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Luxury French property sells digitally during coronavirus outbreak

A luxury property developer has revealed how it has adapted to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by using technology to complete deals, converting sales digitally during Covid-19.

Caudwell Collection recently announced that it had completed on two of its Parc du Cap apartments, despite restrictions and the closure of all notaries’ offices in France. It said there are a further three completions in the pipeline this month.

The firm said it had successfully adapted its sales process during the Covid-19 pandemic, using a power of attorney to complete deals digitally.

The luxury British property developer enjoyed a strong beginning to 2020, completing on five of its Cap d’Antibes residences in the two months before the pandemic.

As a consequence of Covid-19, the whole property industry has had to adapt due to restrictions on travel and business – with remote working, virtual tours and webinars becoming the new norm. In France, this digital transformation has extended to the digital signing of notarial deeds.

The French government has authorised this new process during the Covid-19 containment phase, and for the foreseeable future. Signatures on final deeds can be obtained by a virtual signature or regularised by the power of attorney, superseding the usual process of obtaining a signature on-site at the notary’s office.

The notary, whether by proxy or directly by video signature of the deed, verifies the identity of the client, reads and explains the contract by video conference and, lastly, makes sure there is client consent to complete the purchase.

Reynald Lapitz, chief executive of Provençal Investments (the French subsidiary of Caudwell), commented:We are fortunate to have offices in two countries: France and the UK. This means we are already well-used to remote working. All areas of the business have quickly adapted to the pandemic, from the sales team to the concierge offering, so we have been able to install effective solutions for future buyers and current owners. We anticipate we will continue to use technology and digital solutions as a business, even beyond the transition out of Covid-19.”

The new owner of the two Caudwell apartments is a Kuwaiti surgeon named Mousa Khoursheed, who used a power of attorney to complete the deal digitally at the end of April.

This is set to be followed by further signings on three Parc du Cap apartments this month, by Russian purchasers unable to currently travel to Juan-les-Pins.

Mousa Khoursheed said: “As we couldn’t travel to France due to the pandemic, I’m delighted we could do the signing of the notarial deed remotely. Caudwell’s teams went out of their way to make this possible, and the signing was an easy and simple process.”

He added: “If we’d had to travel to France to sign in person, the process could have been delayed indefinitely and we would have missed out on precious time together in our new holiday residence. We are now looking forward to being able to return to France and spending time in our apartments as a family. We have already ordered the furniture, so we’re hoping to visit Parc du Cap as soon as possible!”

Parc du Cap is a luxury property development situated in the exclusive yachting community of Cap d’Antibes. Set within ‘beautiful landscaped gardens’ surrounding an outdoor swimming pool, the development is made up of eight one-bed apartments, 66 two-bed apartments, four three-bed apartments (already sold out) and 10 four-bedroom penthouses with private rooftop pools and ‘spectacular terraces with panoramic views’.

The development is privately gated and comes with 24-hour security, secure underground car parking and a 24/7 concierge service.

With nearly half (45%) of the apartments already in ownership or under offer, the development is seen as a rare opportunity to invest in exclusive real estate in the French Riviera.

The homes start from €590,000 for a one-bed apartment, €850,000 for a two-bed and €4,500,000 for a four-bed penthouse.

Poll: Would you be happy to buy an overseas home digitally during the current crisis?

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