‘Mallorca here we come’ – home working Brits snap up Spanish homes in great Omicron escape

Boris Johnson 'needs to step up for British expats' says expert

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Others are battling to buy second homes amid huge demand for new-build properties from sun-starved Brits as winter turns cold and energy bills go through the roof. The retirement in the sun dream lives on despite Brexit, with many buying homes to take advantage of the Spanish and Portuguese Golden Visa schemes.

Brits are still desperate to buy overseas properties even though the UK has left the EU, latest figures from builder Taylor Wimpey España show.

While many are buying second homes, a growing number are seeking full-time residency, which will allow them to work remotely in the sun. The island of Mallorca is a popular destination.

Taylor Wimpey España’s sales and marketing director Mark Pritchard said apartments and duplexes in its Ikat development in the town of Ses Salines are selling faster than before the Covid pandemic.

That development has now sold out but demand is strong for villas at Las Villas de Dalt de Sa Rapita II, where prices start from €635,000 (£539,000) plus VAT.

Many British buyers are also looking for quiet, traditional properties that they are happy to live in year round, Pritchard said.

“Some people are still after second homes, but a growing number want full-time residences from which they can work remotely.”

He said location is more important than ever since Covid. “People are also want a property with flexible space, so many will be working from home.”

Pritchard said demand is “incredibly strong” even ask new restrictions are imposed, including on travel.

Buyers can also find two-bedroom apartments Cala D’Or on Mallorca’s south-eastern cost starting from €256,000 plus VAT.

Overseas property portal Kyero.com has also reported record interest in Portuguese and Spanish property, as Britons seek to swap our rainy shores for the Mediterranean.

Founder Louise Dell said many are making their dreams of moving to Europe a reality to avoid a British winter of discontent as the cost of living soars.

Brexit has made securing EU residency harder but British buyers refuse to let that put them off.

After the UK left the EU on January 1, 2021, British citizens became third country nationals, and cannot spend no more than 90 days in any 180-day period in any country within the EU’s border-free Schengen Area.

That makes longer stays more challenging but Dell said Brits can apply for something called a non-lucrative residence visa.

This allows non-EU citizens to live in Spain but they cannot carry out any economic or professional duties while there.

Alternatively, Brits can apply for a Golden Visa, provided they can afford to buy a Spanish property for at least €500,000 (£425,000).

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This opens up the entire Schengen Zone to them once more.

Similarly, the Portuguese D7 Visa, also known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa, allows any non-EU citizens to apply for residency, provided they have reasonable net regular income from their pensions and investments.

Portugal also operates a Golden Visa scheme for those buying property with a value of at least €500,000.

Britons looking to move to the EU must show that they and their dependants have sufficient income not to be a burden on the state.

Portugal also demands Brits have enough income to match its national minimum wage, currently €7,980 (£6,838 a year) for an individual and €11,970 (£10,250) for a couple.

Rules are tougher in retirement hotspot Spain, though, where single people need £23,578 a year and couples £29,473.

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