Cruising Caire and Concorde

Cruising Caire and Concorde

Place de la Concorde and the Obelisk


French Property Insider

November 5, 2009
Paris, France

Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

I am writing you from a faraway and exotic land: Egypt. I couldn’t tell you last week, because the cruise down the Nile was a surprise birthday party for an American friend who lives in Paris, complete with a host of friends to keep him company…all without him knowing it in advance. So, "mum" was the word, but none of that secretiveness prevents us from publishing FPI from anywhere in the world!

Next week I’ll report more on my findings, but in today’s issue, we address the Franco-Egyptian relationship and areas of Paris that remind us of this place in the world where civilization began. Place du Caire and Place de la Concorde are among these spots. Read all about their significance and how Napoleon’s campaigns in Egypt affected the relationship France has with Egypt.

Today’s issue also addresses the current low lending rates and what a great time it is to take advantage of mortgages under 3%. Read the news from BPI (Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier) and other articles that confirm how the rates are sparking more home sales.

Hot Properties are centered around the two Places, Caire and Concorde, and don’t miss other bits of property news from our sister publications.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds
Adrian LeedsEditor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]

P.S. Don’t show up Tuesday, November 11th at La Pierre du Marais for our monthly coffee gathering, "Parler Paris Après Midi"…because I won’t be there (still in Egypt!), but do mark your calendar for November 17th when I WILL be there! See for more information.

Volume VII, Issue 44, November 5, 2009

In this issue:

* Adrian Leeds Cruises the Nile
* Napoleon Takes France to Egypt
* The Globalization of the Property Market
* New Airings of House Hunters International in Paris
* Egypt Comes to France
* An Egyptian Quartier in Paris
* Notaires’ Salon Nouveau This Weekend
* Financing Gassing Up French Real Estate
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* Eurostar Service Aides Rising Home Values
* New Service Regulations Affect Currency Exchange
* Moneycorp: Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion
* Parler Paris Apartments: Fall Discounts Expire in December
* Highest Tower in Monaco in the Works
* Hot Property Picks: Picking Properties aux Places
* Properties on the Block for Next Notaires’ Auction
* Luxury Property Show in November
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Next Gathering Nov. 17th
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides

Walk Like an Egyptian
By Adrian Leeds

Excerpted from Parler Paris Nouvellettre®
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our plane connection in Cairo had a seven-hour layover with a flight at an ungodly 4 a.m. to Aswan, so rather than twiddle our thumbs in the airport all night, we located a private driver ("Armet") who gave us a speedy tour of his beautiful city by night lit by the many mosques both ancient and new and waited patiently while we had our first authentic Egyptian dinner at "Café Riche." Café Riche is well-known center-city restaurant once famous as an intellectual hotspot that one journalist reported has a "story like the water of the Nile, flowing down the river continuously, constantly, slowly." The food was good, the service very pleasant and as one often sees in this part of the world, the owner sat at a desk in the front window counting his
money and balancing his books at the end of
the day.

(Café Riche. 17, Talaat Harb Street, just off Talaat Harb Square, Downtown, Cairo. Telephone: +202 3929793)

The sun was coming up, but the full moon was still bright as our plane landed in Aswan Tuesday morning at 5:30 a.m. An escort met us there to lead us by hand to the "felucca" (boat) that crosses the Nile to and from the tall and luxuriously contemporary Movenpick Hotel where we connected with 11 other friends, gathered together in Egypt to help celebrate the birthday of photographer Michael Honegger. It was a surprise for Michael…both WHERE he was being taken and WITH WHOM he was going. We are 10 women and three men — friends and relatives from the U.S. and France. His partner, playwrite Tim Smith, has orchestrated the trip for all of us down to the tee…

Read the entire article at

Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign

The French attempt to exert influence over Egypt was due to economics, a political need to weaken Britain and the personal needs of General Napoleon Bonaparte, who saw the shadow of unemployment – and a loss of influence – looming as his armies in Italy were nearing the end of their successful struggles against Austria.

