France for Less

France for Less

Chateau les Sablons in Bourgueil, France
Photo by David Peterson


French Property Insider

November 12, 2009
Paris, France

Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,

I returned from Egypt just yesterday to cold and the usual gray skies of Paris, but am happy to be home in the land of the Eiffel Tower. The travel through Egypt was one of the most enlightening excursions of my life — particularly to witness the contrast between the oldest civilization in the world and the most sophisticated civilization in the world — France.

In a tiny village along the Nile, on a clothes line over the mud with a donkey baying in the background, hung a T-shirt with the word "Paris" printed across the chest…and I was reminded of how Paris is loved the world over, even by the simplest and poorest of people. By experiencing another life and witnessing a different landscape, I come to appreciate life in France even more, with all its beauty and refinement.

In today’s French Property Insider, we take a look at how to enjoy and invest in France on a smaller budget — why this is such a good time to make a purchase and how to make a small amount of investment capital really pay. We report on the latest price statistics in Paris and France and how property taxes in France compare with other countries (very low!).

Just hot off the video press is our latest tour of Le Palace des Vosges — perfect for those who have a small budget but want to have at least a fraction of something big and luxurious. Be sure to take the tour and learn how you can have one-thirteenth of the best address in the city.

Hot Properties are some of the best bargains in Paris to illustrate how well you can do on 150,000€ in the City of Light…and a final word from Banque Patrimoine et Immobilier reminds us that interest rates are under 3%…which won’t last all that long. Learn more about a mortgage in France with the help of

Now, take a break, have a read and let FPI help make your dream turn into a reality sooner than you think.

A bientôt,

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

P.S. Make your Thanksgiving plans and don’t think twice about missing French Property Insider…as that’s one of the two days a year we take a break. We’ll be making turkey here in Paris to celebrate in spirit with all you Americans!

P.P.S. For those of you planning to stay in a Parler Paris Apartment (, don’t forget that you can take advantage of one hour of consultation time with me, absolutely free. Book your stay soon and ask for our last-minute 10% discount on rentals 10 days or less prior to your arrival date.

Volume VII, Issue 45, November 12, 2009

In this issue:

* Notaire’s Report Touts Property Stabilization
* More on Property Price Stabilization
* Video Tour of PDV: Almost Like Being There
* The Globalization of the Property Market: Part II
* New Airings of House Hunters International in Paris
* Where You Can Find Affordable Property in France
* Buying a Paris Apartment on a Budget
* Property Taxes: Compare and Contrast
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* Commercial Property Investment Increasing in Paris
* Luxury Property Show in Paris This Month
* Moneycorp: Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion
* Parler Paris Apartments: Introducing Our Newest Apartment…
* How You Can Buy a Home with a Difference
* Hot Property Picks: Budget Basement Bargains
* Results of the Latest Notaires’ Auction
* 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

Property Prices in France Stabilized by Third Quarter
By Adrian Leeds

According to the Chambre de Notaires de Paris and FNAIM (Fédération Nationale de l’IMmobilier), the prices on property all over France and in Paris have stabilized as of the third quarter.

The Chambre de Notaire publishes several documents (in French) with charts that illustrate HOW prices have taken an upturn and therefore indicating that the property market has reached a stabilization.

This coupled with low interest rates make this particular period of time particularly advantageous to those seeking solid investment.

The documents published by these organizations are available for you to download and read:



Editor’s Note: For a comprehensive look at these reports in English, read the following article.

House Prices in France Stable in Third Quarter

The fall in French house prices slowed in the last quarter, and estate agents forecast prices will stabilize over the remainder of 2009.

In their regular review of the housing market, FNAIM, the French estate agents association, report that house prices fell by 1.3% in the three months ending September 2009 compared with the second quarter. Over the past twelve months, French house prices have therefore fallen by 9.1%. Apartment prices in the quarter fell 0.7%, giving a fall of 7.4% over a year.

In the month of September alone prices actually went up by 0.1%, leading the agents to conclude that there were signs of growing stability in house prices.

They argue that the modest rise in prices may in part be explained by the shortage of properties on the market, as many prospective sellers have decided to hold off putting their property up for sale until the market picks up.

