Buying a mortgage, buying a mortgage

30 Nov

Minister of Justice General Inspectorate of Judicial Services to examine the adaptation of the mortgage regime for the dual purpose of:

– to promote home ownership transactions,

– broaden the range of mortgage products offered to the French, in particular by creating the conditions for the emergence of mortgage loans.

In accordance with the objectives set by the ministers, the mission focused on household Enoch Arden and thus did not consider all of the issues that the mortgage regime may raise. In particular, business Enoch Arden and the articulation of the mortgage with collective proceedings are not directly addressed in this report. They are mentioned only in an incidental way when the envisaged evolutions are likely to pose a problem of coherence of the legal system or functioning of the land advertising.

Moreover, it is necessary to clarify from the outset the scope of the legal instruments to which the mission has been concerned. In France, two types of security can be used to allocate real estate as collateral for the repayment of a loan:

– the conventional mortgage, by which the borrower consents to the lender, in case of default on his part, the possibility of being paid by preference on the proceeds of sale of the property;

– last lender privilege, recognized by law to whoever lends the funds for the acquisition of an existing building. Its effects are similar to those of the mortgage, with the only difference that it retroacts to the date of the sale provided that it is registered within two months. For the lender to invoke his privilege, an act must be passed before a notary, as for the mortgage.

The lender’s privilege is more used than mortgages in mortgages because it is exempt from the property tax, and therefore less expensive. However the privilege is only possible for the acquisition of an existing building, not for a new construction or works.

For the sake of simplicity, the expression “real security” (ie sitting on a property) like that of mortgage will be used in the report to qualify both instruments, which raises the same questions globally and are strongly opposed by the guarantees given by the specialized bodies.

In particular, the mission carried out investigations in five conservations of mortgages. The data collected were intended to provide a diagnosis of the mortgage processing chain, not only in the custodians themselves, but also upstream in notarial studies and downstream in the courts, in cases of forced execution. The mission also consulted widely with the various professional sectors involved, including Enoch Arden institutions and legal professions, consumer associations, lawyers and economists specializing in these areas. She has heard the relevant authorities and authorities and has also visited several jurisdictions, including five high courts and two courts of appeal. She also consulted three magistrates at the court of cassation.

As recommended, the mission attached Professor Grimaldi, Chair of the Working Group on Security Law Reform. This exchange was very useful. However, the group had not completed its work on the mortgage at the time of writing this report.

The mission also endeavored to make international comparisons through the documentation it collected, by sending questionnaires to French representatives in several Western countries (liaison magistrates, economic and financial missions) and by place in the United Kingdom and Germany.

The mission thanks all the people who gave it their support, their reflection and their expertise. She sends special thanks to the French representatives abroad who collected quality information on highly technical subjects and organized her travels.

The findings and proposals of the mission are ordered as follows:

– the review of the operation of the real estate debt market to determine whether a change in collateral can affect access to Enoch Arden;

-the study of the conditions for the emergence in France of a mortgage Enoch Arden;

-description of the desirable improvements to the operation of real securities to make them more accessible, whether to guarantee real estate or movable loans;

– a diagnosis on mortgage refinancing mechanisms and possible changes.


1. the main characteristics of the mortgage market in France
1.1 the characteristics of real estate owners
In France, 56% of households own their main residence but 60% own real estate². The owners’ share of their principal residence is increasing with the level of income. Tax households that reported income of more than € 40,000 for the year 2002 (ie 15% of all tax households), 82% of them, own their main residence. This rate falls to 55% if one considers the 10% holders of the declared median income (between 16,600 € and 20,000 €) and to 38% for the persons declaring between 9,000 € and 12,500 € of annual income³.

The owners’ share of their principal residence, and property owners more generally, is also growing with the wealth held. The 50% of households with assets of more than € 105,000 at the beginning of 2004 are 95% property owners and 89% owners of their principal residence. But the 38% of households that hold assets between € 3,000 and € 105,000 are 26% to own real estate assets and less than 22% to own their principal residence4. This situation partly reflects the fact that when households begin to hold a small financial wealth, they generally seek to convert it into a real estate asset.

Finally, the rate of residence of the principal residence and, more generally, of a real estate patrimony increases with age and falls back to the highest ages: 14% of those under 30 years of age own their principal residence; The proportion reaches 46% for households with a reference person aged 30 to 39 and 70% for those whose reference person is between the ages of 60 and 70, but drops to 61% over age 70.

