Paris Price Progression
Along the Canal Saint Martin in the 10th Arrondissement –
(FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)
October 6, 2005, Paris, France
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Paris property prices continue to rise, according to the Chambre de Notaires, reporting just this past October 4th on the trends from second quarter 2004 through second quarter 2005 to the tune of increases of 12.5% compared to 13.4% the year before.
We are regularly asked about the "bubble" — the one that those looking deeply into the crystal ball say will burst in the near future. Personally, I have no such fear and there are no strong indications that the market will waiver in the near future. Interest rates continue to remain low (under 3%), property is priced correctly (selling very rapidly, mostly at close to asking price) and more foreign buyers are entering the market at a steady rate.
The trends we see in Paris are French sellers in central Paris, selling to both French and foreign buyers (of all nationalities), then reinvesting their profits in larger or better properties in outlying locations, further increasing the prices in the outer arrondissements and suburbs.
While some of the French complain that housing is becoming increasingly more expensive thanks to foreign investment…but that is only partly true. The French are still the largest share of the consumers, profiting as much from the boom as anyone.
Today we report on the latest statistics…and while you’re reading, keep in mind that these prices act only as a guide — we find that true market values are 30% to 50% higher than the reported prices for a variety of reasons.
For more on trends, read Moneycorp’s report on the Euro/US Dollar rate of exchange battle and what we can expect in the near future. If you don’t already know about currency brokers, Moneycorp is our partner in a currency conversion service, offering a much less expensive rate to transfer from Euros to Dollars, or vice versa. If you just call your bank and ask for a wire transfer, without checking with an Moneycorp broker, you’re risking a huge loss for no reason other than the time it takes to make the phone call.
Jean Taquet’s Q’s and A’s keep us on our toes above water in today’s issue. Don’t forget, 11 years of his advice can be had in one document called The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France, available online for immediate download and discounted to FPI subscribers. Click on http://www.insiderparisguides.com/answers/index.html for more information.
The Welcome to France Fair is upon us October 16th with a full line-up of speakers…John Howell the last and most important one. Scroll down to learn more about the fair and be sure to stop by our booth — #1 as you enter!
If you’re in Paris next week, don’t forget that we’ll be meeting at Parler Paris Après Midi on Tuesday, Otober 11th. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more information. Also, don’t miss two lifestyle articles and some fabulous properties in the 10th arrondissement where property prices are among the lowest and appreciation among the highest!!
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. As a special thank you to our readers, we are EXTENDING the discount of $150 off every conference or seminar registration to all subscribers of Parler Paris, French Property Insider and clients of John Howell & Co. on the upcoming October Living and Investing in France Conference and Invest in France Seminar.
Living and Investing in France Conference
October 21 – 23, 2005
Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco
Invest in France Seminar
October 26 , 2005
Harvard Club, New York City
Volume III, Issue 39, October 6, 2005
In this issue:
* Riding the Euro/US Dollar Roller Coaster
* Latest Prices for Paris Property
* John Taquet’s Practical Answers on Water and Windows
* "Welcome to France" Fair Schedule and Speakers
* French Government Encourages Bigger Families
* Nantes’ Answer to Traffic Tie-ups
* Knowledge is Power: Upcoming Conferences
* Complete Property Search and Relocation Solutions
* Today’s Currency Update from Moneycorp
* Next Parler Paris Après-Midi: October 11
* Hot Properties: "Cooking" in the 10th
* On the Auction Block October 18
* Classified Advertising: Leeds Marais
Apartment Available Thanksgiving
What Has Caused Euro/US Dollar to Fluctuate Over the Past Three Months?
By Doug Johnson, Moneycorp
The past three months have seen the US Dollar (USD) fluctuate against the Euro (EUR) between a low of 1.1881 (5th July 2005) and a high of 1.2589 (2nd September 2005). Since the beginning of September, we’ve seen Dollar strength filter back into the market coupled with Euro weakness and at the time of writing, EUR/USD is trading at 1.1960.
Hurricane Katrina had a devastating impact on New Orleans in late August and concerns arose over the cost of rebuilding the State. There was speculation that the Federal Reserve Bank of America (FED – responsible for setting interest rates) would put interest rate increases on hold and there was uncertainty surrounding the impact that the hurricane would have on the economy, consequently, the Dollar weakened against all the major currencies including the Euro.
