British Buyers Discouraged from EU Housing Market Despite Cooling

Housing Markets

The UK’s housing market has been soaring for the last two years, with house prices skyrocketing because of a lack of supply, tax breaks, and low interest rates. A similar story has also been seen across the EU, with house prices going up by 9.4 per cent from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021, while in the UK, a record 10.4 per cent in annual house price growth was seen at the end of last year.

Now, halfway through 2022, the rampant house price increases seen across Europe look to be simmering down, if not cooling entirely. For avid homebuyers in the UK, seeing prices at home and abroad settle would usually commence a wave of buying in the likes of Spain and France, but some recent revelations might just mean that they keep their cash in the UK.


Housing market begins to slow down in the UK

As noted above, the UK market has been on a relentless surge over the last couple of years, but the number of buyers still playing looks to be falling. It’s been found by Fortune that the number of mortgages being requested is gradually falling. With the rise in interest rates only just really beginning, it seems unlikely that a complete cooling will happen for a while, with much higher rates predicted for the coming months.

While perhaps not as ravenous as over the last several months, sellers and buyers alike will probably still be seeking good deals and new properties. Easily accessible online tools in the industry are working to keep everything rolling, too, with Trussle offering a free Mortgage in Principle (MIP) to anyone who uses their broker and mortgage comparison platform.

An MIP shows the prospective buyer an accurate reflection of how much they can borrow quickly. This helps to get them on the market quicker, shows real estate agents that they’re serious, and offers a good idea of the affordability of buying a house. With rates only looking likely to rise in the near future, people are looking to secure houses and mortgages sooner rather than later, but soon enough, the momentum will halt.


Brits less likely to look to the EU now

Generations of British people would make a habit of not just holidaying in Europe but eventually buying property, living, working, and even retiring in the EU. Now, as prices start to fall on the continent by about five to ten per cent, according to reports cited by Business Times, it would seem to be an ideal window for Brits to get involved, but times have certainly changed.

In 2021, it was noted that many British owners of EU properties were selling up due to the 90-day rule, and now British Expats have been revoked of the status of being a “citizen of the Union.” The EU Court of Justice, as was foreseeable, has revoked the ability to vote or stand in elections. Furthermore, incomers require a visa to work, either a non-lucrative visa – which forbids participation in economic activity – or a costly golden visa.

None of it comes as a surprise, nor is it wrong of the EU to begin to enforce such restrictions, but it does make buying a house in the EU more arduous for Brits. On top of this, there’s a lot more paperwork, bureaucracy, and many more expenses to get through – which is already bad in the UK, let alone as a Brit seeking to buy abroad.

While housing markets have seen a lot of activity of late, those in the EU and, soon, the UK look to be cooling off, with the window of opportunity for British buyers looking east requiring a lot more work than it used to.

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