According to Jean-Philippe Roux, debonair head of Knight Frank’s Paris operation (00 33 143 168888), between 25% and 40% of all properties sold in the five most expensive arrondissements of Paris are bought by foreigners. But, as in London, traditional buyers from the Middle East, UK, Italy and USA now face competition from wealthy investors from Ireland and Russia.

Paris is in sparkling mood right now, and prices are lively, too. One of the most expensive houses on the market is a 35,000sq ft, 1930s Art Deco mansion in leafy Boulevard du Château in Neuilly. Knight Frank quote a guide price of ?30m for the house which has been spectacularly refurbished by its Middle-Eastern owners.

An Irish investor recently bought 154 Champs-Elysées, home to Cartier’s newest Paris showroom, and a stone’s throw from Paris’s most famous landmark, the Arc de Triomphe. The residential element of the building, comp-rising two large apartments, three duplex apartments, the concierge area and staff accommodation, is being offered for sale through Knight Frank, at ?14.83m.

The Ile St Louis is a popular location with investors who are more or less gua-ranteed a generous rental income. Here, a three-room apartment at 10 rue des Deux-Ponts costs between ?795,000 and ?1m. But the historic former business quartier around the Paris Bourse is an area to watch, Mr Roux advises.