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Spanish property guides have published what looks like to be the most likely results following the General Election on December 12th 2019. It looks like the Conservatives are heading towards a comfortable majority if the polls are to believed so here is a summary on what may happen next as a best guess;

Playing golf in the warm winter sunshine. Eating al fresco by your pool. Renting out your holiday home for a profit all summer and enjoying it in winter for yourself. However you see your life in Spain, you can do all this and more, however the election and Brexit works out. Here’s why you shouldn’t be too worried about no deal for property buyers in Spain

Spain Property Guides has investigated all the likely Brexit scenarios with our lawyers. We are confident that there are no realistic circumstances whereby British people need to abandon their dream.

British people will have

  • No problem buying property in Spain
  • Little extra difficulty or expense living there

Even with no deal. Here is how we reached those conclusions


Property ownership is not one of the EU’s four freedoms (goods, capital, work and services) and so your right to buy property in Spain will not be affected. That applies in whatever form Brexit happens, even with no deal.


So long as you’re NOT living in Spain full time, normal travel insurance should suffice. If you work in Spain you will pay into the Spanish social security system and will be covered. If you are on a long-term visa you may need comprehensive insurance, but there is already a wide variety of options available. We may also have access to Spain’s payment scheme for foreigners, convenio especial for non-EU foreigners to use Spain’s health service.

It may also be possible that you will be required to take out health insurance. However, the UK Health Secretary has said that the government aims to fund a continued EHIC system and reciprocal healthcare in EU countries. This will cover British retirees and “those with chronic conditions, disabilities or other long-term conditions that require ongoing medical attention.” This is great news for all travellers to Spain, whether living there or just on holiday, effectively meaning that any kind of Brexit deal should mean we can rule out worries over healthcare. In the event of no deal, you may need health insurance until a new EHIC system can be worked out.


The British government says that EU citizens moving to the UK to work will need a work visa. We might assume that this will be reciprocated by Spain. Nothing has yet been announced about the “economically inactive” such as the retired, moving countries. A visa waiver system may well be implemented for those not working, as they will not be taking jobs from local people. They may have to prove sufficient income to live, and may need health insurance.

Third country nationals

Barring a second referendum, the British people will soon become ‘Third Country’ nationals in Spain. Third country nationals need a visa if staying for more than 90 days in any 180. So you will be able to live in Spain for half the year with few questions asked.

If staying over half the year, to get the visa you simply have to prove you have enough income to avoid being a burden on the state. We don’t know how much income we will need to prove, but in France it’s an income of €10,000 for one or €15,000 per couple. A similar, or lower, level would seem appropriate for Spain, where the cost of living is lower.

If you need a work visa you will be just like the hundreds of thousands of non-EU people successfully working in the UK. If you want to, it is perfectly possible to learn rudimentary Spanish, get your UK qualifications recognised, and work in Spain. Why not give it a try?

Other options include investor visas, company transfers and the European Blue Card. There is also the Irish passport option. Over 10% of the British population qualifies for one, and the processes to apply are simple and inexpensive.

Of course there may be paperwork involved – but Spain has a modern and well-run bureaucracy and we are confident that the processes will be simple and transparent, as they are for American and Australia buyers today. In short, even with no deal, there are many ways to get a  visa for Spain, most of them are quite painless.

Brexit positives

Not only are the potential problems with Brexit likely to have been seriously overblown, but there will be benefits too. The worries of so many British people about Brexit – we believe unfounded – have held back demand for Spanish property. This is a great time to buy for those willing to fill in a couple of extra forms! Similarly, the evidence is that some Brits in Spain are returning to the UK, gaining from the weakness of the pound compared to pre-Referendum levels. This is a real opportunity to make an offer on under-priced property.

