Identifying Real Estate in France

In France, the overriding question for real estate enthusiasts is whether to buy a home in the famous city of Paris itself, in the adjoining suburban areas around it or away from it into the countryside. Whichever decision is made, a home buyer must have knowledge of the three areas of France, what types of accommodation are available within each of them and the prices involved.

Different ways to locate and identify real estate

There are many different ways in which a buyer can identify the type of preferred real estate in France. These can be itemized in connection with the three main areas of real estate – the city area, the suburbs and the countryside.

Identifying methods

In the more central parts of Paris the most common ways of identifying real estate may be found from:

The numerous website portals that offer easy access to all types of real estate that are available at any one time in the country. Most are all current and upgraded daily.

Newspapers also offer lists of real estate though they are less popular than the broadcast media.

Property magazines are consulted by some real estate buyers especially for more details that are not found on the internet.

Consulting a real estate agent or realtor also locally known as “un enchères” who may arrange a meeting between the owner of real estate and the buyer.

Finding a property locator who has direct contact with the owner of the real estate to facilitate a purchase.

City divisions

The city of Paris has 20 neighbourhoods known locally as “arrondissenments” each with its different number, features and appeal found in its surroundings, inhabitants and buildings. The neighbourhoods are numbered so the lowest number is in the center and the rest fan out in a clockwise direction outwards away from the center

The 1st and center neighborhood is the most elegant part of Paris studded with older Haussmann-type buildings that do not offer serious accommodation but exudes the Rococo, Renaissance and European images.

2nd is the small but diverse place of the Paris Stock Exchange where apartments appear costing around €14,750 per square meter. There are cheaper apartments in the vicinity of around €11,000 per square meter.

3rd and 4th are home for the gay and Jewish communities where small apartments cost around €14,000 and ‘character’ apartments between the Hotel de Ville to St. Paul priced at about €10,800 per square meter decreasing further to €8,500 per square meter at the back of the Pompidou Center.

5th is the fashionable and expensive Sorbonne/Pantheon area with apartments going for €11,200 pre square meter dropping to cheaper rates round the Gerad’Austerilitz area.

The 6th neighborhood of narrow medieval streets, dotted with restaurants, bookshops, fashion houses and academic institutions. Apartments here cost between €10,500 and €13,500 per square metre.

The 7th is an exclusive aristocratic area overlooking the Eiffel Tower where accommodation prices starts at a high €15,000.

8th is an area close to the race tracks where apartment prices are predictably low at €6,500 per square meter.

The 9th neighborhood is a combination of business and residential houses and 18th century apartments called “immeuble de rappor:” costing around €5,000 per square meter.

10th is the area around the Gare du Nord and “Gare de l’Est,:” where crime is prevalent resulting in a low apartment price of €7,000 per square meter.

The 11th is a mixed neighbourhood of young singles, young couples, gay, trendy, middle-class and poorer immigrants. Apartments accommodation cost between €9,000 and €10,000 per square meter.

The modernized 12th neighborhood is full of young families. It has many open spaces with the huge Bois de Vincennes. Apartments to the north are more expensive at €8,000 per square meter than prices of €7,000 in the south.

The 13th is home to modern but unattractive high rise flats and Chinatown with 19th century apartments going for between €9,800 and €11,000.

The 14th neighborhood is a popular choice of UK and US expatriates located around the scenic Montsouris park with tree-lined houses instead of apartments. Where apartments are found, prices are around €10,000 per square meter, but some go for cheaper at €5,000 and €7,000 per square meter.

While the 15th neighborhood is densely populated and devoid of nightlife and culture, it is occupied by the most prestigious schools in Paris. Property price for the area is more than €9,000.

The 16th is a very affluent, conservative residential area of wealthy families with their museums and huge park. Average price for floor space is €10,175.

Average floor space price in the 17th is the area, north west of the city is €8,000 per square meter. It is a modernized working class area.

The 18th offers a breathtaking view of Paris with prices equal to the view starting at €11,500 per square meter. It reduces in La Coutte d’Or and La Chapell to €7,000 per square meter.

A run down area of the Paris neighborhood is the 19th area with accommodation prices at €5,000 per square meter.

The 20th neighborhood is rather empty but increasingly mixed cheap property where accommodation prices stand at a low €3,000 per square meter.

The outer suburbs

The outer suburbs of France comprise the Essone, Houts-de Seine, Yvelines, Val-d’Oise, Seine-St. Denis and Val-de-Mame. The closest of these to Paris are Houts-de-Seine, Yvelines and Val-de-Mame which are very enticing with green and pleasant scenery and close enough to the city. Apartment buildings cost around €350,000.

The countryside

For locations further away from Paris and in the countryside, transportation becomes a critical prerequisite and the metro link straight into the city becomes a requirement of paramount importance. The train link must be preferred to a grueling car trip into the city. A 4-bedroom apartment can cost around €400,000.

One of the most attractive locations in the west are Varsailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye surrounded by forest. They are well served by train but accommodation is not cheap with a 4-bedroom apartment also available at €400,000.

Further south west of Paris is the Vallée de Chevreuse with modern housing estate, country villages and old stone houses only 45 minutes away from Paris. A renovated 4-bedroom house also goes for a price of €400,000.