Ooh la la! American home buyers look to France

Paris, Riviera are top-searched destinations

Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal with Getty Images)
Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal with Getty Images)

If you’re an American looking to buy a home, you might consider polishing up your rusty high school French.

Armed with a stronger dollar and fatter post-pandemic savings accounts, more Americans are looking to France as a possible locale for affordable homes, Bloomberg reported. The euro is at its weakest against the dollar in 20 years.

Property searches for homes in France rose 37 percent in the first five months of this year over 2021, Knight Frank reported, referring to online searches on the global consultant company’s website. The top-searched destinations were Paris and the French Riviera.

With a central bank slower to raise interest rates than the Federal Reserve and uncertainty over the Continent’s energy supply due to the war in Ukraine, the euro has weakened over the past several weeks, hovering near a one-to-one exchange rate with the dollar.

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That’s bad news for Europeans, whose currency has less power abroad, and good for Americans who will find that homes there, or even just visits, are more affordable than they’ve been in recent years.

France isn’t the only transatlantic destination where Americans may be looking to purchase homes. Destinations across southern Europe like Sicily and Mallorca, Spain, are also popular searches among prospective American buyers, according to Knight Frank.

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– Cailley LaPara