Real estate marketplaces — particularly those focused on second homes — in Spain and elsewhere in the EU will receive a boost if the EU relaxes regulations regarding the maximum length of stay for U.K. visitors.

Since Brexit came into force at the end of January 2020, U.K. citizens can spend no more than 90 out of every 180 days in the EU, but the Spanish government is now pushing to have this rule relaxed. 

According to Hector Gomez, Spain’s acting Minister of Tourism, “Unfortunately, the rule is not something Spain has established by itself or can get rid of. It is in our interest to lobby and convince the EU that we can try to work an exception with them. But the solution must come from them.” 

According to government data, almost a quarter (23.8%) of foreign visitors to Spain last year came from the U.K.

In a LinkedIn post, — a U.K.-based property portal focused on listings in Mediterranean markets — described recent moves as “Exciting developments for U.K. second-home owners in Spain and France! Recent signals from both governments hint at a possible relaxation of the 180-day rule. Positive steps for those navigating post-Brexit challenges.”

In a post on the company’s website, CEO Gemma Coles (LinkedIn profile) said: “The recent developments are an extremely positive step towards addressing the challenges faced by British second home owners since Brexit and reflect a growing understanding of the vital economic and cultural contributions of British residents in Europe.” 

“While there is still some way to go, the indications are that there may be good news to come for those who have already bought overseas properties in Europe, as well as those considering making the move.” 

However, while the Spanish government seems to be supporting an easing of the rule, its French counterpart is taking a harder line, with Kyero noting that “the amendment still needs debate in France’s National Assembly and faces opposition from Emmanuel Macron’s government.” This also suggests that passing such reform at the level of the EU will be neither quick nor easy.

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