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Buying a property in Marseille: a complete guide

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property investment Marseille

Yes, the analysis of Marseille's property market is included in our pack

Considering buying a nice property in Marseille? You're not alone!

Many people are charmed by Marseille's Mediterranean charm and dream of owning a stylish apartment or a cozy villa there.

Still, would it be a smart investment? Are property prices increasing in Marseille? What is the current trend? Should you consider buying in the Vieux Port or Cours Julien? Are there any secret taxes? What yields can I expect?

We've solved it for you.

The Investropa team has really dug into this market. Actually, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.

In this article, we're happy to share useful information with you.

How is the property market in Marseille?

Confused about the property market's status? Everyone has their views. We prefer data and statistics over opinions for accurate assessments.

Property types

In Marseille, there are various types of properties available for sale to suit different needs and preferences.

These properties include apartments, ideal for individuals or small families looking for a convenient living space in the city center or residential areas. For those seeking more space and privacy, there are houses and villas available, offering a range of sizes and amenities.

Additionally, Marseille offers charming townhouses that blend historical charm with modern living.

For investors, there are commercial properties like shops, offices, and warehouses.

Whether you're a first-time buyer, a family, or an investor, Marseille's real estate market offers a diverse selection of properties to meet your requirements.

Buying vs Renting

(If you want to live there yourself and not rent it to others)

Whether you're already living in Marseille or planning to move to this French city, you might be weighing the options of buying a home or opting for a rental property.

Obviously, it's better to buy if you are looking for a long-term investment that will appreciate in value over time.

One data can help you make a decision - the property price-to-rent ratio. It's like a measure of how much rental income you'll need to afford the property at its current value.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Marseille is around 26.42, which is above the world average.

This value means that, on average, it would take you 26 years of paying rents to afford buying a property in Marseille. However, you don't want to rent for such a long time (you're not building equity). Better to buy then.

Property prices in Marseille

On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), purchasing a property in Marseille would cost you around $7,700 per square meter.

Naturally, prices are quite spread out. The value of a square meter for an apartment in le Vieux Port might differ from a suburban house. We actually offer a more in-depth analysis in our pack for buying property in Marseille and in France.

To give you some context, it is 2.5 times less than the prices in the center of New York.

Also, housing prices in Marseille are 9% cheaper than in Lombardy.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Marseille are probably the 7th and 8th arrondissements, while the cheapest neighbourhoods are likely to be the 13th and 14th arrondissements.

Marseille Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that France currently stands out for its remarkable stability. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 30.9.

Remember this important aspect when thinking about whether it's a good idea to buy a property in Marseille.

Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, France's economy is expected to soar by 6.7% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.3%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Marseille it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people often experience an increase in wealth, it typically translates to a surge in housing costs.

Also, in France, the average GDP per capita has changed by 1.7% over the last 5 years. Though not substantial, there is still a positive trend of growth.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in France right now.

Buying property in Marseille

It is difficult to buy property in Marseille due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Marseille and in France.

Buying process

Within our pack, we've covered the entire buying process extensively. This includes a detailed breakdown of prices and yields based on the area, advice on negotiating prices, and information about obtaining a mortgage.

Now, we're providing you with a simplified version.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Marseille, France:

  1. Research the property market in Marseille and get familiar with local regulations.
  2. Obtain a French bank account for financial transactions.
  3. Sign a preliminary sales agreement (compromis de vente) prepared by a notary.
  4. Provide necessary documents, including proof of identity, financial status, and residence history.
  5. Pay a deposit (usually 5-10%) into the notary's escrow account.
  6. Conduct property inspections and surveys, including mandatory lead and asbestos reports.
  7. Secure a mortgage (if required) from a French lender or your home country's bank with a branch in France.
  8. Finalize the financing and obtain the loan offer.
  9. Sign the final deed (acte de vente) before the notary, transferring property ownership.
  10. Pay the remaining balance and associated fees, including the notary's fees and property transfer taxes.
  11. Register the property at the French land registry (cadastre) to complete the legal process.
  12. After the transaction, update utility contracts and handle other post-purchase tasks, guided by the notary.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in France.

Make a profitable investment in Marseille

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buying property in Marseille

Where to find a property

For those seeking properties in Marseille, these websites can be invaluable:

  • French Entrée - A comprehensive guide for property purchase and life in France, including property listings, guides, and lifestyle articles.
  • My French House - An acclaimed property portal specializing in houses, villas, and properties for sale in France. Offering expert advice and tailored home hunting services.
  • French Property - A leading online portal for French property, showcasing an extensive range of properties for sale and rent.
  • Houses & Appartments - A prominent real estate website presenting a wide array of apartments and houses for sale in diverse French locations.
  • - Offering an extensive range of properties for sale and rent, along with information on new homes, agents, lifestyle, news, and commercial properties.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in France.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Marseille is $7,700. A 1-bedroom property of 60 square meters would cost approximately $462,000, and a 2-bedroom property of 85 square meters would cost approximately $655,000.

