Unique Living
November 7th, 2018 | by Serge Cowan

What Effect is Brexit Having on Luxury European Property Markets?

In the wake of the EU Referendum results, some buyers were concerned about the impact of Brexit on their purchase in Europe. Over a year later, we’ve now seen the effect of the decision, which perhaps isn’t what people predicted.

In the lead up to the EU Referendum, many were worried about the impact Brexit would have on the property market, both at home and abroad. Over a year later, we’re now seeing exactly how it’s affecting homebuying and selling – and the good news is, it’s certainly not a ‘doom and gloom’ situation. In fact, many reputable international property companies (ourselves included) have noticed an increase in property sales – showing that enthusiasm for European luxury homes is higher than ever.

Record Sales

In the lead-up to the Referendum in June 2016, some buyers were nervous. The uncertainty of entering unchartered waters made some more hesitant to commit to a purchase, which was understandable.

However, after the Brexit decision, we noticed a distinct upturn in sales. We believe that, once a decision had been reached, buyers felt more confident about proceeding with their purchase; with many wanting to secure a ‘piece of Europe’ for the future, even with the UK out of the EU.

The ‘Live for the Moment’ Effect

There are some buyers who want to invest in Europe now, with the option of moving out of the UK in the future. At present, while the UK is still in the EU, it’s a good time to buy. While our prediction is that Brexit is unlikely to make the process any harder, now may be the ideal time to secure a luxury villa in France, Italy, Spain or Portugal; and then enjoy the benefits further down the line.

I have a client who, when Brexit was announced, said he was putting his purchase on hold until we knew what was going to happen between the UK and the Europe. A year later, this client called me out of the blue. “By the time Brexit has been sorted out,” he said, “I’ll be too old to appreciate my holiday home! I’m not going to let the government govern my own life or lifestyle, I’m not getting any younger and my family deserve this.” He went on to complete his purchase.

Harder to Buy After Brexit?

The media has been having a field day with its negative predictions; though most realise that this is mainly a tactic to sell more papers. As for the truth of the matter? You only have to look at house purchases made outside the EU at present. Homebuyers have no issue with purchasing in Barbados, for example, which is most definitely not in the EU. Likewise, they’ve been buying in Australia, the USA and other locations outside the EU for years and years; in short, a wealth of places that aren’t Europe.

As such, it’s unlikely to have that much impact in the grand scheme of things.

Adopting a Measured Approach

If you’re considering buying a luxury villa in an EU country, we’d recommend approaching it as you would any other house purchase. Put Brexit out of your mind and do what feels right for you and your family. As I have said before, none of us are getting younger and it’s important to enjoy life as much as possible. Why should your aspirations be impeded by a political situation which probably won’t have nearly as much impact as you suspect? If owning a luxury villa is a dream of yours, then go for it; it’s a decision you’re unlikely to regret.

As with any purchase, we’d also advise you to review your options; across the world, as well as in Europe. Ultimately, your purchase needs to reflect your lifestyle, your family’s needs, and your future requirements too. An EU country may well be the place for you, but alternatively, you might be drawn to somewhere further afield, such as the Caribbean. Keep an open mind, view as many properties as possible, and go with what works best for you.


Have you made a house purchase during the Brexit negotiations process? Are you concerned about the future or do you feel confident that the EU luxury property market will continue to be strong? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
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