Non-residents in France: who are they, where and what do they buy?

Posted on 24 Oct 2019 in Market
Non-residents in France: who are they, where and what do they buy?

In 2018, non-resident buyers represented 5.9% of real estate transactions for existing properties in France, but do they all buy in the same place? In today’s article, we will put international buyers under the microscope and examine where they come from and what they buy.

Unsurprisingly, British buyers account for 27% of all non-resident real estate transactions, followed by Belgian buyers who make up 19% of transactions. But who comes next?

For the first time, the Germans take third place in front of the Swiss, who, like the Italians and the Dutch, tend to represent a smaller fraction of international buyers. Whilst Americans make up a small amount of, though they still remain the first non-European nationality on the French market.

From the 8th place on the list, the most progressing nationalities are Luxembourgers (+ 13%), Spaniards (+ 18%), and especially Irish (+ 36%), Portuguese (+ 51%) and Canadians (+ 54%). With more moderate budgets, they tend to pull the market down which can be a good thing.

Who spends the most?

Though not as numerous, Scandinavians have the biggest budgets. Norwegians (€612,000), Swedes (€501,000) and Danes (€479,000) are the top three biggest spenders. Plus, the number of Swedish buyers has increased by 15% in just one year.

The top three are closely followed by China (€453,000), the United States (€415,000) and Russia (€377,000). Interestingly, Dutch residents are spending 30% more with an average spend of €298,000. On the other hand, Brits (-7%) and Russians (-25%) are the only nationalities for which the average spend is decreasing.

Where in France do international buyers purchase properties?

Though the first place that comes to mind is Ile-de-France and Paris, that is not even close to what the statistics are showing.

South of France and the French Alps are experiencing the most purchases from international buyers. PACA (Provence-Alpes-côte d’Azur) scoops first place, accounting for 20% of total transactions and is followed by Occitanie (15%) and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (14.8%). Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is very close accounting for 14% of transactions. 

Surprisingly, Ile-de-France represents only 8.6% of total purchases.

What is the type of property they buy?

When it comes to the architecture itself, we have experienced a huge interest in historically classified properties. This is a reason why most of the Parisian purchases are apartments in Haussmannian buildings. Below is an example of a typical property purchased by international buyers in the south of France:

Image courtesy of Pléiades Estate.

This is a beautiful apartment with terrace and sea view garden, located in a historic building in Saint Raphael. This is a restoration of an old inn, made by “History and Heritage” and if you want to know more, do not hesitate to have a look at their website!

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