90% of Overseas Property Owners Unsure of Brexit Impact

Friday, February 26, 2016

90% of Overseas Property Owners Unsure of Brexit Impact

  • 90% of UK overseas property owners admit they are unsure how a Brexit will affect their overseas property
  • 4 in 10 (42%) admit to having concerns about their overseas property purchase
  • 7 in 10 said that leaving the EU would not prevent or postpone them from buying an overseas property

90% of British overseas property owners admit they are not aware of how Britain leaving the EU will affect their current property purchase, according to new research undertaken on the announcement of the referendum date.

However, only 4 in 10 (42%) of those surveyed said they were concerned about how a potential Brexit will affect their overseas property purchase. Currently, 2.2 million Brits live within the EU, outside of the UK, with a further 1 million owning a holiday home. Property investment overseas has seen a resurgence in the last two years, helped by a stronger pound and better value property.

A recent survey by A Place in the Sun found that 1 in 10 Brits aged 45 and over are already considering using their available pension pots to buy a property outside of the UK. However, the impending referendum has not seemed to deter property purchasers, with more than 70% of Brits saying that Britain leaving the EU would not prevent or even postpone any future purchases.

Recent research revealed that three quarters of Brits would choose to buy a property abroad for a better way of life, 70% citing warmer climates. 26% admitted that they felt that they would be in a better financial position by owning a property abroad, with 27% admitting that they would be enticed by thoughts of a nicer property.

Overseas property hunters are not being deterred by the potential Brexit, secured in the knowledge that based on whether or not Britain remains in the EU, the immediate effect on overseas property owners is likely to be minimal.

Andy Bridge, Managing Director of A Place in the Sun commented:

"I think the reason the majority of people surveyed state they are unaware of the impact leaving the EU would have on overseas home ownership is because they don't identify the question as an issue.

While there could be different tax treatment of non-EU nationals owning property, it would be detail at this level rather than any sort of restriction. A degree of concern is understandable and of course all buyers should take advice prior to purchase."

A Place in the Sun writer, Nigel Lewis analysed the potential changes that could arise for current property owners and compiled the following predictions, should Britain vote to leave the EU:

Permanent Residents

Anyone who has lived in an EU state for more than five years can apply for long-term resident status under EU law. But your status would be more restricted than your current one as an EU citizen, and there may be 'integration rules' for long term residency - such as being able to speak your host nation's language.

Holiday Home Owners

The EU could require UK citizens to apply for a visa in order to visit a country within the EU, which for holiday home owners would mean more intrusive questions about how long you were going to stay, your income and health cover.

Property Ownership

UK citizens are likely to remain free to own property within the EU, as any other nationality is. For example, in France many US citizens own property there without any restrictions. The main area of contention is here is how property inheritance and taxation laws would apply; at the moment the rules treat EU and non-EU citizens differently.

Read Nigel's full report here >>

Anyone who has questions or concerns about their rights for a current property, or a future purchase are encouraged to visit A Place in the Sun Live.

It's held between 11-13 March 2016 at Manchester Central, or 6-8 May at London Olympia, where experts will be on hand to answer any questions and provide impartial advice. Just click below to get your tickets now.

A Place In The Sun