Great OPP article on our Parisian success and growth:
London-based overseas property agency Prestige Brokers has had an excellent first half selling nearly 50 apartments in Paris in the past 4 months as the market in the French capital continues to boom.
And now the company is now about to move into marketing the new 5-star Oustau de Sorgue Resort & Spa in L’Isle Sur La Sorgue near Avignon on an 11-year leaseback model with 4.5% – 5% returns and 100% French bank-backed financing.
Speaking exclusively to OPP, Prestige Brokers’ managing director Zeeshaan Shah said that the Paris scheme has brought in “exceptionally good results” for the company in recent weeks. The agency has sold €7.5 million-worth of stock there so far this year.
“I am really pleased that we went into the Paris market like we did,” says Shah.
“But, to be honest, I was convinced that it would work well. I researched the property sector at the turn of the year and identified Paris as the strongest market in Europe at present. The area has a very limited supply of good quality stock, there has been no real property depreciation there for 30 years, prices are growing, it is a capital city in a stable democracy … and it is low risk.”
The project that Shah chose to represent was the Villa Bellagio apartment development at Villejuif, just outside the city’s encircling peripherique urban motorway.
The Villejuif district is, says Prestige Brokers, “at the heart of a €100 billion government investment plan and prices in the area have seen continuous growth of more than 20% per annum over the last 2 years.”
Located 120m above sea level, the development overlooks Paris and is close to Orly airport. The Village Bellagio scheme comprises 113 apartments including 98 studios, 7 reduced mobility studios (ground floor), 8 one-bedroom apartments and 33 covered car parking spaces.
For Shah, it was crucial that the project was built and ready to sell and offered buyers:
· Key-ready – Fully furnished apartments;
· 4* serviced apartment development;
· Prime location in emerging Villejuif area of Paris;
· Only 7 minutes to central Paris on Metro line 7;
· 5 – 5.5% Yields guaranteed for 11 years through Government leaseback scheme – Backed by a sovereign bank guarantee issued by Credit Mutuel;
· 100% Loan-to-value on discounted prices for European Union buyers;
· 80% Loan-to-value on discounted prices for Non-EU buyers;
· Minimal Liquid Exposure – a £3,000 reservation fee including notary, administration and all closing fees.
“The development had a good story and we were keen to sell it,” Shah told OPP. “And we have a great sales formula.”
“It is a very, very simple model,” he explains. “We select three lead gen companies and tell them to target high net-worth private individuals … doctors, lawyers and accountants with an income of at least £100,000 plus and tell them all about our rental and 100% finance arrangements. They email the project to their own databases and we only pay for each qualified lead they generate. They have to come back to me with a name, address, email and phone details and my sales team follows it up. It couldn’t be easier … and it works really well.”
Shah also uses his own email database and doesn’t use any other approach. He also got into the scheme, he says, because “it had a really good management company on board, Direct Gestion, who are huge, it was in an emerging area, prices started from €130,000 which is very sellable, there was a bank guarantee backed by Credit Mutuel, we got 100% financing from BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole Britline, and we get exclusivity from the developer. We asked for 30 units, which I had to put a deposit on, and when it was obvious things were going to go well, they gave us a further 20 to sell.”
Next up is a biofuel renewable energy alternative investment project says Shah, which he is working on now, and a continuing search for another development in Paris. “IF I could find another Villa Bellagio, I would definitely go for it,” he says.