Paris Prices and a Stroll Through Strasbourg
Picturesque Strasbourg Canal
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
October 26, 2006
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
As we wind down to say so-long to a warm and sunny October, we have the opportunity of discovering how Paris property prices faired from 2nd quarter 2005 to 2nd quarter 2006, thanks to the Chambre de Notaires which publishes the figures like clockwork. Once again, we have gains to report. While sales volumes were down a bit, prices were up. Quelle surprise! Those who own will feel a sense of contentment and those who aspire to own need to jump on the bandwagon before it gets more expensive. Mark my words, it will. The trends are still looking up.
Today we take an in-depth look at Paris prices. Then, moving east to the city of Strasbourg, where I spent last weekend exploring the Alsacian region, we take a good look at this very special corner of France and how prices there compare with Paris and why it’s a place to seriously consider living. You will be charmed by its serene canals, half-timbered homes and elegant lifestyle.
Lender UCB offers up the latest interest rates and mortgage information and properties for sale include a few from Strasbourg and a Leaseback on the Mediterranean. All in all, an information packed issue you will want to print and keep for reference.
Happy Halloween to all and a pleasant All Saints Day — here a national holiday and the perfect day to visit the cemeteries where it is customary to lay flowers on someone’s grave!
Editor, French Property Insider
P.S. Rent "Le Provençal" Studio at special last-minute rates. Scroll down for more information or click here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/rentals/provencal.html
Volume IV, Issue 42, October 26, 2006
In this issue:
* The Ups and Downs of Paris Property
* Road Trip to Strasbourg
* Discover Alsace’s "Silver City"
* Benefits of Buying in Strasbourg
* France Investment News from UCB
* Living and Investing in France Real Estate Seminar December 29, 2006
* FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
* French Property Consultation Concierge Services
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: November 14, 2006
* Hot Property Picks: Striving for Strasbourg
* Leasebacks: Domaine de Manon, France, Mediterranean Coast, Signes
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Classified Advertising: Parler Paris Apartments, Special Offer on "Le Provençal" Studio
Paris Property Sales Down, Prices Up
By Adrian Leeds
The property price figures for Paris and the Paris region (Ile-de-France) are reported quarterly by the INSEE, the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (http://www.insee.fr/en/home/home_page.asp). Earlier this month, the statistics were released for the end of second quarter 2006, almost four months after the closing of the month. Given that the properties to which the statistics relate were purchased about three months earlier than the deeds were recorded (the time between the signing of the Promesse/Compromis de Vente and the Acte de Vente, you can assume then, that these figures are already out of date by at least six months.
We know for a fact, that the actual market values are considerably higher than those the Chambre de Notaires report. Other factors that contribute to this variance are: 1) the reduction in the purchase price, which can be attributed to direct payments made to the sales agent to help reduce notaire fees, 2) the listing of inventory of fixed furniture such as built-ins and appliances and 3) the under-the-table cash transactions, which are illegal but do occur. Finally, the figures are diluted as they are reported by an arrondissement in its entirety and do not account for differences by neighborhoods.
Sales volume in Paris was down by 6.6%, but prices were up 12.5% on the average for the previous 12 months and an increase of 2.2% for the quarter. Only two arrondissements (districts) showed an evolution of under 10% — the 2nd with -1.2% and the 7th with +6.9%. All other districts increased in value in double-digit percentages.
Since 1985, the price of Paris property is at an all time high. The volume of sales is relatively equal with the years between 1985 and 1990, however, prices have more than tripled.
Since 1996, the difference in appreciation of old/resale buildings/apartments vs new construction is dramatic. Older buildings have appreciated 70.0% more than new construction buildings.
Purchasers have continually decreased in age. In 1996 and 2001, most of the purchases were made by those older than 50 years of age. Today, the largest group of buyers are within 30 to 40 years of age.
News!…the 7th arrondissement which houses the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel des Invalides and the Assemblée Nationale, topped the 6th district (Saint-Germain-des-Prés) in price per square meter and showed a substantial growth, while the 6th remains one of the lowest appreciating districts.
