With The Whole World To Choose, Where Would You Go?


If you could retire anywhere in the world as an expat, where would you choose?

You might have a country or even a city or lifestyle in mind, but given a world of choice, the decision is difficult to make.

But sometimes the choice is not as wide as you believe when factors such as affordability, family and visas come into play.

Considering this, the International Currency Exchange (ICE) drew up a list of the world’s 10 hottest destinations for retirement.

The cost per square metre to buy a home was then compared with the price of a similar city centre property in London, with some shocking results for Londoners.


Comparing house prices

Prices in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, and Arrecife, Lanzarote, which are both part of the Atlantic sunshine island chain of the Canary Islands were massively cheaper than the £15, 237 square metre price in London.

The cost to buy a home in Tenerife was just £1,582 a metre, while Lanzarote was even cheaper at £935.

Even the cost of a home in the centre of Paris, France, was less than half the cost of a property in London.

“Not only do Corfu and Lanzarote offer huge property savings of over 90% compared to London – living expenses are far cheaper too. Retirees can also make savings of over 50% on their electricity, heating and water bills, underlining both islands’ appeal even further,” said the ICE report.

What happens to free healthcare in the EU because of Brexit may change where British expats go to retire.

Medical care

The survey found 57% of expats considered medical care was in their top five important factors for moving, while the main driver was better weather (76%).

For expats who fancy big city living, the cheapest popular destination is Lisbon, Portugal, at £2,680 a square metre.

“Getting around is also a key consideration no matter the destination for each individual. In various cases, retirees may become rather reliant upon public transport with age,” said the report

“For those suffering back pain, hearing loss, sight impairments and so on, public transport often represents a welcome alternative to walking or driving.”

With this in mind, Santa Cruz, Tenerife, rated highly for affordable and efficient public transport.

House prices in top expat destinations

Destination House price per square metre
Spain (Madrid) £3578.57
Tenerife (Santa Cruz) £1582.38
Australia (Sydney) £7472.65
Greece (Corfu) £901.85
Lanzarote (Arrecife) £935.88
Malta (Valletta) £5955.58
Portugal (Lisbon) £2680.08
Panama (Panama City) £1703.63
United States (Orlando) £1394.47
France (Paris) £6938.36


Source: International Currency Exchange

Comparison: London price is £15,237.38 a square metre

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