Are you worried about being able to sell your property in Spain fast? The reason we say this is it’s been over a year since Brexit and Britons are no longer buying properties in Spain and elsewhere in the overseas property market the same way as before.
The pound has fallen by 15% in comparison to the Euro since the June 23rd, 2016 vote, and is currently valued at 1.11 EUR. The falling value of the pound has certainly taken its toll on UK buyers. We haven’t seen the same level of interest in the overseas property market from British buyers as before.
The Association of Land and Commercial Registrars, which is a leading real estate body in Spain, said in a report that the British demand for resale properties in Spain has dropped by 30% since last year’s level before the referendum.
Remember, Britons have always been the predominant players in the overseas property market, especially in Spain. So this is certainly a bit of a downer for those who have properties for sale in Spain. The effect has been worse on British buyers looking at the lower end of the housing market, or for more affordable accommodations.
Chris Clover a real estate agent based in Marbella says, “The pound-euro exchange rate has a bigger effect on people at the lower end of the market, in the €200,000-€400,000 price range. Those with more money can take advantage of low interest rates to hedge against the weak pound.”
A real estate consultant based in Spain, Matt Oakley, says 70% of his clients were the UK and they hadn’t so far pulled out of purchases. But there are other problems that he was worried about. “A lot of people are seeing that their pensions won’t stretch as far as they did and some people who maybe wanted to buy a villa are now having to settle for an apartment,” Mr. Oakley said.
The issue is not limited to Spain, the problem exists across Europe, even in other popular overseas property destinations like Greece, Portugal and Cyprus where Britons have been pulling out. Pelagia Papamaxiaki, a Greek real estate agent says, “The fall in the value of the pound has really affected enquiries. People are still calling in but Britons booking appointments has dropped by about 80%.”
Alfredo Millá, an estate agent based in south-eastern Spain says, “There’s a general air of uncertainty, especially about whether they will be entitled to healthcare.”
Even so, home prices have held steady in Spain. That’s because here are a lot of people from countries like Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Italy, France and Romania who want to buy property in Spain online. In fact, the interest from Germans and Swedish buyers has been tremendous. They have more than made up for the shortfall in the number of British buyers.
There is also a lot of demand from Turkish and Chinese buyers who are eager to get their hands on a Spanish Golden visa, which promises residency permits to all non-EU nationals who buy properties in Spain that are worth 500,000 EUR or more.