UK Pension Freedoms Make Moving To Europe Easier

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Conditions for selling up in the UK and moving to Europe in 2015 are arguably the best they have been for years, said in April, adding that the combination of pension rule changes, exchange rate and low prices abroad should favour Brits on the verge of relocating. Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to want to take advantage of the opportunity to assume charge of their lifetime savings.

Overseas property experts are excited by the prospects of a boom in property purchases abraod as the UK sees new pension arrangements come into force from April 2015. The new regulations allow 55 year with a pension pot to access thier savings and the freedom to do what they like with them. Europe's prioperty market has always been attractive propossition to those nearing retirement and owing a holday home abroad or a second home could well be a sound investment.

“In the UK, the spring resurgence in the property market is expected to be bolstered by a flood of liberated cash from pension pots, thanks to the new rules that came into force this month, with much of this money likely to be channelled into property,” said Elaine Ferguson, Head of the Resource Centre at “This increased demand should put upward pressure on average house prices in the UK, which would be welcome news if you are selling and even more of a bonus if you will be converting the proceeds of your sale into euros to purchase in Spain, France, Portugal or anywhere else in Europe. With the exchange rate hovering at an eight-year high in the high €1.30s, Brits' buying power in the Eurozone is pretty strong right now. Throw into the mix the fact that property prices in most popular European destinations remain stagnant and the picture looks even rosier.

“From our experience in helping people relocate, planning is everything when swapping the UK for a new life abroad. You need a good agent and legal representative on your side at both ends, and should think about the most efficient way of transferring your funds abroad as early as possible, to avoid the risk of losing money to fluctuating exchange rates. It's important to get all your finances in order and to do as much research as you can before you even consider buying a property overseas.”

Buyers Beware

Don’t be fooled when you are told that you only need a Notary. The Notary is required in many countries but doesn’t do everything. You still need an independent lawyer.

Why shouldn’t you use the seller’s lawyer to help you buy the property? For exactly the same reasons as when you are buying back home – because it is impossible to act in the best interest of two parties who want different things.

Clare Nessling, director at overseas mortgage specialists Conti, says: "Make sure they have no connections to your seller, estate agent or property developer, and have secured all the required licences and planning consents." You should seek an independent property valuation, which should highlight any problems such as boundary disputes.