Anger at €945,000 price tag for 30 square metre Paris studio

A Paris studio apartment just 30 square metres has been put up for sale for close to €1 million, in the latest example of the capital's out-of-control property prices.

Anger at €945,000 price tag for 30 square metre Paris studio
The apartment has a view of the Eiffel Tower. Photo: AFP

The Paris property market is well known for being one of the priciest in the world, with the average price per square metre now over €10,000.

The combination of limited space, limited housing and very high demand has pushed prices in the French capital sky high, with prices rising by 62.5 percent over the past 10 years.

But even within this context, the advert for a 30 square metre studio apartment for €945,000 – or €30,000 per square metre – sparked derision and anger.

READ ALSO Almost half of all property rental adverts in Paris are illegal

The apartment, which sits in a prime location in the 7th arrondissement on the Champs de Mars, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, was first advertised on popular selling site Leboncoin.

Pictures showed a one-room apartment with a bookcase used to separate the bed from the living space, up for sale for €945,000.

However the advert has now been removed after the seller says he was deluged with insults and hate mail.

Philippe Lederman, the owner of the Saint Ferdinand Immobilier real estate agency which had advertised the apartment, told French newspaper Le Parisien that he had been shocked by the reaction.

He said: “I've been getting insults, hate mail, people saying to me: 'Aren't you ashamed to sell at that price?”

He said that the price had been set by the owner but added: “In this area, which is very touristy, real estate agencies mainly have foreign clients looking for a pied-à-terre with an unobstructed view of the capital's symbol, the Eiffel Tower.”

According to Meilleurs agents, who specialise in online property valuation, an average apartment in Paris is currently trading at around €10,276 euros per square metre.
But in some areas prices are much higher – with properties in Odéon, Saint-Germain-des-Prés or the Champs-Elysées going for €15,000 per square metre. 
The most expensive street in Paris is currently listed as Avenue Montaigne in the 8th arrondissement, where apartments sell for more than €22,500 per square meter. 
Prices drop off sharply once you venture outside the Paris ringroad to the suburbs.


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EXPLAINED: How to find a lawyer in France

The French legal system can be complicated, so in many circumstances it's better to have a lawyer on board. Luckily, there are a lot of qualified, English-speaking lawyers in France - here's how to find them.

EXPLAINED: How to find a lawyer in France

First steps

First, you need to know exactly what it is you are looking to address – is it an immigration issue? Property-related? Are you caught up in the criminal system?

This will help you to determine the type of expert that you need.

If your concern deals with property or a will, you probably want a notaire rather than an avocat (explained below).

All lawyers in France must have at least a CAPA (Certificat d’Aptitude à la Profession d’Avocat) master’s degree in law. After working for four years, French lawyers are able to work toward a specialisation.

Next, you need to decide whether you are confident enough in your French to seek out legal advice in French, or if you will need a fully bilingual lawyer. Don’t worry – there are plenty of lawyers in France who speak English, but unsurprisingly it will be easier to find a lawyer in French. 

Where should I look?

A good resource available to you is your Embassy and its website, as well as the websites for other English-speaking countries’ embassies. For example, the British, American, and Australian embassies all have extensive lists of recommended English-speaking lawyers in France (by region and speciality). 

Other online resources include the website “AngloInfo,” along with Facebook groups moderated by lawyers and notaires (ex. Strictly Legal France). 

If you are confident enough to go through the French system in French, then you can search directly through your local barreau (bar) via their online annuaire (directory). 

One thing to keep in mind, according to Maître Matthieu Chirez, a criminal attorney at J.P. Karsenty & Associés law firm, which is one of the British Embassy’s recommended law firms, is that foreigners ought to be vigilant when using the internet to find a lawyer.

“The lawyers who are most visible on the internet are not always the best,” said Chirez. “It is always best to go through your embassy first.” 

What criteria should I prioritise?

It is worth considering your lawyer’s level of expertise: How many cases similar to yours have they handled? How long have they been practising law? Do they come recommended? By going through your Embassy’s resources, you can have more peace of mind that the lawyer you would be working with fits these criteria. 

You should also prioritise your own rapport with the lawyer. If possible, try to schedule a preliminary meeting or consultation (before doing so, be sure to check to see whether this will be charged or not). This will help you also determine whether the lawyer has a satisfactory level of English for your needs.

What is the difference between a notaire and an avocat?

A notaire’s role is to secure and make official concerns related to a “sale, purchase, or transmission” or a property, as explained Chirez.

A notaire cannot represent you in court, but they will be necessary for making official matters related to succession, like writing your Will, for instance, and officially registering the sale of a property. A property sale in France cannot be legally completed without the involvement of a notaire.

It is important to note that a notaire is a representative of the French state, so having a personal lawyer looking out for your individual best interest during a sale or purchase might still be advisable.

And yes, avocat means both lawyer and avocado in French.

READ MORE: The reasons why you’ll need a notaire in France

What about payment?

In France, it is the lawyer who sets his or her own fees – meaning it is not regulated by the State.

Average rates will depend on the ‘complexity of your case’ and the specialisation of your lawyer, but the average hourly rate for 2022 is between €100 and €300.

Criminal lawyers often charge more for drink-driving cases.

You can pay a lawyer either based on their hourly rate or by a flat-rate (usually reserved for simple procedures). When you find a lawyer, you will have to sign an agreement that outlines their fees, as well as various additional costs that might be incurred.

If you cannot afford to pay your lawyer, you might be able to qualify for legal aid (though for this you must demonstrate a sufficiently low income/ wealth status). The rate of legal aid is calculated based off your earnings, and you can use the online calculator to see how much you would benefit HERE.

READ ALSO How do I find professional help with my French taxes?

Otherwise, you can check to see whether any “permenance juridiques” (legal clinics) will be held near you.

These tend to be free days where you can seek out legal support (though it is worth verifying it is indeed gratuite before going). For finding legal aid in France, you can use this government website, which is also available in English.