Brexit puts a quarter of Brits off house-hunting in Europe

26 June 2017

Just over a year on from the EU referendum vote, 28% of Brits have abandoned their dream of owning a property in Europe, new data from BNP Paribas International Buyers reveals.

However, the poll of 1,111 Brits interested in buying a home in Europe ­- in France, in particular - found that almost two-thirds (65%) with property projects that are already under way have not been put off by Brexit and 23% are speeding up their property purchase in Europe because of Brexit.

More than a quarter (27%) of those whose plans to buy have stalled still intend to buy a property eventually, postponing their projects rather than abandoning the idea completely, with Spain, France and Italy as the property hotspots.

BNB Paribas says that 52% of those who still have a project under way remain positive about negotiations for the UK to leave the EU, but with some hesitation around legal uncertainties post-Brexit.

François Laforie, general manager of BNP Paribas International Buyers, says: “The Brexit announcement provoked a slight downturn in requests and the postponement or even cancellation of some projects during 2016. However, the non-resident market has existed for several decades and has had to face many changes, as much political as economic, which generally have had little impact on the level of transactions.”  

Brits dominate French market

In France, Brits are the largest group of foreign non-resident buyers, making 32% of transactions in 2016 – but this is down by 9.5% since 2015. This is, however, still twice as many as Belgians, who are the second largest property investors in France. The number of Brits buying in France is also on the up, rising by 29% between 2014 and 2015.

France also attracts the biggest property budgets from British buyers, with 44% of those polled having budgets of more than €300,000, compared with 36% of Brits having this kind of budget in Spain.

To fund their property projects in France, 34% are cash buyers, 25% intend to use loans from a bank in France; 23% plan to release equity from a property in the UK; and 18% will apply for finance via a broker.

Mr Laforie adds: “In 2017, British interest in France remains high, notably due to prices which are still attractive and favourable borrowing conditions. In the first four months of 2017, we have already noted a healthy level of investment requests, which are up by 6%.”

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