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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