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The Sexiness Of Paris Property Investment

Volume II, Issue 35

Yesterday afternoon I consulted with a client who has been debating whether he should invest in a hassle-free Leaseback property or an apartment in Paris.

My first question: “Is it purely for investment or is there ‘heart’ involved in the purchase?” After two hours of looking at all the financial angles and exploring the emotional aspects, he concluded that if he could afford it, buying both would be just perfect.
The Leaseback is a hassle-free way of guaranteeing a return on your investment, even if a small one, but lacks the heart of owning your own pied–terre in Paris or stone farmhouse in France. With a good rental apartment, you can earn more in both rental returns and appreciation, but there is risk and hassle managing the property. The big advantages (we decided to call them “sexy” advantages) is the ability to visit and stay in the property as often as you like and have a place to retire to. Leasebacks aren’t meant to satisfy those desires.
After our meeting I headed to the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Paris at the Parvis de l’Htel de Ville. I was with a friend (and past client) whom we helped get the loan on her 53 square meter apartment in the 5th, with a perfect view of Notre Dame. As we were standing in the rain observing the festivities, we began to speak with our neighboring Parisians. It was a most fascinating affair — discussing politics and real estate with total strangers who had no hesitation in expressing their opinions, politically correct or not, while in the midst of a tight crowd all hoping to get a glimpse of Jacques Chirac or Bertrand Delano.
One woman’s pet peeve was clearly the continual rise of property prices in the city. She feels it is pushing out the average, middle-class Parisian and it is unjust that ordinary citizens can’t afford to enjoy living in their own city.
I asked her, “Do you own an apartment here? Isn’t that good for you, that the value should be increasing?” She agreed for herself that might be fine, but she took a more egalitarian viewpoint that it should be good for all. I’ve discovered this is a very French way of looking at life.
In this issue, we report on the statistics issued by the Chambre de Notaires de Paris for the first quarter 2004, showing continual increases in sales and prices. Egalitarian or not, I’m not unhappy! I purchased my apartment four years ago for approximately 3,150 euros per square meter. Today, it is worth 6,800 euros per meter (2.15 times!). If you factor in the rate of exchange from the time I purchased it till now, with a weak dollar, it has increased in value more than 3.18 times based on U.S. dollars!
So, while I enjoy the French egalitarian point of view, as an investment, it’s tough to deny that owning property in the City of Light can make you richer…but the best part is it makes you richer in many more ways than monetarily.
That’s the “sexy” part.

A bientt,

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

P.S. If you haven’t yet  registered for the Living and Investing in France Conference, don’t delay — there are still a few seats left. And if you’re in the DC area, but not attending the conference, don’t miss an opportunity to meet us at one of the optional activities open to the public! Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/liveinfrance/LIF_DC/LIF_DC_optional.html
Volume II, Issue 35, August 26, 2004
In this issue:
* The “Paris Scavenger” Gets into Politics and Entertainment
* The Never-Ending Rise in Paris Property Prices
* Discover the Best Parts of Paris to Make the Best Buys
* Don’t Be Duped — Statistics Not the Whole Picture
* Three Days in D.C. Will Enable You to Live in France
* Currency Exchange Update
* Hot Property: The Historic Marais and Place des Vosges
* Property For Sale: The Center of Paris
* Classified Advertising
FPI Subscribers: To read the issue in its entirety go to
To access this password protected page: username: fpiuser and the password: paris1802.

