Will Brexit kill the Spanish property market

Published:  28 Jun at 6 PM
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Recent good news that the Spanish property market is finally escaping years in the doldrums has been overturned by Brexit and the slump in sterling.

Although a glimmer of hope for long-term British expats on the Costas was given yesterday by the Spanish prime minister, the long-term projections as to Brexit’s effect on the property market, tourism in general and expats’ right to remain are far less than optimistic. Up until the referendum, foreign buyers, mostly from the UK, were queuing up to grab their own slice of Spanish sun, but many will now be calculating the cost of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Real estate agents across the popular Spanish Costas are reeling in shock as potential buyers face up to increases in their purchase prices since sterling crashed last Friday. The threat of losing healthcare rights, the right to free movement, the right to work or start a business, the possibility of frozen pensions and the effect of currency fluctuations on the already ungenerous state pension are giving pause for thought within an entire generation of would-be UK expats.

Local real estate agents are suggesting that, in the short term and possible for far longer, Brexit will undermine consumer confidence in the purchase of property anywhere in the EU. It’s expected that Spain will feel the effects more than other expat destinations as it’s traditionally been a favourite for British retirees on state pensions.

According to Spanish Property Insight owner Mark Stucklin, the fall in sterling may yet result in a UK recession, hitting the already declining demand for Spanish properties. Uncertainty of the kind caused by the Leave vote, he adds, could spell sudden death for many expatriate retirement plans. British demand for Spanish properties has increased for the past two years as prices stabilised, but Stucklin expects a major reversal in the trend during the remainder of this year and beyond.
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