Confinement has given many French and city dwellers around the world ideas for moving away from the big cities. Illustration photo
Confinement has given ideas of distance from large cities to many French and city dwellers around the world. Illustrative photo (GETTY IMAGES)

The summer issue of Particular, the Figaro group’s wealth monthly, has just been published. Marie Pellefigue signs a file there whose title perfectly summarizes the content: “How about we leave the big cities?”

franceinfo: leaving the city, a hot topic of course, after the confinement and development of telework, it is spinning in the minds of some city dwellers …


Marie Pellefigue : the confinement that forced some to stay in a small apartment with no exterior in the city center caused envy of green! Leaving the center of a large metropolis to move to another city improves your quality of life. Firstly, because space is saved, prices are much lower in medium-sized cities than in large cities. But you can also buy a house with a garden, a type of property that is hard to find in big cities. Then because we avoid a lot of trips by public transport, which is the daily life of the inhabitants of big cities.

Beyond the quality of life, the huge advantage of leaving a big city and especially Paris, is the price of real estate … You compare what you can buy with a budget of 300,000 euros for example

At 300,000 euros, you can buy a 26m2 studio in Paris, a 42m2 in Saint-Ouen, an 80m2 in Rennes, an entire building in Clermont-Ferrand or a 122m2 house in Beaune on 1000m2 of land. Even better: at 600,000 euros, you can buy a 63m2 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in the inner suburbs of Paris, a 97m2 in Cannes or a city of 162m2 on a plot of 2100m2 in Guérande.


What elements should not be overlooked in your thinking and in the choice of your new living environment?

Above all, you have to mature your project, and never leave on a whim – You have to think about your work: see if it is possible to telecommute and only go to your old office for a few days a month, or find a new position in your new city, or simply change your job! The work of the spouse must also be taken into account, because if it is possible to find a job in an average city, finding two at the same time is more complicated.

You have to stay in a city / region well served by trains and highways so that your family / friends come to see you and you do the same. You must choose a location wired with fiber or at least perfectly covered by Internet and telephone operators to obtain the best fast connections. It is especially necessary to mature the family project: if you have teenagers, it will be more complicated to “uproot” them from their friends than children in kindergartens.


We have a lot to gain by leaving a big city but we can lose others, it generates reluctance. You have collected the testimony of families who have passed the course and no one seems to regret it …

None regret it, but all those who have successfully matured their projects and took between 1 and 2 years to take the plunge. The vast majority of those who returned from a large city returned to their region / city of youth, because they found family and friends there. Otherwise the installation is done in a city / region that families have known very well and for a long time for having spent holidays in summer for example.



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