How To Best Evaluate A Paris Apartment
Location is 90% of the factors involved for an apartment to have good
investment value in Paris. Smart investors will start by making an
accurate evaluation of the property. In Paris, like many other places
in Europe, that means comparing the price per square meter with the
average price per square meter of other apartments in the area as well
as with the square meter price of comparable properties throughout the
If you’re interested in buying an apartment in Paris as an investment
with short-term rental value (so it can at least partially pay for
itself), it may be wise to consider property in one of the three
currently prime arrondissements–the 4th, 6th and the 7th. How do
prices in these fashionable areas currently compare with those in the
rest of the city?
In the second quarter of 2002, the average price per square meter for
Paris as a whole was 3,279 euro–about the same number of dollars in
today’s economy where euros and dollars are at or near parity. By
contrast, the average price was 5,249 euro in the 6th Arrondissement,
5,115 euro in the 7th and 4,155 euro in the 4th.
Location in the heart of Paris is one reason why apartment prices in
these areas are above the average. This is where tourists want to stay
and foreigners like to live, driving up prices. In general, the farther
from the center of town, the less expensive apartments become. It’s
hardly surprising that apartments in the 4th, 6th and 7th
arrondissements command top prices. These areas exude charm and put
residents in touch with the history of Paris.
While apartments in these arrondissements generally have higher
short-term rental value, their investment value may actually not be as
good as it is in some other areas. For example, property values in
Saint-Germain des Prés, considered having the highest rental value,
increased by 4% in the second three months of 2002 over the same period
in 2001, while apartments in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd arrondissements rose
in value by 5%, 5.5% and 5.3% respectively (the increase was in double
digits in the 10th and 20th).
While evaluating the cost of an apartment involves comparing that price
against other apartments in that area and against those of Paris
generally using the average cost per square meter, keep in mind these
are averages. An apartment that is rentable "as is" will be well above
the average in that area, while one closer to the average is probably
going to require some work to make it rentable.
So, what is rentable and how much will it cost, in dollars? A
two-bedroom apartment of 70-90 square meters will always stay rented.
However, they will cost much more than the average and are rarely on
the market. A studio will generally be smaller (15-25 square meters)
and probably closer to the average in price, but is often harder to
keep rented. The most rentable properties on the market are one-bedroom
apartments of 40-50 square meters. In these prime arrondissements this
means paying a minimum of $200,000 to $300,000.
If you’ve ever bought real estate before, then you probably know there
is often a difference between what you want and what you want to spend.
It will be no different here. If you are serious about buying, and the
short-term rental value is a primary consideration, be prepared to
spend more to make your investment worthwhile. You may well be able to
find a suitable apartment in the price range mentioned above. However,
apartments we recently looked at, with good rental value, located in
the prime areas, were more expensive.
Cost per square meter and return on investment are just cut-and-dried
objective aspects of evaluation. Other factors that affect price and
value are more subjective and open to your personal evaluation. Unlike
apartment and condominium buildings in the U.S., each apartment in a
building here is often unique. Floor plans vary, ceiling heights
differ, and space utilization is not always the same. For that reason,
two apartments in the same building–of the same size and on the same
floor–can vary greatly in value and price because of these factors.
Other variables to consider include how much renovation and
redecorating work will the apartment need? What is the building itself
like? How charming is the apartment (renters love charm)? How close is
it to the nearest Métro stop? What conveniences are nearby? The list is
endless. Plus, there are legal, financial, and administrative issues
With up-to-date information on property values and an understanding of
the factors that go into housing prices, you will be able to adequately
evaluate any property you’re interested in.
Editor, Paris Property Insider
E-mail: mailto:[email protected]
P.S. Keep scrolling down for Holiday Apartment Listings, and don’t miss
the Property of the Week!
*** LUXURY LIVING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
There’s room for the whole family in this four-bedroom flat of 260
square meters with 14-foot ceilings. Located in a classic Haussmann
style building, this apartment sits on the "noblesse étage" (2nd
floor). In one of Paris’ most exclusive neighborhoods, just off the
Parc Monceau, you’ll be able to spend the holidays in the formal salon
and dining rooms, both with marble fireplaces. The master suite comes
with a fireplace and its own bath, and there is one bedroom with twin
beds for kids. You’ll never wait in line with three baths and two water
closets to choose from. The huge eat in kitchen seats 8-10 people and
comes fully equipped–including a washer and dryer. Appointed with art,
antiques, new furnishings, satellite TV, French Cable TV, and two VCRs,
this is indeed the place for your holiday of a lifetime. (photos
available on request)
Available Dec 22- Jan 6 and offered at $2,500 per week (maid service
available by special arrangement)
For information on availability and booking, please contact:
YOU’LL FIND OUR LIST OF PRIVATE HOMES AVAILABLE TO RENT AT:
*** L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE "TWO-BEDROOM"
This is a unique one-bedroom apartment that can virtually become a
two-bedroom. With lots of natural light, this extremely quiet flat,
located near the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees can be your
perfect vacation get-away.