Having seen the benefits of Britain’s profitable colonies, France’s Directory listened to Bonaparte’s idea to invade Egypt, expel the ruling Mamelukes and establish a modern style of government friendly towards French ways…

Read the entire article at


Property has Become a Resolutely Globalized Market – Part I
By Mary Fort – Head of International Business Development, Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier

As for financial investments, property has become a resolutely globalized market. By encouraging the mobility of people, the multiplication and acceleration of means of communication have reduced distances like never before, creating proximity where, beforehand, there was only exoticism. The dream of a second home far away from where you live, of a “dream home” acquisition or an investment abroad, has never been as accessible. Furthermore, the mobility of capital, the harmonization of regulations and the emergence of specialized international players provide unprecedented liquidity to this asset class, perceived this time in a rationale of investment that earns residual income. This profound tendency is structural and will continue regardless of the evolution of the economic environment.

Just like a financial asset, property must therefore respond to resolutely opportunistic, reactive management and above all, must be accompanied by a suitable global package fulfilling numerous complex parameters: price, of course, but also interest rate, foreign exchange rate, regulation, taxation and… emotion. It is with this in mind that this newsletter has been designed as an information tool aiming to encourage an area of discussion, to provide keys for practical understanding on some of the major stakes of the international property market. In light of the enduring appeal of property in some of the world’s most desirable locations which includes France, we hope the international newsletter will meet your expectations and provide you with food for thought. Enjoy reading it.

Refinancing of property holdings: An underused lever to raise liquid assets The strength of the euro on the foreign exchange market makes the refinancing of property holdings particularly attractive in the euro zone in order to finance projects in countries such as the United Kingdom or in the dollar zone, whilst keeping cash contributions to a minimum. Proof that the market for equity release is now mature can be found in two examples: the repayment of a mortgage on a main London home and a rental investment in Miami.

The current environment is full of opportunities. Far from stripping the property market of its substance, this new context gives renewed interest, in fact, to a practice that is still widely underused (particularly in France): the refinancing of property holdings. Definition: a mortgage taken out on a property which has capital value in order to make use of the capital tied up in it. The advantage: retention of property while obtaining additional income or the possibility of investing anywhere in the world whilst keeping a cash contribution to a minimum. It is also an opportunity to restructure and reorganize existing property holdings in a rationale of optimization or estate planning..

This rationale is particularly attractive for properties located in France. There are two reasons for this. First of all the French property market has declined less in two years than other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States or Spain. Furthermore, the euro has strengthened against the national currency of nume

us owners, with the pound Sterling and the dollar at the top of the list. For all these reasons, the refinancing of a property located in France may facilitate the financing at a lower cost and with lower risk for projects such as: works/ refurbishing, new acquisition, buy to let investment, indeed any other life project. Proof is found in two examples.

Editors Note: Look for part II in next week’s issue of French property Insider.

For more information now, contact John Rule at [email protected] or Mary Fort at [email protected].

Watch Adrian Leeds and French Property Consultation on
House Hunters International – NEW DATES

***"Vacation Home in Paris" – Episode HHINT-1A05***

November 23, 2009, 12:00 PM ET/PT
House Hunters International Episode HHINT-402


***"Settling Down in Paris" – Episode HHINT-1A05

December 4, 2009 7:00 PM ET/PT
December 14, 2009 12:00 AM ET/PT

House Hunters International Episode HHINT-402

To learn more, visit or email Adrian Leeds, at [email protected].

The Obelisk of Luxor at Place de la Concorde

A legend says that j2999ephine said to Napoleon before leaving to conquest Egypt in 1798, "If you go to Thebes, do send me a small obelisk." True or false, the obelisk of RAMSES II was erected in Paris at the Place de la Concorde.


The center of the Place is occupied by a giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramses II. It is one of two the Egyptian government gave to the French in the nineteenth century. The other one stayed in Egypt, too difficult and heavy to move to France with the technology at that time. In the 1990s, President François Mitterrand gave the second obelisk back to the Egyptians.

