SHARE
COPY LINK

HOUSING

Surge in property demand as Parisians flee the capital

After spending the past months confined to their homes, an increasing number of Parisians seem to want swap their city apartment for a more spacious home outside the French capital.

Surge in property demand as Parisians flee the capital
'For sale'. Photo: AFP

Since end of lockdown, French real estate agencies have seen a surge in demand for properties outside the capital, especially by Parisians who wish to swap their small city apartments for a more spacious home outside the city.

“The lockdown was the final straw that saw people making the move,” said Brice Bonato, head of the real estate agency Sextant, told French newspaper Le Parisien.

A study by a company called Paris je te quitte (Paris I'm leaving you) found that 54 percent of the people asked said they wanted to leave the capital “as soon as possible” – up from 38 percent before the health crisis.

Paris is notoriously expensive

Paris is one of the world’s most expensive cities when it comes to housing, with the average price per square metre set at 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.

As a result, Parisians have got used to paying a lot for little. Few are able to purchase and most people live in rented apartments. 

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

Earlier this year, a Paris studio apartment at just 30 square metres caused anger when it was put up for sale for close to €1 million.
 
But as soon as you move a little bit out of the capital, prices drop. In the greater Paris region as a whole, the average price per square feet is currently at €6,700, according to Le Parisien.
 
 
Many Parisians spent the two months of strict lockdown inside their tiny apartment, without a balcony or garden to breathe fresh air from. Photo: AFP
 
'Closer to nature'
 
The coronavirus health crisis, by shutting down life in the capital and leaving Parisians without any of the perks of living in Paris, seems to have pushed many into making the final leap.
 
“We told ourselves, 'phew, good that we're leaving',” said Paul, a 41-year-old engineer who was moving out of the capital with his wife and two children in July. 
 
During the lockdown, the couple exchanged their 95 square metre apartment in the 19th arrondissement – one of the least expensive areas in Paris – for a 135 square metre house with four bedrooms and a 100 square metre garden in the centre of Fontainebleau, southeast of Paris. 
 
They bought the house for €620,000.
 
“We're leaving to get a better quality of life, to get closer to nature without being too far from the city,” Paul told Le Parisien.
 
 
 
Where are people looking to move?

Like Paul and his family, most Parisians are looking to move to areas outside the capital in the Île-de-France region. These areas are often well-connected with RER trains that make it possible to commute if needed.

Searches for housing in Sens, in the Yvonne département southeast of Paris, surged by 80 percent from April 2019 to April 2020, according to the real estate agency Seloger. 

In the towns of Evreux and Dreux, both west of the capital, demand has increased by 40 percent over the same period.

“We are seeing a real wish to be closer to nature, far from the stress of the city,” said Antoine Jouteau, Director of the sell-and-buy site Le Boncoin, told Le Parisien.

A house with a garden

Real estate agencies also note that most people want a house (59 percent), according to Seloger, and more and more are ticking of the box for an outdoor area.

“With remote working, people are spending a lot more time at home,” said Corinne Joly, director of the real estate website Pap.fr.

READ ALSO: Frequent mistakes made by French property buyers

Is this a good time to move?

According to real estate agencies, this is not a bad time for buyers to make the leap.

After two months of complete of being completely paralysed during the lockdown, the real estate market is regaining full speed.

But many owners who have been waiting for a long time to sell “have no choice,” said Thomas Lefebvre, Research Director at MeilleurAgents, to the paper.

“They have to sell today,” he said.

That means there is a lot on offer, and buyers have more power than sellers. 

Lefebvre also pointed to relatively good lending conditions. 

“Borrowing today at 1.2 percent over 20 years, even if it has gone up slightly, remains very good conditions,” he said.

 

Member comments

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

LIVING IN FRANCE

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Strikes

But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.

SHOW COMMENTS