Rain blamed for record number of Brits buying property abroad

28 August 2007
Following a report from Barclays Buying Abroad stating that bad weather in the UK is driving Brits abroad, migration company Overseas Emigration has voiced concerns that this year’s wet summer will further exacerbate the situation, increasing the number of people buying property in warmer climes.

Managing director, Richard Gregan, said: “The weather is always among the top reasons for leaving and this summer we have had more calls than the previous five. It’s not the only reason, but it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

The Office of National Statistics has revealed that 385,000 people left Britain in 2005-2006, higher than any year since the introduction of the counting system in 1991. Approximately 250,000 of these were British citizens. Meanwhile, Globalvisas.com reports that enquiries for visas to destinations such as Australia and Canada have quadrupled this year.

Property prices are another major factor in the decision to move abroad. According to a survey from National Savings & Investments, 84 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds believe it is more viable to buy property abroad than to buy in the UK and 36 per cent of potential first-time buyers renting in London would consider buying abroad. It also showed that 8 million UK citizens now own overseas property, with 43 per cent choosing Spain for ease of travel.

A report from Propertymartoverseas.com states that: “soaring prices, spiralling debt, rising interest rates and a seemingly ineffective government are all contributory factors for this mass exodus with expats seeking a better quality of life, a lower cost of living and more reliable weather.”

According to the overseas property guide website, the number of Brits moving abroad has increased by 50 per cent in the last ten years. It claims that harrowing crime reports in the media and fears that public services will become stretched as a result of higher numbers of immigrants in the UK are also pushing people overseas.

Mintel reports that the number of Brits who own a home abroad increased by 45% between 2004 and 2006 and it appears this figure will continue to rise in the foreseeable future.

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