Why One Apartment Costs 3 Times More than Another in Paris


A beautiful view in the City of Light always tempts foreign buyers who are prepared to pay up to €25,000/m2. But it’s possible to get yourself a beautiful pied-à-terre in a good area Paris for three times less.

How much does a nice apartment in one of the beaux quartiers of the French capital cost? There’s no point in comparing a ground floor 3-room flat overlooking a dark courtyard with a palatial penthouse. It’s by having a look at some recent sales of property without any faults that you can see that there is quite a disparity in values in Parisian property. At the end of the day, a nice apartment is a nice apartment, even though some may be more beautiful than others. The following will give you an idea of the patterns involved:

In Paris, the prices of large apartments have dropped faster than others.

“In two years, prices have fallen by 9.7% on property worth more than €2,000,000, by 6.4% in the €1 to €2 million category and by 3.9% for apartments worth less than €44,000,” says Charles-Marie Jottras, president of fancy property auctioneers Féau. Transactions in the millionaire category are, however, rather rare: “That only represents 5% of the total number of sales in Paris and only 1% to 2% of annual transactions are above €2 million, which accounts for a couple of hundred sales per year.”

The law of supply and demand is the important factor. With the departure of certain homeowners, who decided to leave la Belle France for countries with a tax regime more suited to their needs, a lot of large apartments – ones over 200m2 in size – have been put on the market in the context of falling demand. The result is that prices have fallen quickly than in other segments of the market. If the apartment is very big and has an insufficient number of rooms in relation to its overall size, buyers are even more slow to react.

In contrast, if the floor space/bedrooms ratio is good, the property will be of interest to families. Sales are fast therefore, if the apartment is at the market price, and visits increase. Today, you can buy a family apartment in a nice part of town for less than €9,000/m2. Most recently, a penthouse apartment in Auteuil was sold for €8,700/m2

So why are certain sales still being achieved at three times that price? What is the advantage of these apartments which sell at strong prices? They must combine, views, neighbourhood and quality to be eligible for these lofty values. For an exceptional view, certain buyers (often foreign) have no qualms about paying out over €25,000/m². For example, a 240 m² apartment in need of renovation in the 8th arrondissement, with views of the Grand Palais, was sold €27,000/m². Having windows that open with a direct view of a classic Parisian monument and having a view of the Seine contribute to a high price when the apartment is free from defects and in a sought-after area. “They know that they’re buying something irreplaceable” concludes Jottras.

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