Paris vs Lyon

Buy­ing in a city can be a great in­vest­ment and pro­vide you with an ex­cit­ing pied-à-terre – Emily South­combe takes a closer look at the thriv­ing prop­erty mar­kets of Paris and Lyon

French Property News - - Contents -

The south’s foodie cap­i­tal squares up to the north’s City of Light

Ac­cord­ing to the UN’S World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion, France re­tained its po­si­tion as the world’s favourite tourism des­ti­na­tion in 2016 with 82.6 mil­lion vis­i­tors. While hol­i­day­mak­ers flock to sea­side and ski re­sorts, the Loire Val­ley châteaux and his­toric mon­u­ments such as Mont St-michel, the na­tion’s cities are also a great draw. Of­fer­ing cul­ture, her­itage, shop­ping, gas­tron­omy and en­ter­tain­ment, they also present an in­ter­est­ing op­por­tu­nity for prop­erty in­vestors keen to tap in to their in­vest­ment po­ten­tial.

City of light Paris has al­ways been the crown­ing jewel in France’s ex­ten­sive tourist of­fer­ing, and ter­ror­ist at­tacks have not stopped mil­lions of tourists head­ing to the city. Hav­ing se­cured the 2024 Olympic Games, the City of Light cer­tainly seems to be on the up. This is re­flected in the year-on-year prop­erty price rise of 5.9% in the first quar­ter of 2017 in Paris, ac­cord­ing to the No­taires d’ile-de-france. They re­port record num­bers of trans­ac­tions in the first quar­ter of 2017 and prices con­tin­u­ing to rise. From March to May, over 46,000 res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties changed hands, a level of ac­tiv­ity which has not been seen in the 20 years of records be­ing kept.

A sign of the level of in­vest­ment in Ile-deFrance is the huge in­fra­struc­ture project known as Le Grand Paris Ex­press, which rep­re­sents 200km of new rail lines and 68 brand new sta­tions, due for com­ple­tion in 2030. This will in­crease the size of the city, tak­ing pres­sure away from the cen­tre, with the planned con­struc­tion of a large num­ber of new homes.

Paris is still a very dy­namic mar­ket where prop­er­ties can change hands quickly. Prices range from around €5,000/m2 in parts of the 18th ar­rondisse­ment be­hind Gare du Nord to €38,000/m2 (and some­times more) in parts of the 7th and 8th ar­rondisse­ments around the Eif­fel Tower and Champs Elysées.

As Pres­i­dent Macron at­tempts to bring in rad­i­cal changes and his pop­u­lar­ity wains, it re­mains to be seen whether the lev­els of ac­tiv­ity in the mar­ket will con­tinue, but the ‘ ef­fet Macron’ cer­tainly has been pos­i­tive so far. As Brexit runs its course, Paris and other ma­jor French cities should con­tinue to ben­e­fit from un­cer­tainty on the other side of the Chan­nel.

Foodie cap­i­tal In terms of pop­u­la­tion, Lyon is the third largest city af­ter Paris and Mar­seille, while the Lyon metropoli­tan area rep­re­sents France’s sec­ond largest econ­omy. The city is the cap­i­tal of the Au­vergne-rhône-alpes re­gion, home to many of the most sought-af­ter ski re­sorts. It has a strong in­dus­trial base – Renault Trucks’ pro­duc­tion plant cel­e­brated its 100th year in Lyon in 2016 – but also boasts UNESCO World Her­itage sites. It’s now di­rectly ac­ces­si­ble from Lon­don by TGV with the fastest jour­ney time be­ing four hours and 41 min­utes while many air­ports around the UK of­fer di­rect flights to Lyon. The Econ­o­mist re­cently put it at 29th po­si­tion in its global ‘live­abil­ity’ rank­ings.

Known as the gas­tro­nomic cap­i­tal of France, it is home to Les Halles de Lyon, a fa­mous in­door mar­ket and eatery. French chef Paul Bo­cuse learnt to cook in the city’s fa­mous ‘ bou­chon’ restau­rants, which serve tra­di­tional home­made food us­ing lo­cal pro­duce. These were set up by the ‘ Mères’ (mothers) who, af­ter los­ing their house­keep­ing jobs be­tween the two world wars, de­cided to set up their own restau­rants. Many can be found in the old town among a maze of wind­ing streets.