Your property questions answered:

I’m buying a holiday home.
No problem. Nothing should change.
I’m buying investment property
Buy away, there will be no restriction.
I’m retiring
You may need a visa, but we expect it to be a simple system or visa waiver. At worst, the long stay national visa (visado nacional) costs around €100. There is also a ‘golden visa’ if you spend €500,000 on a Spanish property.
I’m just visiting my home!
You will have no problem at all traveling to Spain. Other Third Country nationals such as Americans, Australians etc. don’t need a tourist visa for Spain, and we have had no reports of them being held up unduly at customs


Source – Propertyguides.com

​This is a real life experience from someone who looked at the reasons to move to Spain, which ultimately led to the decision to cease the day and do it!

Here is Sarahs’ story as I am sure it applies to most of us who were or are in a similar situation?


It’s sunny

The most obvious reason first.

I love the sun. Nothing makes me more miserable than being cold and constantly looking at grey skies. It’s fine when we get a heatwave in the UK like last year but that hardly ever happens and you can’t rely on the British summer.

I’m happier when I’m warm – the husband has always said I’m solar-powered and need to live in a tropical climate, which is quite strange considering I’m a pale, freckly redhead!

The Costa del Sol has an average of 320 days of sun a year and even in January, the average temperature is 12 degrees Celsius. The thought of waking up to blue skies almost every day makes me very happy.

More family time

In the UK we go to work and school, come home, have dinner, watch TV for a couple of hours, go to bed and start all over again the next day. If you’re lucky there might be a few days in the summer when you can go to the beach or pub garden after work but those days are few and far between.

If you’ve ever been to Spain you’ll know that people eat dinner later and stay out later as it’s so warm. After work and school, there’s plenty of time for more fun – a swim in the pool and a BBQ throughout the year are high on our list!

The cost of living

A big factor in our decision has been the difference in the cost of houses between the UK and Spain. Here we have a very small 3 bedroom house on a new(ish) build development. We don’t have enough space and it’s not in the best area, but to move we would need another £75k at least. Unfortunately, this is more than we would be able to save to move house in the next few years.

In Spain on the other hand, we could have a house bigger than our current one for around £100k less. With the money we’ve made from our house sale, plus some savings, we would only need a very small mortgage in Spain meaning we might finally be able to get the kind of house we want.

The general cost of living is cheaper too. Food costs less, rent (we’ll be renting for 6 months) is lower, there’s no council tax…

More time outdoors

After being cooped up at work all week, the weekend arrives and… it’s usually cold or rainy so you either stay indoors or pay a fortune to do something like cinema, bowling or lunch out.

If you stay indoors then no doubt the kids will be glued to the TV/tablet/phone/games console for most of the day. You’ll probably have lots of arguments and bribery to get them to do something else.

In Spain you’re outside most of the time, enjoying the weather and fresh air. I am so looking forward to this and getting Little H away from the computer as at the moment it’s all she is interested in doing.

Less stress

Like most working parents our lives are full of stress. I blame the rushing around constantly from work to school, as well as the high cost of living.

There are bound to be plenty of stresses still in our Spanish lives, but we plan to rush around less. People are much more laid back there for a start.

I’ll be working from home, the school has a bus that takes the children to and from school, and there’s hardly any traffic on the roads.

I will have to let you know how this ‘less stress’ plan goes!

A new adventure

Maybe it’s an impending midlife crisis (I’m 40 next year, the husband has just turned 40) but we feel totally stuck in a rut here and life feels the same day in and day out. It definitely feels like a case of ‘live to work’ rather than ‘work to live’ at the moment.

We’re in need of an adventure, some new surroundings and I guess a new life. Since Little H needs to go to school we can’t pack everything in and travel the world, so another country is the next best thing.

So, in case you were wondering why we had decided to uproot our family and leave the country those are just a few of the reasons.

We’re under no illusion that there will be bad bits too. We already know it’s going to be hard work, we have to learn another language and we will miss our family and friends. But hopefully, the good will outweigh the bad.