For those of you seeking the purchase of investment properties, keep in mind how much more difficult it will be to achieve a high ROI (return on investment) with a costly investment weighted by a low appreciation. The neighboring 5th, home to the Latin Quarter, La Sorbonne and Le Panthéon is a better choice with more moderate prices and substantial increases in value. The biggest bargains in Paris remain in the 19th and 20th with the lowest price per square meter and the highest appreciation. If rental income is not important to you and you’re free to buy and live where you like, you may want to seriously consider these districts.
Is Paris property still a good investment?
There is continued reporting and predictions made about the "bubble bursting," but that could be true if a "bubble" existed in the first place. We are seeing a tiny shred of slow-down, but our first-hand experience is that the few good properties on the market are being priced correctly to sell, are being sold quickly at the asking price and that contributes to steady growth. In the last six months, every property our clients have purchased were done so at asking price and in one case, quite a bit more. Because there are so few good properties on the market, when one becomes available, there is a steady stream of willing buyers. The seller must morally accept an offer of asking price, therefore, the buyer is sure to succeed in negotiations.
Interest on mortgages has risen slightly, but money is still a lot "cheaper" (under 4%) and
property taxes are ridiculously lower than in the U.S. or Canada, so ownership in Paris is still very attractive to North American buyers.
By Adrian Leeds
Excerpt from adrianleeds.com/parlerparis
Five hours by car on the A4 Autoroute Thursday evening lands you in Strasbourg — a 327 mile trip across France that is fast and painless, also quite beautiful. By Autoroute, you pass through the Ile-de-France, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine and Alsace regions…rolling hills, bright green agricultural fields, vineyards, "petits villages" and several cities worth a special stop and visit: Reims, Metz and of course, Strasbourg. Keep your credit card handy and be prepared to stop at many toll stations along the way — you’ll spend more than 30 Euros each way.
Strasbourg is one of France’s most beautiful and distinctive cities. As the capital and principal city of Alsace, the préfecture of the Bas-Rhin department, the seat of the Council of Europe, of the European Court of Human Rights and of the European Parliament, the city’s Germanic name means "town (at the crossing) of roads.
The names of the streets are Germanic, and the architecture and the cuisine decidedly different from other regions of France. Follow the gentle curve of the canals, step across the tracks of the noiseless, pollutionless electric trams that snake their way across the city, discover the little streets lined with half-timbered houses, and you will immerse yourself in a perfect blend of French and German culture.
Also called "the Silver City" by the Romans, its geographic location and its dynamism have made it a highly desirable area, torn apart and divided between the Germans and the French. Luckily, (for the French), after the Second World War it would definitively be returned to France where its heart had always belonged. But, before continuing, please remember that you can access and read the last 30 newsletters published at http://www.FranceMonthly.com and receive our free monthly newsletter every month through email: just subscribe at http://www.FranceMonthly.com. We commit to NEVER sell your email address to another company.
The Island on the Silver River
The center of the city, particularly picturesque with its 15th and 16th century dwellings, is a small island encircled by the river Ill. Strolling through this area is probably the best way to experience the true atmosphere of the city. There is nothing more pleasurable than to wander the narrow streets bordered by medieval half-timbered homes, built close to one another, with their pointed rooftops pierced with dormers. Arising from amidst these medieval streets is the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral. The square where the cathedral sits however is never protected from the wind. Legend says that the devil hoped for his image to be forever represented in the cathedral and he therefore asked the wind to bring him to it and to wait outside as he entered the cathedral. When he could not find a statue of himself, he became enraged, and so violently stamped his foot that a stained glass window aspirated him. Since that day, the wind is still waiting for him outside!