However, the FED continued to increase interest rates at a "measured" pace as high energy prices have caused concerns regarding inflation. In the end, fears over the state of the US economy proved to be over hyped as US GDP growth remained strong and the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) maintained its 3.6 GDP forecast. This in turn has lead to Dollar strength filtering back into the market as investors are more willing to invest in a high yielding currency.
The recent move below 1.2000 was also a result of a weaker Euro. Political uncertainty in Germany after the German election saw the Euro weaken as Schroder and Merkel were unable to agree on a grand coalition.
To see how currency fluctuations would affect those buying real estate priced in Euros, a property worth 200,000 Euros at a rate of 1.2000 would cost $240,000. However, a five cent move higher would leave the same property costing $250,000. Fluctuations in exchange rates can quickly put your dream property out of reach, unless you manage your currency exposure effectively.
A sensible strategy for someone buying property in France would be to secure as much of the currency needed straight away — thus fixing the cost at the outset. If all the funds are not available, the exchange rate can still be secured by purchasing one or more "forward contracts." This involves putting down a 10% deposit to secure the current rate of exchange which can then be held for up to two years, at which point the balance (the remaining 90%) needs to be settled. This way of buying currency is flexible and can accommodate changes in the time scale originally agreed — due to house sales falling through etc. The worst thing to do is sit back and do nothing!
There are often many factors that are influencing the foreign exchange markets and because of this it is impossible to predict future rates of exchange accurately. Moneycorp, however, are world renowned for their market views with Reuters consistently ranking us in the worlds top three most accurate. Although we cannot predict the future, our Private Client Consultants will implement a strategy, free of charge, to help you manage your currency risk as efficiently as possible.
Editor’s Note: Douglas Johnson works on the Private Client Desk at Moneycorp Inc. To contact Douglas, or any of the Private Client Team please call: (415) 678-2770, email enquiries to mailto:[email protected] or visit the web site: http://www.Moneycorp.com
The Chambre de Notaires de Paris announced their quaterly evaluation of the property market in Paris and the Ile-de-France for second quarter 2004 through second quarter 2005 just this past October 4th.
The market holds strong and unwaiving. Property transactions are up by .8% for the same period of the previous year.
Prices in Paris continue to increase, but not at the same rate as previously — an augmentation of 2.5%, compared with 3.1% the previous quarter and annually at 12.5% compared with 13.4% the year before. The average price per meter is reported at 4,869 euros.
The arrondissement the most expensive constinues to be the 6th at7,248 Euros/m2 (+6.4%), followed by the 7th at 6,979 Euros/m2 (+7.8%), to the 4th at 6,594 Euros/m2 (+8.9%), still ahead of the 5th at 6,123 Euros/m2 (+4.6%) and the 8th at 6,061 Euros/m2 (+6,4%), the 1st at 5,952 Euros/m2 (+8.7%), the 16th at 5,860 Euros/m2 (+9.4%).
In contrast, the arrondissement the least expensive is the 19th at 3,675 Euros/m2 (+18.3%), followed by the 20th at 3,927 Euros/m2 (+16%), to the 18th at 4,129 Euros/m2 (+17.7%) to the 10th at 4,294 Euros/m2 (+ 18.8%) and to the 11th at 4,595 Euros/m2 (+15%).
The arrondissements with the strongest growth are:
10th + 18.8% (4,294 Euros/m2)
19th + 18.3% (3,675 Euros/m2)
18th + 17.7% (4,129 Euros/m2)
12th + 16.2% (4,674 Euros/m2)
20th + 16.0% (3,927 Euros/m2)
11th + 15.0% (4,595 Euros/m2)
13th + 14.9% (4,694 Euros/m2)
9th + 14.7% (4,932 Euros/m2)
2nd + 13.9% (5,146 Euros/m2)
17th + 13.5% (4,796 Euros/m2)
Keep in mind that although the growth continues
, the valuations published by the Ch
ambre de Notaires are approximately 30% to 50% less than current market valuations.
