Luxury real estate: the super-rich return to Paris

© Les Echos Patrimoine - published on Barnes International on 23/01/2016

Foreign wealthy clientele has made a comeback on the Paris market in 2015, Barnes reveals the network in its annual balance sheet. Falling prices and the foreign exchange effect largely explain this improvement.

On the lookout for investment opportunities around the world, the ultra-rich maintain a strong appetite for high-end real estate. They now spend on average 25% of their assets, such assets are seen as the safe haven par excellence. In the arbitration between real estate markets, major cities like New York, London, Paris, Geneva and Hong Kong remain priority. However, the attraction of the French capital has significantly reduced since 2012. Thus, according to UBS Wealth studies and X-firm on the wealthy, Paris, which was the fifth most searched city in 2011, demoted to ninth in 2013 and tenth in 2014.

Changing course in 2015! 'Paris, which is now back up to 7th place in the ranking of the ten most popular cities, says Thibault de Saint Vincent, president of Barnes, benefits from the relative stability of its prices in five years compared to other most popular capitals that they have seen their prices explode. International customers spotted this difference and is interested again in the Paris market since early 2015. 'The attacks have certainly had a negative effect on the market, but their impact has been limited. Barnes network shows an increase of 38% of transactions in 2015 with 738 sales recorded in Paris and the Paris region.

Infatuation with exceptional properties

The recovery in the housing market tricolor prestige, already noted by other real high-end networks, does not only affect the capital but also other places of Franco-French resorts popular with this clientele (St. Tropez, Monaco, Cannes on the French Riviera and ski resorts of Courchevel and Megève ...). It is explained by the sharp correction in prices between 2012 and 2014 and, for foreign buyers, the leverage effect of the fall of the euro against the dollar.

'Foreign buyers are back in force in our market in 2015, being decided quickly, observes Thibault St Vincent. Some take advantage of low rates, rising dollar and a French property market 'given' to the US market, which is reassessed. ' Barnes, the segment of exceptional properties, larger than 4 million, has 'exploded', an increase of 340% (17 transactions in 2015 against 5 in 2014). He seduces a clientele increasingly affluent, with budgets exceeding 10 million. The apartments or houses, less than two million, have also sold well (+ 38% in sales in 2015). However, 'The Family Property High-end' Franco-French 'still suffer in 2015 due to a loss of purchasing power of the French upper class category. '

Surge of Middle Easterners

Foreign investors returned to the capital, are, according to Barnes, mainly American, South American, Middle Eastern, Eastern countries and some sales were made with the Chinese. Key fact, Barnes notes 'for six months, a wave of customers of the Arabian Peninsula, from Dubai, Doha, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 'She buys a minimum base camp of 200 square meters with three bedrooms, a duplex of 1000-1500 m² on the 8th and 16th (Avenue Foch). Of the 50 sales with this customer in 2015, Barnes cites three examples. That of an owner of 3 mansions in the area of ​​Avenue Foch, which acquired two apartments of 300 sqm in the neighborhood for two of his children. Another customer, owner of a beautiful mansion on the Champ de Mars, bought an apartment of 135 m² avenue Emile Deschanel for staff. A third customer preferred, for practical reasons, make payment of the full price and notary fees 10 days before the signing of the sale agreement.

On average transactions within its network in 2015, Barnes was a slight increase in prices in Paris of 3.18%, more marked on goods in excess of one million euros that had been most affected by the decline in 2013/2014. For this year, Thibault de Saint Vincent is said 'somewhat positive. Demand should remain very strong. After Paris, the recovery should gain large provincial cities like Lyon, Bordeaux and Toulouse. The prices are slightly higher, between 5-10%, for superior goods to 2 million euros, stable for the segment 2-4000000 euros and still rising for exceptional properties above 4 millions of euros. '

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