The full implications of the UK leaving the European Union as the result of the 2016 referendum are far from being understood.
And for anyone who wants to make a property purchase in the likes of Spain, France or Greece, the current uncertainty is likely to have given them pause for thought.
So what current and future impact could Brexit have on your ability to get your own place in the sun?
One of the most immediate consequences of the EU referendum vote has been a fall in the value of the pound.
Sterling dipped from around €1.30 in mid-June 2016 to near €1.15 two months later, as a result of currency markets viewing the UK as a less attractive place to invest.
Instantly, this has effectively pushed up property prices in the Eurozone by more than 10% – unless you were canny enough to fix your exchange rate before the referendum took place.
This is not to say that the pound might not recover in future months. But recent action by the Bank of England to boost the economy, in particular its decision to cut the base rate of interest, is likely only to add to the downward pressure on sterling.
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Travel costs and easy access
The rise in popularity in recent years of low-cost airlines has given Brits cheap access to many previously unexplored parts of Europe. Might this be jeopardised by Brexit?
Some carriers have already said they are looking to move their centres of operation out of the UK following the referendum vote – and this could mean that fewer routes are available to British travellers in the future.
If you are looking to buy property in, say, a more remote part of Spain or France which is currently served by just one or two airlines, it could be worth reconsidering or delaying your decision.
Freedom of movement – and ownership
Another potential concern is the future legal status of British citizens in a UK-free EU.
Will they be free to travel or retire to member states with no restrictions as at present? Could they face extra charges or taxes on property ownership?
These are just two of the huge number of issues that will need to be resolved by the UK’s Brexit negotiations over the coming years.
Naturally, the British government will be keen for its citizens to retain as many of their current rights as possible – but there are no guarantees at present.
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