Good news for candidates for real estate purchase? Faced with the "significant slowdown" in real estate credit observed since "early 2022", French banks said they were ready on Friday to "discuss" regulatory relaxations, according to the director general of the French Banking Federation (FBF), Maya Atig.

Possibility to derogate from certain rules

Bruno Le Maire had mentioned on May 4 possible "relaxations" to the rules in force since January 1, 2022. The Minister of Economy had planned to discuss the derogations with the governor of the Bank of France, who had for his part stressed that he did not want to "push for over-indebtedness". "Within the framework of the current criteria and if the authorities invite us, we are ready to discuss to simplify these pockets of derogation on the conditions for granting credits," Maya Atig said in an interview Friday with Le Parisien.

It refers to the possibility for banks to derogate from the rules according to which they can only lend if the effort rate, i.e. the total amount of housing-related expenses in relation to income, does not exceed 35%, and for a maximum of 25 years (or 27 years in the case of pre-move work). Banks can do this for 20% of loans, provided that these derogations mainly concern the acquisition of a principal residence and aim in a third of cases to support first-time buyers. "We must respect these rates of derogation by subcategory at all times," Maya Atig told Le Parisien.

The wear rate recalculated every month

But, "to do this, banks have to slow down decisions, manage queues," she added. However, "when rates are stable, it is not necessarily a problem to wait one, two or three months, but when rates rise, the investor can no longer afford to buy the same home when his turn comes," she said.

The first relaxation already in place since February and intended to facilitate the granting of credit, the rate of usury - the maximum rate of a loan intended to protect buyers - is recalculated every month instead of once a quarter. "This is a positive measure" that has "fluidified the production" of credit. And this production remains "strong" despite the slowdown, noted the director general of the FBF.

  • Economy
  • Real estate credit
  • Real estate loan
  • Real estate
  • Bank