The Best Areas to Buy in Paris and Why

Today’s blog post is a guest post by our lovely property sales partner, 56 Paris. Extremely knowledgable about the real estate market in Paris, 56 Paris can help you with all of your property purchasing or selling needs, and help make what is often a stressful situation more manageable. If you’re thinking of purchasing or selling an apartment in Paris, send us a message and we’ll put you in touch.


The 56 Paris Team- Photo by 56 Paris


Simply put, all of Paris is a good investment, with great potential to achieve a solid ROI and steady capital gain. It all depends on what matters to you most when buying property in Paris. Do you want to own a piece of Paris in your favorite neighborhood, which you want to use as a pied-à-terre? Do you want to rent it out? To a corporate expat, or to a student? Are you an expat who wants to settle down long term either alone or with your family? Or is your main objective to make a substantial capital gain in an up and coming area?


All 20 Parisian arrondissements, each with their respective 4 neighborhoods, have a lot to offer in terms of period buildings and a village-like feel. Yet the historic center (1st-8th) is certainly what most of our international clients have in mind when they think of Paris. They are not only smart investors but also Paris lovers, who have often spent extended time in one particular area. This is where they have their favorite spots they associate with “their” Paris. Stable prices, good returns, historical features and international appeal make these neighborhoods the most desirable areas to invest in.


Here is our overview of the central districts to get you up to speed on the latest pricing trends in Paris:


Apartment for sale by the Champ de Mars – Photo courtesy of 56 Paris

The 1st, at the Heart of it All


On the banks of the Seine, the 1st is prized by both French and international investors who love its unique combination of elegance, trendiness and culture. It is home to everything from the Louvre and the Tuileries and Palais Royal gardens, to the Ritz hotel and jewelry shops of the Place Vendôme, to the high-end boutiques and fashionistas of the rue Saint-Honoré.


Far from being the most expensive arrondissement, average prices here range from 9-12,000€/m². However, a property overlooking the Seine or the Palais Royal gardens can sell for multiples of those figures. The challenge is to find a property for sale. Apartments often change hands within the family or circle of friends without ever being advertised.


It is significantly easier to find property in the bustling up-and-coming Les Halles neighborhood where average prices range from 8-11,000€/m². To make your investment worthwhile, make sure you are advised as to which streets to target and which to avoid.


The 2nd, an Eclectic District in the Center


The 2nd contains the French stock exchange, the Japanese hub of Paris, the pedestrian rue Montorgueil lined with specialty food shops, the garment district and the developing tech sector. Its historic buildings coupled with a lively street life of cafés and restaurants attract a bohemian crowd and young professionals alike.


Less chic than the elegant Bourse (stock exchange) area, the Montorgueil quarter has been trendy for years, with prices hovering around 10,000€/m². If you want to bet on the future of the 2nd, invest in the Sentier (garment district). Its foodie restaurants attract a fashion and media crowd. There are former wholesale buildings and lofts with Gustave Eiffel steel construction. Property can still be found at approximately 8,500€/m².


Apartment for sale in 75007 – Photo courtesy of 56 Paris


The 3rd, the Trendy Upper Marais


The 3rd, which is the northern portion of the Marais district, is more popular than ever. Some refer to the rue de Bretagne area as Boboland (bourgeois bohemian country). It attracts a young trendy crowd that enjoys shopping at the Enfants Rouges street market and in the hip organic shops that line rue Charlot. Arty events at the Carreau du Temple provide an opportunity to sip a drink on one of the many nearby terraces.


Properties on sought after streets like Poitou and Charlot are as popular as some of the nicest addresses in the more established “Le Marais” in the 4th. They sell at an average of around 11,000€/m². If you like the area but want to make a smaller investment, you can speculate on the rise of streets like rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth or rue Meslay. Here you can sometimes still get lucky and find property at below 9,000€/m².


The 4th, the Historic Marais


In the 4th you will find everything from the Pompidou Center to the Place des Vosges to the Ile Saint Louis. Its 17th & 18th century streets and mansions were untouched by Haussmann’s late 19th century development. Many of its architectural gems have beamed ceilings and limestone walls. On Sundays, the streets are reserved for pedestrians and shops are open, enhancing the village-like atmosphere.


Traditionally adored, then somewhat less sought out by foreign investors, Le Marais is finding its way back into the hearts of both French and international buyers. Count on average from 11-12,000€/m². The central but less sophisticated area around the Pompidou Center has recently become the 4th’s most expensive quarter. The picturesque Village St. Paul, however, took a dip and is just coming back. Perfect timing to invest in this medieval gem of a neighborhood.


