Category Archives: Home Hunts News

A collection of news articles from the award winning luxury french property specialists, Home Hunts.

Home Hunts launches its award-winning property-finding service in Spain

If you are seeking luxury property in Spain, Home Hunts now has all the resources to help you find your dream Spanish home.

property finder service in Spain

In September Home Hunts launched its hotly-anticipated property-finding service in Spain. Founded in 2003 on the French Riviera by Tim Swannie and François-Xavier de Vial, the company has expanded over the years to cover the most desirable locations in France, as well as Monaco, London and New York. Continue reading

Home Hunts releases luxury property insights report INSIDE FRANCE

Home Hunts has released the third edition of INSIDE FRANCE, a ten-page report offering buyers savvy insights into the luxury French property market.

Inside France Cover - Spring 2016The start of 2016 has been the best start to the year that Home Hunts has had since launching in 2004, with enquiries and sales up 60% compared with 2015. The buyers’ market has made it possible for irresistible property deals to be made, due to a combination of flexible prices, low interest rates and favourable currency pairings.

With the FNAIM (national association of French estate agents) announcing earlier this year that a record-breaking 800,000 older properties were sold in France in 2015, Home Hunts confirms in INSIDE FRANCE that investment conditions continue to be excellent for buyers in France.

Continue reading

Read the latest inside information on the French Property market in Home Hunts “INSIDE FRANCE REPORT”

Read the latest inside information on the French Property market in Home Hunts “INSIDE FRANCE REPORT”


Find out the latest hotspots, who is buying where, what is happening with prices and much more…

Key Facts
• FNAIM has reported an average 2.5% drop in house prices across France, yet some prime areas have seen price increases in 2013 and so far in 2014
• Home Hunts has found that sales of prime property is up 50% in 2014 compared with the same months in 2013, with numbers rising month on month
• The most common of nationalities of buyers are British, Swiss and Middle Eastern, but many buyers are also American, German, Italian, Belgian, Russian and Chinese
• France’s prime market hotspots are: Paris, the South West, Languedoc, Provence and the Riviera (specific arrondissements and towns are detailed in report)

DOWNLOAD your FREE INSide France Report (*PDF)

VIEW the Report here ONLINE

Find Luxury Properties in Exclusive Areas with HomeHunts

Luxury property investment is becoming increasingly popular. Investors are realising that they can safeguard their assets by purchasing a home in a desirable area. From London and New York to Nice and Monaco, the wealthy world is waiting to snap up luxury properties in areas where they are more likely to hold or increase their value. As such, finding luxury properties in exclusive areas has become big business and buyer’s agents are playing a large part in tracking down these high-end homes.

Investment Property

The problem with purchasing a property in a desirable area is that desirable properties are scarce. High demand creates short supply and investors need to be quick on their feet to land a good property deal. However, many investors live overseas or simply do not have sufficient knowledge of the local area to make an informed decision when it comes to investing in high-end homes. As a result, many investors choose to enlist the help of a buyer’s agent who works on behalf of the buyer as opposed to estate agents who work on behalf of the seller of a property.

At one point, the only people who used buyer’s agents were those looking for properties that came up for sale rarely. Nowadays, investors with all budgets are looking for a good buyer’s agent to help them locate luxury homes in exclusive areas. Unlike an estate agent, buyer’s agents will have access to all the properties on the market, not just the ones on their books. This gives them a distinct advantage when it comes to helping property buyers find their ideal home abroad or investment purchase.

A buyer’s agent like HomeHunts can help buyers find those hidden gems that don’t even appear on the property market. Their insider knowledge is key to tracking down houses in prestigious areas before anyone else knows they are going for sale.

Exclusive homes often come with an exclusive price tag and when estate agents will be looking to get the best price for the seller, this puts the investor at a serious disadvantage. If they are purchasing property abroad, they may not be familiar with negotiating in the language or the purchasing process within that country. This is where the buyer’s agent really comes in. Not only can they find the ideal home that ticks all of the investor’s boxes, they then negotiate on behalf of the buyer as it is in their best interests to do so.

