Spain concentrating on wealthy investors to replace UK expats

Published:  14 Feb at 6 PM
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Serious concerns about their post-Brexit positions in Spain are forcing an increasing number of UK expats to sell their homes and relocate.

The double whammy of Brexit and the falling sterling exchange rate is resulting in many UK expats being forced to give up their chosen lifestyles and sell their Spanish homes. Since the referendum result was announced, rreal estate agents have enjoyed a bonanza, with sales in Malaga up by 16.5 per cent and record numbers of completed transactions on the Costa del Sol.

Driving the rush to relocate is the continuing uncertainty of the UK’s economic standing after Brexit and the lack of any government reassurance as regards their rights in their chosen country. UK citizens with second homes in Spain are also choosing to sell now, rather than waiting on the chance that wintering in Spain won’t necessitate complicated and expensive visa requirements.

There’s no good news for British expats in this worrying time, but real estate agents taking full financial advantage of the situation are reporting that non-EU expats are rushing to buy resale properties listed by UK residents. Every single Spanish province has seen an upswing in sales, especially since the sterling exchange rate tanked.

As with other Mediterranean EU member states including Portugal and Italy, Spain is fighting to attract wealthy investors and expatriates and is offering a ‘Golden Visa’ to those with over 500,000 euros to invest in property in the country. Included is visa-free travel within the European Union, an attractive option for cash-heavy foreign buyers.

Interest from the Middle East is soaring, with the number of buyers totalling 2500 per cent up since 2012. The number of buyers from Lithuania and Russia is also up by around 200 per cent from the same period. Should the trend continue, it would seem Spanish governmental protestations stating UK expats already in residence are important to the country may well become meaningless. Replacing cash-strapped retirees and budget holidaymakers with wealthy property investors from across the world would cancel out any sympathy the Spanish goverment might have for Brits about to be displaced by Brexit.

Source: Olive Press
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