British flags put up for Brexit.

How will Brexit affect British, overseas property investors?

Article 50 has been triggered today. This will see Britain officially leave the EU no later than April 2019. However, predictions indicate that the process could take much longer than proposed to prepare Britain for the exit, but extensions can only be provided with consent from the European Council.

It is unclear what the result of leaving the EU will mean for Britain and its citizens, as no other European state has left the Union, in its current form, before. With no established rules about what Brexit entails, there is room for negotiations to allow Britain to maintain and expand a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with the European Union and any countries that are a part of it.

Whilst Brexit has affected the economic and political scope of the country; the decision to leave the European Union has also created tremendous changes to the British property market. The value of the pound against other currencies has seen some dramatic drops throughout the Brexit process, which has resulted in many international investors, particularly those from Hong Kong, snapping up properties in desirable British locations. However, the value of the sterling has remained consistent in recent months in the light of more certainty and strategies in place, compared to the drops seen after the June referendum. Analysts expect the value of the pound to remain steady as more information and deals are outlined in the following months.

Another popular query that has been debated across Britain, and the rest of the world, is what the Brexit vote will mean for expats who own property in countries that are part of the European Union. With over 4.5 million Britons taking residence abroad, 1.3 million have started new lives in Europe, according to figures released by the United Nations. 319,000 native Britons currently take residence in the popular sun resort of Spain, whilst approximately 171,000 British individuals live in France. Other British populated countries include Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

The free movement clause between European Union states, known as the EEA’s right of free movement, has allowed British expatriates the right to live in other European countries without expulsion. Whilst British expatriates are concerned with what Brexit means for their citizenship status; they should take solace in the fact that the likelihood of expulsion or alternative repercussions are highly unlikely, as it would open the door for Britain to take similar measures to any expats residing in Britain from other European nations.

When it comes to any British investors looking to invest in property in Europe, great options are tenfold, with property prices seeing falls in desirable locations such as Italy this year and residency schemes that offer security for non-EU citizens. Spain and Portugal currently allow non-EU citizens, who invest in a property worth more than €500,000 or more, to gain visas which entitle the holders the right to work or study in the area, with an option to apply for permanent residency after five years. There are plenty of property types, from Algarve villas for sale along the Portuguese coast to holiday apartments in the bustling towns of Lisbon or Madrid.

If you want to discuss the property market, get in touch with our experts today. We can advise you about the best international markets, to ensure you make a safe investment.

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