Winter White and Going Green
Place des Vosges in Winter Mode
December 17, 2009
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Just a week left before Christmas and we hope property in France will be this year’s best gift. The snow fell in Paris this morning adding a luscious layer of white on the wintery scene and sparking today’s topic featuring properties in snow-covered places and the ‘greening’ of France.
You will find an update on "Le Palace des Vosges," a report on the city’s latest big project to remodel the Châtelet-Les-Halles train station and a variety of articles on both important subjects.
There are a few end-of-year money-saving opportunities not to be missed: save 5,000€ on a share of Le Palace des Vosges and a discount apartment rentals over the holidays.
Hot Properties are in cold places — where skiing is best to make a great investment while enjoying the slopes. And we report on the latest auctions in Paris.
You’ll possibly receive your next issue on Wednesday before Christmas if we can arrange it that way so that both you and our staff can have Christmas eve off. Reminder: there’s no issue on January 31st as next week is our 50th issue of 2009.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday and happy prosperous ‘property’ new year!
Editor, French Property Insider
Email: [email protected]
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the rental apartment for sale on rue de Picardie! Scroll down for information.
Volume VII, Issue 49, December 17, 2009
In this issue:
* Winter Comes to Le Palace des Vosges
* Offer to Save You Money Ends Soon!
* Learning to LEED
* Green Buildings Lease Better
* How You Can Enter the Rental Market
* French Alps Property Holding Steady
* Paris Property Goes Green in Big Way
* FPI Fractional Property Offerings
* Understanding Frances’ Energy Standards
* The Changing Face of Châtelet-Les Halles
* Moneycorp: Take the Risk Out of Currency Conversion
* Parler Paris Apartments: – Last Minute Holiday specials!
* Keeping Your Garden Green, Even When You’re not There
* Property Sellers Upping Asking Prices
* Hot Properties: Amazing Awesome Alps
* Notaires’ Auction Takes a Holiday Break
* Don’t Miss France show 2010
* How You Can Obtain a Mortgage in France
* Parler Paris Après-Midi: Next Gathering Jan. 12th
* Managing Your FPI Subscription
* Subscribers Receive Discount on Insider Paris Guides
This morning we woke up to a snowy white Paris, large flakes drifting down to form a layer of fresh snow. I had planned to head down to the Place des Vosges when a friend living not far away beat me to it. He came upon #9, tested the main door and entered the courtyard. Without realizing that owners of "Le Palace des Vosges," Gail and Bruce Aboudara, are currently enjoying their time there, he strolled through both courtyards and took a series of photos of the fresh wet white snow. Bruce took his own set of photos while the snow was coming down and a couple hours later, I did the same.
Nothing is more beautiful than the Place des Vosges under a layer of snow. Of course, I’m prejudiced…I think the Place des Vosges is the most beautiful spot in all of Paris! Every time I enter the arcade, centuries of history seem to flow through my being and I am transported to another time when carriages line the streets, not cars, women are wearing long full skirts and wooden carts filled with fresh flowers are dotted along the sidewalk.
Gail and Bruce along with their friend Bernard Sichel, shareholders in the fractional ownership property, Le Palace des Vosges, have been enjoying the apartment for the last two weeks. They were smart to
each purchase a four-week share so that t
ogether they could share their time in the apartment, either at the same time or at different times, but have eight weeks with which to divvy up.
During their stay, they entertained friends, cooked up a storm on the Falcon five-burner gas stove and added a few touches to make it more like their own home. Earlier this week Martine di Matteo, the apartment’s interior designer, brought along a new carpet to place under the coffee table in the living room. It is a perfect compliment to Pascal Amblard’s painting over the sofa, almost a mirror image of it by sheer coincidence and by way of Martine’s good taste. The iron patio furniture was delivered this morning under the snowy sky, but was nestled in the garage until the weather improves.
They discovered over the past two weeks of making themselves at home in the luxurious dwelling, that the apartment stayed toasty warm with just the electric fireplace operating and the towel warmers in the bathrooms! When the large drapes that make a semi-circle around the entry are closed, they contain the cold air in the entry and further insulate the main level of the apartment. They raved about the shower heads (rain heads) and the functionality of the château-style kitchen. The quietness of the apartment is overwhelming — only the birds chirping can be heard from inside.
