Real estate: regions where foreigners drive up the prices of ultra-luxury goods

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In the entire real estate market, housing prices fell last year… But not in the world of ultra-luxury real estate, where the rich continue to pour colossal sums.


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The world of luxury is a world apart. While housing prices continue to collapse in virtually every area, the high-end stone segment* continues to appreciate almost everywhere. This follows from an annual study published by the Belles Demeures advertising portal dedicated to the most expensive real estate. Its barometer, published with the expertise of the estimator Meilleurs Agents and the portal SeLoger, shows a radically different development between the market prices of standard housing and precious stones.

Where, according to the SeLoger/Meilleurs Agents barometer, traditional housing prices have fallen by an average of 2.5% over the past year, the value of luxury housing has further increased by an average of 1.7% over the past 12 months. “The luxury real estate market is inherently unrelated to the traditional real estate market», describes Éric Donnet, CEO of the Daniel Féau group of luxury real estate agencies. And for good reason: unlike traditional buyers who were hit hard by a very rapid increase in credit last year, the wealthy don’t always have to borrow to become homeowners. “In 2023, the slowdown in sales was particularly evident in transactions priced between 1 and 3 million euros, as the buyers are often families who are borrowing to become owners. But in the ultra-luxury segment (more than 3 million euros, editor’s note)there was no negative effect», Richard Tzipine, CEO of the Barnes agency network, deciphers for his part.

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Prices in the Alps exploded by 8.2% in one year.

Thanks to this, at the beginning of the year, the rich picked up the most luxurious accommodation in traditionally the most attractive places. For example, in the Alps, luxury chalets and apartments reached record prices: +8.2% compared to last year! To give you the order of magnitude of the prices, “in Courchevel, median prices reach 7.2 million euros», shows Thomas Lefebvre, scientific director of Belles Demeures (SeLoger group). However, other usual places of great wealth are not left out. In Provence, the average prices of luxury housing increased by a further 7.2%, but also by 3.2% in the most beautiful places of Normandy or by 2.3% for luxury villas on the Atlantic coast.

In the ultra-luxury segment, the past year was quite good», confirms Sébastien Kuperfis, President of Junot Fine Properties – Knight Frank. This trend is largely explained by the activity of foreign buyers, especially from the Middle East and Asia, who come to buy in France. “For houses over 5 million euros, 75% of buyers are foreigners», explains the head of the network. And the frenzy is unlikely to be slowed down by the hosting of the Paris Olympics, which will turn the world’s cameras on France this summer.

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*Methodology: the gemstone market defines Belles Demeures as follows. In Paris, it brings together houses for sale priced above 1.7 million euros, or whose price per square meter corresponds to the five most expensive percentiles in the capital. Luxury real estate in the region includes homes for sale priced above 1 million euros, or whose prices per square meter belong to the most expensive decile in each department. The places studied are the following: Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Calvados, Seine-Maritime, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Gironde, Charente-Maritime, Vendée, Loire-Atlantique, as well as the ski resorts of Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Isère.

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