House prices increased significantly in Paris during the last 20 years. Foreigner buyers are said to be the reason of the increase by French media. Actually, this idea that massive foreign purchases could be one of the reasons of the increase of houses prices is contradicted by notaries data (French land registry).
Notaries explained the importance of non resident foreigners who bought a property in France between 2009 and 2013. Indeed, the non resident foreigners represent less than 2% of all buyers during that time: they represent 1% of purchasers in Ile de France (suburb of Paris), 2% in the provinces and 3% in Paris. However, they have an influence locally: Alpes Maritime, Creuse, Dordogne and Haute Savoie are those departments which show the highest rate of foreigner owners, they represent more than 10%. Thanks to the Cote D’Azur region, South of France is still the first destination of non resident foreigners (Italians, British, Russians, Americans etc).
Actually, the non resident foreigners are mostly present on the top-of-the-range market for Paris and the Cote d’Azur. They have a minor influence in city properties suchas Lyon and Marseille. Therefore, they can’t have a big influence on the general property market. Moreover, a large portion of non residents who buy a house in France are French expatriates.
We are not talking about Chinese or Russians people who buy a house in France, to spend 1 month a year there. In border regions, of course people from the neighbouring country are very present. In this way, Swiss people are present in the Alps, Italians in the Cote d’Azur, Belgians in the North and Germans in Alsace. The only point is on the South West, where the proportion of British people is higher than Spanish people. However, in Ile de France, Italians represent a quarter of foreign purchases, then people from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Ireland.
Regarding British people, they are more present in the West regions of France like Dordogne, Brittany or Normandy.
Even if non resident foreigners represent only 2% of purchases in France, they seem to be an interesting target to focus on: a new market to develop. Those potential customers are interested by the French lifestyle, its social care and it has a very stable economy. Sometimes, they can be afraid of a “French red tape” or they don’t know how the French tax system works. Sextant group has sold almost 1,000 properties since its creation in 2005 and know how to get rid of the red tape by liaising with notaires on a day to day basis throughout a close monitoring. They guide vendors as well as purchasers in the selling process from the beginning to the hand over of keys.
If you are interested in buying a French property, you can browse through our website, here is a link about a charming house in Normandy.