There are several factors contributing to this variance. First is timing. There is approximately a 90-day period from the time an offer is made on a property until the time of closing. Thereafter, the numbers may not be reported until up to six months to the Chambre de Notaires. Secondly is the reduction in the purchase price, which can be attributed to direct payments made to the agent to help reduce notaire fees; listing of inventory of fixed furniture such as built-ins and appliances; and under-the-table cash transactions, which are illegal but do occur. Finally, the figures are diluted as they are reported by an arrondissement in its entirety and do not account for differences by neighborhoods. For example in the 18th arrondissement, a property in the heart of Montmartre near Sacre Coeur or on Rue des Abbesses can be sold for about 6,000 euros per square meter or more, while a property near Chateau Rouge or Max Dormoy, will be listed for about 3,400 euros per square meter.
So, how does this information help you as a buyer?
The trends for particular neighborhoods is extremely important if you’re concerned about appreciation. That may not be your goal, if your property is a investment seeking to achieve high rental return, likely in areas of the city where appreciation may be lower than in others. For example, rental return is best in the 6th arrondissement, but your investment will be the highest and appreciation lower than the average. In contrast, appreciation is at an all time high in the 10th (Canal St. Martin, Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord) where rental return is poor, but property is still low and more affordable.
We use the Chambre de Notaire figures more to help us understand the trends to use as a guidepost when researching properties. Do not consider these figures as absolute, otherwise, you may be disappointed to find that the market valuations higher than your expectations and appreciation lower.
Editor’s Notes: For more information about property prices, contact Property Search Consultant, Yolanda Robins, at mailto:[email protected] or visit the site at http://www.paris.notaires.fr/ and to download their full report, click here.
Jean Taquet’s Practical Answers
September 1, 2005
We are an Australian couple who have recently renovated a 2-level duplex apartment in Paris. Now the newly added shower has flooded most of the apartment downstairs. Upon returning from holidays, these neighbors found their bed and floor fully soaked and the wife is very pregnant. The initial diagnosis from an emergency plumber is that our new shower base (solid concrete 6 inches thick) is leaking. A French architect "supervised" the renovations and clearly he and the builder are financially liable, but we do not trust any of those professionals to rectify the problem, as they caused it in the first place.
In Australia, we would talk to our building insurance company, and they would have their own assessors to diagnose the problem, and recognized businesses to do guaranteed rectification work. We also believe we need an official inspection and assessment of the entire renovation job in order to claim costs against the builder and architect, as the tiling work is extremely bad and needs re-doing, even without a water-leak, and we now have concerns that the new upstairs bathroom could to leak, too.
Should we talk to our building insurance people, and is there a building inspection service which can give us an assessment and cost estimates which have legal standing?
Water damage in Paris and many cities in France can be quite common depending on the age of the building and its plumbing. Apartments therefore often require plumbing work, with the risk that the job may be done poorly. Some cases are very easy to handle while others can drag on for years and are only poorly compensated.
Before going into any search regarding liability or anything else, you should have already filled out a "constat amiable de dégât des eaux" with your downstairs neighbor. This is a must and you can do pretty much nothing without this document even though you may not be found responsible later on in the process. On this document, where there is a very small section for comments, put the name of your architect and the contractor who did the job. Before sending the document out, you should make numerous copies.
As a side issue before answering your questions, I would advise you never to trust the opinion of one of those emergency plumbers. Most of them fall under my definition of a crook even if the criminal code has a somewhat different definition. Therefore it is fair to say that no one is certain of the origin of the problem, but that there seems to be a potential link between your shower and the leak in their bedroom. Until the final and definitive explanation is given all scenarios are possible and therefore you should not admit any direct or indirect guilt or responsibility in this matter.
Now there is one action that you must take when a professional has failed his or her job. Your architect was in charge of the work and, until another explanation comes up, you could assume the link between your shower and the leak, and it follows that he or she did not do a proper job even though the cause could come from a section of the common property. Indeed, the architect MUST supervise the work in such a way that he cares for the well-being of all the tenants of the building. You must therefore send one copy of this "constat amiable" to your architect who must in return file a claim with his professional liability insurance. That alone can sometimes be a challenge. Normally, when an architect signs a contract with a client, or any contractor or even any craftsman for that mat
ter, the con
tract mentions the insurance policy so that you can do it if it is not done swiftly. I would also send a copy of the same "constat amiable" to the builder for his information. One final thing — I would also send it to the management company, "syndic", simply for information. There are two reasons for that.
The first one is that you do not know if it is a private matter (if the leak comes from your apartment) or a community matter (if the leak originates from a common section of the building). The second reason is that, should the origin be a flaw coming from your renovations, and if some common area has been damaged, then the community of the building will also be a victim and therefore have a legal interest in this matter.
