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Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
Map of Population Changes in France, 1990-2011
It's no secret that Paris is losing population. As the home to about 2.2 million residents, the city has lost 13,000 people within the last five years. The city reached a historic high of 2.9 million in 1921, but has declined at every census since, falling to a low in 1999 of 2.15, then climbed again to 2.25 by 2009.
Authorities are quick to blame Airbnb, but that's an easy scapegoat. Mayor of the 1st district told the press that “the population decline [can be attributed to a] rise in the number of second homes in the city.” Sure, Paris is Airbnb's largest market, claiming 65,000 listings. (Short-term rentals are more profitable than long-term rentals, and easier, and safer thanks to the rental laws which favor the tenants and encourage squatting.) But, don't believe the mayor! The real culprits identified recently by the INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of France) are lower birthrates, increase in deaths and higher living costs in the city. Paris isn't the only city losing population. In core cities around the world, household sizes have decreased, while suburbs have become more attractive, rents have increased, living spaces have been converted to offices, etc.
Cost of living is a big factor for people moving outside of the city — 9 percent higher than other regions of France. The first four districts will see the most dramatic drop with a predicted 25.5 percent while the outer districts will gain in population. Airbnb gets blamed again for watching central Paris lose population, but one can assume this has to do with the cost of housing compared to the outer districts, as well as space. The 12th, for example, is one of those with tremendous growth — a projected 14.5 percent.
Paris is aging, too, with estimates that by 2050, 20 percent of the population will be 65 and older. Since I'm of that age, it doesn't make me unhappy that this survey helps to inform the authorities that they should plan for amenities to service an older demographic. But let's face it, urban living is great for the elderly — public transportation and easy access to health care, etc.
Parisian executives are fleeing the capital, but that could be happening because so are their corporate offices, making travel by car from outside of Paris more appealing to and from the suburbs where their offices are now located. Urban life is also a problem for about 54 percent of the respondents who wanted a lot more of nature and a place to escape.
Where are they going? Bordeaux is the current hot spot (thanks to the TGV), followed by Nantes, Lyon and Toulouse.
How does this affect Paris real estate prices? It hasn't seemed to make it less expensive — only more so, and more exclusive for those who can afford it. As an urbanite who lived many years in the U.S. surrounded by a lot of land and more trees than I could count, I'll stick with the City of Light while I can!
P.S. We know not everyone wants to live in Paris. Are you interested in other parts of La France Profonde? Our network of professionals is here to help. Contact us to discuss your interests and we'll get to work for you. Do it today!
26 rue des Francs Bourgeois, Paris 3rd Arrondissement
The 88 square-meter apartment is in a portion of the building that was once the carriage-house of a 17th-century “Hôtel Particulier” and was designed and decorated by our illustrious interior architect, Martine di Mattéo.
The apartment is situated on three levels:
1) a ground level living room/dining room with fully-equipped kitchen with laundry/utility area,
2) a master suite on the upper level including an arched window that spans the entire length of one wall with a separate toilet, full bathroom with claw-foot tub, shower and sink and
3) a second bedroom and bath on the lower level, all which provide its occupants with a real sense of privacy.
The main entry is on the beautiful courtyard and two large mirrored windows face the street providing complete privacy.
The apartment is being sold with all the furnishings valued at 35,000€.
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