The Part-dieu area of the city sur­round­ing the TGV sta­tion is a modern busi­ness district with lots of on­go­ing con­struc­tion and a large shop­ping cen­tre which is home to the Ga­leries Lafayette de­part­ment store.

Prices in Lyon start from around €2,000/m2

in less sought-af­ter ar­eas on the out­skirts of the city to €9,500/m2 in the 3rd ar­rondisse­ment, close to the Part-dieu shop­ping area and Les Halles de Lyon, and the old town in the 2nd ar­rondisse­ment. Prices are heat­ing up in the Con­flu­ence area at be­tween €3,000-€7,000/m2 for an ex­cep­tional prop­erty.

There are a num­ber of no­tice­able sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Paris and Lyon. Both cities are land­locked, and from the ar­chi­tec­ture to the metro and tram sys­tems, there is a fa­mil­iar feel­ing to Lyon for those who love Paris.

Tech talk Pres­i­dent Macron is keen to lure in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies to France and both Paris and Lyon have vi­brant tech com­mu­ni­ties. Known as Sta­tion F, the world’s big­gest start-up cam­pus opened in June this year in the 13th ar­rondisse­ment of Paris and will be home to more than 1,000 start-ups. Found­ing part­ners in­clude Face­book and Mi­crosoft.

Lyon is a pi­o­neer of the gov­ern­ment’s French Tech ini­tia­tive with 7,000 dig­i­tal com­pa­nies based there; the for­mer Halle Gi­rard is be­ing ren­o­vated to pro­vide a home for Lyon’s French Tech or­gan­i­sa­tion and a venue for stake­hold­ers in the dig­i­tal sec­tor. The district of Con­flu­ence, whose mu­seum re­ceived record num­bers of vis­i­tors in 2016, is an up-and-com­ing area which is un­der­go­ing de­vel­op­ment and sees it­self as the Sil­i­con Val­ley of greater Lyon.

Rental op­tions The Paris au­thor­i­ties are in­creas­ingly crack­ing down on on­line short-term rental com­pa­nies and their ef­fect on the ho­tel in­dus­try and hous­ing short­age. The so-called ‘ Décret Airbnb’ comes into force on 1 De­cem­ber 2017, mean­ing peo­ple let­ting spare rooms through the com­pany will have to reg­is­ter with the Paris coun­cil. Such mea­sures are also on the hori­zon in Nice and Bordeaux, and Lyon may fol­low suit. So, with po­ten­tially in­creased pa­per­work and pres­sure on the short-term rental mar­ket, it’s a good idea to look at other rental op­tions.

Both Paris and Lyon are home to some of the coun­try’s top uni­ver­si­ties with large stu­dent pop­u­la­tions, so if you aren’t in­tend­ing to use the prop­erty your­self, stu­dent lets are another shorter-term rental op­tion. How­ever, you could con­sider long-term rentals which should be less cycli­cal.

Both Paris and Lyon have a huge amount to of­fer po­ten­tial pur­chasers look­ing for a city bolt­hole. Those who wish to es­cape wet week­ends in the UK for eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble cul­tural breaks will not be dis­ap­pointed with what is on of­fer in ei­ther city.

There is plenty of in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity for most bud­gets in both cities and the hori­zon for cap­i­tal gains is pos­i­tive. Rental yields de­pend on the size, lo­ca­tion and style of the prop­erty and pre­ferred rental method, and man­age­ment costs of po­ten­tial apart­ments are worth fac­tor­ing in early in the search process.

Both Paris and Lyon have a huge amount to of­fer po­ten­tial pur­chasers look­ing for a city bolt­hole – those who wish to es­cape wet week­ends in the UK for eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble cul­tural breaks will not be dis­ap­pointed

The Na­tional Li­brary in the 13th ar­rondisse­ment

Lyon from the top of Notre-dame de Fourvière

Lyon’s Con­flu­ence district

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.