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The influence of foreign investors in the luxury real estate sector

The French luxury real estate market always attracts foreign investors. According to a study conducted by French notaries for the period from 2006 to 2016, a real craze for for older properties has emerged from foreign buyers. Despite significant variations due to the previous financial crisis, this trend continues today.

A foreign clientele interested in old real estate

During the ten-year period at the heart of this study, 6 percent of real estate purchases in France were made by foreign clients. Among them, there was a clear predominance of buyers from Great Britain, Italy and Belgium. On their own, they represented nearly 60 percent of real estate purchases made by foreigners in France.

The study highlighted the perennial attraction of French properties to British customers. Among foreigners who bought a residence in France between 2006 and 2016, almost a third (32 percent) were from Great Britain. Italians and Belgians (14 and 12 percent respectively) completed this podium. The other nationalities represented were more marginal, with shares estimated at 6 percent for the Swiss, 5 percent for the Dutch and 4 percent for the Germans. Spanish, Portuguese, American and Irish buyers (less than 3 percent each) were also noteworthy.

- Investisseurs britanniques séduit par la France

UK real estate investors strongly represented

Unquestionably, buyers from Great Britain were the most interested in luxury property in France. The study highlights their importance, compared to other nationalities present, it also distinguishes several different periods concerning the intensity of these purchases. From 2006 to 2007, the British share in the acquisitions made amounted to 42 percent. After the financial crisis, it collapsed by half and fell sharply to 21 percent.
Once the purchasing power of British customers returned to normal, real estate acquisitions bounced back. Despite the threat of Brexit, buyers from Great Britain remain particularly active in France. Properties in rural areas (Central West, Southwest, Alps) are preferred.

The Paris greater area and the French Riviera highly targeted

In addition to these rural areas where luxury goods are very successful, the French Riviera is still a geographical area favoured by foreign investors. For the British in particular, the charm of the Mediterranean Riviera is undeniable. Other regions (Charente, Dordogne, Creuse) seem neglected by foreign buyers.

The study also shows that the Greater Paris area attracts many Italian and American buyers, even supplanting the British. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in real estate purchases by Belgian customers, which have almost doubled in ten years. Finally, it should be noted that the most expensive properties are primarily of interest to British and Scandinavian buyers.

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