By Porter Scott
After spending several hours hovering over my computer, I just went out for a late night walk on the streets of Paris, honest. It was a lovely mid-August evening on some of the most elegant and exclusive streets of Old Paris. I was simply
aking a breather. I had no intention of reverting to my disgustingly dirty Parisian Scavenger mode. After all, all of France is on vacation at this time of year. Even I have to take a break from time to time.
I have lived in France long enough now to adapt to the traditional seasonal rhythm — that is, to go with the flow of French life. Besides, all of the major renovation projects that kicked off in early July are now well on their way to completion. You must keep in mind that it is only during the early phases of renovation projects that the antique building materials and other encumbrances (like broken antique furniture and ancient attic inventory) are thrown out on the streets or into dumpsters. Like we say down South, “The pickin’s are slim” towards the end of the summer.
As I strolled down the lovely old streets, down the rue de la Chaise, then up the rue de Grenelle, then down the rue du Dragon, I savored the distinctive architectural details of so many venerable Parisian buildings: the 17th and 18th-century facades, the magnificent entrance doors, the elaborate doorknobs, and on and on. Just short of salivating, I had to reign in my overpowering acquisitive instincts in order to simply admire architecture that is not going to be dismantled anytime soon. Besides, maintaining my dignity and integrity requires me to draw distinct lines between legitimate scavenging and coveting someone else’s property.
I shall now endeavor to qualify man’s instinctive desire to acquire in the light of French socialism. Ever since the age of enlightenment, when the great thinking of French intellectuals led directly to the French Revolution, a unique brand of socialism has taken root in direct response to the injustices of the past. Modern day French socialism is designed to temper the acquisitive nature of man and prevent the rise of robber barons, capitalistic cardinals, domineering dukes, and any other form of economic and social inequity.
In response to this French way of thinking, I will simply say you should never underestimate the ingenuity of those who desire to acquire and to build an estate. In my specific case, scavenging has proved to be a way to improve my lot in life (going from a lowly American student to a distinguished property owner). I have added to my estate without being taxed on the increase in my overall net worth by scavenging…after all, how can you determine the value of things that have been thrown out on the streets? (I will admit to having paid for a few apartments in Paris, here and there).All of this brings me to the foot of the former Socialist Prime Minister Lionel j2999pin’s private residence, which happens to be in a building on the street where I have one of my apartments.
As I was returning from my late night stroll to go to bed, I spied some large boxes placed against the wall. Since the boxes were clean (no dog urine) and appeared to have been placed there very recently, I peeked inside to see what was there: books — lots of books — leather bound books — classics by Victor Hugo, Molire and Racine — books on philosophy and books on mathematics as well as books on how to become a judge (these guys are cultured!). In short, I had stumbled upon someone’s library being discarded for who knows what reason — maybe the prime minister was fed up with it all? Maybe someone was just too rich and was having to comply with the egalitarian principals of the reigning Socialist ideology (in the building at least) by throwing out all that surpassed his quota of books.
Whatever the reason, an overabundance of wealth is certainly the main culprit. I could not resist the literary temptation, so I proceeded to plow through the boxes of books, loading up my car with everything that was worth saving. This was about as clean and intellectually enlightening a scavenging operation as can be imagined — no dirt on my hands and the hope of improving my mind! This was highbrow scavenging at its most prominent and I felt privileged to be able to build my library at no cost!
If you like this story, just wait until I tell you about Catherine Deneuve’s bronze swan bathroom faucet I scavenged out from under her pretty nose!:
You may remember Alain di Tuoro, the Italian origin fireplace specialist who rebuilt the International Living 18th-century stone mantle on the rue de la Huchette? Well, he works regularly for the actress Catherine Deneuve. Catherine had told him she wanted a bronze swan faucet for her bathroom. Alain dutifully found her one in his used goods network and when he presented it to her, she turned up her nose at it saying she did not think that it was the right one because the bronze was too gilded looking.
Alain, in an act of generosity, asked me if I wanted it because Catherine did not. Do you think I hesitated for one instant? It is a top of the line bronze faucet that most likely cost more than some people’s entire bathroom. A few weeks later, Alain told me that Catherine had changed her mind about the faucet. He told her it was too late. I just laughed. “Tough beans for La Belle!,” I said. As a general rule of thumb, once something has disappeared in the scavenging network, it does not come back. If Catherine wants her faucet back, she is going to have to come to my place to get it! I can just see her now, at my door, politely inquiring about the swan faucet: “Catherine, I’m so sorry,” I’ll say, “but the swan faucet has already been installed. I would be delighted to offer you a lovely book from Lionel j2999pin’s library though!”
Editor’s Note: Porter Scott is IL’s Property Rentals Manager. For more information on how to get the best return on your investment of a rental property in Paris, rent your Paris apartment or renovate and maintain it, do not hesitate to contact Porter Scott at [email protected].



By Adrian Leeds

In the early part of 2004, property sales continued to rise along with Paris property prices. Sales rose a remarkable 5.4% in spite of the history of the past three years where sales in the first quarter dropped as much as 8.5% (2001). Prices rose yet again, up to an average of 4,139 euros per square meter in Paris, an increase of 3.1% from 4th quarter 2003 and 12.3% for the year from 1st quarter 2003 to 1st quarter 2004.

