Brexit - what we know so far

It seems that the continued soundbite from the UK Government and Prime Minister, Theresa May is ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and it’s the uncertainty of Brexit that has tested the resolve of many people already in the process of buying a property overseas and those contemplating doing so. The initial furore has now calmed down and we’ve seen the property market here in Italy begin to pick up again. So knowing what we know so far – which is still very little - what does Brexit mean for people in the UK who want to buy property in Italy?

Here’s answers to the most frequent questions we’ve been asked thus far:

Can a UK citizen still buy a property in Italy?

Yes. Britain is still a member of the EU and under current EU legislation, it looks like it will remain so for the next two-years. UK citizens still retain the same rights they did before the referendum and there’ll be no changes to status until the government invoke Article 50, and even then when trade and market agreements are being negotiated many British citizens are unlikely to see any major changes for some time to come.

Will Brexit mean the Italian property market will fall into recession?

Only a fool would dare to predict the future of property markets, however the Italian market has seen a slow but steady increase in buyers from overseas. Due to the wide selection of buyers from both other EU and non-EU countries the Italian market remains buoyant. Even in the unlikely event that the UK overseas property market collapsed, the current growth of the Italian market would continue to grow.

When the UK leaves the EU, will I lose my Italian home?

Italy has welcomed overseas buyers for decades and investment from foreign buyers is important for the Italian economy. British citizens who own property in Italy will see no changes to their ownership status after the UK leaves the EU. In fact to alter ownership rulings of property would require the Italian parliament to introduce retrospective legislation, the process of which is constitutionally prohibited.

Can I still apply for a mortgage in Italy?

In December 2015, UK bank Barclays announced it would sell off its 89 branches in Italy and remove itself from the Italian market, this initially was a worry for clients with mortgages on Italian property with the bank. A deal has been agreed and CheBanca, a subsiiary of Italy’s Mediobanca Group have taken over Barclays interests including their customers. This means we have lost the most popular mortgage provider for UK investors, but rest assured, there are still many other banks who are happy to provide mortgages for foreign buyers.

Is my UK EHIC card still valid?

Yes, once again until 2019 you will see no changes to your right to receive reciprocal health cover in Italy with your EHIC card.

Is my state pension safe?

Yes, you are entitled to receive your state pension regardless of where you live, Brexit will not alter this. However negotiations in 2019 may alter your right to annual increases; until then there’s no need to be concerned.

What does the fall in the value of the Pound mean for property buyers?

It may appear that when the Pound plummeted that Italian property became more expensive overnight, yes it’s correct to say that currently the market means you get less for your Sterling than you did before the referendum. However Italian property still remains excellent value for money. For example in central UK a 3 bedroom detached house with a garden costs on average £430,000, a 3 bedroom country house with land and panoramic views over the countryside here in Abruzzo can set you back as little as €130,000. Even with a poor exchange rate you can still see the excellent value in buying in Italy. Even before you find your dream property speak it makes sense to speak with a recommended financial institution to see how they can save you money on your purchase.



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