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French housing output drops again

The number of French housing starts has fallen to a 10-month low, official figures have revealed

Just 25,205 housing projects began in the country in April 2012, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies

This was the lowest number since June 2011 and a sharp fall from more than 47,000 in December 2011.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said France’s GDP was likely to fall in the second quarter of the year, pushing down house prices and further reducing housebuilding.

However, it said there was light at the end of the tunnel for UK architects working in France.

‘The medium-term picture remains promising given the new Hollande government’s greater emphasis on growth and the relative undersupply of housing in France,’ said RICS economist Josh Miller.

He said the ratio of residential investment to GDP had been below its long-term average for two and a half years.

‘This does not represent a significant margin of under-building, but does increase the likelihood of a pick up over the medium term once the economic headwinds subside.’


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