Destination Services — Exploring the French rental market—prices, trends and solutions

The French rental housing market has witnessed significant changes in the past several years, particularly in major cities. As demand outpaces housing availability, rental prices have risen in many locations. Obtaining affordable housing has become increasingly difficult for many potential tenants. This article explores the main trends in the French rental market and provides an overview of rental costs in major cities.

Despite the increasing demand, the supply of rental properties, particularly in urban areas, has been restricted due to stringent regulations and the absence of new construction projects. Consequently, there is limited availability of rental units in sought-after locations.

The ever-increasing disparity between supply and demand for rental housing has created an untenable rental market. Rent prices have drastically increased, leaving many tenants struggling to secure affordable housing options within their budget. This issue is especially concerning due to its potential long-term economic implications.

The average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartments in the major French cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille varies significantly. In Paris, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre typically falls between €1,200 and €1,800 PCM, with prices for larger apartments reaching up to €3,000. Meanwhile, rent for one-bedroom units in the centre of Lyon falls between €800 and €1,300, and notably, in the coastal city of Marseille, one-bedroom apartments in the city centre can range from €600 to €900.

The increasing prevalence of short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb has had various implications for the rental market. Notably, in certain regions, landlords have opted to take advantage of higher potential returns through short-term rentals, thereby reducing the availability of traditional long-term rental accommodation.

To address France’s increasingly challenging rental housing situation, the government has implemented various measures to provide protection and stabilisation for tenants, including rent controls and tenant protection regulations. These measures were aimed at mitigating the pressure faced by tenants and stabilising the rental market in certain areas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced the rental market dynamics. As remote work became more prevalent, some urban residents sought larger properties in the suburbs or rural areas for a better work-life balance. This shift in demand affected rental preferences in some regions.

For foreign transferees seeking rental properties in France, additional challenges exist. Landlords in major cities have become increasingly selective when choosing tenants. Many landlords require tenants to earn at least three times the monthly rent to ensure financial stability.

Unlike some rental markets, France generally does not prefer to accept tenants on probationary periods for rentals. Landlords can be highly selective about which applicant to choose, leaving prospective tenants on probation with minimal choice of what property they rent.

Foreign renters often encounter the need for a guarantor in the rental process. This requirement adds a layer of complexity, as finding a suitable guarantor can be challenging. Some tenants turn to companies specialising in acting as guarantors, but this service comes at a cost.

Santa Fe Relocation provides a comprehensive suite of services designed to meet the demands of those seeking rental accommodation in France. Our specialists are well-versed in national and local rental laws and frameworks and can provide relocation advice specific to your needs. We have extensive experience working with property owners, landlords and other professionals in the rental market and understand the importance of finding the right property for your relocating employees. Our team enjoys helping people discover the perfect home in France, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Fruzsina Hodson
DSP Group Support Manager
Santa Fe Relocation

Aurelie Vasseur
Relocation Manager, France
Santa Fe Relocation

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