“We already knew we wanted to leave Paris, and when the pandemic hit, we thought, a lot of things have been called into question. Our daily life has been turned upside-down. But it made us more determined not to put off this plan.”
In this video from France24, soon-to-be ex-Parisians explain why they, and many others, have decided to abandon the French capital for other cities in France, and more rural areas. Housing prices outside of the city have shot up, in a trend seen in many of the world’s large cities, from New York to London, as lockdowns deplete much of the value of city life–i.e., nightlife, entertainment, and restaurants.
One of the people interviewed is Kelly Simon, the co-founder of Paris Je Te Quitte, an organization that encourages Parisians to leave the city for other places in France. The name means, “Paris, I’m Leaving You,” and their website is chock-full of resources for finding jobs and lodging in Strasbourg, Nîmes, Laval, and more. Simon attributes the mass exodus to many peoples’ desire for a better quality of life, things like more space, a shorter commute, and the ability to be close to nature. The main group jumping ship consists of 30-40 year olds with children, or plans to have children.
Property prices in Paris have fallen 3% over the last year, while prices in the suburbs have risen almost as much. Surging prices in other parts of France have caused some trouble with local communities, but it may take up to two years for statisticians to determine whether this is a temporary fluctuation, or part of a longterm economic shift.