As usual there are big variations across France…

Read the entire article at

Palatial Living in Le Palace des Vosges
By Adrian Leeds

If you’ve followed the progress of "Le Palace des Vosges" (our Fractional Ownership property at Paris’ best address) over the past year, then you’d know that the first owners are already enjoying the property. Just before they arrived, we had an opportunity to take a full video tour of the finished product!…



Eight shares are still available. For more information about how to purchase your share of Le Palace des Vosges, visit http://www.palacedesvosges.comor email Mary Ellen Gallagher at [email protected].

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

A British citizen, Mr. S owns a country house in the Gard, in the South of France. His property is evaluated at € 840,000, an estimate which has only slightly decreased since the start of the crisis. Residing in London, Mr. S is the owner of his main home whose mortgage he wishes to repay early. The solution offered by Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier is to put in place a Diamant loan of up to € 490,000 taking security on the house in the Gard. The solution Diamant provides for an initial interest only period, after which Mr. S will decide whether he wishes to repay the loan early without early redemption penalties or convert the capital into a repayment loan. In the end, Mr. S. therefore replaces his pound Sterling mortgage with an interest only loan in euros exchanged at a favourable rate, whilst waiting to repay the capital when the sterling currency has sufficiently recovered against the euro. He thus benefits both from the good relative resistance of the price of his country home and from the recent depreciation of the pound Sterling against the euro.

A French man residing in the Parisian region, Mr D wishes to diversify his property holdings by taking advantage of the simultaneous decline of the dollar and of the American property market. He thus identifies a luxury house worth $1.4 million located in Miami. He feels this price to be greatly undervalued, given the high quality of the property and the quality of its different services. His objective is to take advantage of the revaluation of the market in the medium term, without this investment costing him money in the meantime. Mr D finances his acquisition via a contribution of € 700,000, i.e. $1 million. The balance is then provided by Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier, which is happy to take the French house as security, in this case, 60% of its value. Once bought, this property will cost him $28,000 of property taxes and $10,000 of charges each year, i.e. a total of $38,000. Rented out at $4,500 a month, the investment will therefore earn him $54,000, i.e. $16,000 net – a 1.14% return which will enable him to wait patiently for the inevitable revaluation of his property.

Interest of refinancing property holdings – allows investing anywhere in the world by taking a guarantee on an existing property – saves on a cash contribution when making an investment – facilitates the overall restructuring of a property holding

Never before has a rental investment in the United States been so attractive. First of all, the local property market has lost up to two-thirds of its value in two years. Further, the dollar has dropped 12% since the month of March. Finally, the local banks are now demanding deposits of 30% to 40%, compared to 10% a short while ago, leading a great many Americans to turn towards rental. This configuration has mechanically created unprecedented investment opportunities for nonresidents, particularly those whose assets and income are denominated in euros. The United States: a new property El Dorado? Not as simple as that. The specificities of the market expose a rental investment to very high charges and major risks, making the final return particularly random. There are two reasons for this: on the one hand, the property taxes are high there and can be as much as 2% in Florida. On the other hand, American buildings are often over-equipped in terms of service and various equipment, thus making the condominium costs particularly high. This is even more the case for a half-vacant building where these same charges are passed onto two times fewer occupants, hence making these variable costs unaffordable. Worse still, the current crisis has thrown a great many of these condominium associations into bankruptcy, often causing interruptions in the basic services, such as water and electricity, and causing a premature ageing of the building due to lack of maintenance! Even at knocked down prices, the new luxury towers can therefore sometimes turn into a real drain on finances. It is therefore better to kiss goodbye to glamour and say hello to modesty.

Let’s take two examples.

An apartment located in a luxury building on the sea front in Miami is estimated at $1.2 million. Rented out at $3,600 a month, this requires $24,000 a year in property taxes and just as much in rental charges. Therefore $48,000 are levied whereas the property “only” brings in €43,000. A negative return at present with little possibility to exist the market since the secondary market has experienced a severe decline in sales volume.

A more modest property located in a middle class district is worth $150,000, compared to 400,000 before the crisis. Its owner can expect rental income of $18,000 a year, with tax of $3,000 and charges of $4,800. His or her net return will then be 6.8%.

