Mark Harvey, head of sales, France, Knight Frank says, “With favourable mortgage rates of around 2.3 per cent, prices stabilising in most prime markets and the euro weak against the pound and the US dollar, buyer confidence has strengthened.”
Sales volumes are strongest within the €1m – €5m price bracket but transactions above €5m are slow. According to recent Knight Frank data, properties priced below €5m accounted for over 85 per cent of prime sales in 2015.
Mark Harvey continues, “The British are back. The British own more second homes in France (69,000) than in any other European country. Given the lifestyle on offer, France’s proximity and the currency advantage in recent years, it is perhaps no surprise that the British are active once more and represent a key source of demand in all our markets.”
Equipped with a strong dollar, American buyers are also increasing in number, particularly in Paris and parts of Gascony, whilst Evian continues to be in favour with high-net-worth-individuals from the Middle East, drawn to its lakeside living and easy access to the Alps.
Demand from domestic buyers has also strengthened. Faced with lower purchasing power abroad, a more positive political sentiment, cheap finance and good value – particularly in Paris – French buyers are active in their capital’s market.