The announcement that the public have voted to leave the EU may have come as somewhat of a shock to many in Europe, and many fear this may lead to a level of uncertainty for the overseas property market.
An estimated 1.3 million Brits currently live in the EU outside of the UK, and the effect of this result will cause immediate concern as people wait to see what changes arise as a result of the vote. The UK will officially inform Brussels they intend to leave the European Union, followed by a two-year period where the terms of our new status will be set out. The status of Brits living within the EU will be high on the agenda, as will the status of EU nationals who currently live in Britain.
According to property experts speaking today, those who are looking to purchase a holiday home overseas, after an initial hiatus, are likely to see that owning a property in the EU will only be marginally more complex than it is currently. Residents of the US, Canada, Russia and many other nationalities own properties throughout Europe, so while it may become slightly more complex for Brits, clearly we are not going to be prevented from owning property in Europe.
Andy Bridge, Managing Director of ‘A Place in the Sun’, commented:
“Today’s result is not good news for anybody who wants to buy an overseas property. The value of sterling is likely to fall, making house prices more expensive – if you have a regular transfer coming from the UK in sterling to Euros, this is going to be worth less than it was before.
“The status of Brits living elsewhere in the European Union will be high on the agenda [in negotiations to leave the EU]. My personal view is that after this hiatus, people will start to realise that while owning an overseas property might be slightly more complex and possibly more expensive, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do you’re likely to just get on with it.
“Non-EU nationals from the USA and Russia have properties in Spain, France, Portugal, and elsewhere. So clearly there will be no restrictions on [purchasing a home abroad].”
Recent research by A Place in the Sun found that only half (48%) of those currently considering a purchase abroad would continue with their search if we were to leave the EU. It is expected that this number will be much higher after the first few months and Brits reignite their desire to own a property overseas.