With Brexit at the forefront of everyone’s mind and flashing out in the news almost every day there are obviously some concerns about EU property ownership by UK residents. Some of the biggest concerns are around the Spanish property market. This is because whether it be for investment, retirement, a holiday home, or a work apartment Spain remains one of the most popular destinations for the British property buyer.
It is easy to see the attractions of the Spanish real estate market. The climate if wonderful, with over 320 days of sun in certain areas and yearly average temperatures that rarely dip below 18 degrees centigrade. Medical care is amongst the best in the world. There a whole range of demographic areas from the buzzing, cosmopolitan coastal resorts with their mix of both locals and ex-patriates from all over the world the more off the beaten track, uniquely Spanish areas of local culture as well as natural scenery from beaches to mountains.
Whatever the final shape of Brexit many investors are eying a property portfolio within the world’s largest trading bloc that will still provide access to both non-EU and EU citizens. Common worries include such questions as the right to own property in Spain as an ex-pat after Brexit, the availability of mortgage finance and whether prices will be more expensive or less in the post-Brexit time and how it will affect rental income should that be the goal.
In the main these concerns can be addressed very simply. When it comes to the issue of property ownership there are no rules prohibiting the ownership of Spanish property by non-EU citizens. In fact, the converse is true, the Spanish government actively seeks outside investment and often goes the extra step to help ensure the smooth facilitation of foreign purchases.
The cost of the property relative to the GB pound sterling will, of course, depend on exchange rate fluctuations but there is not likely to be any punitive treatment of non-EU citizens in this respect. All buyers will be in the same boat.
In terms of mortgage availability, it is likely to remain the same. If non-residents can provide a good credit history, they are eligible for mortgages in Spain. The usual level is up to 70% loan to value (LTV). There is no plan to change the property purchase tax structure so this will remain as per before Brexit.
One area of complication likely to change is how long you can stay in Spain without a visa. It will likely be in line with other non-EU countries such as the US in that a visa will not be required for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period, but anything longer will require other arrangements to be put in place.
Of interest to property buyers is the fact that as long as you are making an investment that passes the minimum threshold you become eligible for what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Golden Visa’ which provides residence permits for both you and your dependents and also has favourable tax implications.
In short, the answer is a resounding no. Whatever happens with Brexit it will certainly not be the end of the Spanish property dream for UK citizens.