Opinion: Brexit’s Impact on Overseas Property

Brexit. A small but powerful word that has been giving property investors a headache since day one. Thanks to Theresa May’s rather slow progress in clarifying Brexit’s long-term implications, overseas property buyers have been left in limbo, creating two groups of buyers: those rushing to buy in Europe to secure an indefinite right to remain in the EU and those who have paused their property hunt altogether in order to see the implications. Will Brits continue to buy overseas property? We believe so.

Whilst some developers may have seen fluctuations in sales enquiries, the overall interest in buying abroad has not diminished; it’s simply delayed. A sign that British buyers have not given up on owning a property abroad is last year’s A Place in the Sun Live exhibition in London, which showcases overseas property. The event welcomed over 8,500 visitors – 1,000 more than in 2017. At the same time, many EU countries such as Portugal, Greece, Spain and Malta have introduced Citizenship by Investment or Golden Visa schemes which have proven very popular and ensure a continuous interest from investors.

Our European property clients are also optimistic. Shortly after the results of the Brexit vote, Tim Swannie, Director of French buying agent Home Hunts commented: “We have seen a large number of UK based enquiries looking to buy a home in France. These have been from three main groups – families looking to relocate and find a property with income, UK retirees who are looking to relocate to France permanently, and UK clients looking to buy a holiday home so they have a base in France.”

Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director of alpine property specialist Kristall Spaces adds: “Little will change post-Brexit. The Austrians want to keep the status quo. There are 2.5 times more Austrians living in the UK than Brits in Austria and we are one of their largest tourism markets. Should a UK buyer’s status in Austria change once we have left the EU, non-EU citizens may buy Austrian properties through limited companies with a registered office inside the EU.”

If you are representing properties abroad and are interested in reaching out to UK buyers, our team can help. We create bespoke communication strategies and our strong network amongst national, regional and consumer publications will help raise awareness of your company and projects. To find out more, email info@p1communications.com or call +44 (0)20 8614 7503