Luxury Property for Sale from HomeHunts

If you are looking to find luxury properties abroad in exclusive areas, a buyer’s agent could help you find your ideal home and negotiate the best price. HomeHunts specialise in finding luxury investment homes all over the world. Find out more about how they could help you save time and money by visiting the HomeHunts website.

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

Following the most successful year that HomeHunts has had in 2011, where more than €100 million of properties were sold, 2012 has seen the launch of HHInvest, a service aimed at private and corporate property investors that will serve the ever-increasing demand for investment property.

This new service will focus on helping investment-savvy buyers from around the world to  purchase properties in France, Monaco,  London and Switzerland that are based on returns rather than just lifestyle requirements.

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

“It makes perfect sense for us to set up this service specifically for investment properties, the investment element of any property purchase is important to most of our clients. We have always had to offer advice and support on this” said the founder of Home Hunts, Tim Swannie.

“Over the past year or two, we have worked with more and more private and corporate clients who have been looking at France, Monaco, Geneva and London specifically for investment properties, so to have a dedicated department that showcases properties with great investment potential was a logical step.”

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

As HomeHunts are already working hand in hand with investors, a specialist arm of the company to further support clients’ needs and revenue requirements has been a natural progression. The type of investment properties clients search for varies as it depends on their unique situation and circumstances. But whether a prestigious wine-producing vineyard, a prime-located hotel in London, a renovation project in the Alps or a luxury Riviera villa that has strong rental returns is required, HHInvest is set up to cater for any clients’ needs.

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

Home Hunts Investment Manager – James Mulcare

The HHInvest concept has been developed by James Mulcare, the investment manager for Home Hunts who has been working with Home Hunts since 2010. He used the experience from his current role in the luxury property market with his background in real estate asset and fund management in London, for companies such as Jones Lang La Salle, LaSalle Investment Management and London & Capital, to devise the HHInvest scheme.

“We are seeing more and more clients seeking out safer havens for their money and wishing to invest in income-generating prime located property,” said James. “We are also seeing an increase of cash rich investors looking for property investment opportunities created by the current economic situation and restricted finance available to other would-be buyers.”

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

Many of the best opportunities are off market and therefore cannot be found on the web. Home Hunts team of specialists make it their job to know about all of the latest investment properties and can offer advice, assistance and local expertise to help.

To gain an initial insight into Home Hunt’s property portfolio clients can begin looking for their ideal investment however, by searching on the Home Hunts website in the main eight key categories: skiing, chateaux/estates, hotels/gites, new build/land, renovation/development, rental income, vineyards and commercial. They already have a great portfolio of properties to choose from.

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

Buyers using HHInvest will save time and money the moment they start using the service. Following extensive research and market intelligence, the HHInvest team sources the most potentially lucrative properties in the luxury property market in order to meet buyers’ exact investment needs.

“With buyers wanting their properties to work harder for them and create strong income and or capital growth opportunities, it is essential to have expert advice on choosing the right investment properties in the right locations and at the best prices,” said James. “Through our wide international network of contacts and locally based consultants we can act confidentially to find the best deals for our investment savvy buyers both on and off the luxury property market.”

Home Hunts launches new HHInvest service for investment properties

Meet the Luxury property finders

Whether a private race track is required or a mighty mansion with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, Home Hunts is experienced at finding the perfect luxury property no matter how challenging the criteria

Meet the Luxury property finders

Luxury buyer’s agents Home Hunts was founded by Francois-Xavier de Vial and Tim Swannie in 2005. The two directors, along with their network of more than 30 multilingual consultants, specialise in finding high-end properties in France, Monaco, Switzerland and the UK. In fact their service has recently launched in London due to ever-increasing demand. With bricks and mortar proving to be a wise choice of asset as the financial crisis shows no sign of abating, the need for buyer’s agents is rising so the well-heeled can find the right property to invest in. Properties of interest generally start at €1 million, although this figure can be lower in some areas of rural France.

“Following a tough period in 2009 and 2010, this year has been fantastic for us and we have never been busier,” said Swannie. “The English have really returned over the past 12 months and I think a lot of people, who were waiting over the past three years as the pound dropped against the euro, are now coming back,” said Swannie. “It really has been a bumper year for the company. By the end of November, we had sold more than €90 million worth of property and we are still negotiating on a number of offers at present.”

