SPAIN has finally allowed tourism to return after several months of the world’s most draconian COVID-19 lockdown.
Brits, Germans and other key tourist markets are back after what seems like an eternity.
Yet as coronavirus begins to recede and the full extent of the crisis is laid bare, another political headache is once again rearing its ugly head.
The implications of the UK’s departure from the EU are numerous, none more so than for British buyers on the hunt for property in sunny Spain.
Politicians are still thrashing out Britain’s exit deal, while the Brexit transition period is set to end on December 31.
Despite the tumultuous year we’ve had, the ticking Brexit clock has left many Brits thinking that now could actually be the perfect time to up sticks. So, for those lucky enough to be able to afford to snap up a new home, there has been lots to contend with.
At the Finance Bureau we have already seen an uptick in enquiries from British buyers, including those based overseas dreaming perhaps, about life outside of lockdown.
Meanwhile for those with existing mortgages, the coronavirus pandemic and the cessation of much economic activity has made it challenging for many to keep up with their repayments and, for this reason, some of the larger lenders have been offering limited interest-only periods for first residence. In most cases this may last for three months.
As Spain entered lockdown the Government announced a three-month mortgage moratorium to help homeowners, but these have only been available to residents so, have not helped hose with holiday homes.
One trend to have emerged from the crisis is the increased number of people enquiring about mortgage subrogation.
This is the term given to swapping one mortgage lender for another which is very common in other countries but, less so in Spain because Spanish banks have traditionally been reluctant to take on another bank’s loan.
This, however, has recently become an option, with one lender, at least, now willing to do this. Any improved conditions are particularly welcome where clients might otherwise have got into financial difficulties, due to these extra challenges being faced by many in Spain and the UK.
This is definitely an option many should consider and the Finance Bureau has a wealth of experience in helping secure the best mortgage rates from Spanish banks.
But for those considering buying a new home in Spain, there are a number of ways you can make your purchase ‘watertight’, especially with the looming cloud of Brexit:
- Exchange rate: You will typically need 30% of the price of a property in order to complete, plus any additional fees. This means keeping an eye on the Pound-Euro exchange is essential, especially during the Brexit negotiations
- Check the news: Although Spain has been declared open for business, the coronavirus situation could still change. Look out for any travel restrictions in Spain and the UK that may prevent you from viewing your new home
- Get advice: Make sure you have an experienced mortgage broker’s like the Finance Bureau on your side to help steer you through what can be a minefield