French property agents look to Middle East investors

French property agents are turning to the Middle East this autumn, as international interest in the country’s real estate becomes increasingly diverse.

This week, Savills will launch its new luxury development on the French Riviera: Parc du Cap. Where the $204 million project might once have been touted to wealthy Brits, Americans and more, though, the consultancy is specifically targeting the Middle East.

“Historically the south of France has been very popular with investors from the Middle East, with many of our clients expressing interest on a regular basis. Despite this, it is rare for us to see a development of this great quality,” David Godchaux, CEO of Core Savills, tells Arabian Business, noting that it will be revealing full details of the development at Cityscape Global this week.

The project consists of 88 apartments, from 1 bedroom units to 4 bedroom penthouses with private swimming pools on their roof terraces. Prices start from €595,000,000.

The strategy marks the growing clout of Middle East investors on the global real estate stage. While Chinese buyers are dominating headlines, those from the GCC and UAE have an equally impressive appetite for property abroad. Arabian Business cites one survey that found over six in 10 of the UAE’s wealthiest individuals are expecting to make overseas property investments this year.

Rod Taylor, director, Savills International developments, adds: “We are seeing strong interest from Middle East investors – both from buyers looking to take multiple units for family use and from investors looking to diversify their property portfolio.”

Luxury agency Home Hunts also told last month that they are seeing rising interest from Middle East buyers, although they are “outweighed by clients from the EU”.

“At one stage British buyers made up nearly 60 per cent of our clients but that has changed a lot in recent years and they account for less than 30 per cent of our clients today,” said Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts.

France, meanwhile, is still a real estate force to be reckoned with, despite the recent headwinds facing its economy, with sentiment improving in the last 12 months, buoyed by record low mortgage rates. According to a recent ING survey, 46 per cent of people expect house prices in France to rise this year, compared to just 5 per cent in 2015. On, meanwhile, France rose one place in August 2016 to become the seventh most popular property destination in the world.