There are three factors contributing to the continual increases:
1. A foreseeable rise in mortgage rates…so now’s a good time to lock in an interest rate.
2. An uncertain economic future which encourages more savings and investmen
ts a
nd sees that real estate is a worthwhile investment.
3. Changes in retirement pensions, a subject often written about in the press, encouraging future inheritance by trading rent payments for mortgage payments.
The reports indicate that activity in the market will remain constant throughout the first half of 2004, but there is caution in predicting beyond that. If interest rates rise, sales and prices could take a down turn.



By Adrian Leeds

Sales of secondary market apartments in Paris rose 11.4% for the first quarter of 2004. Of all the sales in the Ile de France, 48% were in Paris proper.

Sales of primary market apartments (new construction) rose as much as 22.5% in Paris, but don’t be fooled — it only represents a little more than 10% of the total real estate market due to the lack of available land on which to build.
Prices rose in Paris in all but one arrondissement — the 7th where sales are slack. The average price per square meter in Paris was reported at 4,139 euros. The most expensive arrondissement was still the 6th at 6,446 euros/m (+7.1%) followed by the 7th at 6,062 euros/m. In contrast, the least expensive arrondissement was the 19th at 2,908 euros/m (+13.3%), preceded for the first time by the 18th at 3,261 euros/m (+15.2%), eclipsing the 20th at 3,332 euros/m (+19.8%) normally in last place.
The arrondissements which rose in value from most to least were:
12th + 20.4% (4,050 euros/m)
20th + 19.8% (3,332 euros/m)
11th + 18.4% (3,822 euros/m)
1st + 15.3% (5,301 euros/m)
18th + 15.2% (3,261 euros/m)
3rd + 14.5% (4,852 euros/m)
4th + 14.4% (5,863 euros/m)
2nd + 14.1% (4,539 euros/m)
13th + 13.9% (3,954 euros/m)
9th + 13.3% (4,117 euros/m)
19th + 13.3% (2,908 euros/m)
14th + 13.0% (4,469 euros/m)
5th + 12.8% (5,687 euros/m)
17th + 12.6% (4,030 euros/m)
15th + 11.6% (4,469 euros/m)
10th + 11.3% (3,347 euros/m)
8th + 8.3% (5,403 euros/m)
16th + 7.9% (5,012 euros/m)
6th + 7.1% (6,446 euros/m)
7th + 0.0% (6,062 euros/m)

The arrondissements price per square meter in order of most expensive to least were:
19th 2,908 euros/m (+ 13.3%)
18th 3,261 euros/m (+ 15.2%)
20th 3,332 euros/m (+ 19.8%)
10th 3,347 euros/m (+ 11.3%)
11th 3,822 euros/m (+ 18.4%)
13th 3,954 euros/m (+ 13.9%)
17th 4,030 euros/m (+ 12.6%)
12th 4,050 euros/m (+ 20.4%)
9th 4,117 euros/m (+ 13.3%)
15th 4,469 euros/m (+ 11.6%)
14th 4,469 euros/m (+ 13.0%)
2nd 4,539 euros/m (+ 14.1%)
3rd 4,852 euros/m (+ 14.5%); 16th 5,012 euros/m (+ 7.9%); 1st 5,301 euros/m (+ 15.3%)
8th 5,403 euros/m (+ 8.3%); 5th 5,687 euros/m (+ 12.8%); 4th 5,863 euros/m (+ 14.4%)
7th 6,062 euros/m (+ 0.0%); 6th 6,446 euros/m (+ 7.1%)
But, don’t look at just the statistics and conclude that because the 12th is appreciating more than the others, that it’s the best part of Paris to hang your hat. By the same token, you can’t assume it’s no-risk to own in the most expensive parts of town. It’s more important to keep track of the trends and watch what the future holds in store for each arrondissement.
My favorite picks for live-ability, rent-ability and invest-ability: 2nd, 3rd, 4th! (Notice how they fall more in the center on both charts — for appreciation and average price per meter?)
For complete information and reporting, visit http://www.paris.notaires.fr.



