The general view is that there will be a decline in British purchases. | S. Cases


A survey by the website Fotocasa has found that 58% of property owners in the Balearics believe that Brexit will affect the real-estate market by pushing prices down.

Across Spain as a whole, only 30% of owners think this way, but the percentage rises to 48% when the Balearics are lumped in with regions where there is typically high British demand for property purchasing or rental - Andalusia, the Canaries, Catalonia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia. The Balearic 58% is matched in Murcia but is slightly lower elsewhere.

An alternative take is that 45% of respondents feel that there will be fewer sales to the British because of Brexit but that prices will not be affected. Generally speaking, only 13% believe that prices will fall.

Beatriz Toribio, head of studies at Fotocasa, says that the British are the main foreign buyers in Spain, way ahead of the French or Germans. The survey does suggest that property markets in coastal and island areas could experience some negative consequences because of Brexit.

It should be stressed that this is a survey of owners and of how they perceive the effects of Brexit. Nevertheless, the concerns being expressed in the Balearics have been reflected by what the experts have been saying. The General Council of Notaries reinforces Fotocasa's point about the importance of the British market, which has until now accounted for 20% of all foreign purchases in Spain, more than double the percentages of the French and German markets.

The Bank of Spain has gone so far as to suggest that Brexit represents a potential area of vulnerability for the Spanish economy because of a drop in property investment by British buyers.

A view is that the Balearics are likely to be less affected than areas such as Alicante and Malaga because of the differing sizes of the UK market. Nevertheless, it is being taken as something of a given that a weaker pound and uncertainty will cause a slowdown in the property market and may indeed lead to a drop in prices. And in this regard, British sellers in the Balearics and elsewhere may find that they have to lower expectations because of a reduced pool of potential purchasers.