How to Find Property For Sale in Paris

Paris is without doubt one of most beautiful cities in the world, but trying to find property listings in English and making head or tails of how the property market works in France can be daunting. We simplify the process for you and explain how to go about finding property for sale in Paris.

London? Madrid? New York? In our humble opinion, these cities are wonderful but do not compare to Paris, the jewel of Europe and centre of human civilization, with its dazzlingly decadent, clean and spacious avenues, beautiful architecture and sense of culture like no other city in the world.

Finding property for sale in Paris can be a difficult and daunting task, particularly if you do not speak French, as French real estate agents operate independently of each other without any co-operation and do not have a unified property listing. Not only this, but often real estate agents are not even involved in the process – it’s thought that about half of all Parisian property is sold direct by the owners. All of this means you are often forced to search haphazardly for available property using disjointed and difficult to use real estate search engines.

We’ve compiled a list of the easiest to use and most comprehensive real estate sites for finding property for sale in Paris, and divided the English language and French language sites for your convenience. Most of the English language sites are easy to use and cover a huge range of properties in Paris and throughout France, so you probably won’t need to use the French-language ones, but just in case, we’ve listed the very best real estate portal sites both in English and in French.

Real Estate Sites (in English)

Real Estate Sites (in French)

The Parisian Property Market

Unless you’re a multi-millionaire, you most likely won’t be looking at houses for sale in Paris, as they are few and far between and ridiculously expensive. So, how much can you expect to pay for an average apartment in Paris?

The latest statistics released by the Chambre de Notaires de Paris show that despite the continued downturn in the European economy as a whole, the Parisian property market continues to sizzle, thanks to ongoing high demand for property and less apartments for sale over the last quarter, leading to a supply shortage.

The average cost per square meter of property as of March 2013 was 8,260€, so an average sized property of 50 square meters in size would cost you about 413,000€, or approximately $537,850 U.S dollars. Yeah, not cheap, is it? Keep in mind also that 50 square meters is hardly what you’d call ‘spacious’ – it’s on the smaller side of a typical apartment and would likely only have a solitary bedroom.

In the first quarter of 2013, 6,300 apartments were sold in Paris, compared with 8,600 during the same period in 2012 (a 26% decrease), and lower still when compared to the 2011 figures, so the decreasing supply in apartments has led to a surge of buyers all competing ferociously for precious Paris real estate. Be wary of this fact if you are going to venture into the Parisian property market – know that, at least for the time being and foreseeable future, the market is very expensive, very competitive and very cut-throat. You’ll often find the best properties sell the same day as they are listed, and often for higher than the listed price due to fierce competition.

Dealing with Parisian Real Estate Agents

Due to above-mentioned highly competitive nature of the Paris property market, it’s advisable to be brief, straight to the point yet courteous when dealing with Parisian real estate agents, as they are generally very time-starved and do not want to waste time dealing with foreigners who are not serious about making the plunge into the Paris real estate market.

When you are dealing with real estate agents in Paris, the first thing you’ll usually do is make a call. Ensure you have a few specific properties in mind you are interested in, and make sure you get the point across that you are serious about moving to the city and are up to speed on all the legal, financial and taxation implications of your move.

If you don’t have any specific properties in mind, at the very least ensure you have a good idea of the specific attributes of the property you are looking for. Attributes you will want to be particularly clear about include:

  • The age of the apartment/house you are looking for
  • An approximate idea of the size of the property (in square meters)
  • Whether the property has an elevator
  • Facing outward towards the street or inward towards a courtyard
  • Your price range

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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