Now this is where the bad news starts for just about all the parties involved. The key issue here is that no repairs can be done until the insurance experts have seen the premises. Since according to your statement the probable leak is under the shower base, nothing can be settled until the base has been opened; as this work has a cost, there could already be a legal court action regarding who should pay for it.
The way your architect reacts will play a crucial part in this matter. If this professional readily accepts the responsibility even if in the end he or she is ultimately off the hook for 90% of it, then this entire process can be pretty speedy, all things considered (less than 6 months) because the professional insurance policy covering the architect will pay for a lot of the costs for finding out what happened and for the initial repair of the plumbing so that the leak stops. If, however, your architect systematically delays the process, then you will have a very hard time getting through this procedure because the contractor will state with his insurance company that nothing proves his liability here and he will be right; the syndic will easily prove that nothing indicates that this is a common property issue and your insurance company could answer if you have not signed up for this specific coverage (legal assistance and lawyers’
fees), they are under no obligation to pick up that tab. To answer your specific questions:
Is there a building inspection service which can give us an assessment…?
NO, there is nothing like this in France; either all the insurance experts agree on the matter and the legal liability aspect of this issue is easily fixed, or they disagree and then this matter will go straight to court to assess the respective liability of all the parties involved and the court will appoint experts to investigate the matter.
…and cost estimates which have legal standing?
NO, either the insurance experts agree and it includes the cost estimate of ALL the repairs (fixing the plumbing and redoing all the work so that you have a new bathroom), or the court rules about the amount it would cost.
We have a new problem in our "French life." We bought an apartment and we have been told by the notaire that the closing agreement (i.e."l’acte de vente") has just been signed with a power of attorney given to the notaire firm. We recently received an email from a neighbor telling us that the new windows in our apartment were never paid for by the previous owner. It seems that it was a loan, from the neighbor to the previous owner which has apparently never been re-paid. The neighbor is now insisting that we force the man from whom we bought the property to pay him or he will remove the windows from our apartment. We had no knowledge of any outstanding debts or other problems with the apartment when we bought it.
He is threatening us, saying that when the sale is finalized we will now have "stolen" his windows and he will go to the authorities to get his money or his windows from us. We have NO idea if he is telling the truth about any of this, but it seems to us that he has a problem with the old owner and we are not responsible for this debt.
Can you say very quickly if he is right in telling us that as the new owners we have, in effect, received "stolen property" and can be prosecuted for it? Can we be held responsible for something we knew nothing about? He never took any legal action against the previous owner for this debt, relying on the owner’s word that it would be re-paid. Now our seller says he doesn’t owe this man anything.
I find the legal question quite interesting. The good news is that it is virtually impossible for the neighbor to pass the bill on to you as such unless there is a lot more in this story that you are not aware of.
In any case, you MUST inform the notaire of this claim as soon as possible. This way maybe something can be done so that you regain your peace of mind and you can have a calm neighbor.
The best possible scenario for you:
You signed the presale contract and the closing will occur in a couple of months. During the period in-between the notaire must be told of all the debts related to either this apartment or to the seller. So when the closing arrives, the price paid goes through the notaire’s account and he can pay the debts linked to the apartment and gives the proceeds of the sale clear of everything to the seller. If the notaire is aware of a dispute, he or she puts the money into an escrow account and waits until a court order tells him or her what to do.
The second best scenario:
The closing was signed just a few days ago and the account is not closed yet and there is enough money to cover the price of the windows, the amount could be escrowed.
The worst scenario:
What was signed is the closing and all the money is gone, and your neighbor should go after the seller but he seems to be tempted to go after you.
What I find weird is that the neighbor has waited so long to inform you of this situation. This should have been revealed a long time ago when he learned that the apartment was for sale.
Always keep in mind that you buy the apartment as it is and that you have no recourse against the seller if something goes wrong; this is especially true if the seller is an individual and not a professional in the real-estate business. The grounds to successfully go after the seller would be if there had been a premeditation to mislead y
ou, and an int
ention of concealing crucial information from you. The other issue, in this case the most important one, is that the very first mission of the notaire is to square the transaction which means that he cleans and clears the title from any claim made by any possible third party. If the sale is well-drafted, then your new title is safe and this neighbor cannot do anything against you. This shows how important it is to have the right notaire who will truly protect your interests.