The Origin of the Cathedral
According to history, and perhaps legend, Clovis, the King of the Francs, was at the origin of the construction of a church built in honor of the Virgin Mary at the exact location of the present day cathedral. Clovis did not share his wife Clothilde’s faith. She wanted her husband to become Catholic. Clovis, wishing to extend his kingdom to the present day Alsace region and Germany, attacked the Alamans (a German tribe) in Tolbiac in 496. After a difficult fight, he promised his wife’s God that he would convert to Catholicism and build a cathedral in honor of the Virgin Mary if he won this battle. Soon afterward, the King of the Alamans was mortally wounded by an arrow. The German soldiers, understanding that their God had abandoned them, fled, and Clovis won the difficult battle. True to his word, he was baptized a Catholic in Reims in 496, and the construction of the cathedral began in 510.
The Market Place and the Covered Bridges
During Medieval times, it was on this square that piglets were sold. It remains one of the city’s more picturesque sites with its seventeenth and eighteenth century homes. The most famous of these homes is situated at the number 1, with its chimney adorned with a peculiar weather vane. It is not a rooster, or the four cardinal points that we traditionally find perched a top French roofs, but a laced boot. Legend says that when the Emperor Sigismond visited the city in 1414, the ladies invited him to a ball. However, having walked for miles in the snow, his boots were in terrible shape. The ladies generously decided to offer the Emperor a brand new pair of laced boots that they purchased at the boot maker’s store located at the number 1 of the said square.
At this location the Ill River divides itself into many tributaries. During the twelfth century, wooden bridges were built and reinforced by three solid towers that were t
he first bar
riers to protect the city from eventual invasions. The bridges are said to be covered because of the immense roofs that were added in the sixteenth century. The roofs disappeared in 1784, and the wooden bridges were replaced by stone ones between 1860 and 1870. But the towers remain as a sign of a not so glorious past. The Executioner’s Tower is made up of minuscule cells where the condemned waited anxiously as their fate was decided. The names they would engrave into the walls of the tower to kill time or to hide their anguish are still noticeable. The French Tower was frequented by the soldiers of François the First looking for gallant adventures. Finally the third tower, said to be "of chains", served as a prison for the galley slaves waiting for their transfer by way of the river.
Strasbourg: City of the Past, of Today and of the Future
Medieval city par excellence, Strasbourg is also a modern and innovative city. It is here, in 1440, that Guttenberg perfected a new technique that would revolutionize the means of communications: printing. Immediately after the war, in 1949, when the large Western European nations felt the need for a European union, the city was chosen, naturally, to be the seat of the European Council, and a building was built in 1950. Then, in 1976, the magnificent European Palace was built to house the European Parliament. The two buildings are situated in one of the most beautiful parks of the city, the "Orangerie Park". This park was designed in honor of the visiting Empress j2999ephine. Today it is pleasurably used by many strollers. Another point of interest not to be missed is the Human Rights Palace built in 1964.
A place to visit! Strasbourg is a city so rich in history and picturesque, yet totally modern. It is absolutely a place to visit! It is also an excellent point of departure for the discovery of the Alsatian vineyards or the rolling hills of the Vosges region where wine tasting (in moderation) is a real pleasure. We recommend visiting this magnificent city and the beautiful surrounding areas!
Buying in Strasbourg
By Adrian Leeds
A mortgage of 110,000€ will buy you 54 square meters in Strasbourg compared with a 12 square meter studette in Paris’ 6th district!
The average price for an old/resale apartment in Strasbourg from 2nd quarter 2005 to 2nd quarter 2006 was reported at 2022€, an average price of 128,863€ for 2.8 rooms in 64 square meters.
Prices in the center city (Ile-Centre) range between 2800€ and 3300€ per square meter. Here is where the artists and eclectics aspire to live and enjoy the canals, bars, restaurants and terraces.
The Esplanade, the student quarter, is attracting buyers coming from homes outside of Strasbourg to either live out their retirement years or purchase homes for their studying children, at prices between 1650€ and 2450€ per square meter.
The quarter around the train station is slowly changing and investors see it as an opportunity to buy smart at between 1800€ and 2300€ per square meter. For those who travel frequently, this is a perfect location.
