There are approximately 1.2 million Brits who have invested overseas living in EU countries, so how will Brexit affect them and property investors looking to purchase in the EU.
The answer is that nobody yet knows, though the general consensus is that little will change, apart from the cost of new purchases increasing at the moment because of the weaker pound.
The Managing Director of A Place in the Sun, Andy Bridge cites other nationalities buying property in the EU such as Americans, Canadians and Russians as evidence that there should be no problems for Brit purchasers moving forward.
He said: ‘Those who are looking to purchase a holiday home overseas, after an initial hiatus, are likely to see that owning a property in the EU will only be marginally more complex than it is currently.
‘Residents of the US, Canada, Russia and many other nationalities own properties throughout Europe, so while it may become slightly more complex for Brits, clearly we are not going to be prevented from owning property in Europe.
‘Recent research by A Place in the Sun found that nearly half (48%) of those currently considering a purchase abroad would continue with their search if we were to leave the EU. It is expected that this number will be much higher after the first few months and Brits reignite their desire to own a property overseas.’
Francois Marchand, director of French Alpine property specialist Erna Low Property, commented: ‘We are sure that there will be no change in buying costs for those looking to buy property in France, and there are no planned changes in taxations for the income made from property rentals, as well as no difference in capital gain tax – as of 1 January 2015, a single rate was applied for EU and non-EU members.
‘It will make no difference for our clients investing in a French property – whether they have bought, are planning to buy, or are currently in the process of buying a property in France. The mountains were there before EU existed, and will be there tomorrow to welcome any international property investors, part of the EU or not.’
In addition, many EU countries are offering ‘Golden Visa’ oppotunities to obtain residency with property purchase.
It seems the advice is not to panic. There will be two more years of EU membership to conduct a purchase, and other nationalities from outside the EU have proved that property ownership should not be a problem.