Meet the Luxury property finders

While both are based in France, UK-born Swannie moved to the French Riviera in 2003, having spent the previous five years in Amsterdam and Parisian de Vial settled in Marseille in 2002 – the company’s clients are predominantly British, Russian or Middle Eastern. “We also have many Dutch, Belgian, Scandinavian, Swiss, German, Italian, Russian and American clients,” said Swannie, adding that Chinese wine companies are now contacting them looking for flagship vineyards.

Meet the Luxury property finders

The company prides itself on sustaining strong, discreet personal relationships and can often spend up to two years working with clients to find their perfect property. All high profile relationships are dealt with very discreetly. “Often celebrities will come and we must keep it all very confidential,” said de Vial.  “The personal relationship is key,” said Swannie. “But with certain clients it can be a little surreal, especially, for example, when you are having drinks with a Hollywood power couple and people walk over and just stare instead of striking up a conversation.”

Working as buyer’s agents for this type of clientele, who are cash rich but time poor, means that Swannie and de Vial work hard to ensure clients do not miss out on seeing the best and most suitable properties before they are snapped up. They have been known, in the past, to charter a helicopter for a day of viewings. “This was something we did recently for a London-based hedge fund manager,” said Swannie.

Meet the Luxury property finders

Whatever challenges a property search raises, the company is happy to take them on – for the Home Hunts team it is just part of the job. “In terms of the search, we get asked all sorts of things,” said Swannie. “We had a Buddhist monk who was looking to buy a place to turn into a retreat in the south of France. Noise levels are very important so we had to go to all the properties at different times of the day and night to make sure they were quiet around the clock.”

Another buyer asked them to find a home with a full-size racing car track in the grounds. “We found it with a chateau that needed complete renovation,” said de Vial. “It had something like 500 hectares of land and this racing track was right down in the valley. In the end he didn’t buy it, although I felt really important that day as they had to stop all the racing so we could show the buyer around the circuit.”


Buyers agent for Luxury property

When Home Hunts was recently approached by high profile client with a precise idea of what he wanted from a luxury French property on the Riviera, the company, as an established buyer’s agent in France, immediately knew who to contact. The company directors, Tim Swannie and Francois-Xavier de Vial, are renowned for being passionate about property and are well connected with agents and the private market for French property.

Buyers agent for Luxury property

Home Hunts director – Tim Swannie

“We know the market extremely well, as well as all the agents, developers and private owners,” said Swannie. “We can usually find out a lot more about properties than a private client can on their own.”

Buyer’s agents are advantageous for property hunters because they are knowledgeable about the desired locations, the purchasing process and the individual situation with each property. They also offer unbiased and professional advice, as well as independent financial, legal and tax guidance.

Buyers agent for Luxury property

Home Hunts, which specialises in finding property in France, Monaco, Switzerland and  the UK – as it has recently launched its services as a buyer’s agent in London – provides customers with a bespoke service for their luxury property search.

“Our average sale in 2011 has been just over €2.1 million and we have had quite a number of clients who have contacted us to find them multiple properties,” said Swannie. “These buyers are generally wealthy clients who are very busy, but want to launch a property search in order to build a portfolio of properties either for a straight forward investment or as holiday homes.”

With high net worth clients from all over the world, including Russia, China, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and the USA, the 32-strong multilingual consultancy team combines knowledge and experience in abundance to benefit those choosing Home Hunts as their buyer’s agent.

Buyers agent for Luxury property

“We speak the clients’ language – in more ways than one,” said Swannie. “All our consultants are fluent in at least French and English, but many other languages are spoken in the team. In fact we have got two Chinese speakers working for us now as we have more Chinese customers looking for French property and vineyards.”

When a client approaches Home Hunts about a potential property search, the team works quickly to find out the criteria for the property, which forms the basis for a tailor-made luxury property search. Sometimes it can take up to two years to find the right luxury property for a client, but the company works hard to get buyers to properties at the right time – and have even been known to fly clients in for viewings so that no property is overlooked.

