29 Jan, 2010 @ 14:00
1 min read

Expat exodus

ALMOST three quarters of Britons living in Spain are now considering moving back to the UK.

Amid falling property prices, a weak pound and unemployment reaching 20 per cent, expatriates have been forced to reconsider their options.

Of the one million Britons living in Spain some 74 per cent revealed that repatriation is now a distinct possibility, according to a study undertaken by Moneycorp.

Some 37 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they were already looking into returning to the British Isles.

The house market crash has seen the value of homes on the Costa del Sol crash to below 65 per cent their original asking price.

“Brits living in Spain are particularly affected by the struggling property market with many owning holiday homes and letting out their Spanish properties.”

Add the plummeting pound and limited job opportunities, the survey has fuelled fears that there could be a widespread exodus.

“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,” said David Kerns, Head of Private Clients at Moneycorp.

“Brits living in Spain are particularly affected by the struggling property market with many owning holiday homes and letting out their Spanish properties.”

Meanwhile, the survey also revealed that more than a third of expatriates in Italy, Germany and France are also mulling over moving back to the UK.

Kerns added: “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.”

The survey interviewed 250 Europe-based UK expatriates and was conducted from October to November 2009.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. In an interesting juxtaposition you have the heading just to the right of this article: ‘Brits Costa-bound again!’ Good news for airline ticket sales either way.

  2. I would suggest that a survey of 250 people is hardly a reliable cross section. How were the people selected? What was the geographical spread?

    It would also depend on how the survey questions were framed and presented to the respondents.

  3. The Moneycorp figures – released as news by the Daily Telegraph – are ‘unlikely’ to say the least. In fact, the final paragraph of the original Telegraph story (‘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’) rather suggests that the whole article was more of an ‘advertorial’ than a hard-hitting article.
    Shame on the Torygraph!
    Let’s see what they think in Albox – the Almería town where there are threats of demolitions and everyone is nervous.
    I asked in a local forum (www.arboleas.co.uk) under the title ‘I wanna go home’ what people thought about returning to the UK.
    Results: 42 (21.6%) would like to return to the UK, if only they could.
    152 (78.4%) are quite happy here, muchas gracias.

  4. Good riddance. If you can’t afford to live here you did not integrate properly. If you were selling your services to the Spanish instead of the Brits you would still be here and enjoying life all the more. Go home and pretend to be builders and plumbers in the UK, we don’t need you.

  5. Ah, but the Spanish won’t buy services from a Brit – unless there was no other alternative even a more expensive one. I generalise, of course, but not by much.

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