SHARE
COPY LINK

FINANCE

French youths among Europe’s poorest: study

A whopping 40 percent of French youths feel that they don’t have enough money to lead a dignified life, a study showed on Monday, with as many as 29 percent saying they were considering moving to another country in order to escape France’s bleak financial situation.

French youths among Europe's poorest: study
The study showed that 40 percent of France’s 15 to 24-year-olds experience severe financial difficulties. File photo of money: Shutterstock

A study published by credit management service Intrum Justitia on Monday showed that 40 percent of France’s 15 to 24-year-olds experience severe financial difficulties, with as many as 29 percent saying they had no money to spare once the monthly bills had been taken care of.

The French mainly blamed their hardships on unemployment, saying income taxes and high costs in the French society in general were eating up their funds.

In metropolitan France, a staggering 22.8 percent of 15 to 24 year-olds are unemployed, according to data from national statistics agency INSEE.

With many of them saying that the only solution to their financial woes would be to cut back on going out, clothes and food, as many as 29 percent said they were considering moving abroad to improve their financial situation.

Only Estonians and the Irish were worse off than the French, Intrum Justitia said, where 44 percent and 41 percent respectively said they were too cash-strapped to lead dignified lives.

For its European Payment Index Report Intrum Justitia interviewed 21,000 people across Europe. Results showed that five percent of people feel worse off than they did two or three years ago, and 13 percent are afraid to open their bills.

Three out of ten young Europeans (15-24 years) say that they do not have enough money for a dignified existence.

Meanwhile a Bloomberg Global Poll of international investors concludes that the world economy is in its worst shape in two years, with much of the concern focused on the euro area.

Almost two-thirds of those polled said the eurozone was weakening while 89 percent saw disinflation or deflation as a greater threat there than inflation over the next year.

Respondents said the European Central Bank and the region’s governments are making the situation worse by pursuing too-tight policies.
 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

PROPERTY

MAP: Where in France can you buy property for less than €100k?

While French cities such as Paris are notoriously expensive, there are many areas outside the cities where it is still possible to buy spacious homes for less than €100,000 - particularly if you don't mind a bit of renovation.

MAP: Where in France can you buy property for less than €100k?

We decided to look at where in France you could afford a property on a budget of €100,000, and it turns out there are some bargains to be had.

There are a lot of caveats while searching for property, and many local variables in place, but our search does show some of the areas to concentrate on if you have a limited budget.

We used the Notaires de France immobilier website in August 2022, and we specified that the property should have at least five rooms (including kitchen and bathroom) and a floor space of at least 100 square metres.

We also discounted any property that was for sale under the viager system – a complicated purchase method which allows the resident to release equity on their property gradually, as the buyer puts down a lump sum in advance and then pays what is effectively a rent for the rest of the seller’s lifetime, while allowing them to remain in the property.

READ ALSO Viager: The French property system that can lead to a bargain

For a five-room, 100 square metre property at under €100,000, you won’t find anywhere in the Île-de-France region, where the proximity of Paris pushes up property prices. The city itself is famously expensive, but much of the greater Paris region is within commuting distance, which means pricier property. 

Equally the island of Corsica – where prices are pushed up by its popularity as a tourist destination – showed no properties for sale while the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – which includes the French Riviera – showed only 1 property under €100,000.

The very presence of Bordeaux, meanwhile, takes the entire département of Gironde out of this equation – but that doesn’t mean that the southwest is completely out of the running. A total of 25 properties came up in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. One property was on the market for a mere €20,000 – but it was, as the Notaires’ brochure noted, in need of “complete renovation”.

Neighbouring Occitanie, meanwhile, showed 12 further properties in the bracket.

By far the most properties on the day of our search – 67 – were to be found in the Grand Est region of eastern France. The eastern part of France overall comes out best for property bargains, with the north-east region of Hauts-de-France showing 38 properties and and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté displaying 25.

Further south, however, the presence of the Alps – another popular tourist destination – pushed up prices in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region which showed just three results.

The below map shows our search results, with darker colours indicating more cheap properties.

Property buying tips 

In order to make a comparison, we focused our search on properties advertised online, but if you have a specific area in mind it's well worth making friends with a few local real estate agents and perhaps also the mayor, since it's common for properties not to be advertised online.

Most of the truly 'bargain' properties are described as being "in need of renovation" - which is real estate speak for a complete wreck.

If you don't mind doing a bit of work you can often pick up property for low prices, but you need to do a clear-eyed assessment of exactly how much work you are willing and able to do, and what the cost is likely to be - there's no point getting a "cheap" house and then spending three times the purchase price on renovations.

READ ALSO 'Double your budget and make friends with the mayor' - tips for French property renovation

That said, there were plenty of properties at or near the €100,000 mark that were perfectly liveable or needed only relatively minor renovations.

You also need to pay attention to the location, as the sub-€100,000 properties are often in remote areas or very small villages with limited access to amenities. While this lifestyle suits many people, bear in mind that owning a car is a requirement and you may end up paying extra for certain services.

Finally remember that government help, in the form of loans and grants, is available for environmentally friendly improvements, such as insulation or glazing.

SHOW COMMENTS