Jean Taquet is a French jurist and associate member of the Delaware Bar Association, specializes in civil, criminal and commercial law. He frequently gives courses about the legal system in France and regularly speaks at the Living in France Conferences in the U.S. and Paris. He is also well known for his informative Q and A columns in past Paris Voice magazines, which can now be purchased in one document as "The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France."
To subscribe to his monthly newsletter, email Jean Taquet at mailto:[email protected]
To make an appointment with Jean Taquet for his consultation services:
Phone: Cell: 06.16.81.48.07 or email mailto:[email protected]
To read this month’s column in it’s entirety, click here: http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/practicalanswers.html
Visit Booth #1
Welcome to France October 16, 2005 Carrousel de Louvre Paris, France
At the Expatica Welcome to France fair you will get the information you need from companies and agencies specialized in expatriate services.
You’ll find information on house hunting, finding a job, immigration and permits, staying long-term, and much more.
Meet the people who make expat life great, including the top clubs and associations, travel agents and sports teams.
Adrian Leeds of French Property Insider and John Howell of EuropeLaw.com will be at booth #1 during the fair. Be sure to stop by and say hello!
Entertainment program at the fair:
The Entertainment area is marked on the accompanying floor plan.
Please note: Seating for presentations/entertainment is on a first come first serve basis.
11:30 – 11:40 Opening
11:45 – 12:15 Improv comedy: "They eat frogs"
By the Improfessionals
12:30 – 1:00 Live Parisian: how to find, buy, and profit
from your dream apartment in Paris.
1:15 – 1:45 Reaching Your Full Potential in Paris
By Florence Beretta of Global Ease
2:00 – 2:30 Wine Tasting: Wine appreciation Technique
By Oliver Magny of O Chateau
2:45 – 3:15 Making the most of your Paris home: renovating
and decorating ideas for any budget
3:30 – 4:00 Improv comedy: "I Am Not A Tourist"
By the Improfessionals
4:15 – 4:45 Wine Tasting: Old World vs New World Wines
By Oliver Magny of O Chateau
5:00 – 5:30 Making the most of your short-term assignment in Paris
By Nathalie Nowack of Imfusio
5:35 – 5:50 Structuring your property purchase to minimize
By John Howell of John Howell & Co, Solicitors & International Lawyers.
The Improfessionals The Improfessionals are an international improvisational theatre troupe based in Paris. They perform regularly in English and offer a variety of shows ranging from short sketches to longer developed stories, such as sci-fi adventures or musicals. Audience suggestions shape the action in scenes where everything else — even the music — is created on the spot. This is theatre without a safety net!
Global Ease For Global’Ease, an international experience is the opportunity to reach your "Full Potential": the possibility of making diversity a benefit for all. Global’Ease’s methodology, approach and tools enable companies, teams and individuals to identify the talents within their diversity, to develop these talents and to draw the best from them. Global’Ease provides training, consulting, e-learning and coaching for international companies, their managers, their international assignees and their family. Florence Beretta, is a certified Global-Ease trainer.
O Chateau O Chateau offers fun and informative Wine Tastings in Paris. Servicing both groups and individuals, O Chateau will help you get a great understanding of wine in general and French wine in particular… in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere!! Tastings are presented in English by a French sommelier. Tastings are available on a daily basis. You will find all details about O Chateau on the website. You may also call for information in English at +33 (0)1 44 739 780."
Imfusio After having experienced international mobility in various countries, Nathalie NOWAK has settled in Paris to assist people on their international assignments. With her business partner, Yaël Guillon, they founded ImFusio to help assignees "infuse" in their new environment
in order to enhance the
ir business efficiency. ImFusio is a consultancy firm specialized in tailored programs for companies to give short-term assignments a long-lasting impact.
John Howell John Howell is a partner in This is the only firm of English lawyers that does nothing but work involving international law for private clients. He has been dealing with international work since 1985 and is well known for providing entertaining and informative seminars about all aspects of buying property and living overseas. Last year he presented seminars in England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, France and the US.
France Boosts Family Incentives
By Caroline Wyatt
BBC News, Paris
France wants professional women to consider larger families. The French government has pledged more money for families with three
children, in an effort to encourage working women to have more babies.
