Country houses for sale

Cheapest countries for British expats

As the pound has fallen in value against the other major world currencies, a survey reveals that the cheapest places for British expatriates is Australasia.

Retiring Britons or those who are planning to emigrate are best off in Australia and New Zealand where the cost of living is one third lower than in the UK. Those living Down Under enjoy a lower cost of living than any of the other top 10 expat hot spots.
The research was commissioned by Foreign Currency Direct compares the cost of essential and non-essential purchases common to a British person living overseas.  New Zealand is the cheapest, with a cost of living 33 per cent lower than in the UK.  Australia is not far behind, offering a cost of living 22 per cent lower than in the UK.

Price differences:

Ford focus
Australia (£9,338)
New Zealand (£9,401)
UK (£12,866)

Half a dozen eggs
Australia (84p)
New Zealand (70p)
UK (£1.61)

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Starbucks cappuccino
£1.28 (New Zealand)
£1.10 (Australia)
£2.12 (UK)

British travellers or residents in Europe are paying 10% more on the cost of purchasers compared with September 2008. The cost of living within the Eurozone is now higher than the UK with France revealed as the most expensive destination for British expatriates (34% more expensive than the UK). Italy and Cyprus remain cheaper with the cost of living 14% and 8% lower than the UK respectively.

The survey covered the top 10 Countries where Britons would most like to own a property: New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Greece, USA, Spain, Portugal and France.
Peter Ellis, chief executive of Foreign Currency Direct says: ‘When considering a move abroad, Britons should not only consider the quality of life and cost of property overseas, they should also be aware of significant variations in the cost of living.  If your main source of income is in Sterling, the cost of items overseas can vary significantly with exchange rates.’

Overseas properties for sale

Look out for Country Life International published with this week’s issue of Country Life (March 4).