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Jul 3, 2014

Mapping Paris Property Prices as They Reach Record High

7,000 -- that's the big number everyone was talking about last week in Paris. 7,000 what?

7,000 Euro/m², that’s the average price prospective buyers now have to pay for properties in Paris. If you are not used to m², 1 m² is roughly equal to 10.8 ft², and whichever way you look at it, that’s expensive.

However, this number is an average. As Kaiser Fung, a speaker at the Discovery Summit earlier this year, wrote in his book Numbers Rule Your World: "Averaging stamps out diversity, reducing anything to its simplest terms. In doing so, we run the risk of oversimplifying, of forgetting the variations around the average.”

Paris is divided in 20 districts, known as “arrondissements.” These are laid out in a spiral or snail shape from the 1st in the center to the 20th, a bit further out, reflecting how the city developed over the centuries. Using the new mapping capabilities of JMP 9, I could very quickly create a map of Paris and use it to go beyond the newspaper headline.

In a recent post, Justin Mosiman explained how to use the Custom Map Creator, a JMP add-in, to build your own map. Just a few minutes after downloading Justin's add-in, I was able to turn data into information and could see beyond the average.

What is quickly apparent is that property prices vary from arrondissement to arrondissement. Not only can we see that the center is more expensive than the edge (not that surprising), but we also see that the east tends to be more affordable than the west. In addition, the 6th district (near Notre Dame Cathedral) is the most expensive district.

So are property prices going through the roof (literally) everywhere? Well, actually, in most neighborhoods the answer is yes since prices went up about 4 percent in only three months. Looking at both maps, you see that the most expensive district (the 6th) is also where prices are rising the fastest. On the other hand, Paris’ most central area (the 1st), has seen a 1.8 percent quarterly drop.

Anyway, let’s just hope that the big number -- 7,000 -- does not get any bigger!