Posts Tagged ‘75006’

Notes on the Paris market, riddle me this edition

August 3, 2010

It’s August and many if not all real estate agencies will be closing for a week or two if not the entire month.  I have absolutely no expectations for this month so there might not be any postings.

That being said, in the past week or so I have noticed a “flood”* of listings for outrageously priced studios in the 5th and 6th.  These are not the same properties being posted over and over again, but they all fit the profile of what expat investors look for when buying a pied-a-terre.  Small apartments in central, touristy locations with elevator.  No more no less.

The first few times I saw such listings I kinda gasped at the prices — usually between €12k and €13k the square meter — and moved on.  But since I’ve seen a few of exactly the same type of apartment during a very weak time of the year for the real estate market, I have to wonder, why are these types of properties appearing on the market now?

Are foreign investors pulling out of the market now that the Euro has recovered a bit?

Are sellers considering when potential foreign buyers may be in town on vacation?

Is this the prime time for well-off families to buy an apartment for their child heading off to university in the fall?

Or maybe for families who want to enroll their kids at Henri IV or Louis-le-Grand?**

Pure coincidence?

What are your theories?

To give you an idea of the type of properties I am talking about, today alone I received emails for the following apartments:

€340k, 29 m2 “one-bedroom” near the Pantheon

€330k, 30 m2 studio at Place Monge in the 5th

€350k, 27 m2 studio on Rue Dauphine in the 6th

*”flood” is a relative term for the Paris market.  At least five, perhaps even ten.  I have never seen so many of this type of apartment in these neighborhoods in such a short period of time.

**Henri IV and Louis-le-Grand are two of the most prestigious public schools in Paris, both located close to the Pantheon.  Families will buy a maid’s room or small studio nearby just to have an address within the school zone.


My latest dream address

June 13, 2010

Behold, 82 rue Notre Dame des Champs.

The first time I walked by this building I stopped dead in my tracks.The details KILL me.

Cherubs above the door - it must be heavenly to live there!

Impressive wrought iron door (and an even more impressive lobby I imagine)

Constant Lemaire, Architecte 1904-1905

A building like this is most certainly one of grand standing and I guarantee there is an elevator and concierge.

The building alone isn’t what makes this a dream address; the location also helps.My personal preference for the Montparnasse neighborhood aside, the building is just a few blocks away from the Jardin du Luxembourg.  More importantly, the building faces the direction of the park, and I bet the fifth-floor apartment (which is on an angle so gets both eastern and western exposure!) has a gorgeous view.  Plus look at all the light it gets – that top photo was taken around 8 or 9 pm!

A stunning building in a great location in one of the most expensive districts in Paris doesn’t come cheap.  According to apartments in the building range from 8k-15k/m2.

Well, a girl can dream.  In the meantime I’ll be the one drooling as I pass in front of it on my way to the park.

Pick of the day: Saint-Sulpice

May 25, 2010

I’ll let this listing speak for itself:

Exceptional area St. Sulpice: A house of 183m2 on the rooftops. From the 4th to the 7th and last floor of a 17th century building renovated. Magnificent views over the rooftops of Paris and the Church of St. Sulpice. The 4th and 5th floors are served by a private lift and consist of two bedrooms on the street, bathroom and shower room with WC (with window) on the 4th floor and a wine cellar, fully equipped kitchen / dining, living room with fireplace on the 5th floor. The 6th floor is composed of a laundry room, bureau-bibliothèque/Salon TV. On the top floor a large bedroom with bathroom and terrace. Views on the Church St. Sulpice, Paris rooftops and bell tower of the church St. Germain des Pres. Full sun, very bright and renovated, 6 underground storage and a box complete this unique property.

To put it simply: to. die. for.  If our budget could magically multiply by ten, I’d so be there.

View the listing here, on craigslist of all places.

Rue Groupama…err…Rue Littré

February 11, 2010

It’s amazing how much six weeks of “experience” apartment hunting has changed my perspective and my ability to chit chat about real estate with realtors, neighbors, and basically anyone who will listen.  My pharmacist, baker, the owner of the corner cafe, bankers, and obviously our concierge all know that we’re looking for an apartment.  When I pop into agencies it is no longer a 5-minute exchange of information but a 10, 20 minute conversation about “the market,” where we are in the search, interesting properties we’ve seen but missed, past sales, gossip, etc.

My bakery on Rue Littre.

Anyways, last week I was talking with my baker* about a listing I had seen on her street, Rue Littré, for a 5 m2 (yes, that’s right, 50 sq ft) apartment for 87k.  WTF?!  This morning when I went to get my daily pain au chocolat the baker excitedly greeted me and said, “You know what, I was thinking about you, I forgot that Rue Littré is owned by Groupama.”  I told her I didn’t understand, because I didn’t.

“Groupama is a company that owns practically every building on Rue Littré, they’re our landlords.”

“Ah, so you mean everyone who lives on Rue Littré is renting from Groupama?”

Exact.  But check with the concierge across the street, she’ll know more.”

Well, I haven’t checked with the concierge yet because I’m lazy.  But a quick google search brought me to the Groupama website, a commercial real estate company that owns 244,447 m2 of residential property, 80% of which is in Paris (as of Dec 2008).  DAY-UM.  This really shouldn’t surprise me as much as it does, since institutional investors are not exclusive to the US.  Although they don’t offer any residential properties for sale,** I did browse their rental listings (including one on, yes, Rue Littré).  The prices are pretty darn reasonable, the properties look GREAT (most are Hausmannien buildings with elevators in nice neighborhoods), and I’m assuming there would be no agency fee.  If I ever have to rent again in Paris this would be the first place I would check.

Later on, I brought up “Rue Groupama” with a realtor in the 6th and he shot right back that many streets around Jardin de Luxembourg are owned by the Vatican.  “The Vatican?” I repeated incredulously.  “Yeah, you know, like the Pope!”  You don’t say.  I’m almost starting to enjoy this search, and the encounters with the realtors, because I’ve learned so much about Parisian history and architecture in the process.  And not necessarily the stuff you can read in history books!

*18 Rue Littré, 75006, M: Montparnasse.  Phenomenal bread (try their multigrain “boules” if you’re feeling granola-ey, or special order some chestnut bread), melt in your mouth crossaints, and the owner is a really sweet young girl.  Plus they are cheaper and nicer than any other bakery in the neighborhood.

**There goes my dream of living on Rue Littré!  Rue Littré, along with Rue Vavin and Rue du Cherche-Midi, is one of my favorite streets in the 6th.  It’s a tiny, quiet street with a bakery, fruit stall, tabac, and a bar or restaurant or two, but just steps away from the shopping on Rue de Rennes, the cinemas and cafes at Montparnasse, and within walking distance to the Jardin de Luxembourg.  And on top of that, apparently a smart investment!