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Buying Property

Paris-Isle-of-France (Ile de France) - Buying Property

QUICK LINKS: France Guide - France Discussion Forum - France Property Listings

The Ile de France region is often just referred to as Paris, but in actual fact it is composed of 8 different departments, of which Paris is just one. The region is home to over 11 million people and is a very commercial area. Despite the fact that it is a very densely populated area, almost 80% of the Ile de France region is agricultural.

Paris itself is home to a number of commercial enterprises and international organisations, and many people who work in the city choose to live in other areas, so other parts of the Ile de France are home to commuters. Over 45 million people visit the region each year and these are attracted by the cultural attractions and night life in the city.

As with all other regions, there are some departments which are cheaper than others, but owning a property in the city of Paris itself will cost you almost twice the national average of €3200 per square metre (as of 2009). However, when it is compared with other capital cities in Europe, Paris does still offer good value for money. The surrounding departments have much to offer buyers both in terms of price and amenities.

Paris is both a city and a department and is a relatively small capital city. It accounts for just over 2 million inhabitants and is made up of districts known as arrondissements. Average property prices in the city in 2009 depended upon which arrondissements the property was in. For example, property in the first arrondissement averaged €8340 per square metre, while in the 10th arrondissement averaged €10,040 per square metre. The lowest price of all 20 arrondissements was over €4500 per square metre. Demand for Parisien property is quite high and this helps to keep the prices high also.

The Essonne department has over 1.1 million inhabitants and is situated in the southern part of the Ile de France region. The north of the department has become much commercialised in recent years but the southern part is still very rural, making it attractive to those who work in Paris. The average property price in 2009 was €3043 per square metre which is just below the national average and there is no real difference between the per square metre cost of houses and apartments. It is very affordable when it is compared to Paris.

French mortgages for expats The Haut de Seine department has over 1.5 million inhabitants and attracts people who enjoy outdoor activities, with many parks and forests. The climate in this area is very mild and average property prices were fairly high in 2009 at €5066 per square metre. The prices are high due to demand, there is a prestigious university in the area and many people choose to buy to let. The area is also experiencing a growth in commercial enterprise.

The Seine et Marne department has 1.2 million inhabitants and many people are attracted to the area because of the tourist attractions and the excellent transport links. This is the largest department in the Ile de France region and much of the area is still rural. The average property price in 2009 was €2692 per square metre, which makes it far cheaper than other departments in the region, although the cost of an apartment was higher. This makes it a good alternative for those who are working in Paris.

The Seine Saint Denis region has around 1.5 million inhabitants and is one of the most densely populated areas in France. The area is home to the Charles de Gaulle airport and is a very busy area, with many businesses setting up there. The average property price in this department in 2009 was €3341 per square metre, which is higher than the national average but affordable when compared with Paris. There is very little difference in price between different property types and it shows that location is more important in this area. The area is good if looking to buy to let, as many people choose to rent property in the area.

The Val de Marne department has 1.3 million inhabitants and is a mainly urban area, due to its proximity to the capital. There are some agricultural areas, but these are in a minority. There are many attractions for tourists including castles and museums. The average property price in 2009 was €4080 per square metre and this is due to demand. It is cheaper than Paris and some of the other Ile de France departments and prices are higher the closer you get to the city.

The Val d’Oise department is the smallest in the Ile de France. It is home to 1.1 million inhabitants but the area is mostly rural land. People coming to the area can enjoy many outdoor activities such as fishing and horse riding. The average property prices in 2009 were €3090 per square metre, which puts this on a par with the national average. Apartments in this region are much more affordable with the average price calculated at €2550 per square metre, making this a good region for those who wish to commute to Paris or buy to let.

The Yvelines department has 1.3 million inhabitants and is home to the city of Versailles, which attracts large numbers of visitors each year. The average property price in 2009 was €3895 per square metre, although the city of Versailles sees this figure rise to more than €5000. The department is more expensive than the national average but still lower than property prices in Paris.

The main property type in Ile de France is the apartment, particularly in Paris. City apartments are famous for their architecture, with big rooms and high ceilings, although as you travel further away from the city centre you will find that these change in style to a more modern feel. Apartments come with no garden and often are no more than 2 bedrooms at most, so they are not ideal for families. In areas where there are large student populations apartments are often bought as a buy to let investment.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.