By Adrian Leeds

The notaires collect all the data above at their own cost. The statistics are made available to the public free of charge. For Paris property prices, official statistics are published at http://www.paris.notaires.fr. For the latest statistics, once on the site, click on “march immobilier,”  then  “Les prix.” For property prices in France but outside Ile de France, the official statistics are published at http://www.immoprix.com.
When reading the data, keep in mind the average prices per square meter are generally 30% to 50% lower than the true current market prices. If you take the reported statistics as conclusive, you’ll be shocked when the apartments you visit are considerably higher per square meter price than what is reported! The reasons for this are:
1. Lag time. Statistics for 2004 were recently reported, now six months earlier than today’s market. The signing of the final Acte de Vente traditionally takes two to three months to complete, therefore add another delay, meaning the properties were purchased nine months earlier than today’s market.
2. Asking price is normally 5 to 15% higher than selling price.
3. Reported selling prices often do not include cash transactions between the buyer and seller, although illegal, it’s still done (reduces the notaire fees).
4. Reported selling prices often do not include the value of unattached furnishings such as kitchen cabinets and appliances, built in closets, etc. (reduces the notaire fees).
5. Reported selling prices often do not include agency commissions, when paid in cash (reduces the notaire fees).
6. Properties in poor condition bring the averages down and may be unlikely candidates in your search for the perfect pied–terre.

Mark your calendar for the exciting upcoming conferences sponsored by the Paris Office! 

Living and Investing in France
September 10 – 12, 2004
Washington, D.C.

LIF_DC Details
Dinner and Virtual Tour of Paris with Thirza Vallois
LIF_DC Dinner/Tour
Walking Tour of French-Speaking DC
LIF_DC Walking Tour
Single in the City of Light
(And Loving It!) with Adrian Leeds and Ruth Mastron          The Westin Grand – Conference Site
LIF_DC Single in the City
** Read what our past participants have to say about our Paris Office
Conferences and Tours…
Reservations and information:

If you’d like to join us at any of these, drop us an email at [email protected]/parlerparis and we’ll be sure to email you as soon as we have more information. Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/liveinfrance/index.html

Schuyler Hoffman, Special Projects Manager
Toll Free in the U.S. 1-877-IL PARIS (1-877-457-2747)
Email: [email protected]/parlerparis

A service of http://www.xe.com/
Subscribe for free at: http://www.xe.com/cus/

Rates as of 2004.08.26 16:01:11 GMT.
1 U.S. Dollar equals 0.827396 Euros (0.831833 Euros last week)
1 Euros equals 1.20861 U.S. Dollars (1.20216 Dollars last week)
1 U.K. Pound equals 1.48464 Euros (1.52300 Euros last week)
1 Euro equals 0.673564 U.K. Pounds (0.656597 Pounds last week)
The International Living Paris Office can help you secure a mortgage
in France with interest rates as low as 3.35%.

Visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/loan for more
information or contact us
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.
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 assist you. For more information, visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html or contact Jocelyn Carnegie at [email protected]
*** 2/3 ROOMS, 67 M, PARIS 4TH (75004)

Location: Place des Vosges
Entry at Place des Vosges and rue Saint Antoine, in a superb htel particulier entirely renovated on the 5th floor with an elevator, unobstructed views, bright and quiet. Large living room, bedroom, very good condition. Parking in basement.
Asking Price: 646,400 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
*** 5 ROOMS, 115 M, PARIS 4TH (75004)

Location: Le Marais
In a beautiful stone building open to the second level, 5 beautiful rooms with 4 bedrooms, each with bath or powder room, spacious living room with fireplace, parquet flooring and molding, bright kitchen with corner dining nook, entry by principal stairwell with elevator. Large celler of 25 m. Possibility to acquire a maid’s room on the 6th floor.
Asking Price: 685,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* 4 ROOMS, 120 M, PARIS 2ND (75002)

On rue Raumur, in the pedestrian quarter of rue Montorgueil, a very beautiful apartment of 120 M on the 5th floor with unobstructed views. Beautiful volumes, round living room of 40 M with 6 windows with west exposure. Parquet flooring, kitchen and bath to install.
Asking Price: 640,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* 2/3 ROOMS, 45 M, PARIS 3RD (75003)

Location: Commerces et Mtro
Two large rooms with exceptional charm in the heart of Paris. Quiet and new steps from commerce and Mtro, in the southern wing of a small co-op from the Charles X eqoque, ideally situated in one of the prettiest quiet and tree-lined streets of the 3rd arrondissement, on the 2nd floor overlooking an interior sunny courtyard. Entry, office with window, living room, bedroom with closet, kitchen, large shower, separate toilet, antique tomette tiles.
Asking Price: 250,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* DUPLEX 4 ROOMS,101 M, PARIS 3RD (75003)