The biggest complaint so far, from all the owners who have come to stay in the apartment, is that once inside, you never want to leave! I can attest to this phenomena, as on many an occasion have I landed there for a moment or two, and stayed several hours. Photos do not provide a sense of the true pleasure and comfort of the apartment. One must experience this for themselves.
Le Palace des Vosges will soon be made available for rent — for vacation use of the unsold shares. Availability of the upcoming calendar and details of the rental rate will be provided shortly. Those who rent will have an opportunity to purchase a share at a discount…so stay tuned!
Editor’s Note: Scroll down to learn about the discount offering on shares purchased before December 31st. For more information, visit http://www.palacedesvosges.comor email Mary Ellen Gallagher at [email protected].
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 and new photos!…
The latest photos are available at http://www.palacedesvosges.com/PDV_decor.html.
Special offering to French Property Insider Readers:Purchase a share and have your 15,000€ deposit received in the escrow account by December 31st, 2009 and receive a 5000€ discount off the price of your share!!!
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].
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Since its inception in 1998, LEED has grown to encompass more than 14,000 projects in the United States and 30 countries covering 1.062 billion square feet (99 km²) of development area. The hallmark of LEED is that it is an open and transparent process where the technical criteria proposed by the LEED committees are publicly reviewed for approval by the more than 10,000 membership organizations that c
ntly constitute the USGBC.
LEED certified buildings are supposed to use resources more efficiently when compared to conventional buildings which are simply built to code. LEED certified buildings often provide healthier work and living environments, which contributes to higher productivity and improved employee health and comfort. The USGBC has compiled a long list of benefits of implementing a LEED strategy which ranges from improving air and water quality to reducing solid waste, benefiting owners, occupiers, and society as a whole.
Editor’s Note: We offer this brief introduction to LEED as a lead-in to the following article.
Strong evidence continues to build showing that green buildings can deliver better investment value, both now and later.
Moreover, the strength of this assertion is underscored when you see confirmation of leasing performance from unrelated international markets with different green building rating standards.
The below leasing stats are from local brokers and property managers in San Francisco and Paris. We hope that they can give you more ammunition for those green building value conversations you may have with clients and other stakeholders.
San Francisco: LEED vacancy = 9.7% vs non-LEED of 15%
Dave Klein, of NAIBT’S San Francisco office, maintains the RealGreen Index. It tracks the availability of office space in green buildings here in San Francisco, where he’s estimating a 9.6 million sf market of LEED buildings as of 9/09. That green space is overwhelmingly LEED-EB certified…
Paris: Green vs non-green pre-leasing –> 57% vs 11%
Recent story out showing that the French HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) green building certification is strongly preferred by tenants in the Ile-de-France submarket of Paris (largely corporate Class A office submarket).
Keep in mind that this is a 2 million sqm submarket — about 21,527,821 sf, meaning no small shakes for the fortunes of those investors. Per GlobeSt:
Around three-quarters of total office space above 5,000 square meters planned for delivery in 2012 and beyond will carry the standard, most of them in the periphery in the south of the French capital. It also concluded that HQE certification is accelerating leasing processes, with 57% of certified space deliverable next year already let, against 11% which is not certified.
In the case of this market, if you are the owner of a non-green building in development here (not even in operation, yet), and your investors see a pre-leasing variance of this magnitude, what kind of conversation are you having with them about creating value with their money?
Not a fun one, I think…
Read the entire article athttp://www.galleyecocapital.com/2009/12/powerful-leasing-stats-for-green-buildings-on-two-continents/.
Editor’s Note: For photos and more on green building in Paris, go to http://www.architecturesdesign.com/2009/03/11/architecture-design-of-paris-social-housing-by-ecdm/.
This 25m² (270 sq. ft.) studio pied-à-terre in the heart of the Haut Marais just off rue de Bretagne is on the first floor (European — one short flight of stairs) on a quiet street, rue de Picardie, near the Mairie of the 3rd district and the Square du Temple. This historically designated apartment has all new furnishings and a brand new well-equipped kitchen. The three large windows can be opened for ventilation with little street noise. The exposed oak beamed ceiling adds charm and character and is testament to the 1700s construction. The apartment accommodates four on a double bed and a double futon. A drop-leaf table allows up to six to dine. For guests’ clothing there is a large armoire. The bathroom is large enough for a bathtub with a shower. This apartment is a proven short-term vacation apartment and comes furnished and ready to go! Nothing to do but ‘sign on the dotted line.’
