Sold! Paris real estate shines as London gets Brexit blues


British financier Robert Drake is coming to check his new apartment.

But the luxury pad isn't in a swanky London neighbourhood.

It's his first buy in the French capital:

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCIER, ROBERT DRAKE, SAYING:

"Paris is a wonderful city and there is a great opportunity to invest right now from a valuation perspective especially given how low interest rates in the Euro zone are at present."

But Drake says Brexit is a factor too.

He sees demand for prime property rising in Paris as workers shift from London.

And he's not alone in that analysis.

Paris real estate prices gained strongly in 2019 for a fourth straight year.

Agents Knight Frank say prime property there could jump as much 7% in 2020.

Strict planning rules mean new builds can't increase to meet demand.

Paris realtor Susie Hollands says there's been a surge of international interest:

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER AND CEO OF PARIS REAL ESTATE AGENCY VINGT PARIS, SUSIE HOLLANDS, SAYING:

"It could be from the Middle East, Asia, Brits, Americans, international wealthy people. They really have shifted away from London because it is just too much precarity, no one knows what is going on. You are taking a gamble."

Over in London, agents are feeling the chill.

House prices there fell at the fastest pace in almost a decade earlier this year.

They've been hurt by Brexit uncertainty, and concern over what it will mean for high-paid jobs in the city.

Analysts Barnes International say London is no longer among the world's five most sought-after locations, while the French capital is.

That may be music to Robert Drake's ears.

He's already planning to buy more apartments in Paris.