At rues de Bretagne and Turenne, on a tree-planted square, four beautiful rooms on two levels. Double living room, kitchen, three bedrooms, bath, three toilets, dressing room, lots of closets. Ideal for a family.
Asking Price: 540,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
* 3 ROOMS, 68 M, PARIS 4TH (75004)

Location: Blancs manteaux
Three beautiful rooms, bright with lovely views and a good plan permits various possible arrangements. Entry, living room, separate kitchen, bath, toilet, two bedrooms.
Asking Price: 371,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
*  2 ROOMS, 56 M, PARIS 4TH (75004)

Location: Saint Paul Saint Paul
On Rue des Rosiers, in a beautiful pierre de taille building on the 4th and last floor, overlooking both the street and the courtyard, two lovely rooms with equipped kitchen, sunny, quiet, Marais charm.
Asking Price: 380,000 Euros + 2% Finder’s Fee
** The best way to find the home or apartment in France of your dreams is to designate a time to be here to do a proper search. For more information about our property search services visit https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/propertyconsultation.html and for serious inquiries regarding these properties click here to email Jocelyn Carnegie, French Property Consultant: [email protected]


EVERY SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.                                    NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

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
Mtro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, Rpublique or Arts et Mtiers
For a detail description of the past meeting and for more information
about Parler Paris Aprs Midi, visit:


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
If you are seeking to rent a furnished apartment for a week, a month or a year or you have an apartment you wish to rent, contact Adrian Leeds



As an FPI subscriber, we offer you special access to our time and
knowledge with our own quarterly conference calls. The next scheduled
conference call is Sunday, October 17, 2004 at 8 p.m. Paris time, 2
Eastern time. Mark your calendars now, but don’t worry, we’ll give you
plenty of advance notice.

Conference Date: October 17, 2004
Conference Time: 2 p.m. EST, 8 p.m. Paris Time
Discussion Topic: TBA

To listen to the last conference call:

July 11, 2004
The French Leaseback: A Hassle-Free Investment with a Guaranteed Return


– FPI Website: To access any password protected pages, the username is: fpiuser and the password is: paris1802. If your computer utilizes cookies, once you log into a subscriber only section, the login information will remain active for seven days, after which you will have to login again.
– 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 https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/archives.cfm
– To receive your free French Leaseback Report or the Paris Property Report, click on https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/subscribersonly/reports2003.cfm and download the pdf versions.
– Instructions for upcoming conference calls are on the FPI website. You’ll find the link under the “Subscribers Only” section on the left of any page.
– Get In On The Discussion: Care to weigh-in on current HOT topics of discussion on France? Get in on or start your own thread on our bulletin board at http://www.agora-inc.com/forums/index.cfm?cfapp=15

For all International Living managed apartments in Paris, take a look at https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments
Available September 4 – 14, 2004

Guest Room or Two-Bedroom Apartment Located in a 17th century Le Marais Hotel Particulier, this 70 square meter apartment two-bedroom apartment with lots of light is nicely furnished and is perfect for a single woman in the freshly renovated guest room when owner Adrian Leeds is in or for up to 4 people when she’s traveling.
Pictures and more details available at https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments/rentals/leeds.html
For information and reservations email: ABL_Apartment

In the heart of the Marais on rue Commines…
The perfect pied–terre to call home — in a sweet 24 m2 studio apartment on the second floor of an 18th-century building on a quiet street very near bus and Mtro. Two huge windows let in lots of light and great views of the old buildings along the street. Brand new black glass and stainless kitchen, parquet flooring, lots of closet space, bathroom with shower and toilet. Near rue de Bretagne for great shopping.
Complete information at https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html
For rent by the week or longer

Two lovely 2 or 3-bedroom apartments — 1st arrondissement, same building. Just minutes away: the Louvre, Tuilleries, Place Vendome and more. French style gives you a true taste of Paris. Fully equipped makes your Paris stay effortless, comfortable and memorable.
Complete information at http://www.youlloveparis.com
See More Apartment Rentals At: https://adrianleeds.com/wp-content/uploads/newsletters/parlerparis/apartments
1 square meter = 10.7639104 square feet
1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres
For more conversions, refer to: http://www.onlineconversion.com/
If you’re not a regular reader of the Parler Paris daily e-letter, and
would like to be, simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s free!):
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Copyright 2004, Agora Ireland Publishing & Services Ltd.


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