The world is still recovering from the shockwaves emitted after the Brexit vote, when voters in the United Kingdom narrowly chose to leave the European Union. After the “Leave” voters edged out the “Remain” camp, the British pound reached a 31-year low and financial markets around the world took a hit.
Thousands of seniors from the U.K. who retired in Spain (Britain’s version of Florida) suddenly wondered if they made a terrible mistake. But the Brexit vote has also had some unlikely effects on real estate for sale in the United States, particularly retirement and vacation real estate for sale.
Because while Spain is Britain’s version of Florida retirement homes, Florida is also Britain’s Florida. As tangled as that analogy may be, the fact remains: many seniors in the United Kingdom eventually retire on the U.S. East Coast, snapping up beach property, condominiums, and other real estate for sale. Florida and Outer Banks homes for sale were especially popular with many Brits, whether they were retiring or just looking for high value beach real estate for sale.
Now, Florida and Outer Banks realtors are reporting a pause in these trans-Atlantic transactions post-Brexit. Until the pound recovers, and experts agree it may never be the same, many Brits are putting off their second home dreams indefinitely.
According to Florida Trend, the British have long been a “significant force” in beach real estate for sale in the United States. In some places, they’re even the top foreign buyers. Now, realtors tell the website potential buyers are waiting until the pound recovers.
“Now with the British pound much weaker, it will make it much more difficult for the British to buy just on the currency translation,” economist Lawrence Yun told the site, while other realtors described interested buyers from England who have since put their house hunting on hold, hoping for a reversal in the pounds cataclysmic descent post-Brexit.
The site added, “Real estate officials already expect fewer British buyers due to the Brexit vote, as currency moves have a history of substantially affecting foreign investment in residential property.”
Still, while Brexit has made it harder for English buyers to scoop up beach real estate for sale, home sales in the United States as a whole continue to rebound in 2016.