Have you ever dreamt about having a little haven of greenery in the heart of Paris? During lockdown, no doubt, practically all Parisians must have done so… as proven by the increasing demand for properties and apartments with gardens. They are scarce, but exist. Here are a few ways to find them. By Éric Jansen
Since lockdown, visits to the Daniel Féau and Belles demeures de France websites have exploded, and often with a new criterion: an extensive terrace or a garden… In the blink of an eye, what was previously a luxury has now become an essential. To come home and walk barefoot on a manicured lawn is no longer a whim, for many it has become a necessity. And although properties with gardens are rare in most of the capital, some districts have more than others. This is the case in the 16th District where there is quite a substantial choice at a wide range of prices from 3 million euro for a property in Villa Montmorency to 30 million for a 1000 sqm private mansion. In this district, verdant gated communities are numerous, among them Villa de la Réunion, Hameau Boileau, Square Foch, Villa Saïd and Villa Dupont where a 500 sqm property with a 300 sqm garden is currently on the market for 15 million euro. There are however some more affordable gardens. It’s not always clear how the value of a garden is assessed, and it’s also difficult to explain precisely because so many factors come into play: size, aspect, maturity, absence or not of facing neighbours and so on.
Un cadre verdoyant et ensoleillé, villa Montmorency dans le XVIe arrondissement
The 7th District is also renowned for its gardens. They are rarer than in the 16th District, but nonetheless offer quite a wide choice. Today Marie-Hélène Lundgreen, director of Belles demeures de France, has on her portfolio an exceptional 650 sqm garden-level apartment with a 400 sqm garden in which François- Xavier Lalanne sheep graze… An unlikely bucolic setting close to the world-renowned Flore and Deux Magots cafés. Bruno Vallery- Radot, director of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés agency, has some somewhat less spectacular but equally charming offers in his portfolio. In rue de Grenelle, for example, at the bottom of a private mansion’s courtyard, he is marketing a 120 sqm apartment with a 100 sqm garden priced 3.4 million, as well as an elegant 300 sqm property with a 200 sqm garden in rue d'Assas. Its price, 8.9 million. “There is even a top-floor terrace” he enthuses “and when you go out you find yourself facing Luxembourg garden’s gates!”
Un cadre bucolique au cœur de Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Other properties with gardens are to be found around Parc Montsouris in the 14th District, behind the Pantheon in the 5th District, or in the 17th district’s sought-after Villa des Ternes. The Marais also has some hidden gems. Heading west, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Boulogne-Billancourt, Saint-Cloud and even Versailles, the range of apartments and houses with terraces and gardens is wider and more affordable. This, however, may not last as demand has never been higher. “With lockdown, it became crystal clear that home should be as pleasant as possible,” said Bruno Vallery-Radot, "and as a result buyers are ready to put more money into their purchase." An unexpected consequence of lockdown was however witnessed by Marie-Hélène Lundgreen. “I had a particularly elegant pied-à-terre for sale in the 8th District. It overlooks the Élysée Palace, and boasts a magnificent French formal garden. But having been confined to the apartment for three months, the owners, a couple from abroad, got to like it so much that they are now reluctant to sell it...”