A report recently published by the UNPI, the French National Real Estate Union, has revealed that since the beginning of 2005 private rental rates have increased by 4.7 per cent for existing tenants and by 6.3 per cent when there is a change of tenant. This follows a period of relative calm on the rental market that has lasted nearly two years.

This rise has taken home-owners and real-estate agents by surprise, many of whom were expecting a decrease in rents, but it appears that demand, especially in the last couple of months, has seen an extraordinary surge.

The increase has meant that rental by the square metre in the Paris area now runs at 19.2. However, the Paris rates are often more than double the figure for other areas in France. In Franche-Comt, for example, the square metre rate is a mere 6.9 whereas Provence-Alpes-Cte d'Azur is at 11.2.