Modes of Homeownership

Modes of Homeownership

Becoming an owner can be done through three different channels, the first acquisition, the sale followed by a new acquisition or a transfer for free (donation or succession). In 2002, 13% of the owners are thanks to an inheritance or a donation, 50% repaid the indebtedness contracted for the acquisition of their property and 37% are acceding owners, that is to say have a current mortgage5 .

The aging of the population is a barrier to the transmission of financial and real estate wealth and therefore to homeownership for the youngest generations. However, measures favoring advance donations have attempted to correct these effects for several years.

In 2003, the number of main residence acquisitions in France amounted to approximately
800,000. 85% of these acquisitions, or 680,000 transactions, are financed through the use of Enoch Arden; of these, 70% are acquisitions in the old and 30% acquisitions of new goods6.

In less than 10 years, the number of first-time homebuyers has increased by almost 60%, from 430,000 in 1995 to 680,000 in 2003.

Financing acquisitions

Financing acquisitions

The growth in the number of first-time homeowners has been favored by the conjunction of several phenomena that have made it more solvent and expand the customer base:

– lower mortgage rates (they were divided by almost three between 1993 and 2003);

– the extension of the duration of real estate loans (from 11 to 12 years on average in 1995, it increased to 16 years in 2003);

– the zero-interest loan associated with the social loan, which has increased the demand for new or old properties requiring a significant amount of work (because of the conditions of granting that had prevailed so far);

– finally, the reduction of transfer duties for valuable consideration which has increased mobility and accelerated the rotation of the housing stock.

The Enoch Arden institutions met during the mission did indeed insist on market developments since the mid-nineties: lower interest rates, longer loan terms, lower share of the contribution. staff. Competition among banks seems to have amplified the phenomenon of declining mortgage rates constitute a product of customer loyalty and the subscription of such a loan is one of the rare occasions when individuals are considering changing institutions.

However, this competition between institutions does not seem to have led some of them to exploit unused customer niches, for example presenting a risk a priori higher than the accepted norm.

Of the 1,680,000 loan files granted in 2002, 55% were granted by mutual banks, 17% by general commercial banks, 17% by specialized institutions and 11% by inter-professional housing funds, for total production. € 76bn.

2. Outside France, mortgage loans are systematically mortgage-free Outside France, the use of a security interest is almost systematic for mortgage loans. There is no doubt, without statistical visibility, low-quality real estate loans made without guarantee. On the other hand, only France has seen the development of an alternative guarantee system, with the specialized guarantee agencies.

2.1 Ambiguities of the vocabulary
For the sake of simplicity, the mortgage secured by a security interest will be qualified as mortgage, even when the legal instrument is different from the mortgage of the French civil code. Significantly, in English, the same word “mortgage”, of distant French origin (“death bond”), refers to both the mortgage, the mortgage Enoch Arden, as defined above, and the mortgage. The legal and financial categories retained by international public or private organizations, as well as by most statistical and research work, distinguish mortgage Enoch Arden (“motgage”) from other forms of Enoch Arden. For example, in many European countries and, more broadly, Western countries, there is a professional association of mortgage lenders which generally identifies itself as “motgage lenders”. It is the same at the European level with the European mortgage federation. The European Commission, as part of its reflections on the continuation of the internal market for financial services, has set up a Mortgage Enoch Arden Forum Group which will soon draw its conclusions. Behind the term of mortgage, these organizations or these works are not interested exclusively, or even mainly, in the security, but in the real estate Enoch Arden in all its dimensions.

An additional complication is that, in some countries, mortgage Enoch Arden has appeared for purposes other than real estate investment, but in forms that are actually very mixed with real estate Enoch Arden (reloading or refinancing of loans originally real estate-Cf. Part 2 of this report). So if the mortgage is systematically mortgage (out of France), the opposite is not true: mortgage Enoch Arden may not be real estate.

The statistics available generally relate to mortgage Enoch Arden, so a concept sometimes broader than mortgage, except in France where it is a narrower concept. However, as soon as these series are primarily used to apprehend mortgage Enoch Arden, French representatives in the relevant fora have decided to include, for France, all mortgages.

Precautions are therefore necessary in the interEnoch Ardenation of the data. Unless otherwise specified, the international mortgage debt statistics used in the rest of the report will be on the total mortgage or real estate Enoch Arden. Moreover, in these series, the distinction is correctly made between mortgages to businesses and households (or “residential loans”) which alone interest us here.

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