Apartment for sale in Assemblée Nationale – Photo courtesy of 56 Paris

The 5th, Medieval Paris on the Left Bank


The 5th includes the Latin Quarter, the Sorbonne, the quays along the Seine and the Pantheon. Once both French and international investors discover its provincial atmosphere, medieval charm and winding streets, they often don’t want to live anywhere else.


You can purchase a larger apartment here, where your Euro stretches farther than in the neighboring 6th and 7th. Plan on paying between 11-12,000€/m² in the area of Maubert-Mutualité. Prices are more attractive around rue Monge at 10,000€/m² and even more so near the Jardin des Plantes at 8,500-9,000€/m². If your priority is a Seine or monument view, then the sky is the limit. A 240 m² duplex overlooking the Pantheon recently sold for over 27,000€/m².


The 6th, the Jewel in the Crown


Known for being a bit more ostentatious than the 5th, the 6th has every reason to be proud. It borders the Seine and is home to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the place Saint Sulpice and the Luxembourg gardens. Like the Marais, it was relatively untouched by the Haussmannian era. It contains historical hidden streets and magnificent buildings that house the Académie Française or the Senate. The Saint-Germain of Sartre and Camus is now but a memory at the Deux Magots café. But its lasting fascination attracts French and international buyers alike.


It is therefore no surprise that it holds the record as Paris’ most expensive district. The slightest price correction incites buyers and is quickly neutralized by higher demand. Average prices hover around 13,000€/m². However, the average near the Café de Flore is 16,500€/m², a 22% increase over last year! Average price includes dark 1st floor apartments facing a courtyard as well as top floor apartments with no elevator. Desirable properties here will always command more.


Duplex for Sale- Photo courtesy of 56 Paris

The 7th, Left Bank Elegance


In the 7th, which also overlooks the Seine, you can find everything from the Musée d’Orsay to the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides esplanade. This district is known for its grand boulevards lined with Haussmannian buildings, and its embassies and mansions with private gardens.


The 56Paris office is in the Carré des Antiquaires (antique dealer’s quarter). Its discreet charm and the beauty of its 17th and 18th century buildings attract both French and international buyers. Therefore inventory is traditionally low. Despite occasional construction hurdles – no elevator, plumbing that needs updating – average prices went up 9 % last year to around 13,700€/m².


The Invalides, Champs de Mars and Ecole Militaire areas appeal with their post-Haussmannian architecture that typically features an elevator. These traditional residential areas offer everything from good schools to the landmark market street rue Cler. Prices are somewhat less expensive here than East of the Invalides, ranging from 11-12,000€/m². But for properties with a view of the Eiffel Tower or the Seine, competition is fierce and prices go up drastically.


Eiffel Tower view – Photo courtesy of 56 Paris

The 8th, Right Bank Luxury


The 8th is on the Seine and is home to the Champs-Elysées, the Golden Triangle, the presidential palace and the Parc Monceau. Haute couture houses and world class shopping abound in the chic areas surrounding the avenue Montaigne and the Faubourg Saint-Honoré.


Due to its tremendous popularity among international buyers, the Champs-Elysées area has an average price of 13,700€/m². This is due to the microcosm of the Golden Triangle, where properties often sell for above 20,000€/m². On the northern side of the Champs-Elysées prices drop below 10,000 €/m². While you can expect to pay over 13,000€/m² for properties near the Parc Monceau, the elegant place de la Madeleine neighborhood is priced at 10,500€/m². Prices near the Gare St. Lazare train station, on the other hand, fall below 9,000€/m².


In Conclusion


Overall prices increased 6% in Paris in 2016 and transaction volumes reached levels not seen in over a decade. Historically low interest rates of less than 2% are a major factor, and Brexit is also playing a role as expats prepare to return from abroad.


With an improved real estate market, demand also increased for the luxury sector. Exceptional properties offering the perfect mix of architectural features, Parisian charm, a high floor level with elevator and views are in high demand. Apartments with flaws or requiring a complete overhaul also sell quickly when reasonably priced. To be lucky enough to snap up one of these apartments, it is essential to be advised by a professional you can trust. This someone “in the know” and on the ground in Paris will make sure to be in the right place at the right time.

Kerstin Bachmann, Managing Director of 56 Paris and author of the post – Photo courtesy of 56 Paris


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