Far from ruling out any vague desire for property investment in the United States, these very mixed returns imply more than ever support and monitoring by seasoned professionals experienced in the mysteries of the local market. This is the price of the dream (or rather the absence of a nightmare).

Very mixed returns

Augustin Letellier, at Barnes in Key Biscane (Florida): “An investment in Florida is dictated more by capital gains objectives than for its return alone, given the very high charge levels and local taxation.”

Marcelle Poirier, a lawyer specialising in property based in Paris, Miami and Montreal: “An investor must always be assured that the apartment in question is located in a building with at least 80% occupancy, ideally occupied by elderly people who have lived there
for many years, at the risk of having to pay sometimes colossal condominium charges.”

Diamant: Combining an interest only phase mfollowed by a repayment phase…

Investing in bricks and mortar does not necessarily mean foregoing your other financial investments. To respond to this legitimate requirement, Banque Patrimoine has created Diamant, a loan enabling arbitration, depending on market opportunities, between the amortization of the loan or the capitalization of its investment products. Particularly adapted to international investors, it is a tailor-made solution with either a fixed or variable rate. The investor may decide to place his or her personal cash contribution (when required) on a side-investment savings plan thereby benefiting from tax advantages.

The 1st period of 5 to 20 years

The client only pays the interest which is deductible from the rental income (when applicable). The monthly payments are lower and the rents received may cover the majority, if not the entire amount of the instalments. If the client chooses the variable option, the rate is capped ensuring at the outset the client is aware of the maximum monthly payment anticipated thus enabling the maintenance of a stable cash flow.

The 2nd period of 5 to 20 years

The client amortizes on the term he/she chooses. A ceiling is set on the monthly payment and the term is capped (when choosing the secured variable rate option). Investment International acclaims the currency account offering of Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier In an article tilted « New deal for non-residents for a flourishing French bank », the newspaper describes Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier’s new partnership agreement regarding its foreign currency securities accounts. According to the journalist, the bank has thus strengthened its position towards the substantial non-residential market. “The strong volatility of dollar and pound currencies against the euro has certainly become an issue for people who want to purchase a property in France and feel the obligation to convert their liquid assets in euros,” declared Olivier Dacquin, the Head of Sales at Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier in this article. “They might want to be fully advised to prevent any sudden change on the currency market.”

Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier explains in the French Paper how to buy in France without selling your currency.

This practical article highlights the possibility offered by Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier to finance up to 100 % of a property in France by accepting the guarantee of a securities account denominated in any currency. “Given the increased volatility in the foreign exchange markets, an active management of currency risk for any real estate transaction made in France has become, now more than ever, a necessity,” concludes the article.

The total volume of loans granted by Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier increased by 20% in 2008, even exceeding, for the first time, the symbolic threshold of € 1 billion, to € 1.092 billion. This increase reflects the solidity of Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier despite a difficult context on the property market together with tight refinancing conditions but moreover it reflects the trust it has in its clients’ projects.

For more information, contact John Rule 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].

Finding Affordable Property in France to Fuel Your Dreams of French Living

Is it possible to buy property in France on a budget, can you still buy French renovation projects and what about investment properties in France and homes for families to move in to today?

In this article we’re going to go on the hunt for affordable property in France to help fuel your dreams of French living. The good news is that there are some real bargain finds even in this day and age, and you may be inspired by this report to go and make your property dreams come true in France.

Property for Sale in France for €50,000

In today’s money €50,000 is about £44,588 – a lot more than it used to be but still not bad money for a property abroad I’m sure you’re agree! If you’re after a property project in France then €50,000 can still buy you a lot of potential. For example, in Saint Tugdual, Morbihan in Brittany the Olivier Arens agency has a solidly constructed two-bedroom house that is ripe for renovation! It has a good roof, solid walls and is in good shape – the buyer would apparently just have to redo the interior and tidy up the beautiful but totally overgrown garden.

If you’d prefer to be in Southern France in the guaranteed summer sunshine rather than in Brittany where the weather can mirror that in the UK, what about a ruin in Parisot, Tarn-et-Garonne in the Midi-Pyrenees for €50,000? The ancient stone cottage is in desperate need of complete repair, but it is set in a stunning position in half an acre of garden on the edge of a tiny hamlet. It’s also set within beautiful countryside with undulating hills, it’s 10 minutes from the famous village of Najac, five minutes from a busy village with all your basic amenities and a leisure lake, and it’s just 90 minutes from Toulouse.

