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Inside the Market / Market Stats

Foreign buyers return en masse to buy their second homes in France

foreign investment France

Real estate purchases by foreigners jumped by 29% in 2015, with non-residents flocking to France to buy their second homes. Brits are the majority buyers across the country, with Americans responsible for the most buys in Paris.

The 8th edition of BNP Paribas International Buyers’ report finds that after several years of decline, the French real estate market is enjoying a resurgence of non-resident buyers. After an almost imperceptible recovery of 1.5% in 2014, property sales to foreigners increased by 29% in 2015 with a total of 17,785 purchases.

British buyers reaffirmed their status of majority buyers in France in 2015, with sales to residents of the United Kingdom jumping by 44% over a year. In Paris itself, Americans were the top foreign buyers — tied with Italian buyers — with 91% more sales than the previous year.

The return of foreign buyers seems to be lasting. Indeed, this trend has been confirmed in the first half of 2016. François Laforie, the CEO of BNP Paribas International Buyers states that “In the first five months of the year, demand has remained strong with France attracting investors from abroad.”

The average amount for sales across the country stands at 310,000 euros. Scandinavian buyers seem to spend more, with average sales of 510,000 euros. In Île-de-France, international buyers are prepared to pay much more than in the rest of the country, with the average sales price totaling 583,000 euros against 284,000 euros elsewhere. In Paris, Americans invest an average of 911,000 euros to purchase property, while Italians pay approximately 573,000 euros.

According to the report, the most attractive locations in France are the Pyrénées-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and the Rhône-Alpes region, respectively in the south and southeast of France, which concentrate 38% of purchases by non-resident buyers. These are followed by the Languedoc-Roussillon, Île-de-France and Aquitaine regions.

French expatriates are also included in the study, with sales to this portion of non-resident buyers experiencing a 27% growth in 2015. They invest 317,000 euros on average, with wide disparities between Paris and the rest of the country: an average of 605,000 euros in the capital against 251,000 euros elsewhere. Moreover, the Île-de-France region concentrates a quarter of sales to French expats.

Photo credit: Wikimedia / Tobi 87

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