Real estate - An influx of bankers boosts real estate

An influx of bankers boosts real estate

Le Figaro - by Jorge Carasso, 08/06/2023

 The Brexit effect continues to liven up the real estate market in the capital’s prestigious neighbourhoods. Some 5,500 newcomers from the financial sector have arrived in Paris over the past few years, with major Anglo-Saxon banks such as JPMorgan, Bank Of America, Citi and Goldman Sachs strengthening their presence in Paris. And though the phenomenon has somewhat slowed down over the past few months, it has in no way stalled. In May, Morgan Stanley announced its intention to increase its workforce to attain 500 employees in Paris by 2025, some 200 more than today. Some financial sector workers who had been renting since they arrived in Paris to see if they liked their new environment, are now looking to buy. Demanding clients with solid purchasing power. “In general, they are looking for luxury assets” according to Olivia Castaing , head of a Junot agency in the 16th District which recently sold a substantial family apartment in the same neighbourhood to a French native who previously worked in the City. A 270 sqm apartment located near the OECD, oozing with period charm but requiring renovation. All for the tidy sum of 3.6 million euro.

So, what is the typical profile of these wealthy French or foreign buyers? “Often in their forties, married and with children, and with a budget of between 3.5 and 5 million million euro,” says Charles-Marie Jottras, president of the prestigious real estate group Daniel Féau. And despite the global credit squeeze which is affecting sales, and even in the luxury market, this clientele remains solvent. "At this price level, there is no problem with financing" Charles-Marie Jottras adds.

International schools

These former Londoners are looking for large family residences, which is bringing a wind of change to certain neighbourhoods and in particular the 16th District which boasts a wealth of vast Haussmannian apartments. “Neighbourhoods around Passy or Auteuil which used to be somewhat staid have become trendier and livelier” says Marie-Hélène Lundgreen, head of Belles demeures de France, a branch of the Daniel Féau group. Prices are also on the up. In 2022, the 16th was one of the only Parisian Districts to see its prices increase (+2%), rising to 11,050 euro/sqm.

The end of Covid restrictions led to a boom in the capital’s leafy residential La Muette neighbourhood. “For a few months, La Muette even became the 16th District’s most expensive neighbourhood, overtaking the historically more expensive areas such as Porte Dauphine and Chaillot,” recalls Guillaume de Blay, head of a Barnes agency in the 16th District. “London offers greenery, immense parks and superb properties, that's what you find in the Muette area, with access to all the best schools. This allows these families to maintain the lifestyle they had in London," adds the estate agent.

La Muette is not the only area to have benefited from the Brexit. The area around Parc Monceau, with its bilingual international school, is very popular, as is the 8th district and the nearby Champs-Élysées. In fact, Anglo-Saxon banks are based in this district. Outside Paris, towns such as Neuilly-sur-Seine and Saint-Germain-en-Laye are also popular because of the presence of international schools. "These households are looking for the right schools. For them, this is one of the main criteria for making a choice", confirms Marie-Hélène Lundgreen. The arrival of 200 new Morgan Stanley employees should give a boost to transactions in the Parisian western suburbs, which have been slow since the start of the year. "Guillaume de Blay points out: "All it takes is for 5% of very wealthy people to come onto the market and rush to buy for prices to rise.

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