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Buying Property in Spain – The Impact of Brexit on Brits

Even though we’re a couple of years into Brexit, buying property in Europe is still a topic of confusion for many UK citizens. Are they allowed to do it? Is it more expensive? And what obstacles are making it more difficult?

The good news is that it’s still possible for those in the UK to buy property in Spain after Brexit. But there are several things potential buyers should be aware of before they start looking for their perfect holiday home.

In this article, we’ll explain how the property purchasing process in Spain has changed for Brits after Brexit and what the extra financial implications are.

Can Brits Still Buy Property in Spain after Brexit?

People in the UK can absolutely buy property in Spain after Brexit. Your legal right to buy property in the country does not depend on your nationality.

As long as you can finance it and provide all the legal requirements, there’s no reason why you can’t purchase a property.

But Brexit has made some parts of the process more complicated, although not impossible.

Is Buying Property in Spain More Expensive Because of Brexit?

It doesn’t matter where you are from, the cost of buying a property is the same. Your nationality, and whether you’re outside of the EU or not, does not depict whether the price is cheaper or more expensive. 

As well as the price of the actual property, you need to budget for purchase tax, the notary’s fee, registration fees and some smaller fees that may be incurred. All of these are exactly the same for a European or UK citizen. 

But taxes are different post-Brexit, which is something you should be aware of if you’re thinking of renting out the property.

Can You Still Rent Out Property in Spain After Brexit?

It’s perfectly legal to rent out your property in Spain post-Brexit but you will have to pay more non-resident income tax

Before Brexit, UK citizens had the same rights as other European citizens and paid 19% non-resident income tax on the money they had made from renting their property. Since Brexit, however, Brits have to pay 24% non-residential income tax. 

Furthermore, before Brexit, Brits were allowed to deduct rental expenses to make the amount chargeable less. Since Brexit, that is no longer possible and UK nationals have to pay 24% regardless. You can, however, offset the tax you pay in Spain against that in the UK.

If you intend to rent out your property, whether long or short-term, you must comply with Spanish law and obtain a tourist license if needed.

How Else Has Brexit Affected Buying Property in Spain?

Apart from the increase in non-residential income tax, there are a couple of other things that have become more difficult since Brexit. Whilst not always the case, it can be more difficult for UK nationals to get a mortgage in the country. It’s absolutely not impossible, but it does involve more paperwork and can take a little longer.

Furthermore, certain parts of the property purchasing process can take longer for non-EU nationals. For instance, getting an appointment for a NIE takes longer for Brits (in some cases) than it would do for someone from the EU.

Can You Still Visit Your Property in Spain as Regularly After Brexit?

Before Brexit, Brits could enjoy free movement across Europe. They could go to any EU country, including Spain, without a visa and stay for as long as they like. Since Brexit, however, things have gotten a little more complicated (but don’t worry)! Brits can now only spend a maximum of 90 days in a period of 180 days in a European country and you don’t need to get a tourist visa. 

If you want to stay in Spain for longer, you’ll need to apply for a regular residence permit, which can get complicated. Furthermore, before April 2024, wealthier property investors could benefit from the so-called ‘Golden Visa’. This meant that if you bought property in Spain for over $500,000, you’d be issued a residence permit. This has now changed to make it fairer for all, and even wealthier investors must apply in the usual way for a permit.

Final Thoughts: Can Brits Still Buy Property in Spain after Brexit?

Brexit brought about a huge amount of change for Brits. The good news, however, is that it’s still possible for UK nationals to buy property in Spain. Prices are exactly the same for non-EU nationals as they are EU nationals and you have every right to rent out your property if you wish to. One of the biggest changes, however, is that you will have to pay 24% non-resident income tax, rather than 19% (as it was before Brexit).

You can still visit and enjoy your property too, but only for a maximum of 90 days at a time. Whilst that’s a restriction compared to before, it’s still enough to enjoy summer in your Spanish property!


Note that this article is general and is shared as information. Property, tax, finance and other legal topics are personal and can vary not only from person to person but between the different regions of Spain. We recommend that you seek professional guidance if you need advice on matters covered in this article.

About the author

Maria, the Bueno Team

As expats, we know Spain and have experienced the ups and downs of owning property in Spain