French estate agents and notaires in legal dispute over logo

A dispute has broken out between estate agents and notaires in France over a new logo.

2 July 2020
Legal logo row as Covid slows mortgages and buyers change their plansLegal logo row as Covid slows mortgages and buyers change their plans
By Connexion Journalist

Conseil supérieur du notariat (CSN) filed a legal complaint against the Fédération nationale de l’immobilier (Fnaim) over its new logo. More than half (52%) of people questioned associate the sign with the symbol of the notaires, according to a CSN study, proving that “the confusion is real”.

Effects of the pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the processing of bank mortgage applications, leaving estate agents concerned about buyers’ ability to purchase property. In April, banks accepted 33% of mortgage applications received, compared to 41% in March. While outright refusals were down – 13% compared to 17% in March – the number of applications still waiting on a decision stood at 45%, up from 27% the month before. “This proportion will start to fall with deconfinement,” said Philippe Taboret, deputy managing director of Cafpi, one of France’s biggest real estate credit brokers.

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Interest picks up

The French property market picked up in the days immediately following lockdown – but a third of house hunters in France have modified their requirements for a new home. Interest in houses – especially those with a garden – has soared, as buyers take their confinement experience into account in property searches. The limited time since deconfinement has not been sufficient for changing priorities to affect prices, according to Christine Fumagalli, president of the Orpi network. “There is little impact on price levels ... with such a gap between supply and demand,” she said.

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Is affordable possible?

If you want an outside space to call your own in Paris, you had better be willing to pay top euro. A property data start-up in the city examined 32,000 online adverts over a year to work out the price of having your own terrace. It discovered that a 5m² terrace in the three most expensive arrondissements will add, on average, €42,000 to an apartment’s asking price, with the price rising to €107,000 for a 20m² outdoor space.

For more affordable rates, look for the 20th, 13th and 19th arrondissements, where a 20m² terrace will cost “only” €55,000. A ten-year guarantee for work on a property remains valid even after a change of owner, top appeal court Cour de cassation has ruled. The deed of sale of a building does not deprive the purchaser of legal guarantees that are “in progress” following work carried out. Contrary to what a contractor argued following such a claim, an individual clause in a notarial deed cannot reduce this 10-year period to the detriment of the purchaser, even though they had apparently waived their rights. France’s Civil Code deems such clauses “unwritten”, the court said.

Read more: your legal questions answered: French property and tax 

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