If you are moving to France, you need to consider rental prices. As in most places in Europe, many French people live in rental homes instead of buying one. Rental prices vary significantly, Paris being the most expensive place in the country and almost in the entire EU. Hence, the closer your location is to the capital or any major French city, the higher your rent’ll be.
In France, the average rent per square meter is between €14 and €35. If you’re renting a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment in a city other than Paris, expect from €850 to €1,500 monthly. However, if you want to rent a flat in the capital, you’ll pay more than €1,292 simply for one-bedroom apartments and up to €2,000 for larger flats.
You’d also notice that rent prices in France depend on the season or time of the year. Renting in french apartments during September and October might be more expensive since many students are starting their semester and also hunting apartments or houses for rent. However, the real estate market increases its prices during the holiday season, and you’d have fewer cheap choices.
Related: How much does a house cost in France?
Is rent in France expensive?
Renting in France is pretty expensive compared to the European average. The cost of living in France is also similar to countries like Austria and Germany. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect very low rent prices like it might be the case with Spain or Italy.
Rental properties in France have increased steadily since 2009 due to an influx of immigrants and residents moving into populous cities.
Due to the increase in mobility in France, rent in major cities and regions such as Paris and Ile-de-France is higher, costing at least €880 a month for a small-sized apartment.
Besides that, in 2022, France has seen an increase of 2,5% for rooms and 3.5% for apartments. Paris remains the most expensive place to rent a home in France.
According to a study, despite the increase in rent across the country, the number of new tenants has also increased. Due to this, landlords from other regions have raised their rents also.
Towns and cities such as Bourges and Nanterre have rental properties that’re at least 7% more expensive than they were in 2021.
To help residents cope with rising rent prices, the French government has issued Zone Tendu, a rent-control scheme for major cities.
If you’re planning to rent in cities such as Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Provence, and Côte d’Azur, you’re lucky because these cities have controlled rent prices. Residents could also request assistance from the government if they think they’re paying a higher rent than what should be.
You could also use the standard rent prices released regularly by INSEE or the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.
Studies made by this government agency help landlords and tenants adjust their budgets and manage their rent expectations. Annual rent increases and other fees depend on the benchmark rents published by INSEE.
You can see current rental prices on one of the largest real estate websites in France.
How much is the rent in France?
In 2022, the average rent per square meter in France was between €13 and €16. However, the average ranges from €10/m2 for the lowest rents to €19/m2 for the highest rates. The nationwide lowest rent is about €7 per square meter.
Across the country, the average rent for a furnished apartment is €709, while unfurnished flat costs €671 to rent.
Houses are more expensive, with an average rent of €985 for a furnished property and €902 for an unfurnished one.
Not surprisingly, the highest rents are in Paris, where the average price is €31 per square meter. The price can be as high as €37 per square meter, depending on the exact location within the city. The average rent is €1,198 and €24.1 per square meter.
Additionally, rates vary whether you are looking for an apartment or a house. The average rent for houses is €9/m2, while it’s €14/m2 on average for apartments.
On the map below, you can see the distribution of rental prices across the country:
This is how much it costs to rent an average apartment in France:
|Apartment type||Average rent per m²|
|Average rent per m²|
The price of renting a house in France is as follows:
|Type of house||Average rent per m²|
|Average rent per m²|
Rent prices for studios
If you are a student or someone on a budget, renting a studio will be the most cost-effective way. Here is the average cost to rent a 25m2 studio across different French cities:
|City||Average rent price per month|
|Paris||€800 and more|
|Marseilles, Toulouse, Montpellier||€400|
|Nantes, Grenoble, Rennes||€370|
On average, French residents pay this €557 per month to rent a studio, including bills. Most affordable places include Limoges, Perpignan, Nîmes, and Clermont-Ferrand, with average rent below €385.
Rent prices for apartments
An apartment is considered a property with one or more bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a living room.
An apartment of 60m2 will cost different amounts in different France cities (from the most expensive to some of the cheapest places):
|City||Average rent price per month|
|Paris||€2,000 and more|
|Marseilles, Toulouse, Montpellier||€950|
|Nantes, Grenoble, Rennes||€850|
The cheapest places for renting one or two-room apartments are Le Mans, Limoges, Perpignan, and Mulhouse, with an average rent below €650 per month.