I’m sure I’ll blog again in the coming months to let you all know whether the reality has met our expectations or not!

With the Pound strengthening against the Euro, you can get a lot of property for your money with the exchange rate.

Do you dream of moving abroad? If so, what’s stopping you right now?

Spanish Property Market – Spring 2019

We all hoped that there would be some good news associated with Brexit at some point, and at least there is one thing, the Pound has recovered to about its highest rate for the last couple of years, so now is a really good time to explore what you can get for your money when buying in Spain.

What is happening with Spain’s property market this Spring?

The latest reports demonstate that on average, every day last year 28 British people bought homes in Spain. It is interesting to explore what and where and people are buying to give you a flavour of the market. Traditionally, many people take the Easter break to start to look for their property in preparation for having it available to enjoy the full Summer sun and fun.

Why not take 5 minutes to read five fast facts about Spain’s property market to see which areas people are buying in and where are some of the best opportunities.

British are back buying in Spain

It would appear that many British buyers are more positive about the initial post-Referendum fear of Brexit and are now back to purchasing property in Spain. The total property purchases by British people increased by 12% during 2018 compared to 2017, according to information provided by Spain’s Land Registry. An average of 28 properties were sold to Brits every day last year, that is quite a significant number and shows the confidence of people wanting to have a Spanish home.

In addition to this, the UK’s dominant share of Spain’s foreign buyers market has bounced back too. This represented 17% for the last three months of 2018. This shows a good improvement compared to a low-point of 14% back at the beginning of 2017.

What are the statistics on the growth trend?
In 2018 the average house prices rose 6.7% year-on-year across Spain, according to reports provided by Spain’s Council of Notaries. This is the highest rise since 2007. Prices are expected to rise by similar levels in 2019, which is excellent news for those who are looking to sell their Spanish property. Simultaneously, the 516,000 housing transactions completed across all of Spain last year, 65,500 being by foreigners buyers, was the highest figure recorded in the last 10 years and represented a year-on-year increase of 11.3%. The Costa del Sol accounted for 29% of these purchases – the second most popular area.

At the moment, there are approximately an estimated 200 new projects in the pipeline in the Costa del Sol. In the first nine months of 2018, there was a reported 41% year-on-year increase in the number of building licence approvals in the Málaga province. The hot spots for these new developments include, more than three quarters of these being in Estepona, Marbella, Caseras, Mijas, Benahavís, Fuengirola and Málaga city.

We hope that this summary of the current Spanish market has given you some food for thought. Please take a look at our website www.universalrealestate.es that has over 3000 properties in Estepona and the surrounding areas to suit all budgets. Or please do send an email to Jon and Nina at Info@universalrealestate.es outlining your criteria so that they can review and share suitable properties with you.

With the on-going challenge to find a resolution for Brexit, many people are wondering if it is right to continue to make their move to a life in the sun in Spain.  Some articles in the press and news are making some people anxious about their purchasing a property in Spain.  However, did you know that UK buyers actually increased by 16% in 2018, so what do they know that you don’t right now? Read on to find out more.

So here it is – people have done their research and they know how to move to Spain, Brexit deal or no deal, and they’re started to think ahead – they’re ‘Brexit-proofing’ their plan to make the move to live in sunny climbs.  We have more information below to explain how you can buy property in Spain, whatever happens with Brexit:

Brexit Deal Agreed – Buying a home in Spain

If a variation on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement is approved, then there is a strong possibility that with will be phased over a two year period until 31 December 2020. During this time you will be able to move freely in Europe without the requirement for a visa, essentially just the same as you do now. Also, if you have purchased a property before the final date, you will have your rights guaranteed for five more years. Following on from that, you can then apply for permanent residency in Spain. 

No Deal Brexit – Buying a home in Spain 

If it does come to a no deal situation, you can still buy your dream home here in Spain. There is no requirement for any extra documents to buy a property here as a non-EU citizen. The main thing that you will need to do is to apply for the correct visa once you’ve bought a property. Once you have appointed a lawyer, this is a smooth and efficient process. We at Universal Real Estate can handle this for you on your behalf.

