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Paris climbs in ranking of top 10 real estate destinations

Paris gained three spots in an international ranking of real estate destinations around the world, climbing from the 10th spot in 2014 to the seventh in 2015. According to Barnes International, the decline of the euro contributed to Paris cementing its place last year in an annual ranking of the 10 most popular cities in the world for wealthy real estate buyers. Tenth in 2014, the French capital has climbed three spots to place seventh in 2015.

A safer bet than many alternatives, real estate is an investment of choice for many of the world’s great fortunes. While their favorite destinations in terms of property purchasing do vary according to currency fluctuations among other factors, some remain singularly popular among the international real estate clientele, such as London and New York. Indeed, despite high prices per square meter — the equivalents of 22,733€/m2 in London and 15,800€/m2 in New York — these two cities retain the first two spots in the ranking. They are followed by Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, in third, fourth and fifth places respectively. The Chinese capital, Beijing, is also featured in the top 10 in ninth place, just before Zurich, entering the ranking while Geneva is nudged out of it. Barnes reports that among wealthy buyers, or High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), the United States — chiefly Miami and Los Angeles — major cities in Asia, Dubai, Mauritius and St Barts retain a strong appeal. But in 2015, high-end real estate clients also newly privileged European resorts, mainly located in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. International — especially Anglo-Saxon — customers, showed a strong interest in winter sports resorts in France such as Megève and Courchevel, as well as seaside resorts in the French Riviera such as St Tropez and Cannes. Across France, where sales volumes grew significantly in 2015, Barnes recorded an increase in transactions of 38%. While rather limited in Paris (3.8%), this increase is clearly seen on properties costing over one million euros. These had been particularly affected by the housing slump in 2013 and 2014. Foreign customers making a comeback, according to the agency, are chiefly from North and South America, the Arabian Peninsula and Eastern Europe. Chinese customers are also very present, prospecting in Paris and the Châteaux de la Loire region. Buyers from Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were responsible for 50 sales of high-end property with Barnes in 2015, properties chiefly located in the 8th and 16th arrondissements, with a preference for the Avenue Foch. Properties of a value exceeding four million euros have “seen their sales explode” of late, with the number of transactions swelling by 340%, according to Barnes CEO Thibault de Saint Vincent. Photo credit: Flickr / apple.white2010

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