An apartment with two bedrooms and an average area of 80 m2 will cost the following amount:
|City||Average rent price per month|
|Paris||€2,600 and more|
|Marseilles, Toulouse, Montpellier||€1,050|
|Nantes, Grenoble, Rennes||€950|
Lastly, if you want to rent a house with an average living area of 130 m2, expect to pay a hefty bill each month:
|City||Average rent price per month|
|Paris||€3,700 and more|
|Marseilles, Toulouse, Montpellier||€1,750|
|Nantes, Grenoble, Rennes||€1,450|
Apartments sized between 91 m2 and 97 m2 are the cheapest in Perpignan, Limoges, Brest, and Le Havre, with an average rent of less than €900 per month.
If you are moving to France as an English speaker, check out this guide on the best cities for non-French speakers.
Average rent in France
According to Statista, the average rent for different types of housing in France in 2021 was as follows:
- Room – €435
- Studio – €564
- Two rooms – €732
- Three rooms – €851
- Four rooms – €995
- House – €921
Location and demand determine the rent in France, so if you plan to rent in famous cities or regions, prepare to pay higher rent. But, as you move further away from the French capital of Paris, the prices become more affordable. You could rent a one-bedroom house for lower than €1,000 monthly.
Here are some of the places outside Paris that you could rent for a significantly lower price:
|Place||Minimum monthly rent|
If you want to live in a French city with good food and vibrant culture, try renting in Lyon, which has apartments costing about €906 monthly. Lyon is among the most populated cities in the country and is known for its people who uphold French heritage and old traditions.
However, you might notice the prevalence of bourgeois norms among the residents’ lifestyles once you start living here.
For a new perspective, you could try renting cheap apartments costing about €810 in Marseille, the second largest city in France. This port city is close to the Mediterranean Coast and has a diverse population, most of whom originate from Northern Africa.
Here, you’d meet different personalities every day, and you could enjoy the sea breeze, regardless of the season.
You could also move into the south of France, where life is moving slower but remains culturally relevant. In Montpellier, you could rent apartments for as low as €600 and explore France’s countryside. Additionally, this Place houses about 20% of British expats in France.
Living in a French coastal city is the dream for many, and if you share the same goal, you can rent houses in Nice from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region for around €750 monthly.
This coastal city is famous for its Greek buildings, beautiful scenery, and palm trees. Many tourists and retirees choose to stay for long periods in this destination.
You could escape city life in a fast-paced country if you rent an apartment in Dordogne. This department in southwestern France is full of villages with old French houses that shadow the scenic countryside.
Here, you could rent apartments for as low as €700 monthly, giving you plenty of money left to spend on your expenses.
Average rent prices in Paris in 2023
In the French capital, the average rent for a 42 m2 apartment was €1,292 per month in 2022. However, you can rent the same size apartment in Boulogne-Billancourt, Montreuil, and Saint-Denis, located in the Paris region, for around €800.
One of the most famous cities in the world, Paris has been the dream destination for immigrants and French residents. This city has multicultural residents, with more than 20% of foreigners living there. Due to this, it’s also the most expensive city that offers rent in the country.
In Paris, even a one-bedroom apartment could cost you at least €1,120. Renting an entire home could cost more than that.
In the suburbs, the average rent for an unfurnished apartment is €932, which is €17.6 per square meter.
Renting an entire home could cost you about €1,650 in Paris. You’d already have a decent one-bedroom house with full furniture, appliances, and internet coverage for this price. Your monthly utility bills are also part of this payment.
If you want something more extensive, you could rent a 80 square meter loft for about €4,200 a month. You’ll find a spacious terrace with a view of the city and enough room for a barbecue or other social events.
This loft is part of the neighborhood in Ile Saint-Louis, an island that has a cozy ambiance and is full of friendly residents.
