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Place des Vosges 

Property Prices in France Made Public

French Property Insider
Volume XVII, Issue 19
Thursday, May 9, 2019 • Paris, France

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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

Paris Apartments

Anyone can now find the price of specific properties and land parcels sold in France from — January 2014 — via a new website. The Ministry of Economy and Finance in France declared that the site is now public, thanks to the ESSOC law of August 10, 2018, when previously it was only available to notaires. It declared that the data should be available to the public in order to "contribute to the transparency of land and property markets." As a result, the Ministry of Economy and Finance has made this real estate database public, allowing individuals to access it.

Price is the only information it provides: no condition of the building, what floor it's on, or why the price was set as it was, but at least it will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay in a given area of France. As a tool this can be very useful, but just like the monthly statistical reports we receive compiled by the INSEE (l’Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques) we have to take the data with a grain of salt.

The reason I caution you now, BEFORE you dive in to see what you can expect to pay per square meter for an apartment in Paris, or any home in France, remember a few facts that distort the true market values of the property:

1. Agency commissions are normally deducted from the selling price, if the buyer pays the commission, rather than the seller, therefore the price is reduced by about 5% on the deed.

2. Furnishings which are deducted from the gross selling price of the property further reduces the reported prices. Furnishings include appliances, cabinetry and anything that is not "part of the walls."

3. Prices reported are admittedly at three months out of date...from the time that the price is negotiated till the signing of the deed actually occurs, so the market will have fluctuated some since then.

4. Cash transactions (which are illegal, but do occur) are not considered. You'd be surprised how often this happens. In the South of France, it's rumored to be common practice for the notaire to leave the room while the buyer and seller hand over some cash! (I have never been a party to this and never will be!)

5. The quality of property varies over a district and therefore averages can be deceiving, but also without knowing the condition of the property, one must be very careful not to "hang his hat" on the statistics.

The only true way to determine market value is by comparing a property with other like properties on the market at that time! Period.

Property prices by INSEEProperty prices by INSEE

Properties Sold  around Place de VosgesProperties Sold around Place des Vosges

The new application, however, is making this information available for the last five years, based on raw data found at data.gouv.fr. To use the new site, click here

It's pretty easy to use. Just select the department and the municipality, then click on the cadastral section of your choice to obtain detailed information for each property sold since 2014: price (excluding notary and agency fees), transaction date, area, number of rooms and size of the land. So, this gives you access to the latest prices for sales made, for example, in your neighborhood or anywhere.

I was able to pinpoint a property sold in my own building in 2016 — the date it was sold, the price and the size in square meters. For demonstration purposes, see this screenshot of properties sold on the Place des Vosges. In March of 2018, a two-room 65m2 apartment sold for 950,000€ — 14,615€ per square meter, net. Add agency commission to that (5%) and the market price goes up to 15,385€ per square meter. Consider that if it sold in March, then the negotiations on the purchase took place in December 2015 or before. When searching online for comparable properties, there was nothing directly on Place des Vosges (the most expensive part of the 4th arrondissement), but nearby properties were in the same range. This is 2019. How do we correctly compare values unless we also look back at the evolution of prices for the district in the last three years?

While the new site lacks information and not all statistics have been uploaded to the database yet, it's a great place to start...as long as you use caution!

Here are a few interesting facts about the notarial profession in France (Source: notaires.fr/):

* There are 13,695 French notaires, of whom 7,735 practice as partners in 3,618 companies.
* There are 6,138 main offices, and 1,357 secondary offices totaling 7,495 points of contact throughout France.
* The industry employs more than 57,000 people, which, including the notaires, makes the number of people working in offices to over 70,000.
* 6,613 notaires are women (48%). (I am very pleased by this respectable showing!)
* The average age is of a notaire 47.
* Each year notaires are consulted by 20 million people.
* They handle €600 billion of capital annually.
* They draw up more of 4 million deeds, and more of 320,000 statements of inheritance.
* They generate a turnover of €7.5 billion:

    Real estate, sales related to building, leases: 50.1%
    Instruments related to loans: 10%
    Instruments related to the family, inheritance : 31.9%
    Property negotiations: 2.7%
    Corporate law, consulting services, valuation, property/estate advice: 5.3%

Have fun finding the price of your property!

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds - Paris, France

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group


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The Fourth Courier - Timothy Jay Smith

May 14, 2019

Timothy Jay Smith, Author

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Timothy Jay Smith had an unparalleled international career and life that saw him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.
 
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