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Non-resident real estate buyers return to France

Study finds that real estate acquisitions by non-residents are on the rise in France after a decline in 2013. This confirms the slow growth in foreign purchases begun in 2014.

Foreigners are once again allowing themselves to be seduced by the French property market and are back to buy after two years of marked disinterest.

According to a study by real estate observatory BNP Paribas International Buyers, the number of property transactions undertaken by non-residents increased by 1.5% in 2014.

The upward trend begun last year is set to carry on throughout 2015, with an increase of 53% recorded in the first five months of this year. François Laforie, CEO of BNP Paribas International Buyers says “we are very confident for the rest of the year, as demand has remained constant”.

The British maintain their first place as most numerous property buyers in France, particularly charmed by the French countryside. Year over year, the number of British transactions increased by 33%. This strong demand is easily explained by the UK’s steady economic recovery, the weakening of the euro and the decline in property prices in France.

Acquisitions made by Americans also increased in the same period, rising by 12%.

Paris notaire, Thierry Delesalle notes “a real return of foreign buyers” to the capital and its region with “current transactions reaching their highest levels in ten years”.

In Île-de-France, a little over 9% of all homebuyers are foreign, a number that has been growing over the past four years. This figure reaches as high as 17.5% in certain upscale inner-Paris districts such as the 4th and 7th arrondissements. Delesalle reports that “5 to 6 years ago only 6% of all buyers were foreigners”.

In terms of nationality, 14.5% of them are Portuguese and 14.3% are Chinese. Chinese buyers are predominantly active in the outskirts of Paris, where they represent 22.6% of foreign buyers in the area. In Paris proper, it is Italians who win the title of primo foreign buyers, comprising 16.6% of property purchases by non-French investors in the capital, with British buyers trailing at 6.6% of foreign acquisitions in Paris.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Andyblind

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