Homes for Sale in France for up to €100,000

€100,000 is perhaps a more realistic budget if you want to buy a house in France to reside in full time or that you can potentially let out for an income. There’s a four-bedroom house with great letting potential, or which could be turned into a very nice B and B near Chateauponsac, Haute-Vienne in Limousin. It is a very substantial and attractive property with a large enclosed garden, river views and its setting couldn’t be better – it’s in the heart of a beautiful tourist town and close to Chateauponsac which is just 30 minutes from the international airport at Limoges…

Read the entire article at

Paris on a Budget
By Adrian Leeds

I don’t totally agree with the article above…which steers you away from Paris, claiming it to be unaffordable. Paris can be very affordable…if you view the investment from the right perspective.

Let’s say all you had to spend was 150,000€. What would that buy you in the City of Light? Let’s take a good look at what’s possible.

First of all, you could consider taking a mortgage and using the money as your down payment and closing costs, plus some renovation expense — all total about 50% of the price of the property. If that’s the case, then it would buy you a property about 300,000€ or approximately 40 square meters or less, depending on location.

If a mortgage is out of the question for a variety of reasons and your pocket goes no deeper than 150,000€, then you’re limited by size and location to an apartment of 20 square meters or less in an outer district (arrondissement 9 through 20).

Apartments of this size, while not abundant, are available…and if they have certain characteristics, can be hugely enjoyable and profitable.

Twenty square meters is an adequate sized studio apartment for a short term rental with a small kitchen and property equipped bath. If you don’t believe me, have a look at This apartment is only 16.5 square meters and rents about 75% of the year! Total investment: 151,840€ (2006).

Certain outer districts are more desirable than others. For example, the 18th (Montmartre) is one of the lowest-priced areas of Paris, but an apartment with good views in this district is highly rentable. The 11th and 12th near La Bastille offer the benefits of the Place de la Bastille without the prices one finds in the 3rd and 4th (Marais) and if you find a sweet pied-à-terre in the 13th on the edge of the 5th or 6th (rue Mouffetard), then you can still have a great location
without the big price tag.

Thinking ‘outside of the box’ (or outside of the first 8 districts) will get you far when it comes to making a small investment pay for itself and provide plenty of pleasure.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about how to stretch your budget to invest in Paris, email Adrian Leeds at [email protected].

A Tax on All Their Houses – What Other Countries Charge

As the Government toys with bringing back property tax, we check out what homeowners in other countries have to pay. Writes FRANCES O’ROURKE, Ireland is one of the few countries that does not currently put some kind of annual tax on domestic property (apart from the new second home tax).

Internationally, most countries tax homeowners, most frequently to pay for local services – as Ireland did before it abolished domestic rates in 1978. The residential property tax which was introduced in 1983 was abolished in 1997.

The amounts charged abroad vary considerably. It is extremely hard of course to compare like-with-like. Countries take very different approaches to the business of taxing property, with a mix of national, regional and especially local governments deciding annual rates.

Equally, the method of deciding how to value a property before applying the annual rate varies hugely too: in France, part of the tax is based on what the local authority decides is the rental value of your home; in England and Scotland, it’s based on how much your home was valued at in an assessment done in 1991. It seems rarely to be the market value of the property.

The only real common denominator is that in most major cities and countries around the world homeowners do pay some kind of annual tax on their property.

LONDON: in the UK, homeowners pay an annual council tax to help fund local authority activities. Every year, each council decides what it will charge homeowners, with the amount being based on eight different tax bands. Which band your property falls into depends on the assessment of the value of your property in 1991 in England and Scotland and in 2003 in Wales. (In Northern Ireland, a system of rates applies.) The bands range from A (homes worth up to pound(s)40,000) to H (pound(s)320,001-plus).

Londoners pay tax to their own borough and to the Greater London Authority. If your house falls into band B and you live in Wandsworth, your council tax would be [euro]608.61; if you live in Kingston upon Thames, it would be [euro]1,436.71.

