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How Brexit has made a Paris suburb the most expensive place to buy property in France

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How Brexit has made a Paris suburb the most expensive place to buy property in France
Photo: AFP
17:50 CET+01:00
A new survey has revealed that one Paris suburb has leapfrogged the French capital in terms of property prices to become the most expensive place to buy in France. And it turns out that one of the main reasons for this is... Brexit.

The latest LPI-Se Loger property barometer shows that the French capital is no longer the most expensive place to buy property in France. 

Leapfrogging the capital to become the most expensive place to buy in France is Neuilly-sur-Seine, located to the western edge of Paris, sandwiched between the plush 16th and 17th arrondissements of the capital and the business district of La Defense.

According to the barometer the price per square metre in Neuilly-sur-Seine, which data shows is the wealthiest town in France, is now €10,344 per square metre. That compares to the average price of an apartment in Paris which is €9,827 per square metre, according to the barometer.

Although it's worth pointing out that that is the price for Paris as a whole, where property prices vary widely between the west and the east of the city. In some central and western arrondissements of the capital, such as the 8th and 16th, the price per square metre is much higher than Neuilly.

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And the reason for this jump in property price in Neuilly, according to experts, is partly due to wealthy French families returning to France from the UK as a result of Brexit.

Once run by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the well-heeled town of Neuilly is attractive to the returning families for its proximity to Paris' financial district La Defense, its bigger apartments (sometimes even houses) and the greater amount of green space on offer there.

It also has the added bonus of being on line 1 of the Paris Metro, which links Neuilly to the centre of the city.

However Neuilly isn't the only town in the Hauts-de-Seine department to the west of Paris which has seen prices sky rocket over the past year. 
 
Of the top five most expensive places to buy in France, according to the LPI-Se Loger barometre, four out of the top five were in Hauts-de-Seine - the other being Paris. 
 
An apartment building in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Photo: AFP
 
Joining Neuilly were Levallois-­Perret (see below) in the north western suburbs of Paris, where the average price per square metre was €8,544 euros, representing a rise of 12.3 percent, Boulogne-Billancourt (in the western suburbs) where the average price was €7.890 euros (a rise of 3.4 percent) and Issy-les-­Moulineaux (average of €7.308, representing a rise of 10.8 percent).
 
"The French coming back from London are choosing the Hauts-de-Seine and Yvelines. As they're used to the very expensive London housing market valued at around €15,000 per metre squared, the property prices in and around Paris, even though they're high, seem affordable to them," said property analysts Buthaud et Chatry.
 
Levallois-­Perret looking towards La Defense. Photo: couscouschocolat/Wikicommons
 
"Many of them can pay €100,000 over the asking price for a property."
 
Another survey carried out by real estate company Credit Foncier Immobilier also showed the same trend, saying that French people returning to France as a result of Brexit would see increasing competition for expensive property.  
 
"We have noted a rebound in the number of French buyers for luxury property in Paris (normally the exclusive preserve of foreigners). We attribute this to a repatriation of wealthy French people, although whether this is Brexit or a Macron effect is uncertain."
 
In Neuilly the prices are particularly high if you are looking to invest in one of the town's older and more prestigious Haussmann buildings.

Photo: AFP

This average price per square metre represents a 4.9 percent increase in prices over the past year, with the average price of a property in Neuilly standing at €744,000. 

The Neuilly 'golden triangle' - made up of the Saint James, Roulle and Jatte areas - is particularly coveted, meaning prices are even higher. 
 
It also happens to be the place in France where the income per capita is the highest in the country.  
 
And while the Brexit effect has so far only been attributed to 6-7 percent of property sales over the €2 million mark, the phenomenon is expected to increase over the next few months as French families move back from Britain in preparation for the beginning of the school year in September 2019.
 
Meanwhile, in Paris, which still made it to second place in the ranking, an apartment costs an average of €9,827 per metre square. 
 
Apartment buildings in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Photo: AFP
 
On top of this, competition for apartments within the boundaries of the French capital is fierce which experts say is driving people to look outside of the the city's 20 arrondissements. 
 
"There is a very strong demand and a very limited supply," Michel Léchenault a spokesperson for Se Loger told the French press.
 
He says that a Haussmann apartment with three bedrooms (a rarity) on Ile Saint Louis in central Paris which was on sale for €2 million euros was not put on the market because it had already sold by word of mouth. 
 
Prices for real estate in Paris are increasing as buyers scramble to get their hands on flats in the French capital's most well-heeled districts.
 
"The number of buyers is rising unstoppably," Paris notaire Thierry Delesalle old AFP.
 
Demand was outstripping supply, particularly for the most select properties, "and perhaps because of Brexit," Delesalle said.
 
The Hauts-de-Seine department is already a popular spot with English speakers in France, particularly Brits and Americans. Find out more here
 
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