French Property Market

Mid-market buyers make a come back in the Alps

Leading French estate agency, Leggett Immobilier, has responded to the latest research from the Knight Frank “Global briefing” team on the rise in demand for ski property.

In this report Knight Frank say that ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI’s) are buying an increasing number of ski properties because of the mixture of lifestyle and investment opportunities offered.

Trevor Leggett, Chief Executive of Leggett Immobilier, agrees that demand is on the increase but puts it down to more than just the extreme top end of the market:

“It’s not just those people worth $100m or more that have been snapping up ski property in 2012. Our team in the Alps has seen a 300% increase in sales during 2012 which we put down to the rise in what we call mid-marketbuyers. Knight Frank would probably class them as fairly-high net worth individuals (FHNWI’s). These people are typically spending between €400-800,000 on an apartment or ski chalet for exactly the same reasons as the super rich.

This mid-market group of international buyers have been missing here in France for the last six years but 2012 was the year they started to come back. This is great news for our business as the FHNWI’s form the core of our client base – they are successful and clever people who understand that, in property, timing is everything. They believe that the market is turning and that prime French real estate offers a secure and attractive return”.

Heather Byrne who heads up the Leggett Immobilier team in the Alps added:

“One certain trend to come out of 2012 was that people who have previoulsy invested in stocks & shares are fed up with the low rate of returns. It’s clear that they have decided to find different ways to put their money to work whilst enjoying it in the meantime. They aren’t necessarily looking for a huge and immediate capital gain but rather to put their money into a prime property that has a strong chance of producing long term capital growth. Meanwhile they don’t have to pay for ski holidays – so their money is working on several levels.
We have sold some terrific properties this year and we fully expect to see our sales increase further in 2013. Indeed, we are busy recruiting to ensure we satisfy this demand”.

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