As you would expect from a city on lockdown, there are direct consequences between coronavirus and Paris real estate closings.

A recent ordinance of the French government pointed to the postponement of all legal deadlines by a month beyond the declared state of health emergency. While this may sound reasonable, it put excessive delays on real estate closings.

However, we now have clarification, and it’s good news.

So let’s take a look at the latest update, and what this means for buyers and sellers with ongoing transactions.

New ordinances created in March

In France, an ‘ordinance’ refers to certain rules or laws enacted by the government.

To address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the government introduced 25 new ordinances under the Emergency Act.

Many showed concern over one such ordinance and its possible effects on the real estate market.

Published on March 25, 2020, ordinance number 2020-306 relates to the extension of deadlines during the health emergency period.

In effect, the ordinance would affect a buyer’s 10-day reflection period. For example, after signing a reservation contract, or following the issuing of a mortgage offer through their bank. It would cause extreme delays, with retraction periods starting March 12 pushed back to end as far as July.

This caused concern in the notarial profession about the setbacks this would bring to real estate closings. Moreover, some suggested the ordinance was perhaps not worded optimally.

After all, the real estate industry is already working hard to adapt their methods during these unprecedented times.

However, the government issued a new ordinance, bringing clarity.

Clarity on the retraction period provided

In response to the detrimental effect of the original ordinance, on April 15th the French government published corrective ordinance 2020-427.

This ordinance specifies quite clearly that the new extensions to legal deadlines “are not applicable to the periods of reflection, withdrawal or waiver provided for by French law.

This puts a definite end to the question.

We are now assured that Paris real estate closings are not affected, nor will those taking out a new mortgage be. This comes as a relief to those buying or selling property in Paris.

Modernizing the Paris notaries’ systems

If there are any positives from the coronavirus pandemic, it may be the modernization of the notaries’ methods.

With Paris in lockdown, the notaries are now using modern technologies to find new ways of working. This includes videoconferencing and even using electronic signatures for powers of attorney.

These are the greatest advances in a long time. In many ways, the notaries have continued using handwritten traditions and methods unchanged since their introduction some 500 years ago!

In addition, when we are through this crisis, we will likely return to changed, updated, and modernized real estate transactions.

The 56Paris team is here to help

With the good news that the link between coronavirus and Paris real estate closings has been sorted, our clients can continue with their real estate transactions.

Our 56Paris team is working remotely and safely, and is here to assist you. Please free to contact us if you have any questions about buying, selling, or renting in Paris.