The boxes clutter the rental apartment they occupy in the 7and district of Marseille for ten months, a sign of an imminent move. A final migration to this new place – 50 square meters, large terrace, no vis-à-vis, sea view – which they have been fantasizing about buying for a few months.
Nadège Serre and Maxime Fernandez are among those active Parisians who have decided, since the first confinement, in March 2020, to leave the capital to settle in Marseille. A movement which mechanically drives up real estate prices in a metropolis which remained, before Covid-19, one of the cheapest in France.
She, 38 years old, sparkling creative director with a fine career path, in the process of retraining. Him, 39 years old, composer, guitar teacher, serious dark-haired man who does not drop his words at random. “It seems that for once, we are part of a trend… We who are more underground culture, it changes us”he wonders, with one of his rare smiles.
Nadège and Maxime know Marseille well. They grew up there, met there before flying off, seventeen years ago, to Paris and its opportunities. “We had left not to return”, they concede in unison. For them, as for many others – in 2021, the Chamber of Notaries of Bouches-du-Rhône estimated the share of Parisian buyers in real estate sales at 7.1% – the pandemic and its health constraints served as a trigger . “The idea of leaving Paris had existed since 2019, remembers Maxime. The Covid has transformed our desire for elsewhere into a necessity. »
A dream life in Paris
In the capital, the couple had their bearings, however, work and a beautiful apartment bought in the 10and district, after nine years of renting in the suburbs, in Epinay-sur-Seine (Seine-Saint-Denis). “I felt like I had achieved everything I wanted: employee, an interesting job and owner in a street I dreamed of, ten minutes walk from my office…”, summarizes Nadège. But, for the artistic director, Paris was also a devouring rhythm. “During the first confinement, I worked ten times more than usual. I came out rinsed. »
Maxime sees his music group project stop in mid-flight, weighed down by health constraints. “Our last concert took place on March 14, 2020, the evening of the start of confinement”, he regrets. From the pandemic, the couple retains a severe bitterness, even if it has not been affected by the virus. “A 12-power hate on the way the government handled this, applying a precautionary principle to the masses, indiscriminately”, scolds Nadège, unvaccinated for medical reasons and deeply opposed to the health pass. “The feeling of incoherent measures, such as banning concerts but allowing political rallies”, Complete Maxim.
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