“Parisiens barrez-vous”: too many buyers from Île-de-France in the Basque Country?

“Parisiens barrez-vous”: too many buyers from Île-de-France in the Basque Country?

While the confinements follow one another, the rejection of the Parisians is rising. More than the fear they convey of the Covid-19, it is the soaring property prices caused by their mass arrival that is causing the problem.

View of Urrugne in the Atlantic Pyrenees.  (DIGOIT, O. / ARCO IMAGES GMBH)

When the third confinement was announced, Hugo, a Parisian for 10 years but a native of Normandy, left the Île-de-France region, heading for the Basque coast. He intends to settle in Biarritz and to work from home. But on arrival, he surprised her to discover some inscriptions on the walls: “We saw ‘Parisiens barrez-vous!’ marked on a house ”.

Similar messages have also been found in recent days in the village of Urrugne.

If Hugo does not describe a bad reception, he nevertheless reports the warning issued by the owner of the house he rented in Biarritz: “She told us to pay close attention to the neighbors and it is true that, from the first evening, with a small cabinet that was not wearing at all, we were playing a card game and the neighbors came, yelled at us, told us that they were going to call the cops and that we were going to take a lot of money since we were confined. ”

Anti-Parisianism linked to the real estate boom

It is not necessarily the fear of Covid-19 that is the problem but the tensions in the real estate market. For several years now, prices have only increased, especially on the coast, and the phenomenon has been accentuated since the start of the pandemic. So much so that Paul, from the village of Arcangues, cannot buy his first house.

“We leave room for people from elsewhere who have purchasing powers that are much higher, older people, protests Paul. So in fact all the local youth are obliged to leave or buy in the social but these are procedures which are very long. It’s not alive like it used to be! It becomes tourist towns. This is no longer possible, he gets angry. We are destroying the wealth of the Basque Country, its human wealth. ”

Basque weekly Enbata recently published an op-ed calling for “Carry out acts of resistance or civil disobedience”.

Three out of ten houses are second homes in Bidart

The price of real estate is out of control, confirms the mayor of Bidart, Emmanuel Alzuri, But he calls not to blow on the embers: “Today there is a lot of tension, a lot of tension. The only thing I ask is that everyone keep their calm and think with us about the best solutions to this housing problem in our municipality. ”

The municipality already applies a surcharge of 60% on the housing tax for second homes and, according to the mayor, housing must be built. But here too, a financial wall is erected in front of the municipality. “It is also very expensive because the municipality has no land reserves. She therefore has to buy the land she needs. And unfortunately the land prices today are crazy! ”. In this municipality, three out of ten dwellings are second homes.

The Basques consider themselves “dislodged” by the Parisians – A report by Maureen Suignard.