Below are the main options to be considered:

You own a holiday home

If you have purchased a holiday home in Spain, all that you will need to do is simply apply for a regular tourist visa each time you come out for a visit. The temporary visa will then let you stay for around three months at a time – plenty of time of enjoy the sun, sea and cuisine!

You are retiring to Spain

So, if you are retiring to Spain, you will need to get a Temporary Residency (Non-Lucrative) Visa, which will allow you to stay in Spain for a Year. After that first Year you can then renew for two-Year blocks at a time. After five Years, you can apply for permanent residency.  You will need to demonstrate that you have €8,000 per person to support your family, full private medical cover for one year and a medical certificate showing you don’t have any serious diseases – particularly showing  that you have no illness that would threaten public health.

You are coming to work in Spain

As above, if you are wanting to come and work in Spain you will need to apply for Temporary Residence (Lucrative) Visa, which will allow you to work either employed or self-employed here. If you going to be employed, you must obtain a signed contract from your employer. To be self-employed, you’ll need to comply with business licence rules. The government would likely base this on the minimum wage, which is set at approximatetly, €600-800 a month. Normally, this type of visa is for a period of one Year, renewable after that. After five Years working in Spain you can then apply for permanent residency.

Alternatively, you could apply for an EU blue card. This is issued to people with a job offer and, in Spain, a minimum salary of around €33,900. In Spain, it’s valid for one Year and can be renewed indefinitely.

You are going to investing in Spain

Did you know that Spain has an investment visa? Also referred to as the Golden Visa, available if purchasing a property worth €500,000 per applicant or if you are in a postion to deposit €1 million of bank shares in a Spanish bank account. For this, you get family residency, renewable every two years. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency.

For all non-tourist visas it is important to note that you make any requests in person at the embassy/consulate (and have all documents translated into Spanish by a sworn translator). Your lawyer will advise you what is required guide for you to do this satisfactorily.

Upon your arrival in Spain, unless you have a tourist visa, please ensure that you  register as a temporary resident in person as the Foreigners’ Office/Oficina de Extranjeros or a National Police Station with a Foreigners’ Department.

Once you have been in Spain for five Years, you can now apply for permanent residency. You will need to be able to provide proof of your time in Spain (normally registering as a temporary resident), evidence of your income and a medical certificate. The good news is, under Spanish law, you will be entitled to family status, so close relatives can come out to join you too. With your residency all complete, you are entitled to live in sunny Spain forever – despite no Brexit.

So now you know the facts, why not get going with your ‘Brexit-proofing’ actions:

Contact a reliable lawyer for proper advise about the best visa for you and how you can apply for this 

Start to get official translations of your documents showing the Apostille of the Hague (an official stamp) if needed

Register with a good currency company to discuss how best to transfer your funds to Spain

Once you arrive in Spain, please make sure that you register as a temporary resident with your local Town Hall

Please do look at our website to view over 4,000 properties to suit all budgets and tastes, or contact us at info@universalrealestate.es

Did you know that Esteponas’ IBI tax is down for the seventh year on the run?
Great news for those of us who currently own a property here or an added incentive to those who are looking to purchase a property in the Estepona area. Whether you are looking for a holiday home, retirement property or maybe an investment on the Western Costa del Sol, this is really positive news. The IBI is similar to council tax in the United Kingdom and is part of the on-going costs for people to be aware of when purchasing an apartment, penthouse, townhouse or villa in the Region.

It has been reported that the new hospital in Estepona will not only improve local healthcare provision, but will also incorporate a new green zone.

The Town Hall has announced that it will create a green zone measuring 25,000 square meters. The development will include areas that will enable residents and visitors to practice sports activities and provide walking routes.

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