For more information, consult the Chambre de Notaires de France site at http://www.notaires.fr/
UCB Innovates Again for Clients Who Wish to Invest in France
From UCB, a BNP Paribas Company
France is a favorite holiday destination. Thanks to leaseback, you can make a rental investment there with complete peace of mind. The letting of your property is handled by a management company and you immediately secure income on your investment while enjoying several weeks a year in your new residence.
With UCB, you also get attractive financing, in line with your budget and featuring an exclusive innovation. Our leaseback offer now covers 80% of your total investment — i.e., the acquisition price of your property including legal fees, VAT and furniture.
UCB, high-performance financing guaranteed
* You make a minimum capital deposit of 20%, all fees included, for the entire transaction. This global offer really sets UCB apart from the other players specialized in holiday home financing.
* UCB only finances approved developments located in appealing tourist regions with great potential. You are therefore assured of making a rental investment that will be profitable and viable over the long term.
* You can defer payment of the first instalment by up to 36 months. The first loan repayment can thus fit with the first inflow of rent.
* The long loan terms offered by UCB, up to 25 years, allow monthly instalments to be reduced to a minimum and the rent may therefore cover a large part of the repayments.
By financing the entire investment project including the acquisition price, VAT, furniture, and above all the legal fees, while offering the possibility of deferment up to 36 months and the security of an approved, high-performance development, UCB has some very efficient, innovative and competitive advantages if you wish to invest in a leaseback. For further information please contact:
Métier Crédit Immobilier Spécialisé International Buyers email@example.com
* Interest Rate Indexes (on 01/10/06)
3 month Euribor: 3.35%
12 month Euribor: 3.72%
TEC 10: 3.75%
* Exchange Rates
€ 1 = £0.6765
£1 = € 1.4782
€ 1 – $1.2542
* Rented Dwellings Reference Index (on 11/07/06)
2006 1st quarter annual variation: 2.46%
Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. of International Law Partnership Present the…
Living and Investing in France
Real Estate Seminar
December 29, 2006
Chez Jenny, Paris, France
If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a "pied-à-terre" of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed seminar is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co., International Law Partnership, London, this one day in Paris will put you on the right footing to make it happen!
You will learn how to…
* Why Invest in Property in France?
* Find Your Dream Apartment in Paris or Home in the Country!
* Buy and Own Property in France!
* How to Obtain a Mortgage!
* Reduce Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* How to Minimize Your Tax and Maximize the Benefits!
* Rent Your French Property for Profit!
* Plus, answer all the rest of your questions during a Q and A panel with the presenters.
The Seminar Location
Historical Chez Jenny
39 boulevard du Temple
Place de la République
"An authentic Brasserie with a soul, a style and a history."
At the colonial exhibition in 1930, Robert Jenny had a kiosk where he sold produce from his region: salt-pickled cabbage choucroute, sausages and beer. Appreciating Parisian life and noting that the fine Alsatian products attracted the Parisians, this native of Strasbourg sought to set up business in the capital. He found just the right place not far from the place de la République, at number 39 boulevard du Temple. This was the hall where the former Victor ball was held. The quarter was lively, even though it no longer deserved the reputation of «Crime Boulevard» that it had had in the 18th century, when the plays billed at the many theatres in the area mainly drew inspiration from the items in the news.
The seminar includes a three-course lunch with Kir, wine and coffee!
Menu (subject to change):
* Kir Vin Blanc à l’Edelzwicker d’Alsace and Bretzels
* Terrine de Canard aux Pistaches, Chutney de Fruits Secs
* Suprême de Volaille à la Moutarde, Nid d’Alsace aux Légumes or Onglet de Veau à l’Echalote, Gratin Dauphinois
* Crème Brûlée Caramélisée à la Cassonade
* Wine or Mineral Water, Coffee
Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
Let French Property Insider expert property consultants find your dream home in France for you. We consult with you to help you make the best decisions, ferret out the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the visits and accompany you, negotiate with the agencies and owners, recommend the Notaires and other professionals, schedule the signings and oversee the purchase with you from start to finish! You could never do it so easily on your own. Let us take the time and effort off your hands.
