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PRESTIGE LEGGETT MAGAZINE

HIGH LIFE

A

t the start of the

year, the French

property market

had been flying,

with demand

for luxury property leading

the way. Sales were at record

numbers, whether for a country

estate in South West France,

an apartment in prime central

Paris, a luxury villa in the

Alps or PACA. A report by the

Knight Frank research team

was entitled "For the world's

wealthy, France remains the

ultimate home from home"

- forecasting even stronger

growth for luxury property.

Then, in mid-March, with

the country in lockdown, sales

ground to a halt. Significantly

though, online interest jumped

dramatically. The Leggett

Prestige website saw visitor

numbers soar, and our sales

support team started building

a database of high-end buyers

who were keen to visit as soon

as lockdown finished. MidMay lifted confinement,

and

the offers came flooding in

immediately - July and August

were record months for our

agency with demand driven by

domestic buyers and topped up

by those from the UK, keen to

move before Brexit.

The Axel Springer Group

(owner of leading French web

portals) predicts that overall

Interest in high-end property continues despite the lock-down in 2020, and

strong growth is forecast for the year ahead. Expert Jane Berry explains

the market factors at work affecting sales of prestige property in France.

there will have been 918,000

sales across France in 2020, a

remarkable number considering

the estimated 180,000 sales

lost during the lockdown.

President Macron's commitment

to inward investment means

that France is also welcoming

overseas buyers, keen on

benefiting from a revised

wealth tax regime. Leggett

sees the future of the high-end

property market appearing rosy.

The only clouds on what

seems to be an incredibly

sunny horizon are a tightening

of lending criteria being

introduced by increasingly

nervous banks and the forecast

that unemployment could well

rise to 12% by 2021. Neither

of these significantly affects

the high-net-worth individuals

buying prestige property in

France, though.

From around the regions

In Paris, the prime real estate

market was scorching hot in

2018 and 2019, with a 6%

growth last year, rising to 10%

in popular arrondissements like

the 10th. The city still offers

excellent value from a global

perspective - for instance,

prices are 66% lower than

in Hong Kong, and demand

remains strong from domestic

and international buyers.

Around 84% of all sales are

to French buyers, but this

figure decreases at the top end

where overseas buyers see

a Paris property as a "musthave"

addition to their global

portfolio.

Certainly, Leggett sees

strong demand in the Alps and

difficulty finding quality stock

in some resorts. The nature of

a ski resort is that it attracts

nationalities from all over

the world, with packed bars,

restaurants, and slopes - in the

short term, visitor numbers will

obviously be restricted, but

this will be temporary and is

bound to offer excellent buying

opportunities. Indeed, Leggett

has had a constant stream of

buyers making an offer on the

back of videos, virtual tours,

and floor plans and purchasing

"sight unseen".

Our office in Nice confirms

that requests for information

on properties have soared

and viewings, they say, are

now constant. It appears the

two main hotspots for prime

properties are Le Port and

the Liberation district. We're

expecting prime property

both in and out of town, to

achieve premium prices over

the coming months. So, for any

clients thinking of selling now,

this might be precisely the right

time.

Jane Berry heads

up our Prestige

department.

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