New to our rental pool for a one-year furnished offer is an apartment on rue du Petit Musc (4th). A stone’s throw away from the Seine and Ile Saint Louis, this one-bedroom apartment is a small masterpiece of modern and eclectic design set on a 17th-century stage (see nearby Hôtel Fieubert). Fully furnished by the owner, an advertising professional who lived there herself for many years, the apartment is truly a rare find for someone wanting to live the Paris dream for six months to a year.
You're going to find the January 2018 French Property Report #38 (in English) by the Chambre de Notaires de France very interesting.
Prices and the volume of sales continue to rise, hitting an all time high with 958,000 transactions completed within the last year. A year earlier, the transactions were considerably lower at 829,000 in October 2016. Certain areas of the country had record growth -- the Bas-Rhin (35%), the Landes (33%) and the Charente-Maritime (29%).
The analysis by the authorities does not indicate a kind of bubble because lending interest rates remain low, even on a downward trend. Prices in the provinces are still in recovery from past sluggish years and the number of transactions is still slightly lower than the boom period of the years 2000 to 2007. Now that the Chambre de Notaires is factoring in indicators based on the pre-sale agreements, the trend indicates a stabilization of prices with a prediction of a peak to happen in 2018.
What's even more interesting, from our perspective, is the non-resident foreign market, particularly in the Provence/Côte d’Azur/Corsica area which changed considerably between 2006 and 2016. Italians still made up the largest percentage over this period, but this percentage fell constantly from 2009 -- down from one out of every two to one buyer out of five in 2016. My Italian agents in the area attribute that to the increase in property taxes on Italian-owned secondary properties -- one reason we have seen an increase in properties on the market in the region.
The report claims that the decline was offset for an increase in the number of British, Scandinavian and German buyers. The types of property purchased varies greatly from one nationality to the other. The Italians purchased older, smaller, less expensive properties, while the British and Scandinavian buyers purchased larger and more expensive properties.
Many of our clients are open-minded as to where they wish to invest in France. In most cases, it boils down to Paris or Nice. The primary reasons for this are what both cities have to offer that the rest of France may not:
* Urban lifestyles with excellent public transportation systems; * International airports and easy access by train and boat to other parts of France and the world; * Large American communities to provide a support system; * Safety; * Lots of cultural activities; * Rentability, revenue generation; * Overall amenities.
Even though the two cities offer all of the above advantages, Paris and Nice are cities as different as New York and Miami. The life you would have in Paris would be very different than the one you would have in Nice, just as life in New York does not compare to Miami.
If having to choose between the two, the factors to consider are:
* Weather. We all know one doesn't go to Paris for the weather, but you do go to Nice for its 300 days a year of sunshine. Nice is about 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than Paris on any given day, and definitely less rainier, sunnier and milder. Even in the summer, Nice can be cooler, thanks to the ocean breezes.
* Proximity to other places. Paris is tough to beat for proximity to all of Europe and beyond. Even though Nice has an international airport, the French rail system uses Paris as its hub and therefore you can be in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Strasbourg and beyond in a matter of a few hours thanks to the high-speed trains. And of course, Paris is a major airline hub for travel to anywhere in the world.
* Types of cultural activities. Paris is one of the top cities in the world for art and culture. Nice doesn't attempt to rival it, but if you're interested in water sports or the outdoors, then the French Riviera will beat Paris hands down. Let's face it: "Paris Plage" doesn't quite compare to the "Baie des Anges!" Because of the aging population in Nice, there are even more activities geared toward the elderly and better accessibility for the physically challenged.
* Property affordability. Paris property is twice the price of Nice. This is a major factor. A one-bedroom apartment in central Paris will cost you about 500,000€, while a one-bedroom apartment in central Nice will cost about 250,000€. Even renovation costs less in Nice than in Paris. We find that the average per square meter costs are about 2,500€ in Paris compared to 1,500€ in Nice. The cost of operating that property is about the same in both, but Paris property taxes tend to be lower because of its dense population.
Price per m² of Paris (75) for existing houses and flats Period: July - September 2017
Low price per m² 7,900€, Median price per m² 9,060€, High price per m² 10,380€
Price per m² of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur for existing houses and flats
Period: July - September 2017 Low price per m² 2,270€, Median price per m² 3,080€, High price per m² 4,070€
* Ability to generate a revenue. Here's where it gets really interesting when comparing the two cities. Even though Paris is a year-round rental market and the demand is high, it is experiencing enforcement of strict rental laws that make usage of property while generating a revenue from it on short-term rentals difficult. While the laws apply to Nice, the city has chosen not to enforce them, but is requiring registration of them and of course, taxes on profits are to be paid. Nice, has a fluctuating kind of rental market in that it overachieves during high season (summer months) while the winter months can experience moderate rentals or longer term rentals at reduced rates.
* Transportation. The public transportation in both cities is way above average and inexpensive. One can easily live in both cities without ownership of a car. That makes enjoyment of these cities even less expensive.
The ideal situation is not to choose -- to have both cities in your life, as I have. If that's not possible and a choice has to be made, then where do you think your heart lies and how does that fit with your budget?
If you need help answering this question, then don't hesitate to contact me. I can provide you with the full picture of pros and cons to help you make this very important decision.
P.S. To all my friends of Parler Paris and French Property Insider, I make Le Matisse, my Nice abode, available for short to medium stays while I'm not using it. Those who have already stayed here have found it as delightful as I do. So if you're interested in getting to know Nice, Le Matisse is your answer. Email [email protected]for more information and to confirm your stay. Then, you can say hello to Henri-le-Cactus for me!
FOR SALE: 11-13 rue François Miron, 4th Arrondissement
Inside these famous 15th-century half-timbered houses (which were two combined to make one apartment building), the hallways have been modernized and an elevator added. The apartment, a studio of a mere 15 square meters (161.5 square feet) on the second floor (European, therefore two flights up), has exposed beams and half-timbered walls.
Completely transformed only three years ago by Interior Architect Martine di Mattéo, this "bijou" lacks nothing and while furnished contemporary in style, is still oozing with old-world charm. Located on the second floor of this centuries-old building (yes, with an elevator!) just steps from the Hôtel de Ville and the River Seine, it has one big window overlooking the courtyard (quiet and peaceful), beautiful exposed beams and every amenity you would need or want for a few days, weeks, months or a lifetime.
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