Danger for developers, new home sales collapse

Caught in the grip between a population that refuses any construction and the cost of construction is skyrocketing, it’s time to “really serious” for housing professionals. New home sales continue to fall. After falling 12% in 2021 compared to 2019, they are down 20% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2021. the same period last year. Result: The affordable housing fund is “only” 7.7 months old, the lowest since 2012.

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“You lose constructiveness, you pay”

You can’t crush mayors who issue building permits. “We don’t want to stigmatize them. For ethical reasons, mayors must answer to their fellow citizens.” the FPI president says again. On the other hand, the latter would like to encourage them to build more on pain of portfolio sanctions.

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He is annoyed that Local Urban Plans (PIUs), the framework documents for urban planning and development, do not “only 65% ​​used.” In other words, with a building potential of X m², only two-thirds of the indicated square meters are accepted by local elected officials. Remove the floor here, stop filling the “hollow tooth” there, there are a lot of examples.

Therefore, Pascal Boulanger proposes that PLUs include “legal and guaranteed minimum”. “You lose constructiveness, you pay”, summarizes the press secretary of specialists in new housing construction. “This could help mayors revise their PLUs upwards,” he continues. Instructed by the government in the summer of 2021 to restart construction, the mayor (ex-PS) of Dijon, François Rebsamin, also called for a rewards and sanctions mechanism for local elected officials before withdrawing.

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Should mayors control permission or not?

In terms of incentives, the president of the Federation of Developers (FDE) is proposing that part or even half of the VAT paid by professionals should go to the municipalities. “This will bring in several million euros for the construction of a school and / or repair of a swimming pool and may change the culture of the population,” says Pascal Boulanger.

The debate also concerns whether mayors should retain control over the issuance of building permits (BCs). In a note titled “Housing: rebuilding our ambitions” for the Montaigne Institute published ahead of the presidential election, former CEO of Crédit Foncier de France Bruno Deletré believes that the Communist Party “authority is too close to the field.” “Intercommunity is the right level of intimacy to get out of excessive electoral pressure on mayors,” he points.

“The inter-community is just a bunch of mayors. Some told me: “It would be at all. We are going to storm the permissions, ”- the President of the FPI answers. “Good reasoning is: leave the KP to the mayors, help them influence their population, incite them, or perhaps sanction them.” continues Pascal Boulanger.

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The question arises with the re-election of President Macron

Moreover, the question arises with the re-election of President Macron. The candidate for head of state then stated that he wanted a decisive act of decentralizing housing competence to inter-municipalities and municipalities by providing them with the appropriate skills and means. And this is without specifying which level will decide whether or not to issue a permit.

“The idea is to provide financial means by transferring aid and subsidies to the inter-municipal level. Its size means it is better than a municipality in addressing local urban planning, mobility, housing, infrastructure, offices and shops.” explainedin La Tribune, Xavier Lépine, “residential” referent of En Marche.

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This issue will no doubt come up again after the legislative elections to be held on 12 and 19 June next year. At the end of the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Born I government, government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire announced that there would be ” undoubtedly ” minister or minister delegate or secretary of state in charge of housing. The entity is now integrated into the large Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Unity.

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US home sales plummet

On the other side of the Atlantic, the situation is hardly better. The US Department of Commerce announced on May 24 a 16.6% drop in new home sales in April 2022. Compared to 2021, the level recorded last month fell by 29.9%. In the United States, the median price of a new home continues to rise to $450,600 and the median price to $570,300.