Value For Money Overseas Homes For Expats

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If you want to buy a home away from the drab British climate in a sunshine paradise, how do you know where to go?

Retiring expats have two options – and they are limited by budgets.

Either move somewhere you know and like that is affordable or go for as adventure somewhere cheap and cheerful.

The cost of living is much less than that in the UK in many countries, but property choices are often as expensive as at home for a decent home in good location – and even more in world cities.

A recent survey by money transfer service FairFXhas pinpointed the most expensive – and cheapest places to buy.

Bulgaria is cheapest destination

The cheapest places are not necessarily where expats would put at the top of their wish lists.

Bulgaria emerged at the top, based on the purchase price of a two-bed apartment, including utilities and owning a VW car.

In Bulgaria, the average flat is £92,000, while living costs amount to £18,000 a year. Flights to London are about three hours.

Other European budget countries are Ireland, Poland and Croatia.

Millionaire playground

If you are looking for a complete change, Brazil came second behind Bulgaria. A flat was slightly more expensive at £96,000, but living costs were £40 a week lower at £16,000 a year.  Distance could be a problem for aging expats at 11 hours flying time from London.

The millionaire playground of Monaco ranks most expensive. A flat costs a staggering £7.3 million and day-to-day living costs £26,000 a year.

The other least affordable places include the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi); Switzerland, Germany and France.

The figures do not cover all spending – the cost of healthcare needs factoring in, then there’s tax, which is zero in the UAE, but considerably more elsewhere.

Cheapest countries for expats

CountryAverage two-bed apartment priceApprox living costs
Bulgaria£92,093£18,442
Brazil£96,571£16,863
Hungary£156,337£18,553
Ireland£174,110£25,525
Poland£207,341£17,866

Most expensive countries for expats

CountryAverage two-bed apartment priceApprox living costs
Monaco£7.3m£26,427
Switzerland£655,717£20,119
UAE£156,337£20,119
Germany£550,058£22,448
France£540,824£21,750

Source: FairFX

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