France already has a generous childcare system, which has resulted in a birth rate of 1.9 children per family, well above the EU average of 1.5. But the government is worried that many middle-class professional women put off child-bearing until their late 20s. The new financial incentives encourage families to have a third child. "The family has changed," Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, himself a father of three, told a conference on the family. "But it remains at the very heart of French society. It is a source of joy, of comfort, and a haven for its members. That is why we are announcing measures to help
families in their everyday lives."
Back to work
The new measures include extra tax credits for childcare, 15,000 new crêche places and more government money for mothers who take time off work to have their third child: a parental leave allowance of 750 euros (£509) a month for one year, though mothers can opt to claim the old benefit of 512 euros (£347) a month for three years instead.
The new, higher allowance is aimed at getting women back to work sooner. Laurent Clevenot of the French Families Association, says the move should help entice well-educated women to have more children, as well as returning more quickly to the workplace. "It will encourage more professional women to have children in the future," he believes. "Because they will have more freedom to make that choice. Having children costs money, so anything that can be done to make a family’s decision to have more children easier is a good idea." This nation’s family-friendly policies are already bearing fruit. France has the
second highest birth rate in Europe, just behind Ireland.
The French government’s aim is to ensure that families with several children are not penalised – financially or in the workplace.
Big families – counted as any family with three or more children – already qualify for discounts on public transport, as well as tax breaks. Some in France wonder where the funds for these generous benefits will come from; the nation is already over the European limit on public spending. But France is hoping that with the state’s encouragement, it will at least ensure that unlike much of the rest of Europe, it will have the future generations it needs to pay for
its current largesse.
Just Hop in the Car? Not So Fast, Says One French Town
By Peter Ford, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Photo by Thierry Roge, Reuters
It takes a while, as you walk around the streets of Nantes, a city of half a million people on the banks of the Loire River, to realize just what it is that is odd. Then you get it: There are empty parking slots.
That is highly unusual in big French towns, normally clogged with traffic crawling along ancient thoroughfares. But here, Thursday, as one policeman said, "Ça roulait bien" – cars were rolling.
Two decades of effort to make life more livable by dissuading people from driving into town has made Nantes a beacon for other European cities seeking to shake dependence on the automobile.
"We are not anti-car," says François de Rugy, deputy mayor in charge of transport. "But we send people a lot of signals: If they come into town on buses, on foot, by train, or by bike, we will help them. If they come in cars, we won’t."
The effects were clear Thursday, the high point of Mobility Week, a campaign sponsored by the European Union that prompted more than 1,000 towns across the continent to test ways of making their streets, if not car-free, at least manageable.
"That is an awfully difficult problem," acknowledges Joel Crawford, an author and leader of the "car free" movement that is picking up adherents all over Europe. "You can’t take cars out of cities until there is some sort of alternative in place. But there are a lot of forces pointing in the direction of a major reduction in car use, like the rise in fuel prices, and concerns about global warming."
Thursday, proclaiming the slogan "In Town, Without My Car!" hundreds of cities closed off whole chunks of their centers to all but essential traffic. Nantes closed just a few streets, preferring to focus on the alternatives to driving so as to promote "Clever Commuting," the theme of this year’s EU campaign.
Volunteers pedaled rickshaws along the cobbled streets, charging passengers $1.20 an hour; bikes were available for free; and city workers en
to walk to school along routes supervised by adults acting as Pied Pipers and picking up kids at arranged stops.
Some critics dismissed the idea as a gimmick. "We live in a society that is organized, like it or not, in such a way that we cannot do without cars," Christian Gerondeau, president of the French Federation of Auto Clubs, told French radio. "Stigmatizing the car is the wrong battle."
Authorities in Nantes, though, are trying to show that there might be another way.
The centerpiece of their efforts is a state-of-the-art tramway providing service to much of the town, and a network of free, multistory parking lots to encourage commuters to "park and ride."
Rene Vincendo, a retired hospital worker waiting at one such parking lot for his wife to return from the city center, is sold. "To go into town, this is brilliant," he says. "I never take my car in now."
Indeed, a poll in April by the tramway authority found that 95 percent of users were satisfied with the service.
It is not cheap, though. Beyond the construction costs, city hall subsidizes fares to the tune of 60 million euros ($72 million) a year, making passengers pay only 40 percent of operating costs.