The obelisk once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple. The Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Mehmet Ali, offered the 3,300-year-old Luxor Obelisk to France in 1829. The obelisk arrived in Paris on December 21, 1833. Three years later, on October 25, 1836, King Louis-Philippe had it placed in the center of Place de la Concorde, where a guillotine used to stand during the Revolution.

The obelisk, a red granite column, rises 23 meters (75 ft) high, including the base, and weighs over 250 metric tons (280 short tons). Given the technical limitations of the day, transporting it was no easy feat — on the pedestal are drawn diagrams explaining the machinery that were used for the transportation. The obelisk is flanked on both sides by fountains constructed at the time of its erection on the Place.

Early morning on December 1, 1993, the French AIDS fighting society Act Up Paris carried out a fast and unwarned commando-style operation. A giant pink condom was unrolled over the whole monument.

Missing its original cap, believed stolen in the 6th century BC, the government of France added a gold-leafed pyramid cap to the top of the obelisk in 1998.

Without warning, in 2000 French urban climber Alain "Spiderman" Robert, using only his bare hands and climbing shoes on his feet and with no safety devices, scaled the obelisk all the way to the top.

Place Du Caire
Compiled by Adrian Leeds

At 2, Place du Caire, you can access this passage, the longest in Paris. It is not the only road in the quarter which reminds one of Egypt. In the immediate neighborhood, you can also find the roads of Aboukir and Alexandrie as a testament to the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt in 1798. The most interesting aspect of the passage is the fa&cced

il;ade on th
e building at number 2 with its representation of the goddess Hathor by three giant heads. Some hieroglyphs can be seen on upper floors. Specializing in the lithography business and shop display mannequins, Passage du Caire is today only of real interest for customers of the clothing wholesalers there. The Egyptian exoticism is hardly visible as the passage has become so dirty.

The building named "Fair of Cairo" built in 1798 in place of the convent of the "Filles de la Charité." The name comes from the campaign in Egypt of Napoleon.

Lyrics to the Song "Place du Caire"

Nous avions rendez-vous sans pourtant nous connaître,
J’ai croisé dans Paris une fée du désert,
Ses cheveux délacés lui faisaient un fuseau,
C’était comme un mirage, une source, un point d’eau.

( Refrain )
Place du Caire,
C’est un coin d’orient, un lieu plein de mystères,
Place du Caire,
À quelques pas des champs, les portes du désert,
Place du Caire,
Où la rue d’Aboukir se jette dans la mer,
Place du Caire,
Il y reste l’odeur de ton café dans l’air

Elle a les yeux dorés, le regard envoûtant,
Le charme mélangé, de la femme, de l’enfant
Et quand elle m’a souri, je suis resté surpris,
Étonné de pouvoir encore tant m’émouvoir.

( Refrain )

Je n’ai rien demandé ; elle ne m’a rien dit
Nous n’avons pas osé les mille-et-une nuits
Et je reste à rêver que le hasard un jour,
Voudra me redonner mon rêve, mon amour.

( Refrain )

Place du Caire
Je suis venu rôder, espérant la surprendre
Place du Caire
Je n’ai pas retrouvé la sauvage et la tendre.

Salon Nouveau Départ This Weekend

The first salon in France concerning divorce, separation and widowhood takes place this coming November 7-8 at the Espace Champeret . On this occasion, the Chambre de Notaires de Paris will have a stand where Notaires will be on hand to provide consultations.

Espace Champeret
1 avenue de la Porte de Champeret
75017 Paris
M° Louise Michel)
Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 8, 11 a.m to 6 p.m.

To review the program in detail, visit

To acquire free invitations, visit the Centre d’Information de la Chambre des Notaires de Paris at 1, boulevard de Sébastopol, Paris 1st.

Attractive Financing Fuels French Real Estate Recovery

Residential property prices in France increased by 0.1% in September and are now 2.8% higher than they were six months ago, according to the latest figures.

