One of the most interesting aspects of the Paris property market is how resilient it is – and the last year has been no exception. Despite the difficult circumstances, sales in the French capital have remained buoyant. And at the higher end of the market (5M euros +), where we work at VINGT Paris, we have seen increased interest and activity since Summer 2020.
In short, the properties that tick all the boxes – so the well-located ones that have been nicely renovated and have a view or a specific address – are as much in demand as ever. In particular, the desire for Parisian pieds-à-terre in the bracket of €1.5-2m remains very high. Worldwide lockdown’s seem to have enabled customers to re-think plans and strategy and they have stacked their Paris plans with renewed vigour!
We are seeing is some price corrections where a property has a flaw. Whereas these may have sold at a higher price in the past, we are now witnessing a slight adjustment in the pricing of those.
Also, there have, of course, been some changes over the last year. For example, the French banks are less interested in lending to certain nationalities now, as they see these as a higher risk. So, in the current economic situation, it has become increasingly challenging for overseas customers to get finance here. Therefore, unless it’s a cash buy, a broker may well be necessary.
In addition, with travel so restricted, another interesting trend is that many of our customers have been buying via video viewings. This does mean that a greater level of communication is required between the buyer and the agent. It also means that this integral relationship becomes even more important.
1) One of our top tips would always be to appoint a ‘Buyer’s Agent’ – someone who will act on your behalf to actively find your dream property, advise on the value and then negotiate the deal. In short, someone who has your back. Paris is quite unlike most other places in that the market is incredibly competitive – and some of the most interesting properties will never be advertised. Also, the price per square metre can vary so wildly that it can be hard to obtain comparables. However, a Buyer’s Agent can guide you through every aspect of the whole process and secure the best deal possible. This is one of the services that we offer here at VINGT Paris, so drop us a line to find out more.
2) Conversely, one of the advantages of buying in Paris is that the buyer is actually very well protected here. Under French law, there are various points in the process where the buyer can withdraw without any repercussions at all. Also, there is a long period of due diligence before you reach the point of signing a preliminary agreement. This helps to being peace of mind to our customers and they tend to feel more comfortable going ahead with their purchase than they might perhaps in other countries.
3) Lastly, our other important advice is to be ‘buyer ready’. Things can move very quickly in Paris when a nice property comes onto the market, so you need to be well-organised beforehand and ready to act. Ideally, you will have a retained search agency (or Buyer’s Agent), your finance solution already in place and a French notaire (a legal requirement in France) ready to act on your behalf. That way, you will be poised to purchase in this still very hot market..
Not so much an area or neighbourhood, per se, but you can never go wrong with a view of the river. Although you’ll pay a premium, these properties will never lose their value as they are always in demand. It’s hard to imagine a time when a well-appointed, river-view property will depreciate in price. You do need to be particularly determined to secure one, but it can be an excellent long-term investment if you are lucky enough to do so.
Otherwise, there are certain areas of Paris that will always retain their allure among wealthy visitors. For example, if you can afford the very best location, the Left Bank will never go out of fashion. However, the prices there can reach €40,000 per square metre. Otherwise, the 1st or 8th arrondissements can be great alternatives, as prices are not quite so eye-watering but you can still find a classically beautiful Parisian property. They are also very central and accessible locations.
An opportunity to own one of the most prestigious properties in Paris, this extraordinary edifice features stunning views across the river as well as overlooking several famous landmarks. Dating from the 17th century, and decorated in gorgeous period finery, this opulent apartment feels more like a small and intimate château. Rare on the Left Bank, it is perfectly situated for city entertaining or as your own private retreat. It also features a very large balcony terrasse where it would be possible to dine.
One other thing that might be of interest to readers is that we have also seen an increase in British buyers who want to purchase in Paris. This is not necessarily because they want to live here full-time but in order to retain a euro asset as part of their post-Brexit strategy. Also, despite the problematic situation with travel, American customers have been pushing ahead with their plans too. On a more general note, we have also seen a significant demand from international sportspeople looking to make an investment in a safe haven but with lifestyle benefits, often stars in Football and Tennis worlds.
For those considering the South of France, which is another area where we are very active, the market is actually quite similar to that of Paris – albeit dealing with a very different proposition. Here, we have continued to see a high level of activity over the last year – and this has come from two different sectors.
The first of these is from wealthy international buyers looking for an investment. Essentially, these are people who want to put their money in a safe place but they also want an alternative to the bank. So, they are looking for exceptional products with prestigious addresses and impressive views that will stand them in good stead. The other growth area, which has been as a direct result of the pandemic, has come from people who are seeking new ways to live with the expansion of home-working.
The upshot of all this is that there is now an extreme lack of stock on the Riviera and properties can’t be valued easily. Also, as international owners can’t manage to get to the region to organise sales instructions, a trusted local agent becomes even more essential.
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