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Expats – where in the world do you want to live?

Published: Monday 14 January 2019

By Adrian Bishop

With more UK expats looking to leave the country due to the Brexit uncertainty, a slowing economy and falling property values, new target destinations are emerging around the world. Where are the most popular places for Brits to move to – and where are the up and coming international property hotspots?

First stop, Europe

The first place many Britons consider is Europe, due to its closeness to the UK, cheap flights and strong expat communities.

Brexit is causing some to rethink…

But with confusion still swirling around Brexit, many Britons are considering other options, as well as the most popular choices of Spain and France.

Netherlands is top choice

The top choice is now the Netherlands, according to the DispatchEurope.com website. It scores 82 out of 90. All countries are ranked out of 10 on English, healthcare, ease of immigration, career opportunities, housing, education friendliness, culture and travel and safety.

Holland offers a similar experience to Britain, but with less crime and racial tension and a more affordable cost of living. In addition, English is widely spoken.

Germany and Portugal also popular

Germany is placed second, on 76 points mainly due to its strong economy and employment opportunities.

Portugal is third, with 73 points. It scores highly for affordability, Golden Visa residency-for-property scheme and housing costs, among others.

France and Spain top for travel and culture

Equal fourth are Spain and France on 72 points. They score most highly for culture and travel, as well as their healthcare and long life expectancy.

Spain dominates Google flight searches

Spain dominates the list of top 10 flight searches on Google in 2018. Football-related searches led the way, with Moscow and Kiev on top.

Spain has the next three entries with Tenerife, Seville and Gran Canaria. Geneva, in Switzerland, is sixth, followed by Dalaman, in Turkey, Sri Lanka, Larnaca, in Cyprus and Pakistan.

Spain, France and Germany lead the way

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 84,900 British citizens were living in the European Union, excluding the UK and Ireland on 1st January 2017.

The three most popular countries, Spain, France and Germany, accounted for 69% of British citizens living in the EU.

Two-thirds of British citizens living in the EU, excluding the UK and Ireland, are aged 15 to 64 years, with Spain their top choice.

Australia is THE emigration destination

Around the world, the most common destination for Brits choosing to emigrate is Australia and New Zealand on 33%, followed by the US or Canada on 28% with Europe, including Ireland, on 26%.

French emigrants prefer Europe

By comparison, 49% of French-born emigrants living outside France were living in the EU in 2015 and 44% of German-born emigrants living outside Germany were living in the EU.

More British men live in EU

More British men (53%) live in the EU than women - the greatest difference is in Lithuania, where 85% of Britons are male.
Aerial of Surfers Paradise city and beach, Gold Coast, Australia - Halo Financial

More than half prefer Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada

A spokesperson says, "Spain continues to be the most desirable location for the three-quarters of a million Brits living in the EU. However, the EU as a whole is not the most popular destination for British expats, with more than half preferring to live in English-speaking countries such as Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada."

Six predictions for the Spanish property market

Leading property developer, Taylor Wimpey España, has named six predictions for the Spanish property market.

German and French property buyers lead demand

Prices are set to rise from 5%-7%, with German and French buyers leading demand, along with Scandinavians and Britons.

Strong demand for domestic and overseas buyers

Sales and Marketing Director, Marc Pritchard, says,
"2019 looks set to be a busy year for the Spanish housing market, with strong demand from both domestic and overseas buyers for the right properties in the right locations. For second home buyers, both beach and golf properties will continue to be top of the priority list."

Holiday home targets

The three key regions that are like to continue to capture holiday home buyers' attention in 2019 will be Mallorca/Ibiza, the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol.

Costa del Sol’s Sotogrande

In particular, the team has highlighted the Costa del Sol's Sotogrande as a top 2019 hotspot. The company's brand new Pier development there was 30% sold by the time construction commenced, highlighting how popular the high end two and three-bedroom apartments are likely to be in 2019.

"We anticipate a lot of interest in Spanish second homes from German and French buyers over the course of 2019 - these two groups are likely to be buying in big numbers, along with keen interest from buyers in Scandinavia. It will be interesting to see what impact Brexit has on British buyers next year, too. At present they remain the leading nationality in terms of foreigners buying homes in Spain, though whether that will remain the case is something that nobody can predict with any certainty!”

Other up-and-coming countries

Other new and up-and-coming countries being considered by an increasing number of Britons include the Philippines, Japan and Costa Rica.

Getting there…

New Qantas flights to Australia’s east coast

Meanwhile, for those looking to settle down under, Qantas is planning to introduce new non-stop flights from Australia's east coast to London and New York by 2022.

Creche, lounge bar and exercise zone

The Project Sunrise flights would take around 22 hours and Qantas is considering including new onboard facilities such as an exercise zone, creche and lounge bar.

Post-Brexit flights from UK to Canada

Flights between the UK and Canada have been secured post-Brexit after the two countries signed a new air services agreement. This replaces the current EU contract.

Economic and cultural bonds

Britain’s transport secretary, Chris Graylng, says, “This new aviation arrangement between the U.K. and Canada will further strengthen the strong economic and cultural bonds shared between our countries.”

New flights to Caribbean

Migrants who are planning to migrate to the Caribbean or to buy a second home, will be interested in new partnerships being offered by the Thomas Cook airline has formed new partnerships offering five new destinations in the Caribbean and Europe.

Customers can now fly from Manchester, London Gatwick or Frankfurt via existing Thomas Cook Group Airline destinations Antigua, Barbados and Grenada.

Airline partnerships

Partnering with Caribbean Airline, Lait, new destinations Dominica, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, Casties/St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines can be reached.

New European partnership

In addition, a new European partnership has been formed with Thomas Cook airline and airBaltic. Travellers can fly from London Gatwick to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and to Riga, the capital of Latvia, this winter.

Moving overseas to work

Estonia for entrepreneurs

Estonia is a top target of entrepreneurs thanks to its support for new business and strong economic growth. Its 5.2 start-ups per 100,000 population is the highest in the Baltics.

Altogether, in 2017-18, there have been 673 start-ups in a population of 1.3 million, according to the estonianworld.com website.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Estonia rose 4.2% in the year to Quarter 3, 2018, according to the latest figures from Statistics Estonia.

Czech Republic employment options

The Czech Republic is another top target for expats looking for work, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors, where it is facing a real shortage. The Czech Republic was ranked the 10th best country in the Internations Expat Insider 2018 report and Prague the eighth-best city for expats.

It is already home to half a million expat workers, mostly from European countries, but more are needed. The figure is an all-time high. There are thought to be around 5,000 Britons living in the country.

The Czech Republic is the third-most-visited country in Europe. Up to September 2018, it welcomed around eight million foreign tourists, a rise of 5%, reports the Metro website.

Hotels need more staff

Viliam Sivek President of the Czech Tourism Forum (FCR) says without new workers it will be difficult to handle the growing number of tourists. In fact, some hotels in rural areas are closing down because they cannot find enough staff.  Among jobs most needed are chefs, maids, cleaners, and guides.
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