How to buy a property in Paris

The best areas to live

The Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Sacré Coeur – Paris will always be Paris! Are you thinking of buying a property in Paris?

The first question you should ask yourself is “where?”

Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements.

Each arrondissement has its own ambiance, some of which take you elsewhere altogether, like the 13th arrondissement, known as “Chinatown” due to the large, established Asian community. And of course, some arrondissements are more affordable than others.

If you’re looking for ambiance, parties and social events, consider the Marais district (3rd arrondissement) or Butte aux Cailles (12th). These districts are generally favored by young couples. Families, on the other hand, prefer the 8th, 16th and 17th, for their schools and parks.

The east arrondissements (10, 11,12, 19 and 20) are highly favored by students for their affordability and vitality.
And the central arrondissements (the 1st through the 9th) are the most sought after and therefore the most expensive.

The oldest Parisian buildings (early 20th century) are found in the central arrondissements, hence the price tag. They feature the architecture and hallmark of the old, unique French buildings of the world. Interestingly, the newer real estate projects are found outside of Paris (also known as Paris Intra-muros). They offer modernization and environmentally-friendly heating and insulation, and are both less expensive and good long-term investments.

Average price per m² in the various arrondissements of Paris (3rd quarter 2017):

Why buy in Paris?

The French capital is a veritable economic hub, not only for France but for all of Europe.

The Île-de-France’s GDP is the fifth largest of the world’s metropolises, preceded only by Tokyo, greater New York, Los Angeles and Osaka. Paris boasts a highly skilled workforce, a true reservoir of talents and abilities, particularly academic and economic ones.

Paris is also a vital political, administrative, economic, financial, cultural and academic center in Europe. It has a rapidly flourishing commercial real estate market, with 10% of its land, over 900 hectares, under development. The capital offers the most competitive prices of any European city, including London and Frankfurt, for establishing businesses, and features an incredibly diverse real estate portfolio (new buildings, Haussmannian architecture, etc.) It boasts the 2nd largest airport for passengers in Europe, and largest for freight – Roissy. At the heart of the Eurozone, the Francilienne economy is particularly diversified: although the high-end service economy is predominant, the region remains one of the principal research and production centers of Europe.

Paris will always be Paris, and its international influence, both economically and politically, will never diminish. Tourists will continue to flock to the French capital. This alone is good enough reason to invest in property in Paris.

When thinking of a Paris apartment, we tend to imagine Haussmannian ceilings and molding. Unfortunately, these properties are typically not soundproof, poorly laid out (tiny kitchen, long hallways, little storage), and overpriced.

Larger apartments (5 rooms or more) are mostly found in the 8th and 16th, and despite being well removed from the center, they are still quite expensive due to their popularity with families.

One tip for choosing where to buy in Paris: base your decision on your workplace. Public transport is THE most important criteria. For example, if you work in La Défense, prioritize residencies close to line 1 of the metro or the RER A.

Every district in Paris has its own personality: there are the business-oriented ones (Ternes, Rue Clerc, rue du Poteau, etc.), the touristic ones (Eiffel Tower, Saint Michel, Montmartre, etc.), the calm ones (Auteuil, Invalides, etc.), the “green” ones (Monceau, Bue Chaumont, Luxembourg, etc.), the lively ones (Quartier Latin, Bastille, République, Champs Elysées, etc.), the more “BoBo” ones (Canal Saint Martin, Marais, etc.), and so on. No matter what lifestyle you’re looking for, Paris has something to offer!

Tips for buying a property

Investing in Parisian real estate involves the same steps as investing in any other French city’s real estate:

1. Сhoose a trustworthy real estate agent (such as FNAIM, SNPI, UNPI, etc.).

2. At each visit, they will have you sign a visiting bond, which indicates your agreement to go through them if you wish to purchase the property, and not deal directly with the seller.

3. If you like the property, you sign a sales agreement.

You will then pay 10% of the total amount of the sale (also known as an escrow). This is best done before a notary public. Following this agreement, there is an obligatory waiting period of 10 days during which the seller may not sell the property to anyone else, but the buyer may change their mind without losing the escrow amount.

4. Once the 10 days are up, it’s time to sign on the final sale. After this, there is another waiting period, this time of 3 months.

During this time the buyer must produce the financing for the purchase. Meanwhile, the notary public will verify the seller’s information and property details. The property may be located in a zone where the township has a right of urban preemption. This means the township is given priority over private buyers and has 2 months (or 3 in some cases) to acquire it for community projects. In this case, the bill of sale cannot be signed until the end of this period.

5. At last comes the signing of the bill of sale. Don’t hesitate to bring along a translator to assist you if necessary, because some terms are complicated and specific to the real estate industry.

This procedure may take a while – don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Once everything is clear and complete, you will sign and become the legal owner. The keys will be handed over to you, and you must pay the remaining amount as well as the notary fees.