Which foreign nationalities buy the most property in the Paris area?

And what has happened to British buyers?

Americans have a penchant for the classic Hausmann buildings of central Paris
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More than 10% of property purchases in and around Paris in 2023 were made by foreign buyers, new information from Parisian notaires reveals.

In particular, the number of non-resident foreign buyers – those who live outside of France and use the property as a form of secondary residence or investment – increased by 6%.

The Île-de-France region is the most popular for non-French purchasers, largely due to the pull of Paris as a world capital of culture and history, and the number of immigrants working in and around the city.

“There have never been so many foreigners buying in Ile-de-France, proportionally speaking,” said the notaires.

Number of purchases decreased overall

In total, 11.2% of property purchases in the capital region were made by non-French people, with the full breakdown below:

  • Resident French buyers, 87.4% (95,400 sales)

  • Non-resident French buyers, 1.4% (1,480 sales)

  • Resident foreign buyers, 10% (10,960 sales)

  • Non-resident foreign buyers, 1.2% (1,250 sales)

This does not paint the full picture, however.

The number of resident foreign buyers did decrease by 18% between 2022 and 2023, but at the same time the number of French purchases dropped by more than 25%, leading to a larger share in the figures for foreign purchasers despite fewer sales overall.

The increase in non-resident buyers was an anomaly, with all other figures falling.

The overall number of property purchases in the region was 109,100 between January and September 2023, compared to 145,000 in the corresponding months of 2022.

Notaires do expect to see sales pick up again later in 2024, once the market has begun to stabilise.

In particular, prices in Paris have dropped below the symbolic €10,000 per m² mark, which may spark a flurry of new buyers.

Read more: 7 key points on property market in France from new notaire data

Which countries are most represented?

Americans account for around one quarter of non-resident purchases within the city of Paris itself, and they usually buy in the hyper-centre of the city.

“Their purchase budget is twice as high as that paid by French residents,” said the notaires, giving them the flexibility to buy at the premium locations. On average it is around €715,000.

Read more: American buyers help French chateau market avoid downturn

This is followed by the Lebanese (12%), Italians (9%) and then Germans (6%).

For non-French buyers who already live in the country, the largest group were the Portuguese, accounting for 13% of purchases followed by the Chinese (10%) and then Algerians, Tunisians, and Romanians (all around 8%).

Many of these choose to purchase in the pétite Couronne, the departments immediately surrounding Paris.

Britons did not make it near the top of the list despite a prominent non-French resident community in the country.

This is because not many Britons buy in Paris anymore, and are more evenly spread out, often buying for example in the south-west, Brittany, Occitanie and Normandy.

However, as little as five years ago, Britons were the fifth-largest non-French purchasers in the capital.

The national percentage share amongst Britons in the foreign purchasers category fell from 35% to only 17% in the years since Brexit.

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