There has been plenty of press coverage about an increase of “top end” buyers of global real estate in the last few weeks. Leggett Immobilier has experienced this demand first hand and Chief Executive, Trevor Leggett, has the following comments:
“The Wealth Report issued annually by Knight Frank is always a good read and it was most interesting to read that high net worth individuals now value “lifestyle” over “investment returns” and “favourable tax regimes” for their second home investments.
This is excellent news for the French property market as we consistently lead polls of countries offering the best lifestyle and highest quality of life. It may also go some way in negating the effects of M Hollande’s new taxes on the wealthy. Indeed the report says that France currently has 4,074 individuals who are classed as super rich but that this figure is forecast to rise by 28% to 5,212 over the next ten years.
On a recent trip to China I saw for myself the insatiable appetite for French property amongst Asian investors and it was no surprise to see a report on the BBC this week saying that China is now the leading export market for Bodeaux wine and that over the last four years 30 French chateaux have been bought by Chinese investors with another 20 in the pipeline.
It’s the same story in the Alps where we saw sales triple last year with increases both in the mid market price range and at the top end to international investors. The Notaires de France confirmed that the Alps saw an increasing number of overeas residents last year and put this down to the triple advantage of being a source of enjoyment, a potential source of revenue and a safe haven.
We forecast that this international demand is likely to continue increasing. Our main website (www.frenchestateagents.com) has seen a rise in page views from around 15.5m pa to over 18m pa with interest from China up by 66% and from Russia up by 34%. Similarly our listings at the top end of the market (www.leggett-prestige.com) have seen a huge increase in visitors.
One of the most popular destinations on our prestige site is a vineyard property close to St Emilion, built in 1782 in the style of Louis XV it has 20 hectares of prime vines and is on the market for €6,360,000.
It’s easy to get caught up in the headlines about tax refugees fleeing the country but when you read that actually the super wealthy value lifestyle over all other investment criteria it’s clear that France will continue to attractinternational buyers for a long time to come”.