News Digest: More Americans than Brits Moving to France & Are French Property Prices Falling?



News Digest: More Americans than Brits Moving to France & Are French Property Prices Falling?

New figures show three times the number of Americans applying for first-time residence permits in France, and property prices are falling in mid-sized cities across France. Plus, sign up for our free Moving To France with a Family webinar. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Low-price fuel at French supermarkets

Last Friday, 29th September, two of France’s major supermarket chains, Leclerc and Carrefour, announced plans to offer at-cost prices on petrol and diesel at supermarket service stations across France. Although the reductions won’t apply at all stations (motorway service stations won’t be included), the new prices will apply both throughout the week and at weekends.

The move comes as part of a response to the French government’s proposal to allow service stations to sell fuel at a loss – a proposal that has thus far been rejected by fuel companies. Instead, fuel companies are pushing the government to find a different way to support low-income families struggling with rising fuel costs.

Although the lower prices at Leclerc and Carrefour stations are likely to attract public attention, the actual savings might not be that sizeable. Leclerc president Michel-Edouard Leclerc predicted reductions to be around 2-3% percent or between €0.02 to €0.06 cents per litre. Still, every little helps!

2. Property prices falling in mid-size cities

BFM Business and real-estate website Bien’Ici have released new data on property prices in France. The study revealed several trends, including a tightening of the rental market as more and more owners opt to sell, and property prices and/or average per-square-metre prices falling in many mid-sized cities across France. House prices have already been declining in major cities, including Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux in the past year, but some of the biggest price drops are now being noted in smaller cities such as Amiens, Limoges, and Mulhouse.

Not all property prices are following the downward trend, however, with prices on the rise in southern cities such as Nice, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence.

3. Three times more Americans moving to France

EU immigration data has indicated that more than three times the amount of Americans are moving to France since before Covid. 12,220 first-time residence permits (carte de sejours) were issued to Americans in 2022, compared to just 4,160 back in 2019.

According to the French Interior Ministry, this places Americans fourth in the list of nationalities receiving French residence permits – behind Moroccans, Algerians, and Tunisians, and above Brits, who were issued a total of 11,074 cards in the same year. EU data also shows that France was the most popular country for Americans to move to within the EU. From a total of 75,000 residence permits granted to Americans for EU and Schengen Area countries, France came out as the top pick – with Spain and Germany coming in second and third.

For Americans looking to stay permanently in France, there may be good news ahead, as the US looks set to reduce the fee for renouncing American citizenship from $2,350 to $450. For French-American dual citizens not intending to ever return to the US or for French citizens issued US citizenship via birth, renouncing US citizenship is often desired, as it allows them to also renounce their tax responsibilities in the US.

4. Thinking of moving your family to France?

There’s a lot to think about when moving to France with a family, whether it’s enrolling your children in the French healthcare system, settling your kids into a French school, or planning to raise bilingual children. In the fourth edition of our Moving to France webinar series, we’ll be focusing on all of this and more, with expert speakers covering healthcare, insurance, international schools in France, and pets.

Join us for the free live event on Thursday, 19th October, 10:00 am UK time/ 11:00 am French time. You can sign up here or click the button below – I hope to see you all there!

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  •  Antonella
    2023-10-17 06:21:59
    Hi Zoë, I'm Canadian with Italian dual citizenship and I will be moving to France hopefully soon. I'm a little confused about their national health insurance. Coming from Quebec, I didn't think I needed to buy extra health insurance on top of the free national French healthcare. Is this top up only for British people? As a EU passport holder do I really need to top up? Thank you, Antonella


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-10-19 08:47:25
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Antonella, As an EU citizen you won't be required to apply for a visa or take out the associated health insurance for visa purposes. However, once resident in France, it is common to have a top-up insurance as the state health insurance does not cover all expenses - typically it covers around 70% and the rest is 'topped up' by your insurance. You can read more about this in our article Top-Up Health Insurance in France: What You Need to Know Best regards, Zoe


  • Maggie Scott
    2023-10-04 01:44:37
    Maggie Scott
    Hi Zoe any chance of you doing one of these for Australians wanting to move to France? I think you would be swamped with responses. Thanks Maggie


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-10-04 16:32:24
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Maggie, We'd be very happy to organise a webinar focusing on Australians moving to France - I'll talk with our team and see if we can make this happen! In the meantime, be sure to check out our past webinars, especially those on visas and residency, as much of the information is relevant to all non-EU citizens. You can find them all on our FrenchEntrée YouTube channel.


  •  howard marks
    2023-10-03 06:24:57
    howard marks
    Unless US citzens renounce their citizenship it is reported that few if any French banks will offer them banking facilities. Mind you Britons resident in France have lost the use of Barclays UK