Majorca beach Spain
Spain has said that its getting rid of the Golden Visa. ENRIQUE CALVO/Reuters

UK retirees who are homeowners, together with other dual homeowners in Spain, have been hit the hardest by Brexit's movement restrictions.

Since the UK left the European Union (EU) in 2020, holidaymakers have been unable to enjoy their properties freely and can only stay in an EU country for 90 out of every 180 days without a visa.

Spain has since announced that it will be scrapping its Golden Visa scheme, which has seen non-EU citizens who invest a minimum of £429,000 into Spanish properties to live and work in the country for up to three years.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the axing comes as the government has focused on prioritising affordable housing for Spaniards over "speculative business."

After the UK obtained its third-country status, Noon said that he and his wife, Gail Noon, continued to purchase a house in Spain, hoping the pair would be eligible for the Golden Visa.

The father of two revealed that he bought a three-bedroom villa on the coast of Costa Del Sol, located in the south of Spain.

Vueling passengers in Spain
Vueling passengers queue at check-in desks at Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport in Malaga Vueling/Reuters

Having already started the Golden Visa application process, Noon said that he and his wife have been left in a frenzy after it was announced that the Golden Visa would be axed this week.

"We agreed to buy the villa off plan and were promised a Golden Visa. The lawyer was just in the process of preparing the application this very moment," Noon said. "I'm unsure if it will be too late for him to finalise it and they will reject it. This has come completely out of the blue and mucks things up a bit for us as we had planned on coming for the winter."

The retired homeowner called the cancellation "absolutely crazy" and noted: "We give business to gardeners, pool maintenance companies, marinas, restaurants, the list is endless. We create massive employment."

"All we Brits do is spend money when we are here."

Noon criticised the Spanish government's plan to prioritise affordable housing for locals, arguing that "the sort of people that the Prime Minister speaks of do not buy multi-million-pound villas. Scrapping the Golden Visa will not help these people; in fact, they might find themselves unemployed!"

"Where we are on the Costa Del Sol, the building is relentless, and the purchase taxes for our villa alone were six figures. The building will stop, developers will be left with unsold properties, and the Spanish Government will lose out in a big way."

According to The Times newspaper, around 800,000 to one million Britons own a property in Spain, with most homeowners settling down near the coastline.

Less than half of the homeowners, 370,000, had registered as residents of the Spanish nation before Brexit.

Sanitas Health Plan Spain, a health insurance provider, has also reported that around 40 per cent of all property sales across Spain are thought to be from UK buyers.