Brexit's EU Property Boom

Whilst the housing market continues to struggle in the UK, it looks as though the number of buyers of property abroad is still in good shape.

We reported in a recent blog how Brexit has considerably impacted the housing market in the UK as uncertainty towards purchasing continues to take hold. According to research by RICS, Brexit was “the biggest challenge facing the housing market at present” and was considered to be the key contributing factor to the stagnant, flat housing market overall.

However, according to a story in this weekend’s Daily Telegraph the number of British people are still continuing to look for properties abroad – and there are no signs of slowing down.

UK buyers still make up the largest percentage of house purchasers in Spain at around 17% of the market. In France during recent weeks, budgets of property hunters have soared from around 100,000 Euros to 400,000 Euros – mainly due to the demand for more permanent homes set in the EU.

Why is this? Well, it could be for a couple of reasons. It might be a lifelong dream, that retirees have worked and saved hard for more than 30 years to achieve the aspiration of living in sunny Spain and that they are loathe to give up on that.

It could also be those savvy business owners or private investors hedging their bets to ensure they are keeping “one foot in each camp” post Brexit, particularly in the event of a no-deal outcome where things could remain uncertain for quite some time.

It seems even things like access to medical care and other rights we enjoy in the UK remain on the periphery for those considering a move. According to the Telegraph, expats to Portugal will maintain all of their existing right, including travel conditions and use of the Portuguese National Health Service.

It is the exchange rate that is proving the biggest worry, but even then, many have already transferred sterling into Euros during March when there was a slight rise – and the outcome of planning and improved long term happiness has given way.

It will be interesting to see if, post-Brexit, the EU property bubble bursts – which may make way for a few bargains if investors are prepared to wait.

In the meantime, if you would like any information relating to your own house purchase, or you would like some advice relating to how Brexit may affect you back home, contact the conveyancing team at Downs Solicitors for more information.