In Spain Expat Property Owners Consider Brexit Factors



In Spain expat numbers from the UK are around half a million.  That is the figure for permanent expats, there are thousands of others that own holiday homes of course but who remain UK residents.  Two months after the Brexit referendum vote, these people will be considering the effects on their status.

As it is expected that the break up will take at least two years for the UK to officially leave the European Union and therefore even longer to implement any changes to the current agreements already in place. UK Citizens are not going to see any immediate impact for at least the next few years.

For the moment, the UK is still a member of the European Union and British Citizens have the same rights to buy and own property as they did before the referendum.  Once the actual break-up commences when we will see changes to rights.  Most analysts are predicting that there will be very little change in the way of UK Citizens being able to buy and sell property.

The biggest immediate impact following the vote was the value of the pound to the euro.  Within a week of the referendum result we had seen the value of GBP drop. meaning 100,000 GBP before the referendum would have got you 130,000 EUR as opposed to around 115,000 two months later.  With a weaker currency it should have an effect on affordability when it comes to calculating mortgage costs.  At this moment in time the UK makes up a substantial number of buyers in Spain and banks are likely to not want to affect demand too much by increasing costs.

Even though Brexit has taken place, citizens of the United Kingdom continue to have a good buyers profile.  For example, those citizens of the UK will still find it easier to get a mortgage as opposed to someone from Poland or Croatia.

But Spain does (and always will) welcome Non-EU buyers and we have seen a surge of Russian, Arabian and Chinese buyers enter the market over the last five years.  Simply put, being a Non-EU buyer does not mean you are unable to buy and sell property in Spain.  Overseas investment is absolutely vital to the Spanish economy and this is not going to change.

When it comes to local taxes, the calculations are done based on residence rather than citizenship. How long is the person at the property is far more relevant than which nationality the person has.

With bilateral tax agreements in place completely separate from European Union rules, no changes are expected to be made.

The Spanish government absolutely wants the continuation of millions of British Citizens visiting Spain each and every year.  At the same time, we too need Spanish citizens to visit our shores.

In all likelihood very little will change, at least not for the next few years.

Trudi Hayes

The Author

Trudi Hayes

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