PARIS: there are two property taxes in France, the real estate tax – taxe fonciere – paid by the owner of the property and a taxe d’habitation paid by the person living in it. The taxes are based on the rental value of the property, and that is determined each year by local authorities. The assessed value of a property is usually significantly lower than its market value. If you are an owner- occupier, you pay both taxes and if you rent out the property on short-term lets, you are deemed to be living in it and also pay both. The amount of tax anyone pays depends on the value of the property, its size and location, and can vary a great deal from one municipality and region to another.

Annual property tax for an apartment in Paris is calculated, approximately, at [euro]10 per sq m for taxe fonciere and [euro]12 per sq m for the taxe d’habitation. The taxe fonciere works out at about [euro]500 a year; if you live in your property, the taxe d’habitation works out at about the same amount as the property tax, so your total bill would be [euro]1,000.

NEW YORK: every year, the state of New York sends property owners a "Notice of Property Value (NOPV)", its assessment of the market value of their home. This is based on a formula established by New York city and state laws.

How much tax an owner pays is based on the taxable value of their home, which of four classes of property it falls into and on the tax rate in their area, set each year by New York City Council.

A "Class 1" property (many condos, one to three-bedroom houses) worth [euro]300,000 would currently have an assessed value of [euro]18,000 and a tax rate of 0.16787: the tax bill to be paid would be [euro]3,021.66. Provision is made for reductions in property tax for various groups, like senior citizens, veterans and disabled homeowners…

Read the entire article at

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

Tishman Poised for Paris Deal
By William Boston

Property developer Tishman Speyer Properties is expected to announce Wednesday that one of its investment funds had acquired the Paris office building that houses the headquarters of AXA Corporate Services for roughly $95 million.

Tishman has acquired the building from SCI Vendome in a sale-and-lease-back arrangement. Located near the Gare Saint-Lazare train station in central Paris, the building has served as corporate headquarters for various units of French insurer and asset manager AXA SA since it was built in 1910. AXA Corporate Services, which is the only tenant, will remain in the building and has agreed to a nine-year lease, Tishman said.

The sale is a sign that Tishman is able to do deals despite the problems it has had with some of its investments in the U.S., such as the CarrAmerica office-building portfolio in Washington, D.C., and the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complex in Manhattan. The developer, which owns such landmarks as Rockefeller Center, does many of its deals through investment funds that it has raised.

The 140,000-square-foot office building is being purchased by Tishman Speyer’s European Core Fund, which owns office buildings throughout Europe.

The deal, one of the larger office transactions in the French capital this year, is typical of the kind of commercial-office property sought in Paris. The building is in the Haussmannian style, named for the 19th-century city planner who created the characteristic appearance of the buildings in central Paris…

Read the entire article at

Luxury Real Estate Trade Fair Loves Paris in the Autumn
Compiled by Schuyler Hoffman

Not everyone can afford a private island or a fancy penthouse on New York’s Upper East Side. Still, for those who can, an invitation to the Luxury Real Estate Trade Fair will be just the thing to make the autumn seem brighter. And where better to promote high-end property than Paris, the world capital of chic? This elegant ambience will be further enhanced by the venue, Paris’s famous Musée du Louvre.

On the 27th, 28th and 29th of November 2009 Prestige-Paris will celebrate its third birthday with the assistance of France Convention, a specialist in niche and luxury trade fairs. This year’s gathering will be required both to meet the visitors’ very demanding expectations and outdo last year’s exceptionally successful event.

The recent recession has failed to affect the luxury sector as much as the rest of the economy, in fact the latest figures have revealed that the Parisian real estate market has improved. It seems that the most beautiful and luxurious homes never fail to find a buyer, a thought that will encourage participants in this most prestigious property exhibition.



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!

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 possible.

