Due to its favourable living costs and high quality of life, new Zealand has come first in a quality of life survey by offshore savings bank Alliance & Leicester International.

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It says the country has one of the lowest average property values (£105,750) and affordable costs for food, drink and fuel. It also has one of the most favourable tax regimes with the highest band at 39% – lower than its neighbour Australia at 50% and the popular ex-Pat’ destination France (48%).

South Africa takes the number two slot, followed by Florida, Dubai and Canada. The UK rated eighth in the 14 countries listed.

France is thought to be the most expensive place to live, followed by Hong Kong, Spain, New York and Singapore.

Australia came out well with regards to quality of life, scoring second to New Zealand. Italy, Spain and Portugal also rated well in this part of the study.

Poor weather dragged down the UK in the rankings, along with Canada due to its cold winter temperatures.

While rated the second cheapest place for cost of living, South Africa did not fare well when it came to quality of life. The high crime rate – it has the highest rate of murder of any of the countries in the list – knocked it down to twelfth place in this category.

‘Costs and quality of life often are not the primary reasons that many UK citizens decide to move abroad, particularly if work takes them to another country. However, these certainly are important factors once people are in their new home,’ said Simon Ripton from Alliance & Leicester International.

‘Most places have their unique attractions, so while one country might be someone’s idea of heaven, it might be another’s idea of hell.’

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