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Barbès-Rochechouart: the last neighborhood to gentrify in ?

The neighborhood north of Gare du Nord and a stone’s throw from Montmartre has resisted gentrification for years now, remaining a bit notorious and undesirable to some. But has the time come for Barbès-Rochechouart to clean up its act? 

Many locals rejoiced last summer when it was announced discount store Tati . It’s perhaps the French equivalent of Walmart in the US or Wilko in the UK, and is seen as a symbol of the neighborhood’s resistance to the forces of what detractors called gentrification or boboisation, and what proponents would call urban renewal.

The store survived thanks to a buyout of the financially challenged Tati chain of 140 stores. New owners GPG promised to keep open 109 stores, including the flagship Barbes branch which is being hailed as a victory for the spirit of Barbes. Activists point to the opening of the Brasserie Barbès, a three-story bar, restaurant and nightclub where pints are €8 and a coffee is €2.40, as evidence of encroaching embourgeoisement of a working class district. It replaced another budget superstore, Vano, which closed in 2011.

The fact gentrification has not yet taken off there shows in its asking prices. On the Boulevard Barbes, which stretches from the station to the middle of the surrounding 18th arrondissement, the Haussmannian apartments go for around €7,201 per m2. That is among the lowest in all of , some 25% below the average. Granted, the hectic nature of the street below might turn some buyers off.  But in terms of proximity to ’ most visited quarters the area is tough to beat. You have the artsy bustle of Montmartre a ten-minute walk to the north east, the lively nightlife of Pigalle the same distance along the Boulevard de la Chapelle directly east, and the Gare du Nord just five minutes away.

A pied-a-terre in this part of would therefore not fail to find short-term rental customers to economize on your purchase while you’re not in the city.

And in the wider 18th arrondissement there are some rare hôtels particuliers, large period houses, but these sell quickly and often by word-of-mouth when they come on the market. Prices are also much higher: Meilleursagents says houses go for around €10,500 per m2.

The 18th arrondissement has consistently been touted as a property market with legs for the coming years, with a lot of headroom, meaning price growth potential is higher than other arrondissements. For those looking to buy cheap with a long-term view, consider this one a shrewd investment.

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