As an estate agent working in Spain its a question that I am regularly asked as people try and decide what will happen to them when UK does exit the EU. On a vist to Sotogrande's KE bar recently a friend introduced me to Spanish politician from Malaga. I took the opportunity to raise the subject of Brits in Spain. His response was that there would be no problems for those that already owned property here as long as they conformed with Spanish obligations. The suggestion was that if you are living here then you must make sure that you apply for residency now and get your status in order before Brexit. For those that have second homes here and come for holidays nothing much will change, after all, he points out English people bought holiday homes here without any issues long before they joined the EU.
The other interesting piece of advice was his view on those thinking of purchasing here in Spain, he indicated that people thinking about buying should do so sooner rather than later because the process for buying as a none EU resident was complex with buyers ending up with heavy legal bill by lawyers sorting out the red tape involved in obtaining a golden visa.
Prices are still low in Spain particular when you consider values in a wealth haven such as Sotogrande where waterside apartments can be bought for around 400.000,00 euros or Golf front home for 350.000,00. Biggest issue for agents is that very few can afford to keep property vacant for long and it results in most owners abandoning the idea of a sale and renting out the property long term. This in turn has left a shortage of long term rentals in the area as people are reticent to move with very little choice of rentals.
So Brexit for Brits abroad as far as Spain is concerned means getting your house in order. Living here already then apply for the residencia. If you do not want to then be prepared for scrutiny by the authorities once Exit starts to kick in.
For those that have been dreaming about a home in the sun and retiring to Spain then now is the time to find a property buy now with prices still low and whilst you are a member of the EU. To delay could end up becoming a frustrating and costly process and as an agent i have seen many a sale collapse because none EU people who want to buy are still trying to sort out a Golden Visa 9 months after getting an offer accepted.