Britain’s Conservative Party has been re-elected into government with the largest majority since 1987. As we looked at in last week’s run-down of the major election scenarios, this means that the current Brexit deal is likely to pass through Parliament. But what impact does the election UK election result have on property buyers?
Pound jumps to three-year high
The markets crave a certain level of stability – and a large majority, for any party, goes some way to deliver that. With the path for Brexit looking relatively clear after the UK election result, investors can begin to plan with more confidence, and that helped to buoy the pound, pushing it to a three-year high within five minutes of the exit poll.
However, the reality of fifty days to deliver Brexit, followed by a much-reduced timescale for the trade negotiations in the next stage if the government wants to keep to the final deadline of 31st December 2020, means there’s plenty of uncertainty ahead. Add to that a higher vote share for the SNP, and problems in Northern Ireland, and it won’t necessarily be smooth sailing.
That means that no-one can truly say how long this high will last. At the time of writing, you will get more for your pound than you would have for the last three years, but that can change in an instant.
It’s easy, however, to protect your money against this uncertainty. By locking in your rate, you can secure the same exchange rate for up to a year. If the markets to drop, your budget will still be worth the price you agreed when you fixed the rate, so you will be unaffected.
To find out more about how to take advantage of a strong pound and secure a fixed exchange rate when buying a ski home, read the free Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.
EU rights likely to remain until at least December 2020
The UK election result means the current Brexit deal is likely to be passed through Parliament with some alacrity to meet the 31st January deadline. However, there will still be a transition period of almost a year, until December 2020.
Anyone moving during this period will enjoy the same rights as anyone moving prior to it. However, this will only apply if you are resident in the country where you’ve bought – usually by spending more than 183 days a year there. Otherwise, you will not be a registered resident by 2020, and will be treated the same as other visitors.
However, this is not a huge problem. Most people owning ski properties will not be resident in the country of choice, such as France or Spain, but you will still easily be able to enjoy your home as you do now. At the moment, the system looks like there will be an American-style electronic travel visa system, so passing across the border will be essentially as simple as now. Once in the country, if present rules for non-EU citizens also apply to British citizens, you’ll be able to stay for 90 days in each six-month period without needing to register as a resident. Plenty of time to hit the slopes!
To find out more about the buying process now and during the transition period – with few changes expected afterwards – don’t miss your country buying guides.
Healthcare and pensions still on the table
If you are moving permanently, you will likely be wondering about healthcare and possibly pensions. We do know that the current government has pledged to uprate overseas pensions for the next three years, so two years past the transition period, but nobody yet knows what will happen afterwards.
Likewise, for healthcare, nothing concrete has been agreed yet. There was previously talk about continuing the EHIC system, and it is likely that the EU would be open to negotiations based on reciprocity. We can probably expect to see this resolved relatively quickly, and the government has resolved in the withdrawal agreement that health partnerships with the EU will remain strong in the future.
We have drawn up a summary of the changes we could expect after Brexit if the same rules applied as do currently to citizens of non-EU countries like Australia and the United States. Find out more in our Brexit guides.