Expert Insight, Breaking News, and Insider Stories on Real Estate in Paris
Paris Property Group explains who is buying in Paris, and why, in the Winter issue of Le Style Magazine
Paris Property Group was featured in the December issue of Le Style magazine. Find out who’s buying, where they’re buying and why…
Read the full version of Le Style’s online magazine interview with Paris Property Group. Q: Our readers may find your website charming with the meaningful quotes and images of Paris; it is also very informative which I love. The ‘Answers’ section of your site has almost all the questions that one would ask that is very helpful. Tell us what sort of property is most wanted in the buying market in Paris at the moment in terms of number of rooms and arrondissement? Paris is a city where many, many people would love to own a property; and however the market is doing at a given moment, there is always a lot of competition for good apartments. Given that spaces are small and prices are high, small apartments with multiple bedrooms and baths are very coveted: a 65m2 2-bed 2-bath is going to garner much more interest than the same size apartment that is 1-bed 1-bath. That’s true anywhere in the city. Two neighborhoods of particular interest to international buyers are the Marais (3rd/4th arrondissements, on the right bank) and Saint Germain des Pres (6th/7th arrondissements, on the left bank). Buyers are interested in having a great pied-à-terre; a fantastic, renovated apartment with perfect features (a view, a high floor, an elevator) can run upwards of 13,000 euros/m2 in the Marais, upwards of 18,000 euros/m2 in Saint Germain (the record last year was 50,000 euros/m2). In these same neighborhoods, a less spectacular apartment or building, or one requiring substantial renovation can be had for up to 30% less than that. Q: Meeting individuals whom I’m sure have connections with Paris are the sort of clients you have. What nationalities are the highest in the buying and selling market this year? Foreign investors are a growing force in the market. In the commercial space, they represent 40% of real estate investment in Paris during the first 3 quarters of this year, up from 30% in the same period of last year. In that sector, the predominant investors come from the Middle East (15% of all transactions). Investment from China, Switzerland, Sweden and Holland also grew strongly during the period. On the residential side, foreign investment in Paris we don’t have an exact percentage of total purchases attributed to foreign buyers, but the figure historically hovers at about 15% of the total. Amongst foreign buyers, Russians purchase the largest share of properties, around 20%, and they want the “crème de la crème,” paying up to about 25M for a property. Swiss buyers account for the next largest buying block at 15% of all foreign sales, up to around 13M. Middle East buyers represent 12% of the total, and have similarly expensive tastes, shopping for properties between 10M and up to 100M. European buyers represent, together, 13% of the foreign buyers in Paris. Similar to French locals, they shop in the 1.5M to 5M range and prefer the historic districts. The British represent 10% of foreign buyers in Paris; American and Canadian buyers together account for another 10%. These groups favored price range is wide and reaches up to 6M, mostly in historic central districts of the city. Chinese and Afriacn buyers represent 8% each of all buyers in Paris, with purchases up to 13M. Q: In a fun and yet true insight, please finish the sentence for us. One should know this when buying a property in Paris – Leave no (historical) stone unturned. Owning a pied-à-terre in Paris is a dream come true for many, but it’s a major investment that should be approached with care. Having good counsel on the ground is key not just to finding the right place at the right price, but to making sure the transaction goes smoothly with no unwanted surprises. Listing agencies are representing the seller first: make sure you are equipped to investigate representations made about the apartment, the building, the neighborhood. It’s a particularly interesting time to be a buyer in Paris, as sellers are not moving property as quickly as in the last couple of years and a good, hard negotiation can result in a below-market purchase of a great property at the moment. Q: How does Paris Property Group stand out from other realty businesses in Paris apart from your captivating online presence and friendly personality? I started PPG after my own search for an apartment to buy in Paris, a process that was disorganized, cumbersome and very frustrating. And my husband and I speak French! I saw the urgent need for a client-focused real estate service, particularly for international clients unfamiliar with the language and thus even further challenged by the peculiarities and the mechanics of buying property in Paris. Our buyer services quickly expanded to representing properties for sale, as word spread of our service approach and sellers too wanted to find a more dynamic and comprehensive strategy for marketing their properties. We bring a multiple listing service approach to real estate in Paris, whether we are working for buyers or sellers. Agencies in Paris each represent only their own properties for sale, thus requiring a buyer to approach dozens of agencies to get to see even a handful of suitable properties in their neighborhood of interest. In contrast, we work with any agency – or developer, or private seller – on any property on the market, thus giving our buying clients an overview of the entire market and a good selection of properties to choose from. In turn, when we represent a property for sale, we share our listing fee with any other agency that has a potential buyer for the property, thus giving the widest possible exposure to the property in the hopes of securing the highest sale price. Whether our client is the buyer or the seller, we plant ourselves firmly on their side, as their advocate, rather than representing both sides (or ultimately, neither side!) of the deal as do many real estate agencies in Paris. We accompany our clients from defining the initial criteria and selecting the right property, to negotiating and finalizing the purchase. For buyers, we have spent years sourcing some of the best complementary resources in town, from legal and financial advisors who ensure that the purchase structure is best suited to their needs, to renovation and decoration experts who realize the buyer’s vision for the property. The uniqueness of our offering is its holistic approach to the client – not just a purchase or sale, but a trusted partner and confidant in this important investment decision. Q: Many newly weds can’t bear to leave Paris on the last day of their honeymoon and just wish they would be able to live there. Is there a best time in a year for buying and selling properties in Paris? The Paris market is strictly defined into two seasons, starting in March and September. Some properties will list in January or February, but Paris’ gray weather does not usually help for showings and so the selection can be very light during those months. Spring sun brings not only flowers but a wider, more enticing selection of properties. The market is in full swing through end of June. Mid-July through August used to be completely dead times in the market, but in recent years that has changed somewhat, particularly in neighborhoods of interest to international buyers. Caution though: nearly all the properties on the market during those 6 weeks are left over from the spring season; a well-advised owner would never list a property during those months unless his personal circumstances required it. The fall selling season kicks off in the last week of August, what the French call la rentrée – the “return” to school, to work, to Paris … and to market. Q: Tell us the advice you provide to your clients on the expectations of life in Paris as compared to their own hometown. I like to say that Paris is “Camp” for grownups. There is always a chateau to explore, a new exhibition, a walking tour, cooking class, a new restaurant, a day trip… and there are many expat groups to help you find friends and build a full life here. Q: Which arrondissement work best for fashionistas, young professionals and young families? It depends entirely on the feeling you want in your neighborhood. Right now we love the village-like atmosphere in certain areas of the 9th, 10th, 11th, 14th and 18th arrondissements. Properties there are affordable, and yet the neighborhoods are gentrified (not always a bad word!) enough to offer safe streets, trendy shops and eateries. If you have the budget, the central arrondissements, from the 1st through the 7th, are perennial favorites, close to all the sights and surrounded by the most chic shops, galleries, and restaurants. The 15th, 16th and Southern 17th are great if you have kids and want them in one of the international schools that tend to be concentrated on the west side of Paris. Thank you for connecting with Le Style and our allowing our readers to know more about Paris Property Group from across the globe. I think you have certainly increased the knowledge of many of us on the properties in Paris. More about Paris Property Group in the press.