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Three-quarters of British expats in Spain considering returning home
21 January 2010 @ 08:26

Falling property prices, a weak pound, and fears over job security are forcing those living abroad to rethink the move.

Britons residing in Spain are suffering the most financially, with four in five complaining that the drop in the value of the pound against the euro has left them worse off.
 
For many of the estimated one million Britons living in recession hit Spain, where unemployment stands at almost 20 per cent, the dream has turned sour.

The poll commissioned by Moneycorp, the UK foreign exchange specialist, found that 74 per cent of those living in Spain are considering repatriation.

Some 37 per cent of those who responded to the survey said they were already looking into returning home and a similar number said they may have to consider the option in the future.

British expats in Germany, Italy and France also responded with 38 per cent, 34 per cent and 33 per cent respectively stating that they would move back to the UK permanently.

David Kerns, Head of Private Clients at Moneycorp predicted a surge in the number of expats returning to the UK from countries within the European Union over the coming months.

"Our research shows that British expats have had a tough time and the findings reveal that no country has escaped unharmed from the economic downturn," he said.

"Brits living in Europe are feeling the effects of the weak pound as they are more likely to be reliant on income from their British property, UK pension and other regular sources of funds."

Those that own property abroad have seen the problem compounded by a dramatic fall in the real estate market, particularly in Spain, where prices on the Costas have dropped as much as 65 per cent.

"Brits living in Spain are particularly affected by the struggling property market with many owning holiday homes and letting out their Spanish properties," explained Mr Kerns.

But he said that British expats could do more to protect their income and avoid "nasty surprises" due to currency fluctuations.

"During challenging times, there is certainly more that expats can be doing to manage their money and make sure that they are making the most of their income," Mr Kern advised.

"By monitoring the currency markets and seeking expert guidance they can avoid nasty surprises in exchange rates and determine the best time to transfer money to and from the UK."

Source:  Telegraph



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19 Comments

Moraira Property said:
21 January 2010 @ 15:51

Let me see. The Euro is now weakening against Sterling. Inflation in the UK rose sharply this week. Housing costs in the UK are still very high. Interest rates seem likley to rise. Cuts in public spending seem difficult to avoid. Don't think your being a little hasty do you?


pat cavanagh said:
21 January 2010 @ 19:42

AFTER READING YOUR COMMENTS ON PEOPLE LEAVING SPAIN, THE U.K.IS NO PLACE TO COME HIGH TAX,UNEMPLOYMENT,HOUSE PRICES ARE FAR TO HIGH LOOK WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR CASH IN THE E.U. CON PAIRED TO THE U.K. WE WANT TO GO TO SPAIN TO LIVE WE ARE LOOKING FOR A 3 BED 2 BATHROOM TO RENT ANYWHERE IN SPAIN FOR AROUND 320 EUROS ANYONE GOT ANYWHERE. YOU CAN KEEP THE U.K. ROLL ON SPAIN.


brian thurlborn said:
22 January 2010 @ 17:29

we have lived here for 13 yrs my husband goes back to uk for 2-3 months to work but this last year has been bad i am a pensioner i get 75 pounds a week if it wasnt for the locals we could not survive if we could afford to get back to the uk we WOULD(we live in a small village in the mountains NO SWIMMING POOL!!! temp in winter -4to -7)


Famly Ronan said:
23 January 2010 @ 14:53

You can't live on sunshine. No work, no money and food prices going through the roof. Businesses closing everywhere, and area is like a ghost town - this is Torrevieja (Sth Costa Blanca area). We're going back to UK after 8 years. Property prices very cheap if you don't need to work and have good pension/income.


dartboy said:
24 January 2010 @ 14:36

sorry we are full their is no where for them to return to,i wouldnt rush back as you will be worse off than when you left meaning if you left to avoid the falling standards of behaviour etc you will come back to find it worse and you will have to buy in an area that wouldn't maybe be to the standards of the area you left this will only compound your misery and then with the lack of sun shine no jobs and a high cost of living you may well end up suisidal


dartboy said:
24 January 2010 @ 14:37

sorry we are full their is no where for them to return to,i wouldnt rush back as you will be worse off than when you left meaning if you left to avoid the falling standards of behaviour etc you will come back to find it worse and you will have to buy in an area that wouldn't maybe be to the standards of the area you left this will only compound your misery and then with the lack of sun shine no jobs and a high cost of living you may well end up suisidal


dartboy said:
24 January 2010 @ 14:37

sorry we are full their is no where for them to return to,i wouldnt rush back as you will be worse off than when you left meaning if you left to avoid the falling standards of behaviour etc you will come back to find it worse and you will have to buy in an area that wouldn't maybe be to the standards of the area you left this will only compound your misery and then with the lack of sun shine no jobs and a high cost of living you may well end up suisidal


karen said:
24 January 2010 @ 16:50

I have lived on the costa Blanca for 2years ,and would never go back to live in UK, I left my Husband after 20 years and found a lovley guy who has been out hear for 5 years, we get wed in summer, and the ex goes to gail for smugaling drugs back to UK, and trying to kill me with then so a big party is on the horizon, you can have a party every day when you live in spain


