With Prime Minister Theresa May finally invoking Article 50 on March 29th, Brexit is now a reality. There is no turning back, and Britain is indeed leaving the European Union, whether one likes it or not. Certainly, for a vast majority of British expats in Costa del Sol this is not good news. Many are now looking to sell property in Costa del Sol, Spain fast in 2017.
The “Brexit anxiety” as one may call it, is particularly acute among Britons who are 55 and above, who were eager to buy villa in Costa del Sol, Spain online. They are not so enthusiastic about Spain anymore, it seems. There is a real worry about how they are going to be treated in Spain now that Britain has decided to leave the European Union.
British expats are now looking anxiously at how the two years of Brexit talks would turn out. Property observers in Costa del Sol have reported a dip in the number of enquiries from British buyers. Sales leads from Britons have practically dried up, going up by a mere 1.5 percent since last year.
As Richard Spiegel, a real estate analyst from Kyero, a Spanish property portal, said in an interview with the popular British tabloid, The Sun, “It means British buyers still want to buy, but they’re becoming less likely to progress their search to a viewing. Listening in on buyer chatter shows Article 50 is the obvious culprit.”
“Brits are now in a holding pattern while they wait to see how Brexit negotiations progress. Arguably the group with the most to lose from Brexit are British pensioners, and we detected clear signs of their nervousness in the latest traffic demographics,” Mr. Spiegel said.
The biggest worry among British expats (especially retirees) in Spain is whether they would have the same access to health and pensions in their adopted home in 2 years time, when Britain leaves the EU for good, as they have currently.
However, the fears may have been overblown according to Mr. Spiegel, who says, “On balance we think the majority of British buyers will (at most) be mildly inconvenienced by Brexit, it’s unlikely to materially change travel access, property rights or availability of credit.”
It’s not just the British expats who are worried by the possible consequences of Brexit. Even the locals, who have property for sale in Costa del Sol, Spain, are deeply anxious.
Britons have been traditionally the biggest buyers of property in Costa del Sol, and any decline in interest from British buyers will have great consequences for the housing market here.
As of now, there are 65,000 British nationals residing on the Costa del Sol on a permanent basis, and about 300,000 in the rest of Spain. The unofficial numbers are actually much bigger than this.
There is a fear here that not only have Britons stopped buying property here, but have started selling in a big way. This is not to say that the overall demand for properties in Costa del Sol has dropped – the Germans have picked up where the Britons have left off. The interest from German buyers has increased by 25 percent this year, according to real estate analysts in Costa del Sol.