Asking Price €237,500. For more photos, visit http://www.vacationinparis.com/apts/sub/49_photos.htm, and for more information contact [email protected].
Given the uncertain outlook as the global economy makes a fragile recovery, people looking to buy a holiday home this winter will be well advised to stick with the old favorites.
Trends show that emerging winter hotspots, such as Eastern Europe, have been highly speculative, and will therefore see less interest. This situation will be further exacerbated as fuel prices increase and airlines cut back on flights to newer destinations.
Perennial favorites, such as the French Alps, which have been popular for decades, have historically held their value better. Lack of supply is now preventing prices from falling further, and you simply can’t re-create the finest chalets and chic apartments in the best locations of the French Alps.
Like every other property market in the world, the French Alps has been affected by the global economic downturn. And the squeeze has been magnified by the fact that British buyers, who were previously major players in the market, have retreated back to the UK. As a result, even in the most exclusive resorts, prices have dropped by between 10% and 20%, which is highly unusual, as French property isn’t normally prone to acute movements in price.
There are now good deals to be found throughout the region, depending on your preferences. Méribel is great for families; committed skiers go to Chamonix, as they don’t mind driving to some of the best slopes in Europe; long-lunching, fashion-conscious skiers will prefer somewhere like Megève, which targets the jet set,’ adds Mr Hindle…
The construction of a new motorway from Geneva to Annecy, on the French-Swiss border, has opened up the ski area of Le Grand Bornand to skiers who crave fresh pistes and pastures new. Agents report prices down and buyers back…
Read the entire article at http://www.countrylife.co.uk/property_news/article/434460/Best-ski-properties-for-sale-today.html.
Editor’s Note: Many areas of the Alps are also poplular for hiking and outdoor activities during the summer months, making their rental potential virtually year round!
PARIS-Some two million square meters of property in the Paris Ile-de-France region have now received the HQE green building standard, according to Laurence Escleine-Dumas of realtor DTZ.
The standard was first awarded in 2005, when 300,000 square meters received the HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) certification. Some 600,000 square meters received this in the first nine months of this year. New French environmental regulations (Grenelle de l’Environnement) are aimed at reducing energy consumption across all buildings by 38% by 2020. This is now leading to the introduction of green leases, which will oblige tenants of HQE-certified buildings to follow particular practices in terms of energy consumption, with obvious implications for the management of employees.
Separately, Philippe Pelletier, head of the strategy committee of the Grenelle Building Plan, has mandated Meka Brunel, managing director of SITQ Europe, to head a group looking at how to take account of environmental standards in property valuations. “It is a question of working out an operational methodology to take account of energy performance in the valuation of assets,” said Brunel…
Read the entire article at http://www.globest.com/news/1556_1556/europe/182623-1.html.
If you are interested in traditional fractional ownership properties currently offered by our Fractional Ownership partners, see below:
LE PALACE DES VOSGES
CHEZ LA TOUR
LE PETIT TRESOR
NOTRE MAISON DANS TOULOUGES
To see our latest Fractional offerings go to http://adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/fractional/fractional_offerings.html
In trying to come to grips with the regulations you will also have to learn some rather strange hieroglyphics – RT2005, BBC, HQE, THQE – so a quick tour of the different labels and the basic standards set by each of them might be useful to you.
The RT2005 is the minimum energy efficiency standard for new dwellings, replacing an earlier standard called the RT2000.
The full description is Réglementation Thermique 2005, and applies to all those new buildings where the planning application was submitted after 1st September 2006.
The standard sets a maximum level of energy need per dwelling, expressed as a quantity of energy usage per m2 per year, ie KwH/m2 per year (kilowatts per hour, per square metre, per year, of primary energy). Broadly speaking, the rating measures the energy loss through the building envelope. The lower the KwH/m2, the more energy efficient is the building.
For residential properties the standard in the RT2005 is between 150-230 KwH/m2 per year depending on the geographic location of the property, including its altitude.
Hautes Performances Energétiques – HPE 2005
In order to obtain the HPE standard your energy consumption needs must be at least 10% lower than those set out in the RT2005.
The standard encompasses a consideration of the global performance of the dwelling through the space heating, hot water, air conditioning, ventilation and lighting systems.
Within the HPE standard there is also HPE Energies Renouvelables (HPE EnR) 2005, in which at least 50% of the heating must be from renewable energy.
Existing older homes build between 1st January 1948 and 1st Jan 1975 are also able to obtain the standard Haute Performance Energétique Rénovation ( HPE rénovation 2009).
