we will no longer see these cranes, because very few new programs can be launched, if investors and communities are not supported.
The President of the Observer pleads for “strong” action by the State and communities, to relaunch real estate programs. “And this recovery, in Toulouse, must be done in a dense area, that is to say in Toulouse and its 1st crown. There is a problem of supply of land in this area which is problematic. There is a real awareness to be had, on the part of everyone. A 6-storey building can be very well accepted, if the road infrastructures, the schools follow. Everyone has to make an effort”
Social housing: 45,000 pending requests
The crisis in new housing is also the crisis in social housing. Programs of new housing at free prices often include a part of social housing. If one stops, so does the other. No less than 45,000 requests for social housing are currently unmet in Haute-Garonne (including 37,000 in Toulouse Métropole). And this figure increases by 2% every year. As Pierre Marchal, Managing Director of the Les Chalets group and member of the board of the Toulouse Real Estate Observer, points out, “Toulouse’s urban area must absorb between 15,000 and 20,000 inhabitants per year. We must therefore build housing, all types of housing. Or, the costs of raw materials soar, the financing of new programs dries up. There is a real risk of a housing shortage. We don’t see it yet, but in two or three years, it will be glaring. »