I’m reading a lot about the escalating prices of homes in London and how we common folk can’t afford to live in the city any longer. So a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) caught my eye. It is entitled, Paris’s Haut Marais: From Shabby to Chic. It’s all about that too familiar story of a neighborhood that is run down, experiences high crime, and everyone stays away. But one day, several brave souls venture in, buy up some property, and begin to rejuvenate the neighborhood.
The Haut Marais (or Upper Marais) is essentially the part of the Marais District located in the 3e (third arrondissement or district). The southern portion of the Marais District is in the 4e and a common destination point for tourists. The article talks about apartment prices, the gentrification of the area, and some of dramatic improvements including several open air markets.
I decided to take a look at comparing some fundamental prices between New York City, London, and Paris. Here is data from April 2014 gathered by an online service known as Numbeo (all figures are in US$):
Paris London NYC
Meal for 2; mid-range restaurant: 69.10 83.99 75.00
Domestic Beer: 8.29 6.05 6.00
Foreign Beer: 6.91 5.88 7.00
Milk (1 liter): 1.51 1.58 1.35
Eggs (dozen): 4.33 3.82 3.00
Bottle of Wine (mid-range): 8.29 11.76 15.00
Local Cheese (1kg): 21.01 11.44 10.73
Gasoline (1 liter): 2.26 2.34 1.06
Basic Utilities: 235.47 249.54 152.96
Cinema (one seat): 13.82 20.16 13.62
One pair of Nike shoes: 120 109 89
Rent per Month (1 bedroom in the City): 1,578 2,470 2,857
Rent per Month (1 br. Out of the City): 1,141 1,540 1,692
Price to Buy/Sq. Meter (in City): 13,754 13,775 9,688
Now, its been a while since I’ve been in London or NYC but I can tell you (from first hand experience) that a beer in Paris is much more expensive than what Numbeo reports above. Another glaring exception is the local cheese. Sandy and I found that the least expensive food item when comparing to the US equivalents was cheese. We did notice on many occasions (regardless of where we went), shoe prices and specifically tennis shoes, were very expensive.
So what’s the lesson here?
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.
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Copyright © 2014 Stew Ross