Tuesday, 8 March 2011

When the Expat Plan goes down the Pan

We have often discussed planning a move abroad on this blog and have heard from guest bloggers about their tips for a successful expat assignment. But sometimes no amount of preparation can prepare you for the hardships you will encounter in another country, so what happens when things don't go according to plan?

A recent article on The Daily Mail Online looked into the lives of four expats who moved to Spain in search of a better life. However despite their careful plans the collapse of the Spanish property market has meant villa prices crashed, pensions have halved and they are now trapped in a foreign country and keen to return home. Their story is not an unusual one; the Spanish government estimates that there are 700,000 unsold new-build houses across the country providing an insight into just how much the property market has nosedived.


The Spanish enjoyed the 10 year property boom throughout the ninety’s and early noughties with demand from British expats a consistent theme. However, with the housing market now on its knees both prices and demand have tumbled with 100,000 villas already declared illegal and demolished.

And it’s not just the property market that has been hit, the rest of the Spanish economy is also suffering. The situation is just as bad for British expats who hit by the weakness of the pound have seen their savings and pensions drastically reduced. It is no wonder then that there has been a rise in repatriations as expats abandon their dreams of a place in the sun. But it’s not just Spain that has been hit by the credit crunch it has affected all of us at home and in expat communities the world over. However this shared experience will be little consolation to those facing a future in a foreign land with a diminishing nest egg.

Have you a got a story of how the expat dream turned sour? Or perhaps you and your family overcame adversity and stayed in your new home? Let us know your experiences or any top tips and advice you might have....







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