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Inside the Market / Market Trends

Spotlight: District Immobilier, a trio of agencies in the heart of Paris

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District Immobilier’s Managing Director David Amanou shares his insights on running his business and the state of the Parisian luxury property sector in the wake of rent regulations and the Paris attacks. 

With three agencies situated in the heart of the capital, District Immobilier is both a boutique agency and a serious player in the Paris real estate market. Managing Director David Amanou sat down with Fyltyr to talk about the agency and his views on where the Paris real estate market is heading this year.

Created in 1974, District Immobilier first settled on the historic Île Saint Louis, to serve the capital’s historic center. Fast forward to 2016, where the agency operates Managing Director David Amanou heads District’s office in Paris’ Golden Triangle, a sector rich in luxury property and boutiques in Paris’ “Golden Triangle”, marked by the avenues Montaigne, Georges V and the iconic Champs-Elysées, in the 8th and 17th arrondissements. District’s third location, in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, focuses on properties around the Eiffel Tower and Invalides. Today, the original agency location is headed by Jessie Amanou, Mr. Amanou’s sister.

With high-tourist, central locations come international buyers – two-thirds of District’s clients are foreigners or French-born living abroad. But different areas seem to attract different cultures. The Ile-Saint-Louis serves a majority of Europeans and some Asian buyers, while the 8th arrondissement attracts a good number of clients from the Gulf States or Brazil. In most cases, these are seasoned buyers who already own property abroad.

David Amanou, Managing Director of District Immobilier, Paris

David Amanou, Managing Director of District Immobilier

For Amanou, what sets District apart is the size of its team, which allows room for bespoke approaches to clients’ individual needs. “We are not a cookie-cutter service” he says.

So what of the state of the Parisian market today? Mr. Amanou is optimistic, especially where luxury property is concerned. The French capital’s enduring charm, paired with low interest rates that are slated to stay remain low into next year have given rise to a market that is “healthy and stable.” A strong dollar makes the prospect of buying property in Paris very attractive to Americans in particular.

“The overall positive trend in the market, and particularly the luxury property market, is set to last,” he says. “If it is not overwhelmed by too much regulation, this positive dynamic should carry on, with prices stable or increasing only slightly.”

Rent control laws implemented in Paris in the fall of 2015 are part of the ambitious regulation that Amanou worries may be damaging to the market as a whole. For the moment, many owners are not respecting the rules, which have proven difficult to enforce. In the long run, as the practice comes into line law, “capped rental income will mean that a good number of property investments will no longer make sense” to their owners, or to future investment buyers. As he sees it, “there is really no need for rent control. Real estate is a supply and demand market and if a property finds a taker at the rental price it is advertised for, regulation just skews that result.” At a minimum, he believes, the measure will not facilitate investment in Paris.

So where to invest in the French capital? “If the goal is a long-term rental investment, it is perhaps best not to set your sights in the heart of Paris. In the areas we serve, high prices and capped rental prices mean the yield will be low,” Amanou advises. This is especially so in the high-end neighborhoods of the 4th, 7th and 8th arrondissements. A long-term rental investment can still work for buyers looking to rent a property out for now and eventually live in it themselves.

And what of the harrowing events that shook Paris in November? “There was a shockwave for two or three weeks to be sure. The market definitely slowed.” Nonetheless, Mr. Amanou does not believe the impact will be substantial or long-lasting. He looks back to the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack in January, which had a similar initial effect that dissipated within a month.

This time too, the impact will be felt in the short term, but the city will carry on. As much as ever, “Paris is a beautiful city and it will continue to attract buyers.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia / Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

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