Invest Where the TGV Goes (and Other High Speed Transportation)
French Property Insider Volume XVI, Issue 21 Thursday, May 24, 2018 • Paris, France
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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
The new east-west tramway in Nice is still under construction and still wreaking havoc with the city, but it's starting to see the light of day. The tramway, when complete--scheduled for September 2019--will change life as we know it in Nice, providing connectivity to serve 260,000 residents and tourists from the airport to the Old Port, thereby reducing vehicle traffic and all the ills associated with that.
The route promises to make huge changes to the immediate areas around the stations, and in between. That will translate to certain areas of the city becoming more desirable for residents and subsequently increased property values. Those who have already purchased property around the Old Port or west of Boulevard Gambetta are going to be laughing all the way to the proverbial bank and loving the changes to their neighborhoods, too.
The Old Port is already tough to find good properties at bargain prices, while the Quartier des Fleurs and Baumettes are still more affordable than the Carré d'Or. But prices are rising all the time.
Other French towns and cities that now have light rail or tram systems include: Angers, Aubagne, Besançon, Bordeaux, Brest, Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Le Havre, Le Mans, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy, Nantes, Orléans, Paris, Reims, Rouen, Saint-Étienne, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Tours and Valenciennes.
The point is not just the tramway in Nice, but transportation improvements in general have a direct affect on livability and real estate values. This week I had a consultation with a young couple, one of whom is French living in Singapore, about where to buy an investment property in France. Her family was from Vannes in Bretagne, and I suggested that they make a purchase not too far from the family home to fully enjoy it. But my next suggestion was to consider where the TGV goes and that's where there is growth.
TGV lines throughout France
The Ouigo trian
The TGV, or Train à Grande Vitesse, is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by the SNCF, the national rail operator. Centered on Paris, the lines have expanded to connect main cities across France, such as Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Rennes, and in adjacent countries with combinations of high-speed and conventional lines. In recent years you may have seen "Ouigo" – France's new low-cost train service. It's a subsidiary of SNCF, but is independently run from its parent company.
Just recently I witnessed the growth in Bordeaux largely resulting from the TGV to/from Paris now only two hours. Unfortunately, the scarcity of public cash (currently the SNCF is in debt €46 billion) may seriously affect the future of France's high speed train network. Thanks to an agreement by EU funding this past April, the Paris-Lyon line, the country's busiest route, will be able to increase its capacity badly needed by adding tracks between now and 2030. For this reason, Lyon is a place in France to keep an eye on.
Given the current climate of strikes by SNCF workers, and the ongoing discussion to slim down the network, rather than building more high-speed lines, this is an area to watch for investors. The high cost of labor must be reduced if France wants to see continued growth of the transportation network. This is President Emmanuel Macron's goal, and so far he's holding tight to his promises.
Source, with some updated modifications...approximate journey times:
TGV Nord from Paris Gare du Nord, connects to the north of France, to Lille, and the Eurostar to London, Lille and Brussels.
Paris to Lille - 59 mins Paris to Dunkerque - 59 mins
TGV Est from Paris Gare de l’Est, connects to the east of France, one of the new regions now called Grand Est, serving destinations like Reims, Metz, Nancy, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and beyond.
Paris to Reims - 48 mins Paris to Metz - 1 hr 27 mins Paris to Nancy – 1 hr 31 mins Paris to Strasbourg – 2 hrs 18minsTGV Sud-Est from Paris Gare de Lyon. Connects to the south and east of France.Paris to Lyon - 1 hr 59 mins Paris to Dijon - 1 hr 37 mins
TGV Alpes from Paris Gare de Lyon, connects to the east of France and in winter is particularly useful for skiers, going on to Alpine resorts like Courchevel.
Paris to Grenoble - 3 hrs 2 mins Paris to Annecy - 3 hrs 48 mins Paris to Chambéry - 2 hrs 50 mins
TGV Méditerranée from Paris Gare de Lyon, connects to Provence and the Cote d'Azur.
Paris to Marseille - 3 hrs 23 mins Paris to Avignon - 3 hrs 02 mins Paris to Aix-en-Provence - 3 hrs 8 mins Paris to Nice - 5 hrs 38 mins Paris to Nimes – 2 hrs 59 mins
TGV Atlantique from Paris Gare Montparnasse, connects to the south and the west of France.
Paris to Tours – 1 hr 12 mins Paris to Bordeaux – 2 hrs 4 mins Paris to Toulouse – 4 hrs 19 mins Paris to Pau – 4 hrs 20 mins Paris to Lourdes – 4 hrs 39 mins Paris to Le Mans – 55 mins Paris to Rennes – 2 hrs 13 mins Paris to Nantes – 2 hrs 12 mins
Map of France's airports
Aéroport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle
As long as travel time is short and access is easy, these cities will see growth. But, keep in mind that if you're traveling regularly to other countries from France, you may want to be close to an international airport to make your sojourns as easy and fast as possible. This also affects the attractiveness of a city by international investors and therefore growth of property values.
The International airports in France are:
* Aéroport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (airport code CDG)
* Aéroport de Paris – Orly* Aéroport de Paris-Beauvais-Tillé
* Aéroport de Lille (airport code LIL)
* Aéroport Lyon Saint-Exupéry (airport code LYS)
* Aéroport de Marseille Provence (airport code MRS)
* Aéroport Nantes Atlantique (airport code NTE)
* Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur (airport code NCE)
* Aéroport de Strasbourg (airport code SXB)
* Aéroport de Toulouse – Blagnac (airport code TLS)
Sunday I'm taking the TGV back to Paris--I love all 5 hours 40 minutes of the ride, plugged in and WiFi-ed up, making the trip very productive travel time--with beautiful scenery along the way...but flying back to Paris or anywhere from the Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport is "du gâteau" (a piece of cake).
P.S. If you're planning a trip to Nice in search of your own pied-à-terre, allow us to assist you. And, as a friend, you can book a stay in my pied-à-terre, Let Matisse! Now's the time to book your stay. Contact our Bookings Manager, Patty, today!
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