Waiting for Brexit before you buy? Well, don’t!
There are probably not hundreds but thousands of UK citizens who have set their sights on buying a property abroad for retirement, holidays, investment or a combination of these, but who will not commit to anything because of the dreaded Brexit!
Whilst we quite understand why people think they should wait until all the uncertainty is over, our firm advice is to get on with bringing your plans to fruition now. Apart from anything else, it will quite probably be a very long time before uncertainty is over, if ever!
The only near-certain date is 29 March 2019, when we leave the EU, but even that will not be certain if those pleading for a second referendum get their way. That apart, it depends on a deal being agreed with the EU and passed by Parliament, neither of which can be regarded as certainties!
Assuming that we do leave next March, it will be followed by a transition period believed to be until the end of 2020 but, in reality, of an unknown length and what happens after the transition period apart from yet more uncertainty?
Meanwhile, the values and property prices in most countries outside the UK will be going up, especially those in the more popular and sought-after locations. That will be bad enough but, if UK prices stagnate or even slip back at the same time, your ‘purchasing power’ may be seriously diminished.
Our advice is this – if you have a lifestyle dream of a holiday or retirement home, go for it now because the likelihood is that the longer you delay, the more it will cost you.
Meanwhile, if you are an investor and have noticed that your high street savings account is producing between 1% and 2% p.a., you really need to look at the investment opportunities, both overseas and in the UK, which are providing returns of between 7% and 10% a year, many with guarantees of five or ten years and some with buy-back options after a similar period.
Finally, if you are overseas and thinking of investing in UK property, like thousands of others already have, you should be aware that the U.K. government has announced plans to introduce an additional tax on foreign buyers of UK property. This is expected to be a rise of up to 3 per cent in stamp duty, to be paid by any individuals and companies that are not registered to pay tax in the UK.
So, whichever category you come into, our advice is not to delay, but to make that dream or investment idea or, quite likely both at the same time, come true without further delay!