Editorial by Thibault de Saint-Vincent, President of BARNES
“Hope is a loan made to happiness.” Joseph Joubert
Over the last few weeks, the world has been experiencing a crisis on an unprecedented scale due to the exponential spread of COVID-19. One by one, countries have gone into lockdown and their economies have been brought to almost a standstill.
We would like to pay tribute to all of those involved in this combat: to the health care staff first and foremost, for their relentless fight and their courage and determination as they seek to stem the pandemic; and to all those working to provide essential services (pharmacists, shopkeepers, checkout assistants, lorry drivers, dustmen, security services, etc.). All of those undervalued occupations, without which our day-to-day lives would be unbearable. With regard to the real estate sector, we would also like to thank the notaries and banks that have stepped up their efforts recently to allow our clients to finalise their transactions. Lastly, we would like to extend a token of friendship to all of our teams, our partners and our clients to thank them for their loyalty and to assure them of our support. We would like to say those two simple words that are so often forgotten: thank you.
Many of you are questioning the future of the high-end property market in which BARNES has become a benchmark thanks to your trust. Staying true to our values of attentiveness and proximity, we have endeavoured to meet all of your needs and will continue to do so. The initial information available shows that luxury real estate will weather the storm. Although they have slowed, transactions are continuing. Cancellation and withdrawal rates are low, and downward pressures on prices remain limited to a small margin at all of our destinations.
At a time of great scepticism on the equity market, when liquidity seems risky, high-end real estate is asserting its status as a safe haven. Indeed, everyone can measure the precious benefit that owning a premium property brings during this period of lockdown. Both a sound and vital investment, bricks and mortar are proving to be an invaluable asset in these difficult times.
In this highly volatile situation, having a clear view of the market and its environment is of crucial importance. Thanks to its local knowledge, the quality of its expertise and the scope of its services, BARNES is able to provide a precise response to your needs when it comes to the art of living. Its extensive experience has seen it endure and overcome numerous crises. Its global vision that is constantly updated positions it as the guarantor of clear and immediate arbitration.
Both now and in the future, we will be by your side to support and guide you in your choices by remaining faithful to the values that unite us. Together, we will weather the storm and come out stronger.
Take care of yourselves and your families. And above all, don’t lose hope.
Because in the words of Joseph Joubert, “hope is a loan made to happiness.” What could be more fitting and inspiring in these times than to have happiness as a creditor.
Thibault de SAINT VINCENT, President of the BARNES Group