British are buying property abroad & leaving the country

The British are not only buying  overseas property for holiday homes but  increasingly to enable them to leave the UK and live abroad. The UK housing market has been kind for many home owners giving them large amounts of equity to spend on a home overseas. The prospect of the UK winter and low cost airlines is also playing a part in making owning a property abroad irresistible. Around 2.2 million British already own property abroad, according to Barclays, and that number will double over the next few years.
Not just a second home but a permanent residence
The trend to buy a home abroad has gone a step further with huge numbers of British emigrating to sunnier climates. Some 198,000 UK citizens, almost 4,000 a week, left the country last year to live abroad, the Office of National Statistics has reported. Emigrating currency advice
So where are all the Brits going?
Of the near 200,000 UK citizens who went, a fifth went to Australia, the most preferred destination, although Spain and France were next on the list. The number of British citizens emigrating each year has increased by about 50,000 a year over the last 10 years, with more than 1m leaving in the last six years alone. The Foreign Office has published a booklet to help those thinking of moving abroad Going to Live Abroad.
House prices abroad no longer a key factor
Suzanne Clay, head of European business development at Barclays. But it could cost more than you think: “Some people perceive house prices in Spain, France and Italy to be cheaper than in the UK, and this is not necessarily the case.” The Barclays survey found that almost half of us think an average property in Spain costs less than £100, 00. Overseas mortgages advice
Foreign  office warning regarding Spanish property
Foreign Office advice is that: ‘If you intend to purchase a property in Spain you are strongly advised to engage a local lawyer. British nationals purchasing property in Spain are strongly recommended to deal only with established and reputable estate agents or with other contacts that they know to be reliable and genuine, and to make all payments within bank premises and/or through banking channels. Make sure that the full purchase price of the property is reflected on the escritura (deeds) and do not pay ‘black money’ in cash to the seller, even if persuasive arguments about taxes are advanced: you could end up having to pay the capital gains tax that should have been paid by the person from whom you bought your new home’

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