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French property analysis: the non-resident foreigners

In the 2008-2018 period, the percentage of non-resident foreign buyers in mainland France steadily fell, bottoming out at 1.7% in 2018. This percentage varies greatly, however, from one region to another, from 0.9% in Greater Paris to 5.5% in Provence-Côte d’Azur-Corse. As for sellers, the percentage of non-resident foreigners remained steady, around 2% in the provinces, but rose slightly in Greater Paris, from 0.9% to 1.5% in 2018.


Over the past ten years, the trend in prices of properties purchased by non-residents differed from that of properties purchased by residents. In the provinces, the median selling prices of properties purchased by residents changed little between 2008 and 2018, whereas they fell by roughly 10% for non-residents. In Greater Paris, the reverse is true: trends are positive both for residents and non-residents, and are slightly higher for residents (around 20%) than for non-residents (around 15%).

French property market report of Notaires de France - Median selling price by nationality and place of residence of buyers

Also analysed depending on whether buyers are French or foreign, differences in price trends are all the greater. Non-resident foreigners in particular stand out, both in the provinces and in Greater Paris:

  • during the economic recovery, between 2009 and 2011, prices in the provinces rose by a little under 8% for French people, 12% for resident foreigners and up to 18% for non-resident foreigners. For the latter, the trend is also more marked in Greater Paris (36%), against between 15% and 20% for other buyers;
  • in 2018, and compared with the all-time high of 2011, the phenomenon was the same: the decline observed in the provinces for resident was limited to 6%, but rose to 11% for non-resident French people and as much as 20% for non-resident foreigners. Prices in the Greater Paris market for their part have risen by 10% for resident but fallen by 6%for non-resident foreigners.

In 2018, property purchase budgets between French residents and non-resident foreigners differed greatly according to location:

  • in the South-West and North-East, their budgets are equivalent;
  • on the West Coast, West Central France and the Massif Central, prices are higher for properties purchased by French residents;
  • in Greater Paris, the Alps and Provence-Côte d’Azur-Corse, properties purchased by non-resident foreigners are more expensive. This trend is very marked in Provence-Côte d’Azur-Corse, where older houses bought by non-resident foreigners are 1.8 times more expensive. French residents prefer 4-room houses (32%) and non-resident foreigners prefer houses with 6 or more rooms (42%), but these differences are not just accounted for by property type: for the same number of rooms, the ratios are still very high.

Median selling price by geographical area and type of property according to nationality and place of residence of buyers in 2018*

Median selling price by geographical area and type of property according to nationality and place of residence of buyers in 2018
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