Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Weak pound causing Brits to go home?

I read an interesting article just now on StarNews online (an online newspaper from Wilmington, USA) entitled Crisis Stings Britons in France and Spain.

The article tells how the recent falling in value of the pound (or if you prefer, strengthening of the Euro) by some 30% over the last year has pushed up the cost of living and as a result is causing an outflow of British expats to return home from France and Spain.

The problem for many the article points out is that a stagnant housing market on both sides of the Channel is meaning many can't sell their overseas home and neither can buy in the UK and are thus stuck with dwindling finances, especially if they've taken retirement abroad and are finding that their pension doesn't go as far as it used to.

What do you think? If you're living overseas are you pushed into moving back or are you happy to ride out the storm? French house prices have been traditionally far more stable than their UK (and I believe Spanish) counterparts, most parts of France have seen steady year on year property price growth of around 5% rather than the boom or bust we've seen over here.

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