However, the amount you pay for a property can be different based on its characteristics and where it's found.

Housing prices in the top areas of Marseille are usually at a premium. A residence in Vieux Port could be around $1,870,000, whereas an apartment in Corniche might be priced at $820,000.

Some spots will be friendlier to your wallet. You may discover a residence in La Calade for $760,000, or you could find a residence in La Savine priced at $490,000.

We give a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in France.

Risks and pitfalls

Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in Marseille, France:

  • Overlooking strict heritage preservation laws affecting renovation and remodeling.
  • Underestimating property taxes, including the French wealth tax (ISF) for high-value estates.
  • Failing to account for mandatory earthquake insurance for properties in seismically active zones.
  • Disregarding coastal property regulations, which may limit construction and impact property value.
  • Not considering local holiday rental restrictions and requirements for short-term renting.
  • Neglecting to check for potential lead paint hazards in older properties.
  • Overlooking the "right of preemption," where the government has priority to buy certain properties.
  • Ignoring potential issues with ancient underground structures affecting property stability and development.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate France

Everything you need to know is included in our France Property Pack

Living in Marseille

Marseille is a vibrant coastal city with plenty of cultural attractions, beautiful scenery, and a relaxed atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those looking to purchase property.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Marseille is generally lower than in other major French cities. Prices for groceries, rent, and utilities are generally lower than the national average.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Marseille:

  • Monthly rent for a charming apartment in the historic Le Panier neighborhood: €800-€1,500.
  • A glass of local Marseille pastis (e.g., Ricard or Pernod) at a traditional café: €3-€5.
  • Monthly transportation pass for buses and metro within Marseille: €60-€80.
  • A cup of traditional Marseille-style coffee with a Navette cookie: €2-€4.
  • Admission to the MuCEM: €8-€12.
  • Monthly membership at a Marseille-based fitness studio or yoga studio: €40-€80.
  • Fresh produce from the Vieux-Port Market for a week: €20-€40.
  • A bottle of local Marseille rosé wine (e.g., Bandol or Cassis) from a wine shop: €8-€15.

Neighbourhoods and spots

Since we want to show information clearly, we made a table that explains the different neighborhoods in Marseille. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Vieux-Port is the historic heart of Marseille, known for its picturesque harbor, lively atmosphere, and numerous seafood restaurants.

Rich cultural heritage, beautiful waterfront, and vibrant nightlife.

Parking can be challenging, crowded during peak tourist seasons.

Le Panier

Le Panier is the oldest district in Marseille, featuring narrow streets, charming squares, and artsy vibes.

Quaint ambiance, artistic community, and unique boutiques.

Some areas can be run-down, limited public transportation options.

La Plaine

La Plaine is a bohemian neighborhood popular among students and artists, offering a diverse range of cafes, bars, and street markets.

Dynamic cultural scene, lively street life, and affordable housing options.

Noisy at night, occasional safety concerns.

Le Cours Julien

Le Cours Julien is a trendy neighborhood with a hipster vibe, known for its street art, independent shops, and vibrant nightlife.

Youthful atmosphere, artistic community, and plenty of entertainment options.

Parking can be difficult, crowded on weekends.

Les Goudes

Les Goudes is a picturesque fishing village located on the outskirts of Marseille, offering stunning coastal views and a peaceful escape from the city.

Scenic beauty, tranquil environment, and fresh seafood.

Limited public transportation, limited amenities.

Les Catalans

Les Catalans is a lively neighborhood known for its sandy beach, popular among locals and tourists alike.

Beautiful beach, waterfront dining, and recreational activities.

Can be crowded during peak seasons, parking challenges.


Endoume is a charming residential area with a village-like feel, offering lovely parks, historic sites, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Quiet and peaceful, close to the coast and city center.

Limited nightlife, fewer commercial establishments.


Prado is a modern neighborhood with wide avenues, high-end shopping, and a mix of residential and commercial spaces.

Great shopping options, convenient public transportation.

Lacks historic charm, can be busy and noisy.


Saint-Victor is an old neighborhood with a rich history, home to landmarks like the Abbey of Saint Victor and Fort Saint Nicolas.