Cheapest places to live in France
According to the rent index of France, there are still some affordable places to live in. Some of the cheapest French regions include (plus a price per m2):
- Champagne-Ardenne – €7
- Haute-Saône – €7
- Cotes de Armor – €9
- Jura – €9
- Vosges – €9
- Gers – €9
- Lot-et-Garonne – €9
- Dordogne – €9
- Finistere – €10
- Pas de Calais – €10
- Champagne-Ardenne – €10
- Haute-Vienne – €10
- Haute-Saône – €9
- Landes – €10
Here are the other cheap but beautiful places you could rent in France and their prices per square meter:
1. Saint-Étienne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region: €8/m2
Due to its location in one of the rural regions of France, rent in Saint-Étienne is considerably cheaper compared to other cities.
Originally known to many as a 19th-century industrial hub for the country full of railroads and factories, the city became a design center for Europe in the 21st century. This city houses the famous landmarks of Place de l’Hotel de Ville, Place du Peuple, Place Jean-Jaures, and the Saint-Charles Cathedral.
2. Nîmes, Occitanie region: €10,5/m2
If you’re looking for rental properties in a coastal city similar to Montpellier, you could try renting in Nîmes. This city is full of buildings with modern architecture and tourist destinations such as the Carré d’Art museum, built by Sir Norman Foster.
3. Angers, Pays de la Loire region: €10,7/m2
Angers was the capital of the Anjou province during the French Revolution and housed the Plantagenet dynasty and the seat of Réné of Anjou.
It’s now a prefecture of the Maine-et-Loire department and is known as a rural city with many museums and old buildings. Despite having a rich history and vibrant culture, rent prices here remain cheaper than in other rural historic towns.
4. Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur région: €11,5/m2
If you plan to rent in one of the cities close to the Mediterranean Sea, you should consider renting in Toulon.
This old city dates back to the 15th century and served as a military harbor for many historical wars. Known as the “Old Town” by many French residents, this city is full of small city squares and houses the famous Provencal market.
5. Le Havre, Normandy region: €11,5/m2
Up north, you could find cheap rental properties in Le Havre, Normandy, a port city where the climate is cold and the view is spectacular. Francis I founded this city in 1517, and since then, it has been part of many historical lists, such as the UNESCO World Heritage and WWII memorials.
6. Dijon, Bourgogne-France-Comté region: €11,7/m2
Originally the capital of the Burgundy Dukes, now it’s the prefecture of the Côte-d’Or department. Like other rural cities, Dijon is full of museums depicting medieval France. You can also find the renowned Musée des Beaux-Arts in this city.
This city is a culinary gem home to many gourmands and talented chefs in the region. You could also find good wine here thanks to the famous Burgundy vineyards.
7. Reims, Grand Est region: €12,1/m2
Reims has been known as the city of coronation for French Kings for over 1,000 years, thanks to its majestic Gothic cathedrals and other religious buildings. Now, the city is the prefecture of the Marne department, with villages full of cheap apartments and houses for rent.
8. Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine region: €12,4/m2
Rennes is consistently at the top of cities that’re affordable to live in, yet also one of the best cities to live in France. The city is known for many social festivals, such as the Transmusicales music festival and Rue de la Soif, which roughly translates to ‘drinker’s alley.’
9. Grenoble, Isère region: €12,4/m2
If you’re a fan of the Alps, try renting an apartment in Grenoble, known by many as the “Alps Capital” and the prefecture of the Isère department.
This city is at the base of the Alps, where the Drac river spills over to the Isère. Living in an apartment or a house in this city lets you view the Chartreuse range, the Vercors range, and the Belledonne mountains.
Aside from its scenery, Grenoble also holds historical significance due to its strategic military location. It was home to the Dauphin parliament palace until the Revolution.
But after the Revolution, the Renaissance parliamentary palace now belongs to the Isère department council and is undergoing renovation.
10. Villeurbanne, Rhône region: €12,7/m2
Villeurbanne is (along with Boulogne-Billancourt) the second most populated suburb in France and is in Lyon. Compared to other rural and mountain villages in this list, Villeurbanne is a suburban location in one of the most populated cities in the country.
It houses a university, several colleges, and part of the massive Parc de la Tête d’Or.
Additionally, it’s home to one of France’s most notable Art Deco structures, the twin towers of the Gratte-Ciel housing complex. Despite this, rent in Villeurbanne is cheaper than in other French cities.
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