Financial and overseas property expert Simon Conn is pointing his finger at potential bargain Spanish properties available as Expat Brits sell up before Brexit.
Spain’s National Statistics Institute has produced data showing the number of British Citizens living in Spain has declined from 400,000 in 2008 to around 250,000 today.
Simon suggests that several factors that have led to a decline in Brits living in Spain that includes the devaluation of the pound against the euro and all the uncertainty over Brexit.
He says: “Buyers may be looking to purchase a holiday or retirement home, rather than using it as a main residence, or perhaps they want to rent the property out or have it as a long-term investment. I think there could be bargains to be had as some sellers may take a discount for a quick sale. There are also currency exchange issues to be taken into account.”
Currency specialists for Moneycorp, Meyrick Green said: “It’s well known that the pound has struggled against other currencies since the referendum result. Those selling property in Spain and repatriating the money to the UK now receive more pounds for their euros than they would have done two years ago.
In the last six months, the GBP/EUR exchange rate has oscillated between roughly 1.15 and 1.10. This increased volatility is expected to continue whilst the Brexit negotiations are taking place, presenting an opportunity for both buyers and sellers to maximise their transfers,” Meyrick added.
A solicitor at Judicare Group, Peter Esders who specialises in international legal issues, says he is seeing what Simon describes happening on a day-to-day basis. “British sellers who were previously unable to put their property on the market due to the financial losses that they would incur if they did are now able to do so, thanks to the exchange rate.
At the same time, buyers are able to get a bargain by buying from a motivated seller who wishes to return to the UK. Effectively, sales are now working out financially, but equally, buyers are getting a bargain despite the exchange rate working against them. Long term, it does appear to be a win-win situation, especially for those people who are fed up with waiting before doing something.”
Simon agrees with this and predicts that sales in Spain will gain momentum: “It is still quite busy for mortgages worldwide and I expect this sector to pick up again next year after Brexit has passed, as people will become more aware of where the property markets are heading.”