Laetitia Laurent, a South Florida interior designer, has long had her heart set on a Parisian pied-à-terre. This summer, with the dollar soaring and Parisian real-estate prices holding steady, she took the leap. The 42-year-old, who lives in Boca Raton, paid €758,000, or $758,606, for a 460-square-foot, one-bedroom in the Golden Triangle—the prime residential and commercial area between the Seine and the Champs-Élysées, in the French capital’s pricey 8th arrondissement.
“I had been looking for a place for a long time,” says Ms. Laurent, who plans to use the apartment for work when she visits Paris to source designs for American clients, and for vacations with her husband and three young children. What helped propel her from just looking to outright buying was the strength of the U.S. dollar—“a huge factor” in the purchase, she says— 15% over the past year, hovering at or near parity since mid July. The dollar is rising so much, and so quickly, that Ms. Laurent estimates she saved around $80,000 between the time she first saw the apartment in early 2022 and when she closed in July.
Strong dollar means foreign flats
With the exception of Lisbon, where prices increased by 11.5% between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022, these markets saw little to no price increase in local currencies.According to the latest Knight Frank Global Residential Index, prices in Greater London areParis rose by less than 5% between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, while prices in the Tuscan capital Florence fell 1.6% over the same period. By comparison, the United States dominates the Knight Frank study, with nine of the top 20 cities occupied by US cities. The top three cities, Phoenix, Miami, and San Diego, saw prices increase by more than 29%. Everett Allen points out that while increases in London and Paris are modest by American standards, both are among the best performers in years.
Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of foreign exchange and commodities research at Deutsche Börse, said:
Commerzbank, says that the current euro-dollar parity is actually somewhat deceptive, making the euro appear stronger than it really is. Using the more appropriate measure of real purchasing power, he says, “the euro is weaker than ever.” He believes America’s status as a net energy exporter and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy have helped strengthen the U.S. currency, and that the instability caused by the war in Ukraine has helped strengthen the economy. It is partly responsible for the euro’s weakness.
Dollar-based buyers can expect the bargains to continue. He expects the current exchange rate to persist in the short term and the euro to remain slightly below the dollar through the end of the year.
The dollar has also surged against the British pound, making London, Europe’s most expensive capital, even more attractive to a wide range of American buyers.
Savills of The North American desk of a private office for a real estate company specializing in multi-million pound properties. With the pound hovering around his $1.15, the current exchange rate offers London’s best opportunity for dollar-based buyers since 2008, he said.
Americans are looking for trophy homes in central London, including Mayfair, Chelsea and Knightsbridge, McMullen said. Close to the traditional financial district, Clerkenwell is known for its Victorian-era lofts.
The savings on luxury properties in London may seem enormous. The asking price for a 3,229-square-foot, four-bedroom, Savills-listed apartment in Knightsbridge is £13 million, or $15.13 million. When it hit the market in mid-January of this year, the price was the same at $16.4 million in pounds since the listing.
Even Americans with more modest budgets are taking notice. “I fell in love,” said Robin Adkins, owner of his Nashville-area business.
Capri, ” An Italian island off the coast of Naples. She said she had been thinking about buying it for a while, and the new exchange rate meant she increased her budget from around €450,000 to €500,000, which now translates to $500,000 for her. An exclusive western community on an island known for its historic villas and hairpin roads. A strong dollar “definitely affected my search,” she says.
Elsewhere in Italy, American interest is growing in longtime favorite markets such as Lake Como and Tuscany, but it is also finding its way into new regions, says Italy’s Sotheby’s International Realty. Diletta Giorgolo Spinola, head of home sales, says American second-home buyers are splurges everywhere, from Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot to the heart of Milan. Million dollars in sales, she says, is a top concern for her U.S. clients.
Once upon a time, American second-home buyers were keen to find romantic fixer uppers in places like Tuscany and Umbria, but Giorgolo Spinola said Italian-minded Americans “with a few exceptions He said that he is looking for a property that can be used immediately.
In the Lisbon area, Americans have established a prominent presence among buyers in Cascais and Estoril. By Rafael Asenzo, founder and CEO of Porta da Frente, Christie’s affiliate in the Lisbon area He said the majority of his agency’s clients are Americans, more than any nationality other than Portuguese-born Portuguese and expatriate Brazilians, who have long been the majority. is. local buyers.
Americans now have more budgets than Portuguese speakers, with average sales in the €1.7 million ($1.7 million) range for the first half of the year, Asenso said. Teresa Almeida Pinto, his manager of sales at another local real estate agent, Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty, said American buyers tend to fall into two categories. You want access to remote golf courses along the Atlantic coast. “We are accepting more and more Americans every day,” she says.