Well we went along to the office of the property developer that is building the new flats. Two charming women wrestled powerfully with technology before giving up on large-screen projection and augmented reality headsets and showing us the models of the flats on a laptop. It all sounded quite promising. They explained the eligibility criteria for the prix maitrisé - to have not been property owners within two years of the purchase, and to have an income below a certain threshold - we met the criteria. They explained the timetable for payment for the flats. (In France you pay in stages as the place is built. This can be crippling if you are repaying a growing loan as well as your rent, especially when construction is delayed.)
Then we came away and discussed it all in the tram, over lunch and while walking round the building site where the flats will be in a few short years' time. We came to the conclusion that this isn't the moment for us.
1) Our savings are in schemes that mature in 2026, just a little late for this project.
2) We would be committing ourselves once again to living in an apartment in the middle of a building site as the gardens are laid below and the adjoining roads and buildings are put in place.
3) We discussed, too, whether sinking everything into a flat is the right approach, or whether it is better to rent and to keep our flexibility. The big consideration is the prospect of passing on money to our kids, rather than blowing it all on our characteristic playboy lifestyle.