Analysts believe that the real estate recovery is now underway as the figures from the FNAIM show that although prices fell overall by1% in the third quarter they rose in September and for the last six months they are now up by 2.8%.

Overall during the last 12 months prices in the French market have fallen a total of 7.8% and there is much optimism that the upward movement in September will be the start of a trend that sees the country’s real estate market recovers in 2010.

A healthy lending environment is also expected to aid the property recovery. Unlike the UK, a history of prudent lending in France where lenders do not allow borrowers’ total outgoings on finance payments to exceed one third of their total gross monthly income, has meant mortgage finance is still readily available.

While mortgage finance in the UK remains extremely difficult to secure, especially at higher LTVs, the French banks continue to lend to borrowers with smaller deposits, even up to 100% LTV…

Read the entire article at

ls-french-real-estate-recovery-53947.aspx. nt>

Fractional Property Offerings from French Property Fractional

If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:

Place des Vosges 


Chez la Tour

La Rsidence Luxembourg

Le Petit Tresor
 Maison Bleue

Paris Residence Club

Notre Maison dan Toulouges

To see our latest Fractional offerings go to

Eurostar Connections is Bringing Buyers Back to France

Homes that are easy to reach by high-speed train services are quickly rising in value…

For those averse to airport check-in desks, long security checks, and stodgy airline food, the Eurostar has long offered an easier way to reach the cafés and croissants of Paris. But with a number of link-ups to high-speed services in France, Belgium, and Germany, train travel to the wider continent is becoming increasingly popular and connection to the “Eurostar grid” is becoming more important.

Martin Sadler, an international sales manager at the property advisory firm Assetz, said that a lot of potential buyers that had been looking farther afield are now considering properties over the Channel.

“We are noticing more inquiries coming back to France,” Sadler said. “Eurostar’s connection to the TGV has opened up areas of the south-west of France, which previously had been hard to get to.”…

Read the entire article at

MoneyCorp Institues New Payment Services Regulations

On November 1, 2009 the new Payment Services Regulations (PSRs) came into effect.

The PSRs require that non-bank payment service providers, such as Moneycorp, be either registered with or authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

From November 1, 2009, such businesses will be known as Payment Institutions (PIs). Moneycorp has applied to become an authorised PI.

The PSR establish certain rules governing how authorised PIs provide payment services where both the payer and the payee are located within the European Economic Area (EEA). These rules are designed, in part, to ensure customer protection.

Authorized PIs will be required to safeguard client funds they hold in relation to an electronic payment.

They will also have to meet stringent criteria set by the FSA in terms of corporate governance, solvency and risk identification and management.
What does it mean for you?

In reality, the impact on you will be very limited as we have consistently operated under extremely tight self-imposed policies and procedures with regard to customer funds and services. Our systems and processes also undergo regular inspections by independent ISO auditors, as part of our ISO 9000 certification.

Unfortunately, the PSR do mean that we can no longer instruct overseas banks in the EEA to charge any beneficiary bank fees to us, the payer when we send payments in an EEA currency. Therefore, while we will continue to guarantee that the full amount will be transferred by us, we cannot guarantee that the beneficiary bank will not then make a subsequent charge. We recommend that you contact your beneficiary bank for clarification on such charges.

More information can be found at



Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion

If you’re buying a holiday home or investment property overseas, when you trade your currency is crucial. The euro exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, so trading at the right time will mean your money goes a lot further. Adrian Leeds Group LLC and Moneycorp are working together to ensure you make the most of your Dollar or Sterling when buying a property in France.

For the latest exchange rate use our currency converter at and learn more about moneycorp here:

One-Hour Consultation with Adrian Leeds Free!

Currency Online


If you are a guest staying in any one of our luxurious Parler Paris Apartments, and would like to consider having your own "pied-à-terre" for your pleasure and profit, contact Adrian Lees for a FREE one-hour consultation while you’re enjoying the apartment in the City of Light. Visit for more information or email me at [email protected].



