Summary of an interview with Nicolas Pettex, general manager of the Féau and Belles Demeures de France groups.
According to Nicolas Pettex, the Parisian luxury market is seeing new buyers coming from the United Kingdom. These buyers fall into two main camps. From British residents, usually residing in London, who are facing a move to Paris due to company relocation and from the French population living in London showing Brexit uncertainty. For those French residents living in London, concerns over the future value of sterling and preparing a possible return to Paris are the two main motivations for the current increase in interest in the acquisition of an apartment in Paris. This aims to both strengthen “the share of euros in their assets” and provide a foothold in the Parisien property market.
Where are they buying?
These London based buyers, according to Nicolas, behave in the same way as the French, attracted to neighbourhoods such as the Marais, the 9th or the 11th for example. Nicolas also explains that the 16th is “back” on the market. It is attracting younger buyers, or families sensitive to the quality of schools. We can, to a lesser extent, apply this phenomenon to eastern Paris in its entirety.
What are the prospects for 2019
What Nicholas has under offer or under contract is the same in terms of volume and amount as the record levels seen in 2018. A trend he expects to continue in 2019. He believes the fact that what can be found on offer in the Féau group is a good representation of “the state of health of the real estate market” given its size and market share. Nicolas reassured us that there is no “yellow-jacket effect”, and, he expects a record number of visits to their website at this time when Parisians return from the ski slopes to begin looking for property again.
Do “very wealthy” young people behave differently in terms of preferred area?
According to Nicolas Pettex, there has been an increase in extremely wealthy young people seeking to buy a property in Paris. Like the other high end property buyers, they are aware that buying in one of the most beautiful cities in the world is to purchase something extremely rare. Unlike other major cities which see large scale new build developments, central Paris remains in a frozen state due to strict building regulations. These investors are not very sensitive to the price of the apartments and behave in the same way as people buying a piece of art.