Pictures and more details available here:
Offered at $750 per week, $2,000 per month
FOR OUR FULL LIST OF SHORT-TERM APARTMENT RENTALS, AVAILABLE
YEAR-ROUND, CLICK HERE:
*** SPEND YOUR HOLIDAYS AT THE BEACH
This ideal vacation rental is located just one half hour from Biarritz
in a complex on the beach, with views of the Pyrenees Mountains. A
duplex studio (two floors) of approximately 45 square meters, it comes
with living area with sofa-bed which sleeps two, a second floor
mezzanine with a queen-size bed and a "cabine" with a single bed.
Offered at 700 euro per week for the holidays.
Pictures and details available here:
*** TWO-BEDROOM ON RUE PRES AUX CLERCS
Elegant 85-square-meter apartment on the 4th floor with elevator.
Beautiful and very chic two-bedroom, with a baby-grand piano, wall to
wall carpets, art, and lots of sun and quiet. Very special ambience
with loads of charm.
Offered at 2,000 euro per week or 6,600 euro per month (includes maid
service twice a week)
Pictures and more details available here:
FOR OUR FULL LIST OF UPSCALE AND LUXURY PARIS APARTMENTS, CLICK HERE:
*** PROPERTY OF THE WEEK
* PIED-À-TERRE IN ELEGANT BUILDING
Lots of interest, but still available: Paris for $1 a day!! Small but
complete Paris pied-à-terre in one of the city’s best areas, the 16th
arrondissement. It’s a seven floor walk-up flat, but at a price of just
under $65,000 and a monthly maintenance of only $30, this is ideal for
a student or your yearly visits to Paris. Created by combinin
"chambre de bonne", this is a classic French home-away-from-home.
Included are excellent security and a permanent concierge to hold mail
and packages in your absence. With a southern exposure and a view of
the Eiffel Tower, this charming apartment can be your own piece of
Paris to visit again and again. Price includes a cabana on the street
level for storing bicycles, luggage, etc.
Offered at just 64,573 euro (Furniture included.)
Interested? Please contact:
Floor plan available at:
*** OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FUTURE
Our recent Working and Living in France Conference this past October
provided a day of sessions covering the ins and outs of buying property
here. If you missed the conference this time around, you’ll have
another opportunity to learn this valuable information at our next
Working and Living in France Conference June 13th through 17th, 2003.
To be placed on our mailing list for information on the conference,
please send an e-mail to
*** FINDING THE APARTMENT THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
Many people don’t have the time nor the resources to look for their own
piece of France, especially if they’re located in the States or other
Our office offers you assistance to do the things you can’t do unless
you are here. We have a specific service to help you find your
property. Using our personally selected professional locators and real
estate agents, we work with you to find the property that is worth
coming to France to look at. Or if you are already here, all the
After getting a basic idea of what you are looking for, we will spend
the next month searching for just that. You’ll receive weekly reports
with suggested possibilities and pictures that will help to further
narrow down what you want.
The fee for this service is $500. Should we find the right apartment
for you, there will be a finder’s fee of 2% on the price of the
property if you make the purchase, with a minimum of $5,000, maximum of
$20,000 (the initial $500 will be applied against the finder’s fee).
For more details and answers to your questions contact:
For details on our full range of property services, got to:
*** YES, FOREIGNERS CAN GET A MORTGAGE IN FRANCE
Not only can you buy property in France, you can obtain financing here
to buy that property. Our IL Paris office has associations in place
with two major lenders who specialize in foreign clients. They are
especially interested in building their American customer base. Through
these lenders you can finance 70% to 85% of the purchase price of the
property, depending on your resident status in France, at very
attractive interest rates (currently 4.5% to 5.7%).
Our services are available to assist you with filling out initial
applications and collecting the documents you’ll need to apply for your
mortgage. We will set up the appointments with the lenders for you, and
if desired we can even accompany you to your appointments.
If you’re seriously looking to buy property in France and would like
more information on the lending process, visit our website at:
For answers to your questions contact Schuyler Hoffman:
*** WORKING AND LIVING IN FRANCE CONSULTATION SERVICES
Living in France for several years, we have accumulated valuable
information and developed valuable contacts. We are able to assist you
as much as possible and when necessary, put you in contact with one or
more of our professional associates to provide the help you need.
– Fee of $75 an hour with a two-hour minimum, plus expenses (travel,
phone charges, etc., when applicable)
– Consultation can be arranged in person, by phone, or e-mail
For more information contact Schuyler Hoffman at
*** DO YOU HAVE AN APARTMENT IN PARIS OR HOME IN FRANCE YOU WANT TO
We can help you promote your property as well as connect you with
interested buyers we already have. Send an email to
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
COMING TO PARIS?
Why not stay in the finest pied-à-terre in Paris. In the heart of the
od of Paris, on rue Mazarine, sits
International Living’s very own Paris pied-à-terre in the finest