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): Be our first guest!
Introducing Our Newest Apartment…

Le Charles V
Rue Charles V
4th Arrondissement
Large Studio, Sleeps up to 2 (18 yrs and older)

Le Charles V is a beautifully appointed Marais studio located on the quiet rue Charles V, just steps from the charming Village Saint-Paul’s art galleries and antique dealers. For location, this can’t be beat — only two blocks away lies the Seine and the Ile Saint-Louis, Place de la Bastille is just steps away as well as the elegant Place des Vosges. Less than a five-minute walk brings you to the Saint-Paul Métro stop and numerous buses serve the area. Newly renovated and tastefully decorated, you’ll find every amenity provided. Brand new furnishings and bed make for a relaxed and restful stay. Two large, comfortable armchairs in the living room area allow you to read, watch TV or just relax. The dining table is generous in size and can seat up to three people.

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

How to Buy a £1m Home with a Difference
By Simon Lambert

Britain’s high property prices mean that even if you had £1m to spend you wouldn’t get much choice. But why settle for a bog standard executive home when you could get a French chateau, a chunk of the countryside or even a private island…

When it comes to imagining where we’d live when we grew up, it’s unlikely anyone ever dreamed of a two-bedroom flat or suburban semi.

But thanks to Britain’s high house prices, and the inevitable disappointment of many dreams, most people will never manage to stretch beyond the humdrum.

In fact, even if you did manage to achieve that other common childhood ambition of being a millionaire, you’re likely to find that it probably won’t stretch to an all out fantasy home.

Falling house prices over the past two years have put a hefty dent in the number of property millionaires, according to a recent report from property search website

But even though the number of millionaire homes are down 35% since the market peaked in 2007, the report said that a hefty 1 in every 150 homes in the UK is worth £1m.

So if you did have the magic £1m to spend on a property and wanted something a bit more unusual than a run-of-the-mill footballer’s mansion, what could you get?

A French chateau

Can’t find the aristocratic pad that you crave at the right price in the UK, then head over the channel.

Most people think of French chateaux as castles, but really they are more like a British stately home, there is also a surprising number of them available to buy.

French property agent network Sextant Properties says there is an unprecedented number of chateaux coming on to the market – 20% more than this time last year.

Apparently the most popular with Britons are those in the £1m and less price range and there are plenty of them selling at a discount to two years ago. In fact, you could pick up a decent one for £500,000 or less.

For £900,000 you could get a seven bedroom 18th century chateau near the historic town of Cognac, on the banks of the River Charente. This former home of King Francois 1, would set you back the same as a terraced house in Islington.

A house and some countryside

It’s all very well opting for a designer city pad but if you’re going to spend £1m would you rather be the proud owner of all you survey.

Rural house prices have held up slightly better than their urban counterparts according to Halifax, with a 13% decline for country homes compared to an 18% decline for those in towns over the past year…

Read the entire article at

HOT PROPERTY PICKS: Bargain Basement Buys

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 Paris that are available for between 100,000 and 150,000 euro.

*** Paris, 19th: studio, approx. 18m²

Attractive studio in a beautiful older building. The apartment is calm and bright. There is a separate kitchen, bathroom with toilet, and has wood flors. Perfect as a pied-à-terre.

Asking Price: € 110 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Paris, 20th: One-bedroom, approx. 29m²

Located on rue d’Avron and needs some TLC. The apartment has an entry hall, separate kitchen, living room, bedroom and separate bath and toilet. Also comes with storage space.

Asking Price: € 124 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Paris, 3rd: One-bedroom, approx. 23m²

Near Arts et Metiers in the Marais in a building from the 1880′s. A great little apartment in need of renovation. Situated on the courtyard side of the building, it has high ceiling to be uncovered in the renovation. The apartment has a living room, open kitchen, and toilet, plus a small bedroom. Potential to be a very nice studio.

Asking Price: € 136 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee



*** Paris, 20th: One-bedroom, approx. 28m²

Located near the Eglise Menilmotant in a building from 1900. Situated on the ground floor, on a beautiful paved courtyard, the building and the apartment have both renovated. It consists of a living room, separate kitchen, bedroom, and toilet.

Asking Price: € 152 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee


Results of the Recent 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 were auctioned off November 10, 2009:    


2 Rooms 44m²
5/7 rue de la Comète
75007 – PARIS 7eme
Starting Bid: 252 000,00 €
Sold For: 450 000,00 €




2 Rooms 59m²
78 Boulevard de la Tour Maubourg
75007 – PARIS 7eme
Starting Bid: 540 000,00 €
Sold For: 860 000,00 €



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