High profile names and famous celebrities are often customers of Home Hunts, who are experienced at working with clientele of this level and keeping the property search  discreet. “One of the upward trends Home Hunts has really noticed this year is the clients’ and owners’ requests for complete confidentiality,” said Swannie. “Many buyers during their property search wish to keep their identity a secret during the process.”

This does not just apply to clients on a property search. Many property owners do not wish to advertise the fact that their property is for sale, but would consider selling for the right price. Home Hunts is aware of luxury properties that are “off market”, making them accessible to property seekers choosing a buyer’s agent service.

Swannie added: “There is definitely an increase in demand from wealthy buyers from around the globe for us to carry out a property search for these types of homes, whether they are London properties or waterfront French properties on the Riviera.”

Buyers agent for Luxury property

Home Hunts open UK office in the heart of Mayfair

Home Hunts open UK office in the heart of Mayfair

Home Hunts, the leading buyers’ agent, specialising in finding luxury properties for sale throughout the South of France, Paris, Monaco, the French Alps and Geneva has recently announced its launch into London.  The company’s success in discretely helping wealthy buyers to find every type of dream home in France has led to a number of clients requesting multiple purchases including ‘pied-a-terres’, holiday homes, investments and off-market transactions in other sought after international locations, particularly in areas of central London and the home counties.

Home Hunts works with all of the best agents, builders and private owners and has a portfolio of high-class property which is unmatched.  Its clientele includes Hollywood A-listers, rock stars, hedge fund managers, corporate investors and the cash rich–time poor that need a hassle-free solution to house hunting.  Buyers to date mainly come from the UK, Benelux, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Russia, the Middle East and China.

Home Hunts open UK office in the heart of Mayfair

Since Home Hunt’s conception on the French Riviera in 2004, founders Francois-Xavier  de Vial and Tim Swannie have visited London regularly on business, with a view to setting-up a specialist buying agency team with experience in and around the capital.

Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts says: “We have been waiting for the right time to launch our property search service in London and we are very excited to be doing so now. It could be argued that this is the most exciting city in the world – with one of the world’s largest financial centres.  London, or at least parts of it operates in a bubble of its own, much like the French Riviera and Paris. It is a haven outside the global crisis, which also offers an aspirational lifestyle and we are already busy responding to the demand coming from our existing clients.”

Home Hunt’s UK headquarters is appropriately located just of Berkeley square in the heart of Mayfair. The UK  team will be headed up by Brian Cubbidge who has 20 year of experience providing financial advice and property search for high net worth clients throughout London and the Home Counties.  Brian Cubbidge says: “The central London market is unique as prime property sells very quickly.  We are penetrating the high end market by simply replicating what has worked so well for us in France. We work with many of the best estate agents and developers so we can really search the market for clients.  We also work with many private owners and specialise in the ‘OFF MARKET’ sector consisting of exclusive properties which are not for sale through any agents.  This also protects the privacy of our high profile and celebrity buyers and sellers”

Home Hunts open UK office in the heart of Mayfair

Home Hunts portfolio of luxury homes in London includes apartments, penthouses, townhouses, new build developments and period homes.  It already has a wide range of exclusive properties in all the top addresses including Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea, Regent’s Park, South Kensington, Notting Hill, St. John’s Wood, Primrose Hill and Hampstead. Home Hunts also features a range of high-end homes and estates throughout the home counties.

Catering for the large percentage of international buyers in London, the Home Hunts team speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and various other languages so there is never any barrier with clients.  Home Hunts prides itself on building strong relationships with clients who trust them not only to find their dream properties, but also to offer advice on the market, connect them with legal and financial experts, find project managers and renovation experts, or assist with the rental and management of their properties.

Home Hunts open UK office in the heart of Mayfair

Home Hunts has a long term approach to servicing its clients and tailor makes each search specifically.  In the past they invested as much as two years guiding a client through the buying process.  In contrast, they also organised a number of viewings to be done swiftly by helicopter for a time restricted client on the French Riviera and by the end of day one found their clients dream home.

Prices for Home Hunts London properties starts from approximately £1 million and rises to more than £200 million.