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Non-resident foreigners on the older property market


The nationalities most represented among foreign non-resident buyers in 2017

The nationalities most represented among foreign non-resident buyers in 2017

In 2017, 5.4% of transactions involving older properties in mainland France were made by foreign buyers, according to a recent study by the notaries of France1. The trend in the first half of 2018 shows a slight increase in that percentage (5.9%), but this is primarily accounted for by transactions in Greater Paris. In 2017, non-resident foreigners represented 1.6% of buyers of older properties (0.7% in Greater Paris and 1.8% in the French Provinces).

These proportions are similar in the first half of 2018. The proportion of British non-residents declined sharply between 2016 (33%) and 2017 (26%), a period marked more particularly by the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. However the British are still the top of the table of non-resident buyers, as they have been for 10 years. On the other hand, Germans, who were in eleventh place in 2007 (3% of non-resident foreigners) have moved up one place every year, overtaking Italians in 2017, in the top three places since 2007.


Purchases made by non-resident foreigners

Buying behaviour varies greatly according to the nationality of buyers.

Buying behaviour varies greatly according to the nationality of buyers.

For instance, in period 2007-2017:

  • 75% of Scandinavians were not resident in France at the time of the transaction, against half the Italians and only 6% of Spanish or Portuguese;
  • Italians virtually exclusively purchase apartments (92%), a high proportion of which are studio apartments. 90% of their purchases are made in urban areas. Conversely, the Dutch in particular, but also the British and Belgians, purchase more houses (mostly with six or more rooms). Moreover, half their purchases are made in rural areas.

Property price trends in international metropolises

A study by the Chamber of Notaries of Greater Paris 2 offers a comparison of property price trends in three international metropolises: Paris, London and New York.

While prices in Paris and London are out of touch with prices in the rest of their respective countries, unlike New York, it is in Paris that prices have risen the most (en euros), multiplied by 3.9 in 19 years, against 3.6 in London and 2.1 in New York. In other respects great disparities between different districts are observed in the three metropolises, but much less so in Paris, which is concentrated over a much smaller area.


French property market report : Consult the interactive PDF