JOHN WARNER said:
09 February 2010 @ 18:53

Don't despair if you are returning you are far better off here. My Brother and Sister in law have returned from Spain absolutely broke. Now after three months they have had their pension topped up to £200 a week and have found a flat in the private sector for £850 a month which will be paid for together with their Council Tax by the DHSS. You couldn't het that anywhere else in Europe.


JOHN WARNER said:
09 February 2010 @ 18:53

Don't despair if you are returning you are far better off here. My Brother and Sister in law have returned from Spain absolutely broke. Now after three months they have had their pension topped up to £200 a week and have found a flat in the private sector for £850 a month which will be paid for together with their Council Tax by the DHSS. You couldn't het that anywhere else in Europe.


harry said:
21 August 2010 @ 11:21

any one looking to rent there villa on long term bases with 3 bed 2 bath inland areas only. For 350 euros per month i would like to hear from them with photos please. [ photos a must please ]
harrycopeland228@hotmail.co.uk
harry


Patricia said:
30 August 2010 @ 20:39

I have returned from Spain after 4 years. I lost everything, my house, money everything. I returned to the UK one month ago with 6 euros in my pocket. I have been treated extremely badly by the Council and have been told that I don't "habitually reside" in the UK, despite being an English citizen and never left the country for 49 years. I have had to borrow money from my mother, who is 73 years old and on benefits and am sleeping on her sofa. Please do be careful if you move out to Spain - there are few jobs, unemployment is high and speaking Spanish is a must. At least I now speak fluent Spanish, but unless you are going out to retire and have a large amount of money in the bank, please make sure you do a lot of research beforehand. There are good and bad things in every country and I adored Spain, but without money, it can be as miserable as it is in the UK.


Spacemonkey said:
13 November 2010 @ 07:57

My parents moved to Spain 10 years ago and I followed them 3 years later. Now we are desperate to move away from Spain, my parents wish to return to UK while I’m open to other ideas.
Unfortunately we both own properties in Spain which are now virtually worthless and unsalable due to the complete collapse of the Spanish property market. In my town, Nerja, there are at least 3 large scale brand new developments standing empty for lack of buyers plus numerous unfinished building projects scarring the landscape.
My parents are pensioners and have seen their income fall by 40%, I earn in Sterling and so my income has fallen by a similar amount. Pensioners are being extremely badly affected, do not under any circumstances even consider retirement in Spain.
Work in Spain is virtually impossible to find, unemployment is almost 20%. Businesses are closing daily, new businesses are failing almost immediately. Tourists, the life blood of the economy, are coming in smaller numbers and are spending much less while they are here.
Spaniards do things differently to the British. In these recession hit times we see retailers in UK slashing their prices to keep the business moving. Conversely, Spanish retailers increase their prices, the rational being that if they are selling less then they must charge more to sustain profits.
Contrary to popular opinion, the weather in Spain is not sunshine all the way. In winter it is cold, wet and very windy. Spanish houses are not built to withstand this, they have no insulation (either for temperature or noise), no double glassing and no central heating. Far from basking in the sun, you will likely to be cold and miserable from November to March each year.
If you are moving to Spain, you must learn to speak Spanish. This cannot be stressed enough, you absolutely cannot get by without this. I don’t care if that lovely waiter at the beach bar last summer spoke good English, no one else does or will.
Spain is expensive. Food is generally more expensive than UK, how does £3.50 for a cauliflower sound? Clothes, shoes, furniture and home furnishings, telephone lines, internet (when you can get it), electricity, gas and water charges are all much more expensive than UK.
Income tax is higher in Spain than UK. While there is no council tax, there is IBI which is a similar municipal tax. If you live on an urbanization there will be additional fees to pay which combined with IBI will be close to what you pay for council tax in UK. If you buy a property, the government takes 8.5% in taxes, similar to UK stamp duty which is between 0-4%. Don’t tell me taxes in UK are too high, you have no idea!!
Add to this the general gripes about Spain, that is; that the Spaniards are ignorant, lazy and rude, customer service is an alien concept and that trying to get the simplest of things achieved is a bureaucratic nightmare and its little wonder ex-pats are leaving in there thousands.