Parler Paris Apartments 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 po


We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind thequality 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 heir best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

SPOTLIGHT APARTMENT(S): Ask About the Last Minute Fall Special: 10% to 15% Discount off Advertised Rental Rates Through December 20!…

Le Château Saint-Germain

Rue de Bourbon le Château
6th Arrondissement
Three-Bedroom, Three-Bath, sleeps up to 6

Le Château Saint-Germain is an elegant and luxurious three-bedroom/three-ensuite-bath apartment located in the very heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris in a quiet corner with a view on the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and steps from the liveliest part of the quartier. Visitors to Paris who are lucky enough to make themselves at home here will be talking about their delightful stay for years to come and return as often as they can. Located on the second floor (European, third floor American) of a 17th-century Hôtel Particulier (townhouse), the spacious rooms of the apartment circle around a central courtyard affording windows on all sides of the apartment with views of three tiny streets and the lovely serene courtyard.

Reserve now! Visit or email:[email protected].

VINCI Wins Contract to Build the Highest Tower in the Principality of Monaco

The consortium comprising VINCI Construction France and Solétanche SAM, the local subsidiary of Solétanche Bachy (VINCI Construction) who will build the foundations in particular, has signed the contract with Marzocco, a Monegasque property developer, to build the principality’s highest tower.

Designed by architect Alexandre Giraldi, the Odéon Tower will be 170 metres high. It will have 48 floors of housing and offices, with 10 levels below ground.

The works, which are scheduled to take 56 months, are worth €370 million (including tax).


HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Picking Properties aux Places

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.

This week we focus on opportunities around Place du Caire and Place de la Concord.

*** Paris, 2nd: studio, approx. 15m²

Studio in a beautiful building with newly renovated common areas but without elevator. This apartment is ideally located between the Montorgueil, the Marais and Grand Boulevards districts. It is also sunny due to its Southern exposure with rooftop views of Paris and the Pompidou Center. The apartment is calm as it faces an interior courtyard.
The plan is well laid out, with no loss of space. There is a separate kitchen, bathroom with lavatory. Perfect as an pied a terre.

Asking Price: € 135 0500 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Paris, 2nd: One-bedroom, approx. 37m²

Magnificent two-room apartment measuring 37m² located in a 17th century building in p

condition. The apartment has exposed beams and stone and is completely renovated and full of charm. There is a spacious living room with open, fully equipped kitchen. The bedroom faces a quiet courtyard and has an ensuite bathroom.

Asking Price: € 294 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Paris, 8th: Three-bedroom, approx. 140m²

Near St-Philippe-du-Roule, on the third floor of a late 18th century building. This charming three-bedroom apartment offers a large entrance hall, large living room, dining room, bathroom, shower room, toilets. Hardwood floors throughout, fireplace. Tastefully decorated throughout with medallion accented light fixtures.

Asking Price: € 975 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Paris, 8th: Four-bedroom, approx. 229m²

Steps away from the Champs Elysées, yet calm, is this six room family style apartment. Triple reception, hardwood floors, moulding, and large mirrors. Superb location for all amenities: Luxury shops, fine dining, bilingual school, and the Park Monceau. Possibility to purchase the service room ("chambre de bonne") at an additional cost. Two caves of 20M² and 10M² are included in the sales price. Parking only 200M away. Metro station "Etoile". Needs renovating. Façade is being refurbished. Elevator to code.

Asking Price: € 2 200 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee


The Next Notaires’ Property Auction

Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Paris 1st


Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the Web site at

To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:

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  The following properties will be auctioned off November 10, 2009:    


2 Rooms 44m²
5/7 rue de la Comète
75007 – PARIS 7eme
Starting Bid: 252 000,00 €
Sold For: 50 400,00 €




2 Rooms 59m²
78 Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg
75007 – PARIS 7eme
Starting Bid: 540 000,00 €
Deposit: 108 000,00 €



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