What will happen to your holiday home if Britain leaves the EU?
If a 'Brexit' becomes a reality, how would this impact those with property in France, Spain and the rest of Europe?
The number of Brits visiting Europe has tripled since we became a member of the EU back in 1973, with thousands of us choosing to not only holiday there, but also own a property - so what would a Brexit mean for those homeowners?
Getting to your home is currently one of the biggest benefits of EU membership, with no requirement for additional visas or security checks when entering other countries. That said, British nationals do still need a visa to enter popular destinations that are not EU members such as Turkey or the USA, where a significant number of us own properties undeterred by these extra measures. If the UK left the EU, the need for a visa to enter European countries is "highly unlikely" according to travel and property experts.
Securing a mortgage abroad is likely to be more difficult according to experts, who claim Brits would also potentially pay higher rates if the UK left the EU. For example, the minimum deposit to secure a mortgage in France for EU citizens stands at 20%, but shoots up to 50% for non-EU citizens.
Being an EU member brings with it a number of tax 'perks' when it comes to property ownership. Owning a property as an EU member is significantly cheaper in France who are notoriously hard on non-EU citizens that own property - French capital gains tax is up at 49% compared to just 19% for EU citizens.
In years gone by, the strength of the pound has allowed British buyers to benefit hugely when buying property in Europe. Any exit from the EU could cause instability in currency, but this could also happen as a result of economic swings and political unrest elsewhere in the world.
Wherever you own a property in Europe, a British exit fom the EU will have a number of ramifications across property as well as other key economic areas. The honest answer is that we don't know for sure, but current voting polls suggest we will find out later this year.
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On March 29th 2019, the UK is set to leave
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