The Marais vs. Saint G
Choosing the right part of Paris
1st More commercial than residential
Little choice for those searching for a residential property as much of the 1st is taken up by office buildings. If you’re looking at the top end of the market, there are some pockets of opportunity around the rue Saint Honoré and the Marché Saint Honoré
2nd: Lots of potential
Look around the streets near Sentier and Montorgeuil, which have been totally regenerated. There is a good mix of residential property, shops, offices, lively bars and cafés. You can find some lovely old lofts that have been trendily renovated.
3rd: Prices continue to rise
The 3rd is full of beautiful buildings, with the most expensive property to be found around the rue Vieille du Temple, where prices are catching up with St-German-des-Prés. Prices are lower around rue Meslay and rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, but you may have to be prepared to do a fair amount of work on the flat before it is habitable.
4th: Chic and quirky
The Marais – best known as both the Jewish and gay area of Paris – is full of quirky streets and shops. More and more foreigners are starting to buy here and the prices are beginning to resemble those in St Gérmain. Flats around the exclusive Place des Vosges command the highest prices.
5th: Authentic and studenty
The Quartier Latin is still home to the Sorbonne university and the student population has no doubt helped the area keep its charm of yesteryear. Apartments tend to sell for lower prices around the edges of the 5th towards the 13th.
6th: Most expensive
The area around St Germain des Prés is full of foreigners wanting a little bit of the real Paris, even though there remains barely a trace of the artists and philosophers who debated in the cafés here last century. Be prepared to pay over 10 000/m2.
7th: Expensive and institutional
The plethora of government departments and embassies mean the area tends to be fairly quiet in the evening and at weekends, though the bars and restaurants of the 6th are only a short walk away. The smartest addresses are along the rue de Bac and around Les Invalides.
8th: Busy and ministerial
A busy, bustling area where many government departments are located. Lots of 18th-century residential property around the Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. The cheapest property is to be found around Gare St Lazare. Boulevard Haussman can be noisy.
9th: Too late for bargains
The area around rue des Martyrs continues to attract buyers even though prices have risen and it is rare to find the bargains that were available a few years ago.
10th: Convenient for the Eurostar
A useful location for those who commute regularly via the Eurostar. Trendy and fun around the Canal St Martin.
The streets around Oberkampf are full of lively restaurants and bars. The area becomes more expensive towards the 3rd – Republique, Bastille and Oberkampf – and cheaper properties are to be found towards the 20th and Menilmontant. Lots of apartments in nice alleyways off the rue du Faubourg St Antoine.
12th: First time buyers
Few foreigners choose to buy here – it is more the domain of first time French buyers – though some may be tempted by property closer to Nation and the 11th.
13th: New student area
If you’re not looking for a typically Parisian property, how about purchasing a flat in one of the newly built properties in this area? There may be good investment possibilities as the new arm of the university of Paris has just opened its doors here.
There are some nice streets tucked away out of sight of the Tour Monparnasse and the Parc Monsouris is a lovely green space. Prices are most expensive around Montparnasse and cheaper around rue Raymond Losserand.
15th: North versus south
This area varies hugely from one side to the other and transport into the centre of Paris can be difficult from its outermost limits. But there are some nice parts and prices may rise when the tramway is extended, making access easier.
16th: Family friendly
A popular area for families, with good shops and schools, and some particularly nice property around Victor-Hugo, Muette, Passy and Auteuil. If you want some outdoor space, you can sometimes manage to purchase a ground floor flat with the use of a garden around the avenue Henri Martin.
17th: Young and trendy
The trendiest area is around Batignolles, which is full of young couples and lively shops and restaurants. North of Batignolles is less popular.
This is a hugely diverse area which takes in gorgeous pied-à-terres overlooking the vineyards in Montmartre (which can go for as much as 10 000/m2) to cheaper flats in the more cosmopolitan areas.
19th: Cheapest Paris
Prices are increasing rapidly here but they are still the cheapest in Paris. The 19th may not be the most well known area of the French capital, but you’d be hard put to get a better location than in the apartments overlooking the Buttes-Chaumont park.
If you fancy losing yourself in the cosmopolitan mix of this area then streets around the rue des Pyrénées, Belleville and Gambetta are worth investigating.