19 Mar, 2016 @ 10:45
1 min read

Referendum fever

Brexit e

BrexitEVERYBODY is getting awfully excited about the possibility of the UK referendum in June returning a Brexit result.

Decision day is three-and-a-half months away so there’s going to be a huge amount written about it in that time, both informative and scaremongering.

For householders here, all we can do is play the waiting game.

There doesn’t appear to be any informative planning so far, so there is really little that can be done unless one assumes that there is going to be an exit.

My own opinion is that exit is unlikely, although many will not let the facts get in the way of their decision.

However, in the short term it’s likely that we will see some delaying of decisions from UK home buyers due to the uncertainty.

It’s much easier to keep the money in the bank for the short term, ‘just in case’.

Equally, there will be some people who consider that exit is such a strong possibility they will want to sell out now, before the chaos they anticipate after Decision Day ensues.

Accordingly, the gradual increase in house prices we have seen is likely to slow, or even marginally reverse, as we see some ‘distressed’ sellers willing to drop their price for a quick sale.

For those of a bolder nature, and for all the other nationalities who are not going to be affected, this will provide opportunities.

All the statistics are showing prices rising, principally due to foreign demand, but with a sprinkling of Spanish investors.

The attitude of the Spanish banks to British purchasers looking for a mortgage will be interesting over the period until the referendum. They may look upon UK applicants with a slightly more jaundiced view.

On the other hand, others regard a Brexit as a positive move for the UK. this could see sterling strengthening in the medium term, ensuring easier repayment of mortgages that involve cross currencies.

Looking back, the residential Costa experience has been principally supported by UK buyers and their loss would be disastrous for the local and, indeed, the national economy.

For this reason, I see there being little likelihood of change in the medium term.

Other matters I’ve raised in the past, such as the licensing of residential lettings with all the openness that involves, and the declaration of worldwide assets, will continue to have more effect upon the market and be controllable 100% by Spanish administration and bureaucracy.

Hopefully, we’ll still be seeing Ryanair, EasyJet, BA and all the others continuing to carry pale faces to our coast.

Indeed, if the statistics for holiday bookings are correct, this year is going to be the most challenging yet for finding a parking space!

Campbell Ferguson (OP Columnist)

Campbell Ferguson, FRICS, working from Estepona since 2001 plus three years in Madrid, is at the heart of the Survey Spain Network, which links 15 RICS qualified chartered surveyors located all round Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands. Tel: 34 952 923 520 Fax: 34 951 239 216 Email: info@surveyspain.com From UK Direct: 0870 800 3520

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