Historic significance, architectural gems, and proximity to the Old Port.

Limited parking, some areas can be crowded.


Euroméditerranée is a modern business district and urban renewal project, featuring contemporary architecture, office spaces, and cultural venues.

Economic hub, modern infrastructure, and cultural attractions.

Less character compared to older neighborhoods, limited residential options.

Life in Marseille

Marseille is a major port city and the second largest city in France. It is a major economic hub for the south of France, with a strong focus on finance, technology, and tourism.

What expats usually like the most about Marseille is its Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and sunny summers, and its vibrant culture, with a lively nightlife and an abundance of art galleries, theatres, and museums.

We'd love to tell you that Marseille if a safe city but it's simply not the case. The crime rate index is currently at 64, one of the worst scores in the world). The most common crimes in Marseille are pickpocketing, drug trafficking, and other property-related offenses.

A good point for a property investor - Marseille has a network of trams, buses, and regional trains that make up its mass rapid transit system.

Marseille has good access to healthcare, with many public and private hospitals and clinics available.

Finally, it is worth noting that Aix-Marseille University ranks among the top 350 universities in the world.

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Renting out in Marseille

If you're interested in buying property not to live in, but to rent out and generate income, this section is for you.


Tenant Profiles in Marseille

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in France is 65%, which is average.

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Marseille, there will be a good number of people who can become your potential tenants.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, students, and families looking for an affordable place to live in Marseille. The city also attracts many tourists due to its beaches and cultural attractions, so short-term rentals can be an attractive option as well.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Studio in Vieux Port

Tourists, young professionals

Waterfront, nightlife

$600 - $1,200

1-Bedroom Apartment in Le Panier

Couples, artists

Artistic atmosphere, cafes

$800 - $1,500

2-Bedroom Flat in La Joliette

Professionals, families

Business district, harbor views

$1,000 - $2,000

Apartment in Cours Julien

Students, young professionals

Artistic community, cafes

$600 - $1,200

3-Bedroom House in Les Calanques

Families, nature lovers

Near nature reserves, quiet

$1,500 - $3,000

Apartment in Castellane

Students, young professionals

Central location, affordable

$600 - $1,200

1-Bedroom Flat in La Plaine

Professionals, students

University proximity, nightlife

$700 - $1,400

Rental yields

As of today, rental yields in Marseille are within the 3-4% range. It's low. A good rental yield generally falls within the range of 7% or more.

The best rental yields in Marseille are typically found in the older, more established areas of the city, such as the 8th and 9th arrondissements. These areas tend to offer more affordable rental prices compared to the newer, more modern parts of the city, resulting in higher rental yields.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Marseille are taxed at 48%, which is very high.


You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists visiting Marseille for its Mediterranean beaches, vibrant culture, and historical sites. Additionally, business travelers coming for the city's many conferences and events could be potential tenants.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Old Port area and the surrounding neighborhoods of La Plaine and La Joliette. These areas have a high concentration of short-term renters and tourists.

Currently, there are approximately 10,000 active Airbnb listings in Marseille, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $93.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Marseille can make around $1400 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 68%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Marseille then?

Buying property in Marseille can be a fantastic decision if you're in it for the long haul. Marseille's property market, part of the stable French real estate landscape, offers a promising investment opportunity.

France's robust economic growth forecasts, averaging 1.3%, and an increase in GDP per capita by 1.7% over the last 5 years create a favorable environment for property appreciation. Moreover, the property price-to-rent ratio in Marseille, standing above the world average, indicates that buying is often more financially sound than renting for the long term. You don't want to spend 26 years renting when you could be building equity.

Marseille's relatively affordable property prices, with an average cost of $7,700 per square meter, make it an attractive destination for investors and individuals seeking value in the real estate market. Plus, with diverse property options, from apartments to houses, you can find a property that suits your specific needs, whether you're a first-time buyer, a family, or an investor.

However, if you're planning a short stay or seeking high rental yields, Marseille may not be the ideal choice. The city's low rental yields, typically within the 3-4% range, fall below the 7% or more that investors often look for. Additionally, the high taxation rate of 48% on rental incomes can significantly impact your potential returns. Marseille's relatively high crime rate is another factor to consider, particularly for individuals or families concerned about safety and security. Market research and due diligence are critical, as the lack of reliable and up-to-date information about the property market can pose challenges.

Ultimately, buying property in Marseille should align with your long-term financial goals and lifestyle, as it offers a stable and potentially rewarding investment opportunity in a city with Mediterranean charm and diverse property options.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Marseille

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in France. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Marseille

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.