The British voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016. What impact has the referendum result had on British demand for Spanish property so far?
Surprisingly little. The number of British buyers dropped significantly in the second half of 2016 after the referendum, but has been recovering since then (chart above).
In annualised terms, British demand declined for five quarters between Q3 2014 and Q3 2017, but then started growing again in Q4 20017.
The British are still by far the biggest group of foreign buyers of Spanish property, almost double the next biggest group – the French.
Agents and developers tell me they have seen an increase in British buyers with budgets above €400,000, and a fall in numbers in the middle market between €200,000 and €400,000. Some buyers in the middle market are trading down, bolstering the lower end. I’ve heard one theory that Brits with financial resources are getting money out of the UK and into European assets like Spanish property before Brexit really bites.
There is a correlation between British demand for Spanish property and the strength of the pound, as you can see from the chart below. But whilst the pound has fallen below its level in 2013, British demand has been far more resilient. A weaker pound means that some British buyers will be trading down, but in volume terms British demand has been surprisingly unaffected by the referendum result.