25 Apr, 2015 @ 18:00
1 min read

Spain only the third most popular destination for emigrating Brits

plane overhead

plane_overheadSPAIN has been knocked off its pole position as the most popular destination for emigrating Brits.

The UK’s ‘Eldorado’ has been pushed into third place by two surprising new contenders.

Over the past five years, the USA and Australia have leapfrogged Spain as the preferred choice for Brits moving abroad.

From 2009 to 2014, just 52,000 Brits headed to Spain, down 124,000 on the previous four-year period.

In comparison, an astonishing 207,000 Brits have upped sticks in the last five years for a life down under, while 80,000 have taken the trans-Atlantic route in search of the American Dream.


Rob Horgan

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  1. Not surprising given the terrible state of the Spanish economy, its draconian government and, of course, its never-ending corruption and awful treatment of property owners who are left with irregular and illegal homes through no fault of their own. I expect Spain to slip further.

  2. The number of Brits buying property in Spain in 2014 was 7,023, a rise of 27.6% over the previous year. With the increase in the value of the pound it’s very likely we’ll see another increase this year. It’s simply not true to state that Spain is not attracting investors from the UK (or other countries), quite the reverse. Of course there may not just be financial reasons behind that. They may prefer the scenery, the modern transport links, the climate or even just the superior nightlife and football league! You’d have to ask them personally for their real motives. Perhaps they just want to make money from renting their apartment out on HomeAway or Airbnb !!

    • Spain doesn’t have a monopoly on nice scenery or the only modern transport links. As for the “climate”, well Spain has all different sorts of climates and it’s not all sun. Of course, if you like being baked to death in Summer then Spain is for you. Superior nightlife? In what way? All nonsense from Squiddy, as usual. Spain as a destination is easy for Brits with its cheap flights and a good exchange rate (at the moment) – but we know the exodus that will occur if/when the market slips backwards again. If you call some Brits buying cheap houses a “recovery” then you are way off the mark. Australia and the US are efficient countries with high levels of service; a world away from Spain in that respect, and of course that appeals to people when they hear the way in which Spain runs things.

      • Spain is a beautiful place lovely people my husband is Spanish and his family, where we are is very up market no drunks dont class all Spain with Benidorm .Have you ever lived there .And the Spanish love the British we have a home in both countries and I rather be in Spain .

      • Val, yes I live in Spain , and the fact you can get a cheap flight there doesn’t have anything to do with Benidorm, specifically. Benidorm is not the Spain I know, or like. Yes, the Spanish people are (mostly) lovely. The government is horrible, however lol.

  3. It would be interesting to know where the reporter got his info, as the US is probably the most difficult place to get a residence visa and forget about it if you want to move as a retiree. The same goes for Aussiee.

  4. I’d agree with Fred but add that more than a few have heard of all the difficulties & paper shuffling required to get even the simplest thing achieved. That’s not generally the case in either the US nor Australia. There one can just get things done.

  5. Demolitions, in a word, are the reason that Spain has been knocked off its perch. The Priors’ demolition will turn out to be the most expensive demolition in history and this is the fallout from that single act. Foreign buyers have no confidence in the Spanish legal system and will not buy in large numbers unless and until the property laws are changed and offer them protection.

    I don’t get it, the economy is stagnant, unemployment is still frighteningly high and they desperately need to flog off tens of thousands of empty properties yet they do nothing about the property laws which are not fit for purpose. Thousands of people would like to retire to Spain but they have been scared off by all the horror stories and who can blame them. Think about it, these people would bring large pensions with them, invest in property, pay taxes, spend money in their local communities and their health care would be paid for by their country of origin but instead of valuing the contribution these people would make to the economy, the Spanish authorities cock a snoot at them, why? They should be expanding the residential tourism industry not contracting it.

    I am at a loss to understand their logic but in the case of Andalucia, it could be an act of sabotage because with the general election looming, they do not want any economic growth in the region while the PP are in government in Madrid.

  6. Jane is correct but I was telling my sons the other day that if they end up obtaining good qualifications then maybe Australia would be a good place to live for a while or even permanently. Spain is the last place if you need to work or earn money, as for renting your place out there, quite easy to check how difficult it is. Go on homeaway as suggested and see how empty the places are outside of the kids holidays (when the owners are there anyway). Also look at the low prices that are being charged as the market is flooded with properties, then take into account the new laws that mean unless you want to comply with and complete a 27 page document etc etc,… Then the new tax laws for world wide income / assets if you live there. Holiday home yes, retirement if you can still keep a house in the UK, yes, anything else don’t bother.

  7. Not only is British property investment in Spain rising (27.6% in 2014), but as per an article in El Pais, the British are leading an upsurge in foreign tourist spending in Spain. According to the IET, “Tourist spending grew 7.0% year-on-year to reach over €10.7 billion by late March, while visitor numbers rose 5.3% for a three-month total of 10.6 million people”. Good news for those letting out properties on HomeAway or Airbnb?
    Great to see Spain improve earnings year on year. Now the property market is coming alive again, there will be a lot more jobs created in the construction sector too.

    • A new boom in the construction sector is the last thing Spain needs, for that is what caused a large portion of all the illegal and irregular builds and led to the crash. Spain needs to get systems and infrastructure in place first, and then proceed cautiously. Pigs might fly too. Remember, there are millions of empty homes across Spain, all slowly rotting away to nothing. On a train trip to Madrid recently I passed dozens of empty urbanisations, all decaying and abandoned. Spain just builds without any thought of the consequences.

      As for letting out your house, it’s far from easy if you want to do it properly, and legally. The new laws on holiday rentals means you have to jump through lots of hoops to comply with the latest regulations, and then there is the tax declarations to comply with. Airbnb is the Junta’s main system for tracing and fining holiday renters who haven’t got their safety inspections and other paperwork in place.

  8. We were in Spain for a few weeks recently and you hear 2 sides to the story, we went individually into the same agents on different days.

    If you’re a buyer you are told ‘now is a good time to invest/buy and the market is picking up’

    If you’re a seller you are told ‘there are so may properties on the market that you have to be more than realistic as the market is still struggling in many areas apart from certain areas on the CDS and Mallorca’

    At no time are you told of huge transaction costs, unless you ask point blank, and some agents still point you to their chosen lawyers (dangerous) and also expect a laughable holding deposit, as if?

    We know of no-one in our circle of friends/acquaintances in the UK who are buying in Spain or intend to, but do know some buying in France for ease of access and what you can buy for your money. Why not Spain we asked, well ‘there are so many bad stories of peoples’ property problems, and, fears of a Grexit at some time in the future’. Many Brits still have not felt the benefit of the UK’s improved economy either yet.

  9. Not shocked at all,without the Sun,Sea and cheap booze the costa is a horrible place,all the Brits there have drink/health problems,money problems and say its a happier life but I really dont think it is,plus the Spanish hate them. Great for a holiday however!!

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