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Solid Earth of Dreams
French Property Insider
Volume XIII, Issue 3
Thursday, January 8, 2015 • Paris, France
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January 20, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT
After two years of waiting, Patricia has finally been transferred to Paris for her work as a nutritionist. Her desire for an apartment with Parisian charm and a mix of modern décor presents a challenge in finding the perfect home. With the help of her friend Ulla, Patricia is on the hunt for a new home to live a healthy life in Paris. Find out what happens when House Hunters International goes to Paris, France!
Bonjour French Property Insider Subscriber,
The news channels are finally broadcasting something other than news about last week’s terrorist attacks and the five million plus distribution of this week’s Charlie Hebdo, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer on everyone’s minds or tongues. The biggest news is the ability or lack of to acquire one of the issues — the newsstands doling out one issue per person who is wiling to queue up at dawn to get a treasured copy.
Wednesday morning I was an hour late and a dollar short to get a copy of the issue. By 7:15 a.m. when I hit the stand, they were all sold out…everywhere! More hit the stands this morning and more will hit tomorrow, but I’m no longer willing to make the effort since my daughter sent me a pdf copy of the publication, which I am happy to make available to you, too! (Charlie Hebdo)
The media is also buzzing with talk about both the Jewish and Muslim communities in France and everywhere. Everyone is concerned about the reaction from both sides of the fence, with ‘secularism’ in the mix. Author and old friend, Harriet Welty Rochefort (French Toast, French Fried, Joie de Vivre — adrianleeds.com/books/aboutparisfrance), not Jewish herself, wrote a blog post about “France without Jews is not France” in which she notes:
“I am not Jewish, but have many Jewish friends and am interested to see the different opinions they have on the question of making ‘Aliyah’ (emigrating to Israel). Two friends, both American Jewish women who have lived in France for decades, downplay the reports of massive flights, stating that those who leave more often do so because they are going to retire, or because they have family in Israel, or because they’ve been thinking of it for a long time, or because they are very religious and think they would have a better religious life in Israel. So, of the one per cent of those leaving, we may be down to 0.5 per cent of people leaving because of anti-semitism in France and fear for their lives.”
Harriet’s article is well worth a read, and she makes many points better than I could make myself. But personally, I have another reason that the French, Jewish or otherwise, do not like to admit: economics. Many, many people are leaving France for this reason — entrepreneurs who find business too difficult in France to be prosperous, the young who can’t find jobs, the creatively intelligent who feel stifled by the heavy bureaucracy, etc., etc. Wikipedia.org says “The economy of Israel is a market economy. As of 2013, Israel ranks 19th among 187 nations on the UN’s Human Development Index, which places it in the category of ‘Very Highly Developed.'”
So, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Jews are emigrating Israel solely due to the perceived rise in anti-semitism. Harriet ends her article with a very important note to which I fully agree: “And I would know that going to Israel is not necessarily the solution as long as Israel and Palestine are in a stand-off. In fact, as long as that is the state of things, none of us, whether Jews, Catholics, Muslims or Atheists, will be safe anywhere.”
One of our clients just this morning wrote: “Naturally, my elders here in Los Angeles are wringing their hands with worry at the thought of buying in Paris. Paris has had a long history of anti-semitism and emigration; I’m not sure why this feels scarier to them. I’m not as scared, maybe my head is buried in the sand of dreams.”
Fear is a big factor is the way people behave. That’s why terrorism works so well — that’s exactly what the terrorists want — to instill fear so that they can be controlled. Her elders are playing into the hands of the terrorists and in a subtle way, perpetuating the problem. Read anything about New York City after 9-11, when for a while the fear took over and people stopped traveling and doing much of anything, and you will learn that the city is more unified and stronger economically than ever before. “President Obama devoted his Saturday radio address to next week’s anniversary of 9/11, saying the nation is stronger 11 years later. ‘Instead of changing who we are, the attacks have brought out the best in the American people,’ Obama said.” (Sep 8, 2012, USA Today)
Considering that French Property Insider is designed to discuss property investment in France from and insider’s point of view, I have addressed these issues because they are fundamental to you as an investor or potential investor, to determine if an investment in France at this time is worthwhile or not. These are questions I am asked daily, and there are several facets to take a hard look at before one makes a decision.
If all you want is an investment that pays off well, then there are many other ways of accomplishing that besides a property in France. But if you want more — a change in lifestyle, or a broadening of your horizons, and at the same time make a good investment, then you should look deeper and get a broader perspective of the investment climate.
At this moment, property prices are down, there is a surplus of property on the market and interest rates are at an all time low*. Recent events are likely to further affect the market and could easily push prices even lower as demand decreases. By all economic theories, that makes this a time to buy, when it’s a “buyer’s market.”**
*”The benchmark interest rate In the Euro Area was last recorded at 0.05 percent. Interest Rate in the Euro Area averaged 2.40 Percent from 1998 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 4.75 Percent in October of 2000 and a record low of 0.05 Percent in September of 2014. Interest Rate in the Euro Area is reported by the European Central Bank.”
**Buyer’s Market: A situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. Buyer’s Market is commonly used to describe real estate markets, but it applies to any type of market where there is more product available than there are people who want to buy it.
Don’t be one of the fearful. Be one of the smart investors who understands that this is the low period when time to heal the wounds of the recent events will be on your side. Have a look at our current listings and watch for more to come. If what you want isn’t found there, then be sure to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help you find your own “solid earth of dreams.”
A bientôt ,
(By Janet Connelly)
Respond to Adrian: email@example.com
P.S. Learn how Americans can deal with the ever changing regulatory environment and financial challenges — attend a two-part FREE Financial Forum with Dunhill Financial on Thursday, January 22, 2015, sponsored by the Adrian Leeds Group. Brian Dunhill will explain these changes, offer the best solutions to tackle the new regulations, and answer your questions in Part I. Then take a break and stay for Part II when Dunhill’s Quarterly Economic Update will give you a briefing on regional rants, cocktail napkin charting and describe how we see the overall economy. Wine, coffee, water, sodas will be served complimentary! For more information visit Conferences and Workshops. Please register in advance by visiting: dunhillfinancial.be/events.html.