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Where Do North Americans Live in France? Or Want to Live?

Volume XVIII, Issue 21

Monday’s Webinar, FINDING AND FINANCING YOUR FRENCH PROPERTY, with mortgage broker Kim Bingham and myself, has had so many registrations that we upgraded our Zoom account to accommodate as many as 500. So, if you haven’t already registered for it, do so now! It’s just one hour and it’s free. (Scroll to the bottom to see the details.)

Paris - the MaraisParis – the Marais

Skyview of NiceSkyview of Nice

Old NiceOld Nice

The Nice tramThe Nice tram

The French RivieraThe French Riviera


Uzes, Languedoc-RoussillonUzes, Languedoc-Roussillon

Lavender fields in ProvenceLavender fields in Provence

Cucuron, ProvenceCucuron, Provence


Where Americans live in France - The Local

As part of the Webinar, we will be polling you to learn a bit more about your dreams. We’d like to know where in France you’re thinking of investing, how soon you’re planning to make your investment and how you intend on using your property — part-time, full-time or mostly for investment. And maybe you haven’t even gone that far in your thinking…maybe this is just a first step for you to learn more.

One thing I know from emails we get is that many of you perceive our agency as Paris- or Nice-centric. In some ways that might be true, simply because we have teams on the ground in both cities, but we are licensed to perform real estate services anywhere in France and can, and do, in many other parts of the country. The truth of the matter is that North American clients tend to gravitate toward Paris first, Nice second, Provence third and then the rest of the country, for a lot of valid reasons.

Paris is the number one investment spot of choice, overwhelmingly — that’s when there was real freedom to rent the property short-term without restriction. This is prior to the financial crisis of 2008 when North Americans were buying up “des pied-à-terre” like mad, even when the rate of exchange was unfavorable (as high as $1.60 to the euro at one point) and interest rates were much higher (around 5 percent). The ROI (return on investment) was as much as 10 percent at the time and usage of the property at the whim of the owner was a dream come true.

Rentals in Paris were abundant, even after the crisis. We represented about 35 luxury rental properties, all purchased by our clients with our advice and almost all renovated/decorated by Martine di Mattéo…to the nines. Occupancy rates were as high as 70 to 80 percent in most cases and our clients were laughing all the way to the proverbial bank as well as reveling in the enjoyment of their own apartments the City of Light. None have regretted it.

North Americans have always loved Paris above all other French cities, mostly because they didn’t really know other cities and because let’s face it, Paris is Paris. No city in the world quite compares with Paris in terms of beauty and culture. (At least, that’s what I think.) In addition, a thriving American community here makes life in Paris pretty close to perfect, because without a connection to one’s home country, fitting in to life in France can be a whole lot more challenging.

Another huge advantage to Paris is first, its fabulous public transportation system, and its proximity to all of France and Europe by way of its high speed train network and international airports. Using Paris as a hub can take you anywhere, quickly and inexpensively. This access alone makes Paris an ideal jumping off point. Meanwhile, investment in the City of Light is virtually risk-free as property prices have been climbing since 1998, without letting up.

North Americans have also been in love with the Riviera and Provence, for many of the same reasons. There is nothing not to love about both the Mediterranean coastline and the lavender fields of Provence. In the early 2010s, I made it a personal goal to have a pied-à-terre in Nice for my personal usage as a second home, to develop our business interests there and to bring together a more vibrant American community, which at the time I felt lacked some cohesiveness.

Everything I imagined came true. I purchased a small apartment in the heart of the city (the “Carré d’Or”), created relationships with the best of the real estate agencies, developed a search team on the ground and brought Americans together in an informal way. Price of property in Nice is half of the cost of Paris, making it more affordable for those who saw Paris as out of reach. At the same time, the rental laws in Paris became stricter, leaving Nice and environs easier to monetize and often obtaining a better ROI.

Nice has almost as much of a year-round rental market as does Paris, except that we have observed that short-term rentals abound in the warm months and long-term rentals are sought-after in the cooler seasons. The cost of property is half of Paris, but rental rates are about two-thirds to three-quarters, so ROI can actually be better. The rental laws aren’t quite as strict, with the allowance of short-term rentals on secondary properties for up to six years. This gives owners a chance to recuperate their investment costs for a period of time until they determine a new direction.

One reason we encourage Nice over the adjacent (and quite beautiful) enclaves along the coast is, like Paris, a fabulous public transportation system so one needs no car to fully enjoy the city. Plus, the accessibility to other places from its hub of a train station in the heart of town and international airport just at the city’s edge, is pure heaven. At the drop of a hat, you can spend a weekend in Venice, hop the train to Italy or you can rent a car if you like to explore the hilltop villages in the region. There is no shortage of wonderful things to do and explore in the region, all without the ownership of a car — an expensive burden.

In addition, the thriving North American community there has grown by leaps and bounds, so making friends happens faster than is imaginable. You can easily land in Nice alone and within 48 hours have made enough friends to hold a dinner party or one can attend any of the many activities there are for expatriates. The mild weather and abundance of sun, the sea at your toes, the Mediterranean cuisine…all make living in Nice just as perfect as Paris, but different.

Provence is a hop, skip and a jump from the Riviera, but is very, very different. It’s land-locked, but teeming with magnificent villages, landscapes and lifestyle that suits someone who wants a more tranquil existence. North Americans have been attracted by Provence more than the Languedoc-Roussillon region, perhaps for the primary reason that the community is there, and that in itself is an attraction. I have spent a lot of time in the region thanks to friends who live there and as a result, we are currently developing more real estate relationships there. Soon you will be hearing about two magnificent properties in the beautiful village of Lourmarin we will offer for sale.

In a recent article in The Local, their statistics claim that the region with the largest number of Americans outside of Paris is the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, but this has not been our experience vis-à-vis our clients. There are many cities in this region in which they might be living, Lyon being one of them, another of the country’s business centers and a gastronomic Mecca. This could explain it’s attraction as well as lower cost than Paris. The proximity to the Alps can also explain its appeal.

The point is that where you invest in France depends on your needs, desires and dreams, but we can help you make that decision. And we know France very well, particularly from North American eyes, and therefore know how to go about advising you, finding your perfect property and ultimately making your dreams to live and invest in France come true.Take an hour out of your day this coming Monday to take one further step in making that happen.

Kim BinghamKim Bingham

Register for the Webinar now:

A Webinar with Kim Bingham and Adrian Leeds
Sponsored by the Adrian Leeds Group, Inc.On Zoom, May 25, 2020 6 p.m. Paris Time, 9 a.m. Pacific Time, 12 Noon Eastern Time

Put aside just one hour of your time on Memorial Day, May 25th to learn what you need to know to make your dream to invest in France come true. Kim and Adrian will make brief presentations and then allow for a Q & A when you can ask whatever you like to learn even more.

It’s FREE and you simply must register first! Register here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please note, we are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our subscription lists to third parties, and we will not provide your personal information to any third party individual, government agency, or company at any time unless compelled to do so by law. We will use your e-mail address solely to provide timely information about Adrian Leeds Group, Inc. and Private-Rate offers and events. You may unsubscribe at any time.

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds - in Provence

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

(in Provence)


P.S.  If you are considering transferring currency, do it with one of our recommended partners to save about two percent on the commissions and fees! See our currency page for more information.


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