Expats feeling the squeeze overseasBut nearly half say they're still not coming back

12 March 2009

Over half of expats have noticed a decrease in their disposable income since January 2008.

The research, done by Halifax International, also found 44% of Britons living abroad noticed a decrease of 10% or more in their disposable income.

Almost two-thirds (62%) have seen a decrease in their overall investment portfolios.

a spanish villa

You'll also need to pay taxes on properties abroad

Still better off overseas 

63% of expats also believe that the economic situation in their current country of residence is better than in the UK. 

In addition, property abroad has suffered to a lesser extent than in the UK, with one third of expats (33%) stating that the value of their property overseas has remained the same since January 2008. 

With regards to rental markets, over half (54%) reported no change in their rent payments overseas.

Other costs rise

But in terms of the other essentials such as food, almost nine out of ten (88%) said there had been an increase in the amount that they were paying.

Over half (52%) said they've noticed an increase in price of 10% or more.

No returns

The research also revealed that 41% of Britons living around the world have no plans ever to return to the UK. 

The top reasons for leaving in the first place are:

  • For a better quality of life (56%)
  • Work (44%)
  • To escape the weather (27%)
  • To escape the youth culture and crime (20%) 

Nevertheless, expats still miss elements of the UK, the most popular factor being family or people (44%), followed by the culture, with one third (30%) of expats confessing that they miss the traditional British way of life. 

More unexpectedly others missed the UK’s standard of recreational sport, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Marmite and the countryside. 

But one in four (27%) miss nothing at all.