The global energy standard set for such dwellings is a slightly more generous than for new dwellings, at 150 50 kWh/m2 per year, subject to location and altitude.
Bizarrely, there seems to be no energy standard for dwellings built prior to this date, and why 1948 has been chosen as the cut off point, is probably only known by the technocrat who drafted the legislation…
Read the entire article at http://thearticlespoint.com/home/home-energy-efficiency-standards-in-france/.
Taken together with the Paris Métro stations Châtelet and Les Halles, to which the two are directly connected, hosts 750,000 travelers per week day (including interchanges), 493,000 of which are for the RER only. This makes it one of the largest in the world, if not the largest.
A project begun by the City of Paris is underway to improve the station and better accommodate passengers. It is designed to create a new direct access by Métro and RER from the street level, completely restructure the exchanges between trains, expand the space dedicated to passengers, improve signage, improve accessibility for all, particularly for handicapped persons and persons with disabilities, extend two existing accesses (Porte Berger and Porte Rambuteau) and improve the fire safety system and evacuation procedures.
Châtelet-Les Halles will accommodate three RER lines: A, B, D; five Métro lines: 1, 4, 7, 11, 14; 750,000 passengers per day; 520,000 passengers per day in the RER station, 440,000 which pass through the primary exchange center; two-thirds of the passengers making connections and more than 1,500 RER trains per day.
The project timeline falls under the following stages:
* February-March 2007: prior consultation
* May 2009: approval by the STIF schematic diagram
* June 2009: public inquiries of the City of Paris on the draft
* December 14, 2009 / January 29, 2010: public inquiries
* End of 2009: Report of the committee investigating the urban project supported by the City of Paris
* Mid 2010: conclusion of public hearings on the transport arm RER, STIF approval of the preliminary project and financing plan
* 2010-2011: preparation of work
* Mid 2011 to early 2014: construction of access Place Marguerite de Navarre
* Late 2011 to early 2015: redevelopment of the exchanges RER
Editor’s Note: for complete information, download the city’s brochure at http://www.stif.info/IMG/pdf/MAQ_6_PANNOS80x120_BD.pdf (in French).
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 http://www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/loan/moneycorpconvertor and learn more about moneycorp here:
Important: With the holidays almost upon us, we would like to advise you of our opening times over the next few weeks. The office will be open as usual between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (AEST) Monday to Friday, except on the following days:
Thursday 24 December – 8:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (AEST)
Friday 25 December – Closed
Monday 28 December – Closed
Thursday 31 December – 8:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (AEST)
Friday 1st January – Closed
Please bear in mind if you need funds delivered urgently, we suggest that you allow more time than usual.
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 http://www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apartments 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 andme, 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 greatteam 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): Last Minute Christmas and New Years special!
Book any one of Le Balcon Planté, Le Deco, Le Grand Ciel or La Table du Roi December 21 through January 1 (subject to availability) and receive 10 to- 15% off the normal rate. There are only a few apartments still available for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so book fast!
If you have bought a house in France and decided it to be your holiday home you will need someone to take care of your garden in-between your visits to France. You should also remember that in Brittany or Normandy the climate is very favorable and your grass will grow at an alarming rate due to the rain fall especially northern Brittany towards the Brest area.
It is good to know that in France you can generally buy a home with a good sized garden, remember if you will only use it for holidays and possibly for renting out then when you don’t use it you will have to get the garden maintained.
Hiring a gardener once or twice a year to trim your jungle may seem a way out but it’s a trap too many people fall into. According to factual evidence it is better to get it done on a regular basis. Firstly you won’t have to search for a good gardener every time you need him; secondly he will only spend an hour cutting instead of a whole day if not more.
Disposing of garden rubbish
If you decided to care for your garden by yourself you should know that it is unallowable to burn your garden rubbish if you live in the center of the town, so you must take it to your local decheterie. But if you hire a gardener you can, of course, arrange with him about that. The case is somewhat different if you live in the countryside. Here you are allowed bonfires on certain days but you need to check at the Mairie as all communes are different.
In order not to be trapped or be brought to trial you should remember that it is illegal to hire someone on the ‘black’. If you are caught you will be in more trouble than him. When hiring a gardener or garden services from a company always ask to see their insurance as well as their serial number…
Read the entire article at http://www.morefreeinformation.com/Art/14990/93/French-Home-And-Garden-Services.html.
