Savills Global Placement


Location: Paris, France
Dates: 8 September 2014 until 2 January 2015

Name: Michaela Bygrave
Job Title: Graduate Surveyor
Graduate Scheme: Surveying, London
Start Date: May 2012

Michaela is currently undertaking a 4 month rotation in our Valuation team in the Paris office. She is a 2nd year graduate undertaking the Residential pathway and is in the final stages of her part time Masters. Michaela speaks French and is using her language skills during this placement, these skills also helped her to be successful in being offered this placement.

Michaela's blog is below, so have a read to find out what Michaela has been doing so far and more about the French property market.

Week 2

My second week in the Paris office has gone remarkably quickly and has been a mixture of writing valuation reports for a residential property in Paris and student housing accommodation in Strasbourg.

The highlight of this week was going to Geneva in Switzerland on Thursday to inspect several properties just over the border in France. The Swiss government has put in place restrictions on foreigners owning property in Switzerland to stop property price speculation which makes it almost impossible for foreigners to own properties in cities such as Geneva. As a result a market for homes just across the border in France has sprung up for wealthy non-Swiss citizens who still want to benefit from all Switzerland has to offer. The added benefit of this is that properties are around 60% cheaper once across the border in France.

It was my first time going to Switzerland but I was impressed with how clean it was and the natural beauty of Geneva which is set on a lake and surrounded by mountains and I could instantly see why anyone would want to live close to it.

The other thing that marked this week out was the plethora of French opinions I received on the Scottish Independence referendum with everyone correctly advising that Scots would vote no to independence!

Week 1

My first week in the Paris office has been fantastic. I am working in the valuation team which covers both commercial and residential valuations so as a graduate on the residential pathway my biggest fear was having to get to grips with commercial valuation terms in French! Luckily my first few jobs have been residential valuations.

The office in Paris covers the whole of France so on my second day I flew to the Cote d'Azur to inspect two villas and a development site with Catherine Erith who carries out the residential valuations in the Paris office. I had a great time looking at the properties which were all along the coast in the beautiful St Tropez - Cannes area in the South of France. One site in particular had 360° views across the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding wooded hillsides.

Back in the office I then helped to write up the valuation reports which were in English and follow the same format as the Savills UK valuation reports so it was not as daunting as I had anticipated. Having to read through French planning framework documents however, proved quite taxing but Catherine was kind enough to talk me through all the terminology.

Although I am the only Savills UK grad out in France I was put in touch with the British grads at other property firms and so have been able to form a small network here and in my first week was able to continue the great property world institution of going out on a Thursday night!