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Although it’s been a law in Spain since 1975/1978, as EU citizens, Brits buying in Spain didn’t need to know of it. Well, they do now, thanks to Brexit.

All non-Spanish and non-EU nationals need to get permission from Spain’s Ministry of Defence before being permitted to buy property in some areas of Spain.

In the principal tourist area, it is understood to cover large parts of Southern Costa Blanca and especially Murcia, and in Andalucia, from Sotogrande all the way round the Cádiz coast to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, plus some of the Balearic and Canary Islands.

The principal effect will be in the slowing down of sales, as application has to be made, containing personal details of the buyer, including any Criminal Record; details of the property including plans (hopefully Catastral identification will be sufficient); Passport and other official documents. Russian, Arab, USA citizens and others from outside EU have had to do this all the time, so it’s not been ‘thought up’ just to frustrate because of Brexit. However, with Brits historically being the major percentage of buyers, suddenly it could swamp the Military offices and months will go by before the purchase is approved. Sellers may be reluctant to wait with the possibility of the buyer being refused. Unless the Brits’ offer is substantially more than that of an EU citizen, the sale is likely to go to the EU. ‘A bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush’.

Survey Spain’s surveyors and valuers, plus lawyers, estate agents, banks, etc, are having to study the details of this largely unforeseen problem. As Registered Valuers, we have to gauge whether it will reduce the values of properties in the restricted areas, but perhaps increase the values of others elsewhere, where Brits are likely to look to avoid the problems.

Below is a map prepared by, indicating roughly the areas affected. In addition, there are some military camps, airports and other facilities that could well have their own ‘Regulation Zones’ outside the areas shown on the map.

This, combined with the EU’s 90-day maximum stay in any 180 days, again something that’s been in effect for many years before Brexit made Brits non-EU citizens, heaps on more bad news for those hoping to enjoy a leisurely life in the warmth and sun of Southern Spain.Map of affected areas

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