Instability persuading Britons to move abroad

About 334,000 people left the UK in 2021, migration statistics show

Cordoba Roman Bridge crossing Guadalquivir River and Cordoba Mosque Cathedral in the background in Spain (Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***  wk08ap-tr-mkop-cordoba.jpg
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Britons are moving abroad due to sociopolitical instability, the high cost of living and the desire to retire somewhere with better weather, a survey has shown.

About 334,000 people left the UK in 2021, migration statistics showed.

Get Properties, a real estate advisory firm, commissioned a survey of Britons who recently bought property abroad.

Among the 240 surveyed — whose ages ranged from 25 to 65, with the majority being 65 and over -the top reason for moving out of the UK was sociopolitical instability.

In total, 38 per cent of people surveyed said the instability partly caused by the UK's recent succession of prime ministers — Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and now Rishi Sunak — was seen by some as a concern.

The second reason, cited by 27 per cent of respondents, was the country's high cost of living, which has worsened recently due to soaring inflation and rising interest rates.

Household bills were highlighted as one of the main areas of financial difficulty, as the Office for National Statistics reported that the Consumer Prices Index, including owner occupiers' housing costs, rose by 8.8 per cent in the 12 months to July 2022, up from 8.2 per cent in June.

The third most popular reason for moving abroad among those surveyed was the ability to live somewhere cheaper with a better climate — an answer given by 14 per cent of respondents.

The overwhelming majority of those surveyed, 82 per cent, owned a property in Southern Europe, and more than half said the cost of living was the main reason they had selected the location.

The majority, 70 per cent, said they will live in their new property full time.

Some of them are among the almost one million people from the UK that live in Spain, while more than 225,000 call France home, a white paper commissioned by Get Properties showed.

It said moving abroad has been a “steady trend” for UK residents since the Brexit vote.

Get Properties said Brexit has played a pivotal role in emigration, which has also led to more Britons moving to the UAE.

The company said continued financial hardship will be a contributing factor to Britons leaving in the future, as British citizens may get to a place where they simply cannot afford basic necessities in the UK.

Get Properties and Get Golden Visa founder and managing partner Murat Coskun, said: “The UK is now an incredibly expensive country to live in, and residents are realising it's possible to have a much higher quality of life in a number of other European countries with a significantly lower expenditure.

“Spain and Portugal are top markets for those who wish to buy a second property or a primary home where they can move their families altogether. These are also popular retirement destinations for Britons.”

Updated: November 04, 2022, 5:59 PM
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