There are parts of the world where riding out the economic storm in retirement is going to be a lot more enjoyable than in Britain. Savills estate agents’ latest Global Residential Review reveals that an increasing number of those in their more prosperous fifties and sixties are looking for a foreign retirement bolt-hole where the living is easier than in Britain.
Here are 10 hot spots for anyone looking to buy and retire overseas:
Florida, really. On average the climate’s a lot warmer than Britain’s, so you’re guaranteed sunshine. Property prices have fallen by 30-70 per cent over the past four years.
Britons are the biggest expat community in Barbados. Celebrity owners include Sirs Cliff Richard and Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as Cilla Black and Simon Cowell. Estate agents Cluttons ( www.cluttons.com ) report a 70 per cent increase in sales in 2010, compared to 2009.
It’s not just the sunshine that makes the Greek part of Cyprus a haven for Britons. Spend more than 183 days on the island, in one financial year, and you become a tax resident, liable for as little as five per cent income tax.
Brits tend to opt for coastal properties (39 per cent), rural (37 per cent) and mountainous (19 per cent), which means the likes of Aquitaine, the Dordogne and the Languedoc remain popular. But the prospect of spending a year (or longer) in Provence, à la Peter Mayle, is as attractive as ever. Overall, prices in France are eight per cent down on their 2007 peak.
You won’t find stacks of cheap, soulless, little modern apartments in Tuscany and Umbria. But you will find lots of rural residences with character.
Prices are between 5-20 per cent lower than September 2008, so for £150,000 you can buy a pretty, stone-built town house in the village of Collodi Castello.
Picture postcard beaches, and an expat-friendly Integrated Resort Scheme, whereby you, your spouse and offspring enjoy not only residency status, but freedom from inheritance and capital gains tax. This is provided you buy a top-end property such as at the (288-villa) Valraiche development next to two golf courses (with another planned). Prices start from £500,000 for a two-bedroom villa ( www.cluttons.com )
Cape Town is where most Brits gravitate, with its equable climate and fine beaches. Prices can be 50 per cent less than the most expensive parts of Europe, too.
Murcia, in south-east Spain, was the original star of Spanish golfing properties. It now has more links-side homes for sale, at below-par prices. Property sales in Majorca are also up (by 14.5 per cent in 2010), as is the number of Monarch Airlines flights from Britain. You can buy an (as yet unbuilt) two-bedroom beachside villa at Cala Anguilla for £180,900 ( www.taylorwimpeyspain.com ).
“Switzerland was generally unaffected by the recession and the property market remained buoyant,” reports Hannah Coppersmith, managing director of Pure International ( www.pureintl.com ). The company organises free seminars to help with the laws on purchase in the cantons.
During 2010, property sales to foreigners rose by 40 per cent on the year before, totalling £2.5 billion. Not quite as good as the 3 billion of the boom years (2006-08), but enough to persuade accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers to name Istanbul the best European city for investing in property during 2011.
Source: Telegraph OnlineGoogle+