Housing in Paris: Ridiculously High difference between Offer and Demand = WHY would you want to live City that "don't want you there" :)?

Dear Community,

I would like to share with you my “Parisian Housing Adventure”.

Everything started on January 2011 when I was selected for an internship at UNESCO, Paris. In order to get informed, I started call friends and the information I was receiving from them was quite different from what I was expecting, expectation that were so different because of having lived in Denmark (2nd most expensive country in the World, right after Norway) and for having thought that there is not possible to be impressed by living costs of other (at least) European country, but of course, CAPITALS ARE CAPITALS!. It took me a few moments to reorder all my mental schemes and to start looking for an apartment.

I was lucky enough to be helped by Spanish, French and Romanian friends that were living in Paris with useful links, special social networks, and the results were as they follow:

  1. February - 2011 I lived in a Spanish friend’s, 30 m2 flat. (for free!)

  2. March - July 2011 - A French friend helped me renting one of her father’s many apartments in Paris, 25 m2 (750 euro/month). I started to look for another apartment given that in this one, winter it would’ve been quite FROZEN

  3. August - December 2011 - I found a French guy looking for a flat mate, in his 55 m2 3 rooms apart. (650/month, all included, quite a deal)

  4. January 2012 - I lived (for free!) with a Romanian friend in his little tiny flat given for almost one month. I was too confident that in one month I would find an apartment (because of the luck I had in the two previous occasions).

  5. January 2012 - I finally found a nice 30 m2 flat, for me ONLY, BUT starting with March and UNTIL September 2012, I went lived in other friend’s house for one month.

  6. Now September is coming and I will have to move all my stuff FOR THE 7th time in 17th month time.

This is my Parisian Housing adventure until now and it doesn’t stop here!  But, it would’ve been so much hard without all this friends, that other day I helped in different ways. So

Do GOOD and GOOD is what you will get! … at least most of the time :slight_smile:


Better you than me

Wow, this is really bad. So, really, in Paris the way to make money is to own apartments. There is no way that you can go very far with just working your way through the ladder: all of your money goes into getting some vital space!

I was born in a city called Bologna, in Italy, that boasts a large university… but no campus. The Uni buildings are scattered all over the beautiful, medieval city centre. Result: super-high, exploitative rents. The people who call the shots in town are the landlords; real estate rent has displaced industrial production as the main source of wealth. That’s bad, because industry creates wealth, whereas real estate rent just moves it from the tenants to the landlords.

We are moving to Brussels in a few weeks. One of the reasons is that it seems to want us there: it is a low cost city.


That’s it Alberto! There are many Real Estate owners taking benefits of the Huge difference between Offer and Demand.

There is so difficult to rent a decent flat EVEN IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF MONEY!!  Everything is a problem! you have to give so many ridiculous guarantees, documents, that it seems that you have to, continuously demonstrate that you are not a delinquent, that you are going to actually pay your rent! Then, in order not to pay the aberrant fee that an agency would charge you, you have to search in “Particulier a Particulier” kind of sites, were you treat direclty with the owners you and other thirty “competitors” which “judge” you with an air of superiority and with such of coldness THAT IT SEEMS THAT YOU ARE THE ONE GETTING PAYED!!! or like if they would be the once MAKING YOU A FAVOR BY RENTING YOU a 9 m2 flat for almost 600 Euros/month!!!

It’s exhausting, especially when you are “new in town”. After a while (not too large if you have friends, family, etc.) is becoming easier given that you learn how the system works…

Good luck in Brussels!