French property sellers raised asking prices in November amid increased optimism about the economy, Le Journal du Dimanche reported, citing a joint survey with real-estate Web site SeLoger.com.
Asking prices for property excluding new construction rose 0.6 percent after two years of straight declines, the French weekly said.
The gain was 2.5 percent in Paris…
Read the entire article at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&tkr=WB%3AUS&sid=aQ5lvO2p0H1s.
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 for good year-round rental properties in the French Alps.
*** Haute-Savoie Rhône Alpes, Annecy: Studio, approx. 31m²
Studio apartment in the charming town of Annecy. Top floor apartment with panoramic views. Large 31 square meters of living area, open plan kitchen, balcony, double glazed windows for insulation and quiet. Also comes with cellar storage and private parking.
Asking Price: € 125 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** French Alps, Chambery: Five-bedroom, approx. 140m²
Beautiful recent house, in the style of a chalet, with five bedrooms, living room with a mezzanine and an office. Excellent condition. Central heat and wood furnace. A small veranda lets you enjoy the scenery. Only minutes from the ski slopes, this is an superb holiday residence for ski lovers. Close to the village of La Thuile with a splendid lake, and endless vistas.
Asking Price: € 199 900 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** rench Alps, Plagne Montalbert: Two-bedroom, approx. 42m²
Plagne Montalbert is one of the 10 villages that make up the La Plagne ski domain. The slopes are north facing and sit in a clearing in the forest, tree lined. This immaculately maintained two bedroom apartment can accommodate six people. Includes living room, equipped kitchen, balcony from the living room, bathroom with separate WC, and free parking outside included in price.
Asking Price: € 231 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
*** French Alps, Morzine: Seven-bedroom, approx. 210m²
The chalet was originally constructed in 1983 and refurbished in 2004. Outside the chalet there is a secluded garden with a traditional style ’mazot’ outbuilding. The total land area with the property is 1800m2. The chalet is laid out over three floors which includes: entrance hall, dining room, kitchen, living room, bathroom, WC. Second floor: four bedrooms (3 with en–suite baths). Third floor: two bedrooms one of which is a large family room, bathroom, WC.
Asking Price: € 420 000 + 2.5% Finder’s Fee
Notaires de Paris
Place du Châtelet
12 avenue Victoria
Additional information on Les Ventes aux Enchères des Notaires can be found on the Web site at www.encheres-Paris.com.
To read Schuyler Hoffman’s article about the property auctions in Paris, click on: www.adrianleeds.com/frenchproperty/insider/members/content/articles/auctions1.html.
|The following properties were auctioned off December 8, 2009 (auction dates for 2010 have not yet been announced):|
Editor’s Note: If you look at the properties on the Notaire’s site (www.encheres-paris.com), when you click on the information for a particular property there is also a link to Google Maps to show you exactly where the property is located.
Three days of indulgence in French cuisine, art, culture and property at London’s Earls Court, January 8th-10th, 2010…
Discover the magic of France by immersing yourself in the colors, the culture and the party atmosphere that is the France Show 2010 — the UK’s largest celebration of all that makes France such a special place.
The French Property Exhibition brings together estate agents, developers, solicitors, banks and other professionals covering just about every aspect of buying your property in France. Whichever location has taken your fancy — and suits your budget — you’re sure to find a suitable property.
Always a hive of activity, the French property section offers everything from expert financial advice to innovative energy solutions to picture perfect barn conversions and great investment opportunities. With hundreds of different exhibitors ready to talk to you, this is simply the biggest and best French property exhibition available in the UK.
When you make a purchase as important as a piece of real estate in a foreign country, you ant to know that you can trust the people you are dealing with. Adrian Leeds has developed a network of professionals that meet only the highest of standards. With the expertise and experience of Adrian and her team, you can depend on getting the best advice and support to feel completely confident that you are making an informed investment decision.
HELPFUL CONVERSIONS FOR REAL ESTATE
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: www.onlineconversion.com/
strong style="font-weight: 400">www.adrianleeds.com/parlerparis/apresmidi.html
The second Tuesday of every month, Parler Paris and French Property Insider readers gather at La Pierre du Marais for a drink and a "schmooze" –It’s an opportunity to meet and chat with other like-minded people and a great way to make friends! Costs nothing except your drinks. Don’t miss the next gathering Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 from 3 to 5 p.m. and every second Tuesday of the month (except August).
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