That is the only way to draw people onto trams and buses, says Mr. de Rugy, since Nantes, like many European cities, is expanding, and commuters find themselves with ever-longer distances to travel.
It’s a chicken-and-egg problem, says John Adams, a professor of geography at University College in London. There is no longer room in European cities for cars to park, so drivers must live farther from work, and the traffic increase obliges urban planners to devote more room to roads and parking, which worsens urban sprawl.
The danger, he warns, is that "the further you go down the route of car dependence, the harder it is to return, because so many shops, schools, and other services are built beyond the reach of any financially feasible public transport network."
This, adds de Rugy, means that "transport policy is only half the answer. Urban planners and transport authorities have to work hand in hand to ensure that services are provided close to transport links."
The carrot-and-stick approach that Nantes has taken – cutting back on parking in the town center and making it expensive, while improving public transport – has not actually reduced the number of cars on the road. But it has "put a brake on the increase we would have seen otherwise" and that other European cities have seen, says Dominique Godineau, head of the city’s "mobility department."
City Hall has other plans afoot to keep up the pressure. This week it
launched a web site to connect potential carpoolers. It has put out tenders for a car-sharing system that would allow city dwellers to rent a car for a few hours from curbside locations with the swipe of a magnetic card.
The authorities are also encouraging big employers to match up to 15 percent of workers’ monthly bus and tram passes.
"There is no single solution, but the important thing is to be coherent," says de Rugy. "There is no point in spending money on these sorts of things and still building more roads."
"You get what you pay for," adds Mari Jussi, a transport analyst at the Estonian branch of the Stockholm Environment Institute. "If you put money into tarmac, you get more cars. If you invest more in cycle lanes and safer streets, that’s what you get. We have solutions now, but politicians are not eager to apply them."
Alain Chenard knows that only too well. As Mayor of Nantes in the early 1980s, he began building the city’s tram line, the first modern tramway in France. The inconvenience of the construction and the price cost him his job in 1983.
"It seemed mad at the time," says Thomas Renaud, a cook, as he rode the tram to visit his parents. "But it paid off royally."
LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE
October 21 to 23, 2005
Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf
Our popular three-day Living in France Conference will give you all the information you need to make your Paris dream a reality! The line-up for the conference includes seminars, discussions, dinners, cocktails with well-known Paris, Europe and U.S.-based experts. For West Coast folks, or those wanting more comprehensive information on all aspects of living in France, the San Francisco conference is a must.
INVEST IN FRANCE
October 26, 2005
Take just one day and learn from some of the finest experts in French real estate about the best ways to make your money and real estate investment grow. Join us at the prestigious Harvard Club for this power-packed one day event.
INVEST IN FRANCE
December 28, 2005
Enjoy your Christmas vacation in Paris, and set aside JUST ONE DAY of your busy schedule visiting museums and dining on foie gras to learn how to make your money grow, while building a portfolio of some of the most desirable real
estate in the worl
For more information on The Invest in France Seminars or Living in France Conference, until we have our Web site up, contact Schuyler Hoffman, Projects Manager, at [email protected]/parlerparis to be put on a special mailing list to be notified when the details are in place (very, very soon!).
THE ART OF TROMPE L’OEIL SEMINAR
December 29 – January 2
Join a unique community of artists, engaging in hands-on painting and conversation with internationally renowned trompe l’oeil muralist and educator, Yves Lanthier. An award-winning artist, Yves has created large oil paintings and elaborate trompe l’oeil that adorn the ceilings and walls of many East Coast mansions and Palm beach estates, including Celine Dion’s estate in Jupiter, Florida
FPI Property Consultation, Search and Relocation Solutions
Let French Property Insider expert property consultants find your dream home in France for you. We consult with you to help you make the best decisions, ferret out the finest properties to meet your criteria, schedule the visits and accompany you, negotiate with the agencies and owners, recommend the notaires and other professionals, schedule the signings and oversee the purchase with you from start to finish! You could never do it so easily on your own. Let us take the time and effort off your hands.
FPI Offers More Relocation Solutions!
Let our experienced relocation expert help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property and relocation services normally only provided by employer hired relocation firms…but at a price much more affordable for individuals.