Odin said:
03 February 2011 @ 17:16

i totally agree with Spacemonkey, this bunch of dados are still coming out of the trees, the corruption is blatant,if you are a ex-pat you are easy game for the guardia,the town hall is only interested in lining their own pockets,they make up laws like junior school children would do in a playground,FOOD is expensive,a lady in this area whose husband died recently enquired about home help,NO!!! In the uk every one gets help, more so if you come from another country !! spain is ripping off the eu with out it they would be down and OUT!!


molly said:
25 February 2011 @ 21:18

Ive lived in Catalunya 10 years
wonderful village inland
kind people, wonderful health service
New sports centre for swimming, no crime, good shopping, still cheaper than london. Have a new flat, like living in a 5 star hotel, half the price of London
electric and gas prices as london
rates about a tenth of the london prices
There is no work in Spain (neverwas)
or business (never was)
Great Art school. Who would go back to London. I am retired, old people are treated with kindness. What are these people moaning about. Prices are lower than before, so why sell up now.
Buying a property, takes a few days instead of the nightmare 3 months at home. You can trust the notary, the bank. Love it.


UK Bound ! said:
08 May 2011 @ 16:35

I have lived here in Spain for 10 years now, and most certainly, the good times have gone and probably never to been seen again, that is our generation anyway. Unemployment is still around the 20% mark, with a huge number of Eastern Europeans and immigrants from Africa taking most of the general jobs, road workers, labourers, fruit pickers etc etc. I have been lucky, as I own and run my own business here. I don't live on the costas, as I moved here to sample the real Spain and it's cultures,living in land. Speaking fluent Spanish is a must and a BIG must. If you don't, then be prepared to be ripped off, fact ! My family and I are now fluent in both Catalan and Castellano.

Therefore, for those of you wanting to "live the dream", I wouldn't bother unless you have a healhy bank account or you are retired. If you are thinking of starting a business here, then again, don't bother. National insurance payments are high, very high and also with the financial problems of which Spain has, they are now looking for other ways now in which to retrieve what they have lost. It isn't going to be long before they are going to need a financial bail out either. So it's a plain fact that taxes are on the increases and I also believe that this country in, I would say five years time, will be one of the most expensive in Europe as "El Gobierno" (the government) try to redeem the ever downward spiralling control of their economy.
So, for me and my family, it's a return to the UK. If you can speak & read the Spanish language then you will know what is happening to this country & the absolute dire mess it is in financially, over run by Eastern Europeans in massive numbers, with the majority being Romanians doesn't help their cause. Good and bad in all races and creeds, but these people thieve for fun. So if you couldn't speak a word of Spanish and had been robbed, what would you say to the local Guardia Civil ? So for those of you who have posted your views on this forum page and still live in the UK, my advice to you is keep your money in your pocket and soldier on in the UK. If you haven't lived here or you can't speak the language to support yourselves then don't bite the hand that feeds you !


brian thurlborn said:
22 August 2011 @ 18:34

i agree with UK bound and Spacemonkey,Spain is not the place to be now!! ok for the person that mentioned london (how can you compare!!?) if someone would come along and buy our house we would hot foot it back to the uk,at least we could have a bus pass and a heating allowance,ETC !!


Essexboy said:
02 December 2012 @ 11:30

Hmmmm....very mixed comments above - but general message I'm getting is that no one allowed for a lower standard of living and made merry in the boom years - shit happens people! But coming back here to this dump?...We bought a massive 3 bed 2 bath apartment in Southern Spain last year for £40,000 from the bank, taking advantage of the buyers market. I'm leaving this wreck of a country to go live on my fat government pension - I don't drink, don't smoke and consider myself reasonably healthy - no grandchildren yet but if they come along then they can come and see me in Spain... I never got this idea that grandkids want their grandparents around - they all want x boxes and smartphones now - not old people as extra parents! So I'll benefit from the healthier climate in a village 8 mins from the sea down a deserted highway (even in the height of summer) and some of the best beaches in Spain and enough money to live on no matter how weak the Euro gets, I have no intention of coming back to this place - I can't remember how many poor summers in a row we have had here in the UK.... I'm selling up and buggering orf thank you! They can bury me in Spain!


LeedsLad said:
29 April 2013 @ 07:49

I do feel sorry for those that upped and looked to retire in sunny spain for which the dream has now turned sour, however sadly they are caught up in a double-edged sword situation as here in old blighty there is "no peace for the wicked" ie - the cost of living is so high pensioners are continuing to work on minimum wage jobs to make ends meet..!!, taxation here has gone through the roof..!!, for anyone seeking to make he transition back into the UK system effectively your jumping out of the frying pan and into the "furnace"....!!


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