Compare: Which French city is the cheapest to buy property in?

As everyone knows, house prices can vary dramatically between different French cities. Luckily, a new survey shows where in France you're likely to get the most bang for your buck. But would you move there?

Compare: Which French city is the cheapest to buy property in?
Photo: Alain Rouiller/flickr
Most people are aware that their dream pied à terre in Paris is going to come to with a heftier price tag than an apartment in any other city in France but it can be difficult to know exactly which French city suits your budget. 
Luckily, a new survey compares what you can buy in France's 20 largest cities with a budget of 212,000 euros. 
This amount, which was used as the measure by the company behind the study, online property brokers equates to a monthly payment of 1,000 euros over 20 years which is equal to the borrowing power of a couple earning 1,500 euros (net) per month — slightly lower than the average wage in France. 

Members' Q&A: Where is the cheapest place to live in France?

And it won't come as a surprise to anyone that Paris is by far the most expensive city in France to buy in, with a budget of 212,000 euros equating to a 22 m2 apartment in the French capital.
The south west city of Bordeaux (see below), which has experienced a boom in recent years, came in as the second most expensive French city, with property buyers able to get 46m2 for €212,000 – so double the size of apartment that you could buy in Paris.
But don't despair, there are a lot of French cities where property prices aren't through the roof. 
For example for the price of a 22m2 flat in Paris you could buy a modest two-room 50m2 apartment in Nice and a whopping 151m2 property in the central city of Saint-Etienne if you're willing to move there of course.
The city has seen a decline in its population in recent years and has an unemployment rate of more than 20 percent.
Due to this lack of appeal, property price have fallen by 30 percent between 2008 and 2017.
Meanwhile in the north west city of Le Mans, famous for its Gothic-style cathedral and 24 hour race, you could buy a 118 m2 property.
Hot on the heels of the two most affordable city's in France in terms of property are Le Havre in Normandy (111 m2), the picturesque western French city of Angers and Nîmes in southern France, famed for its well-preserved Roman ruins. 
With a budget of €212,000 in both Angers and Nîmes buyers can get 95 m2.
Here's the full list (from cheapest to most expensive):
Saint-Etienne : 151 m2
Le Mans : 118 m2
Le Havre : 111 m2
Angers : 95 m2
Nîmes : 95 m2
Toulon : 92 m2
Dijon : 88 m2
Reims : 84 m2
Grenoble : 82 m2
Marseille : 74 m2
Montpellier : 72 m2
Toulouse : 71 m2
Rennes : 69 m2
Lille : 67 m2
Strasbourg : 64 m2
Nantes : 62 m2
Nice : 50 m2
Lyon : 47 m2
Bordeaux : 46 m2
Paris : 22 m2

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France offers grants up to €1,500 to replace oil-fired boilers

Financial aid of up to €1,500 is temporarily available to households looking to replace oil-fired boilers with a more environmentally friendly heating systems. 

France offers grants up to €1,500 to replace oil-fired boilers

The temporary ‘coup de boost’ aims to encourage households to replace their oil-fired heating systems (chauffauge au fioul) and is in addition to the ‘coup de pouce chauffage’ (heating helping hand) scheme that is already underway to help under the energy saving certificates scheme (CEE).

All households that are primary residences – this aid is not available to second-home owners – equipped with an oil-fired boiler can benefit, with the amount for which they are eligible means-tested according to household resources and the replacement system chosen. 

Households with modest incomes benefit from a higher premium.

To benefit from the new temporary bonus, households must replace their individual oil-fired boiler with a more environmentally friendly heating system:

  • heat pump (air/water or hybrid);
  • combined solar system;
  • biomass boiler (wood or pellets);
  • connection to a heating network supplied mainly by renewable or recovered energy.

The total amount of financial help from the two schemes is €4,000 to €5,000 for low-income households; and from €2,500 to €4,000 for middle and high-income households.

For the connection of an individual house to a heating network, the amount of the bonus increases from €700 to €1,000 for low-income households; and from €450 to €900 for middle and high income households.

Estimates for the replacement of an oil-fired boiler must be accepted between October 29th, 2022, and June 30th, 2023, and work must be completed by December 31st, 2023.

The Coup de boost fioul aid can also be combined with MaPrimeRénov to replace an oil-fired boiler, meaning the least well-off households in France can benefit from aid of up to €16,000 to replace an oil-fired boiler with a pellet boiler or a combined solar system.

Since mid-April 2022, MaPrimeRénov’ financial aid has increased by an additional €1,000 for the installation of a renewable energy boiler. This can now reach €11,000 for the most efficient boilers (pellet boiler, combined solar system) and for households with modest incomes.

It must be noted that the installation of a very high energy performance gas boiler will no longer be eligible for MaPrimeRénov’ as of January 1st, 2023.

Find more details on the scheme HERE.