This Paris Life

Expert Insight, Breaking News, and Insider Stories on Real Estate in Paris

Foreign buyers: Who is buying property in France?

According to a study led by l’Observatoire BNP Paribas International Buyers, in partnership with les Notaires de France, the British, followed by the Belgians, are the first foreign buyers of real estate in France in terms of number of transactions.

The British account for about a quarter (25,9 %) of the number of real estate transactions made by non-resident foreigners, while Belgians account for 18.4%.  Real estate purchases by the British are proportionally lower now than in 2016, however, when they made up more than 30% of sales.

Following far behind both the British and the Belgians in terms of number of transactions, are the Swiss (8.1%), the Germans (7%), the Italians, the Dutch (5.5%), Americans (3%), Swedes (2.7%), Spaniards (2%) and the Portuguese (1.8%).


The Biggest Spenders

The ranking changes radically if we look at the amount spent by non-resident foreigners on their acquisitions (see box below). Those who sign the biggest checks are the Lebanese (726,476 euros, on average), followed by Norwegians (546,609 euros), Chinese (523,229 euros), Russians (502,267 euros), and Americans (452,399 euros).

The British are fifteenth in this ranking, with an average amount (252,219 euros), lower than the average amount for all non-resident foreigners combined (303,000 euros).  A similar trend is noted for Belgians (228.926 euros), ranked twentieth.

Who Buys the Most Expensive Property?

Lebanon (726,476 euros), Norway (546,609 euros), China (523,229 euros), Russia (502,267 euros), the United States (452,399 euros), Sweden (437,799 euros), Canada (432,948 euros), Denmark (389,255 euros), Ireland (387,458 euros), Luxembourg (339,092 euros), Germany (338,188 euros), Switzerland (317,531 euros), Italy (305,341 euros), Australia (269,864 euros), United Kingdom (252,219 euros), Tunisia (240,822 euros), Spain (236,155 euros), Portugal (234,416 euros), the Netherlands (229,421 euros), Belgium (228,926 euros)


General Trends

Overall, the number of real estate transactions carried out by non-resident foreigners in France has increased by 2% over the past year to 17,486 transactions.  However, if we consider all foreign transactions made in 2017 (residents and non-residents), this number is more than three times higher at 61,339, and has increased by 15% over one year.  About one-third (29%) of these 61,339 acquisitions are in Île-de-France.

In terms of spending, the average amount shelled out by non-resident foreigners fell by 1.6% to 303,000 euros.  The decline is even more significant in Ile-de-France, where this average amount decreased by 5.6%, from 612,000 euros in 2016 to 577,000 euros. In this region, the first buyers are Algerians (10% of non-resident foreigners), followed by Italians (9%) and Americans (8%). The British represent only 5% of non-resident foreigners in this area.


Regional Preferences

In Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d’Azur, those who buy the most are the Italians (16%), the Belgians (15%) and the British (11%).  In Aquitaine, the British make almost half of the purchases of non-resident foreigners (48%), followed by Belgians (16%) and Spaniards (11%).  The regions that attract the most non-resident foreigners are Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (21% of transactions), followed by the Rhône-Alpes (14%), Languedoc-Roussillon (10%), and the Ile-de-France and Aquitaine regions ( both at 8%).

The regions where the number of real estate transactions from non-resident foreigners has increased the most over the past two years include Limousin (+ 47% since 2015), Aquitaine (+ 26% since 2015), and Lorraine (+ 22 % since 2015). It is in Poitou-Charentes (- 22%) that they have fallen the most in two years


A note on French non-residents

The number of transactions by French non-residents increased by 16% between 2016 and 2017 (+ 16% in Province, + 14% in Ile de France). The average total price of transactions, however, only increased by 2% from 311,000 euros to 317,000 euros. Unsurprisingly, a quarter of these transactions are made in Ile-de-France, while Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Rhône-Alpes remain in close second at 13%.




Île-de-France data: “Notaires Paris-Ile-de-France –  Base BIEN – pour la période de 2015 à 2017”

Province data: Data estimated by BNP Paribas International Buyers, according to the real estate transactions noted in the database Perval, supplied by “Les Notaires de France”

Contact Paris Property Group to learn more about buying or selling property in Paris.

Find us on
Get the PPG Monthly newsletter

Contact us
By phone
In France +33 (0)9 75 18 18 99
From the US (917) 779-9950
By email
Stay current on the Paris real estate market:
Sign up for our newsletter
Thank you and welcome aboard!
* Required fileds