THE COST of renting a flat in France remained stable in 2009 for the first time in almost 20 years, new research has found.
Professional letting research body Clameur found the nationwide average rent payment did not increase last year - although there were some regional differences.
The biggest increase was in Clermont-Ferrand, up 5.9% in a year to €12 per square metre per month.
Five Paris suburbs - Versailles, Argenteuil, Courbevoie, Asnières-sur-Seine and Issy-les-Moulineaux all saw rents rise about 5% - between €15 and €19 per square metre.
The biggest declines were also in the Paris commuter belt - Saint-Denis down 7.1% and Aubervilliers 6.5%. Well-off suburb Neuilly-sur-Seine recorded a 6.4% rent drop, albeit still very high at €22 per square metre.
The stable rents in the private sector were not matched in social housing, however. A report by the Conféderation Nationale du Logement found rent payments on HLMs (affordable housing for very low-income families) rose 1.9% last year in the middle of the economic crisis.
The CNL is calling for a ministerial decree to be passed freezing HLM rents this year.
N.Parneix - Fotolia.com