British expats are the largest group of foreign property buyers in France. In 2013, 25% of foreign property buyers were British, 5% more than over the two past years. They are followed by buyers from Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.
There is more than one explanation as to why the British are in pole position and far ahead of other buyers. For one thing, the property market in the UK is recovering and more and more people in the UK start selling their homes to buy property overseas.
Difficulties have arisen for expats and local nationals living in Russia who wish to take out international mortgages on UK property. A statement from Offshoreonline.org has confirmed that one of Britain’s largest international mortgage lenders will no longer be accepting Russian based applications.
This means that expats based in Russia, and Russian nationals, must look for alternative routes when buying UK property. The new regulations apply for both buy-to-let deals and residential home purchases.
Estate agent Knight Frank stated that between March 2012 and March 2013, Russians bought a total of 8.5 percent of all properties in London above £2 million. At that rate, Russian oligarchs would end up controlling a significant proportion of London’s property market. Although this trend has eased due to stamp duty and capital gains tax which until recently did not apply to corporate buyers.
Lots of people are keen on buying a home on a sunny shore or in a city of their dreams. The price of foreign property can seem very attractive, especially when exchange rates favour the currency of the prospective buyer. Whatever your motivation, chasing this dream can be like walking on a minefield and it is smart to be aware of the risks involved.
There are some simple things you can do to help limit the risk and (hopefully) live happily ever after!
From the invention of the telegraph to the advent of video calls and social media, advances in technology have spelled improvements in everyone’s lives, but especially the lives of those who have made the move abroad. Now a new era in mobile banking technology promises the same revolution in the international banking space. All savvy expats take note!
It was only 40 years ago that journalists in New York first witnessed a mobile telephone call, but now we’re more than happy to entrust these palm-sized devices with our most intimate details; including those associated with our bank accounts.
HSBC’s latest Expat Explorer Survey has revealed a finding which might go some way to explaining the recent popularity of frontier economies with young expats: the cost of living in Europe.
While prices on the continent are, not surprisingly, higher than ever; the cost of living in Asia and the Americas means that, despite lower salaries overall, frontier economies are encouraging more expats to relocate.
The new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) legislation that will come into force next July (2014) has become the catalyst for many American expatriates to consider renouncing their U.S. citizenship.
U.S. citizens are required to continue paying tax to the U.S. government even when living and working abroad. However, this has not always been implemented as rigorously as it perhaps should have been. Completing tax returns is not an easy task and many expats didn’t bother at all.
It is often necessary for Americans living in a foreign country to enlist the help of professionals in order to complete the forms, who can charge an annual average of US$2,000. This figure could potentially rise to US$5,000 when FATCA is enforced. Some people only realise after the expense that they don’t in fact owe anything to the government.
Although the number has dropped slightly, British expats still account for a fifth of all house purchases by foreign buyers in France.
The data released by BNP Paribas showed, between 2011 and 2012, the total number of transactions carried out by Brits fell slightly from 19.4% to 19.1%.
Over the same period the total transaction amount has risen to €384,000, this suggests buyers are focussing on higher quality homes.
Two of the most popular regions for British expatriates are Brittany and Normandy, in the north-west of the country. They are also important buyers in more southerly provinces such as Aquitaine, and the midi-Pyrenees.
Italian buyers dominate in the Paris region, and Provence Alpes Cote D’Azur in the south east of the country, according to the data.
Over the past few months, news portals have been expressing concern about the fluctuation of the pound in the exchange market and its effect on British expats. Its value continues to decrease and not only is it losing them income, but it’s pushing Brits to confide in local currencies for savings instead.
The press first alerted people to the matter in January this year, outlining likely impacts of the pound depreciating.
Andorra has abandoned its reputation as a tax haven and will soon introduce income tax, giving into the pressure of its European neighbours. This small country has always been very attractive for expat residents and property buyers, but will this change with the new income tax?
Expats attracted by the idea of no tax on personal income have been buying property in Andorra for decades. Now the rules are changing and by introducing an income tax now, Andorra hopes to align itself with international standards.
The two most popular reasons expats cite for moving abroad are a better lifestyle and greater economic well being, according to a report from Lloyds TSB International. Although most feel they do enjoy these benefits, they’re not necessarily immediate.
In fact, packing up and moving home can be an expensive and stressful process in the short term. This creates a big demand for credit amongst expats, be it a mortgage for a new house, a credit card for the furniture to fill it, or anything else a new lifestyle might call for. However, the problem in countries like Canada and the United States is that expat access to credit is often restricted, as credit history from a previous home country isn’t always accepted in a new one.