Solution #1: Property Consultation and Search Services
Solution #2: Purchase Assistance
Solution #3: Getting a Mortgage in France
Solution #4: Property Appraisal Service
Solution #5: The "Après Vente"
Apartments for Rent: Long-Term
To book your services, click here:
TODAY’S CURRENCY UPDATE
Visit the FPI Web site and click on the link on the left panel "Click Here for Currency Convertor by Moneycorp" for up to the minute conversions of all major currencies.
Compare currency values easily and quickly by visiting: http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor.html
Charts http://www.Moneycorp.co.uk/members/charts.asp The charts below are updated every ten seconds.
The prices shown are "inter bank" exchange rates and are not the rates that you will be offered by Moneycorp. Your rate will be determined by the amount of currency that you are buying. Please speak with an Moneycorp dealer or your consultant for a live quotation.
Parler Paris Après-Midi
NEXT MEETING: October 11, 2005 AND EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3
p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is your opportunity to meet every month, often with local
professionals who can answer your Working and Living in France questions. You are invited to come for drinks and share your questions and comments about what it takes to create a life here, own property and enjoy what France has to offer. It is also an opportunity to network with other Parler Paris readers.
Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers
HOT PROPERTY PICKS
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 Fr
ance and districts of Paris.
As we are not a real estate agency. These properties do not constitute a sales listing. For those readers seriously interested in finding property in Paris or France. you can retain our services to do the whole thing for you. For more information, visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html
HOT PROPERTY PICKS: "Cooking" in the 10th
*** Paris, 10th Arrondissement, 3 rooms, approx. 75m²
3 room apartment in excellent condition, on the first floor. Very bright and quiet. On a garden, this apartment has 2 bedrooms, balcony, cellar and parking. A truly peaceful place not to be missed!
Asking Price: 535,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 10th Arrondissement, 4 rooms, approx. 107m²
In Faubourg Quartier, beautiful 4 room apartment on the first floor of a charming old building. With spacious living room, modern kitchen and high ceilings.
Asking Price: 595,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 10th Arrondissement, 5 rooms, 152m²
5 rooms on the second floor of an old building with elevator. Large living room, 3 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, toilet and cellar. Entirely renovated with marble floors and moldings. Southern exposure, gas heating.
Asking Price: 715,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** Paris, 10th Arrondissement, 160m²
Located near Port Saint Martin in a Haussmanian cut stone building with elevator. This apartment has been entirely restored by an architect and faces the road and large treed courtyard. Classic apartment with high ceilings, beautiful moldings and cornices, hardwood floors, fireplace and mirrors. Quiet and sunny. Living room, dining room, 2 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, shower room, 2 toilets, cellar. Double paned windows, storage, cabinets, shelving, individual gas heating
Asking Price: 1,230,000 Euros + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Next sessions: October 4 and 11, 2005, 2 p.m.
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the website at http://www.encheres-Paris.com/ Though the site has a button for an English version, it isn’t reliable to work.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on:
2 Rooms 36,43 m²
4 Rooms 69,7 m²
Studio 14,65 m²
Studio 36,4 m²
2 Rooms 50,7 m²
2 Rooms 40,40 m²
|Room 10,5 m²
35 rue Cléry
75002 PARIS 2nd
Opening Bid: 30,000 Euros
Deposit: 6,000 Euros
Room 10,4 m²
SEEKING A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE?
Let us help you secure a mortgage in France with interest rates as low as 3%. Visit http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan for more information.
Don’t forget that with your FPI subscription you are entitled to a discount on the purchase of any Insider Paris Guides. You’ll find details of the guides at http://www.insiderparisguides.com/. When ordering, a box will pop up allowing you to enter the following username/password
Order more than one guide at a time and you will receive an additional discount!
Username: propertyinsider Password: liveinfrance
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
To access password protected pages: click on any of the links on the left panel of the home page of FrenchPropertyInsider.com under "Subscriber’s Only," then type in your personal username and password.
Past issues of FPI are available on the website. You will find the
"Past Issues" link on the left under "Subscribers Only" or by going to
To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property
Report, click on
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
Leeds Marais Apartment
Available in its entirety November 22 – 28, 2005
Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square meter two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for up to four people when rented in its entirety or a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is there.
Pictures and more details available at
For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments or http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.
SUBSCRIBE TO PARLER PARIS
you’re not a regular reader of the Parler Paris d
aily e-letter, and would like to be, simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free!): http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis
Copyright 2005, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC