Category Archives: Luxury Property Market Insights

Collection of articles about luxury property market insights from the award winning property specialists, Home Hunts.

French Property: Escape to Bordeaux

Famous the world over for its wine, Bordeaux is a magnificent modern metropolis positioned near sun-drenched sandy beaches and some of the most attractive countryside in France. If you are looking to buy property in France, why not escape to Bordeaux?



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What are the prospects for the French property market?

With house prices stabilised and a record number of old properties sold in 2015, the French property market is offering plenty of investment opportunities in 2016.

After a successful 2015 with sales continuing to increase throughout the year, January 2016 was the best January that Home Hunts has had since starting the business in 2004. “Both sales and enquiries are currently at an all-time high, so it looks like we are set for a very positive year,” says Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts.

During the course of 2015 property prices stabilised across France and, as predicted by Home Hunts, turned into the “year of the deal”. A combination of flexible property prices, low interest rates and favourable currency pairings meant that buyers could negotiate deals with vendors that may not previously have been possible. This bargaining tactic helped to boost the number of overall sales made throughout the year.

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The Wealth Report 2012 – where to buy……

Top Findings from Knight Frank’s 2012 Wealth Report

The Wealth Report 2012 - where to buy......

While emerging economies are scoring highly on global growth forecasts and are home to a growing source of mega-wealthy high net worth individuals, according to The Wealth Report 2012 from Knight Frank when it comes to buying a home it is still the familiar places that appeal the most and attract the most attention and investment.

The report’s “Attitude Survey” (completed by Citi Private Bank’s wealth advisors) reveals the most popular second home locations as being the US, UK and France – these countries, along with Switzerland, being the main focus of business for luxury property buyer’s agent Home Hunts. According to the report around 16% already own a ski chalet and 40% already own a beachfront property with 23% interested in owning one.

The top twenty locations in Knight Frank’s PIRI (Prime International Residential Index) index for leading prime property markets, based on the average prices in Q4 2011, is dominated by locations in France (including Courchevel, Cannes  and Val d’Isère) and Switzerland (locations such as St Moritz, Gstaad and Zurich). Monaco is in first place, Cap Ferrat is second, London is third, Paris takes eleventh place, Geneva is ninth and New York is seventeenth.

In terms of commercial property, once again London has proved to be the strongest location as it is viewed by high net worth investors to be a safe haven. According to Knight Frank’s report £9.1 billion was invested in 2011, which, although lower than 2010’s figure of £10.3 billion, is higher than the £6 billion invested in 2009 and £6.7 billion in 2008.

The Wealth Report 2012 - where to buy......

Paris is also in demand, largely from foreign investors, where office rents in Paris have reportedly increased by 17% since 2009. It remains popular as it is a big international city, a perennial business, tourist location and centre of government.

The most important factors when choosing a second home location were revealed to be lifestyle and investment. London ranked first for quality of life (New York was third, Geneva was fourth and Paris was seventh). London was also considered as the most important city now (New York was second, Paris fourth and Geneva seventh) and as the city that will be the most important in ten years’ time (again New York was second, but Paris was seventh and Geneva came ninth). London also ranked first for knowledge and influence and economic activity.

When asked what cities are of growing importance, London scored third (after Beijing and Shanghai), New York was sixth and Paris was in tenth place.

The surveys therefore suggest that the influence of London, Paris and New York (and Geneva for at least the next ten years) is to be sustained along with the appeal for property investment from high net worth individuals.

In terms of who is buying, the report shows that in Europe it is Russians making the biggest impact. The Chinese super-rich were expected to follow the lead of the Russian high net worth individuals, but, according to the report, this development is occurring more slowly than predicted.

However, the booming economies of the emerging countries are benefiting the developed countries, in spite of their debt crises, and many properties in locations from Monaco to Miami are reported as being bought from the wealth in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

While the prime residential market covers approximately 1%-2% of the world’s homes, an elite super-prime category exists within that attracts the wealthiest high net worth individuals in the world. Super-prime locations are New York, Paris, Côte d’Azur, Monaco, French and Swiss Alps, Geneva and London.

Home Hunts, which focuses on prime investment properties in London, Monaco, France, London and New York, can also report an increase in high net worth property investment from around the world, with a particular emphasis on London

The Wealth Report 2012 - where to buy......

“There is definitely an increase in demand from wealthy buyers from around the globe, said Tim Swannie, director of Home Hunts. “Most buyers are looking for apartments or townhouses in ‘super-prime’ locations in London, Monaco, The Alps, Paris and the French Riviera. The investment element is high and so we are focusing on areas that seem to constantly rise and be recession proof, such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Kensington in London or certain parts of the French Riviera for example.”

Tax Overhaul Encourages Investors to Buy French Properties

You could benefit from this year’s tax overhaul in France which is encouraging Britons to snap up luxury French properties in hopes that France will become a new tax haven.

Tax Overhaul Encourages Investors to Buy French PropertiesFrench president Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to overhaul France’s wealth tax system this year has prompted a number of investors to snap up luxury French properties. British investors are thought to benefit significantly should France become the next tax haven. Increasingly, investors are finding French properties have much more to offer than they might initially have imagined. Apart from the beautiful countryside, scenic coastline and vibrant cities; France may become the next tax haven hotspot which is exciting property developers and British investors.

Live in Luxury for Less with French Properties

France looks set to remain a fiscally attractive location for ex-pats, investors and property developers for the foreseeable future. Thanks to recent changes to France’s wealth tax system, wealthy expats could find themselves better off. As the threshold for which wealth tax is payable is increasing to 1.3M Euros, it has been suggested that France will become increasingly attractive to wealthy investors looking for luxury French properties. Additionally, expats relocating to France are now exempt from French wealth tax on assets held outside of France for the first five years residence in France.

The Benefits of Relocating to French Properties

Despite high rates of property tax, those who relocate stand to gain considerable financial advantages. Whilst the top tax bracket in France is 9 per cent lower than that of the UK, and its lowest bracket a tiny 5.5 per cent of all earnings, income tax agreements between the two countries also mean that tax paid in the UK on some forms of earnings can be credited to your French tax bill.

French Properties with Homehunts

If you are looking to benefit from tax changes in France; you can find a region that offers you more when you purchase French properties from Homehunts. Whether you are looking to protect your wealth or overseas assets; you can find the French properties that let you live in luxury for less with the help of property specialists from Homehunts.

To find out more, browse our luxury French properties using the property search facility.