Famous for its history as a Mediterranean port city, Marseille is France’s second most populous city. It sits on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea with a moderate climate year-round. Images of boats, beaches, and colorful foliage make Marseille a desirable place to live for assignees.
When the COVID-19 pandemic launched the world into lockdowns and curfews, some expatriates in France sought to benefit from new work-from-home policies by renting housing in Marseille. Specifically, expats wanted to rent apartments and villas with balconies and yards to bask in the sun when relaxing. Many nationals from Paris and northern France had the same idea and sought to rent in Marseille for a change of scenery. According to real estate sources, this increase in demand combined with fewer listings has crunched the rental market, especially for larger apartments and villas. Some of the supply shortage abated when AIRBNB vacation rentals were converted back to the long-term rental market, but it is not enough to make a significant difference.
Sources say expats must make quick decisions about renting when a listing is available, since most apartments and villas are rented right after they become available. Some sources suggest that assignees wait to see how many people move in the summer since most families want to ensure their children’s schooling will not be interrupted. The rental market may shift again in the future as some sectors return to in-office work, tourism picks up, and international arrivals start increasing as expats are able to visit and move more easily with less strict borders. This shift may cause housing to become more available but, until then, all we can do is wait.
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