La Ville Lumiére: With tension on the streets of Paris and uncertain euro zone growth, how long can the French capital’s office market keep shining?
In December 2015, more than halfway through François Hollande’s administration, France laboured under a dark cloud.
The socialist President, who had run on an anti-business ticket and painted himself as an “enemy” of finance, had been true to his word. High and arbitrary taxes had been imposed on the business community, damaging economic confidence and scaring off international companies from investing in the country.
At the same time, a series of terrorist attacks that year, culminating in a coordinated assault on the streets of Paris that resulted in more than 130 deaths, had left the country numb and shell-shocked. Under this combination of economic instability and fragile security, the office sector in Paris — France’s overwhelmingly dominant real estate market — suffered. Figures released by Knight Frank at the time showed that rental transactional activity in the greater Paris region (commonly referred to as Île-de-France), was a little under 2.1 mi