FPI Offers More Relocation Solutions!
Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.
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NEW! Concierge Services
French Property Insider Consultation now offers a range of Concierge Services. You can trust our team of professionals to help you take care of your Paris property investment when you’re not in France. http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation/concierge.html
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
FPI Web site and click on the link on the left p
anel or click here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/moneycorpconvertor.html
for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting:
The charts below are updated every ten seconds.
The prices shown are "inter bank" exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.
Parler Paris Après-Midi
NEXT MEETING: November 14, 2006 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local
professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Striving for Strasbourg
Each week French Property Insider features a range of properties which we believe are on the market at the time of writing. These properties are featured in order to give readers a sample of what is currently available and a working example of prices being asked in various regions of France and districts of Paris.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France, you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/consultation
*** Strasbourg, 6 rooms, approx. 180m²
Superb duplex includes 4 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, shower room, 2 toilets, cellar, double garage. Bright and quiet.
Asking Price: 357,000 € + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Strasbourg, 4 rooms, approx. 102m²
Lovely apartment on the second floor with large living room, 2 bedrooms, balcony. Features wood floors and high ceilings. Spacious and bright.
Asking Price: 385,000 € + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Strasbourg, 7 rooms, approx. 200m²
Beautiful, spacious apartment with high ceilings, moldings, wood floors. Includes extra large living room, 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 toilets, 2 balconies, cellar. On the third floor with elevator.
Asking Price: 566,500 € + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
LEASEBACK NEWS FROM IMOINVEST
DOMAINE DE MANON
France, Mediterranean Coast, Signes
Studio 24m² to 31m² €81,000 to €106,000
One Bedroom 33m² to 62m² €111,000 to €200,000
Two Bedrooms 56m² to 60m² €181,000 to €195,000
GUARANTEED RENTAL INCOME UP TO: 5.00%
REVEL IN THE PROVENCAL ART-DE-VIVRE
Located in the heart of the Var region only a few minutes from Bandol and La Ciotat and half an hour from the Provence coast. Set in an area well known for its amazing arRay of outdoor activities including canoeing, swimming in one of the many lakes, rivers and waterfalls, hiking and walking, biking or horseback riding. The Var region, with its old villages is perched high in the mountains and makes for quiet cool summer holidays with plenty to see in the Gorges du Verdon valley from Montauroux in the east or Bargeme in the north, Artignosc and Artigues in the west. Located on the southern side of St. Baume, Signes is a quiet village offering magnificent untamed lands that surround the hills of the village and a very sunny climate. Signes has been able to preserve the beautiful testaments to its past, in particular the 12th century church, the clock tower, and several historical homes. Each summer, traditionally, several festivities are organized, with a crafts fair and an antique market.
This new build hotel residence of outstanding comfort is comprised of 129 apartments and villas set around a large outdoor pool and restaurant. The neo classical design of the buildings is as impressive as the warm colour schemes, creating an illusion of the ancient "bastides" belonging to Vineyard owners. Set in 7 hectares of pine forests, part of a national activity park, this development is really an ideal investment for someone who wants to make the most of the fantastic outdoor lifestyle this part of the South of France has to offer, as well as using it as an ideal base for visiting the historic towns and villages all around, whilst not forgetting the beaches which are only half an hour away.
The apartments and villas will range from studio to 3 bedroom duplexes and there will be 2 investor options, ranging from no occupation for the highest yield and a slightly lower yield but with 8 weeks occupation. This project was conceived in line with the boom in rental requirements following the Var’s economic and tourist expansion.
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
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1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.
Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!
Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
* "Le Provençal" Studio: LAST MINUTE OFFER
Rent Le Provençcal between November 16 and December 19 at special last-minute rates:
125€/Night, 800€/Week or 2000€ for 4 weeks or entire period of 36 days!
Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.
Pictures and more details available here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/rentals/provencal.html
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