British expats looking to secure home country property

Published:  11 Jun at 6 PM
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It seems the effects of the pandemic on British expats overseas are causing increased interest in the purchase of property back in the home country.

According to a survey conducted by a leading UK real estate company, increasing numbers of UK expatriate professionals are expressing interest in buying property in the home country. The majority seem to be buying in order to have a base back home to which they can retreat should economic conditions go against them. Many also seem to have realised the value of having a home to go back to should expatriation no longer be practicable.

At the present time, it seems that just 29 per cent of enquiries come from expats determined to move back to the UK on a permanent basis. Some are looking to ownership of a second home, whilst others are investing as a backstop against another wave of the coronavirus or its related economic instability. It also seems that time in lockdown has increased the importance of family for many expats, as well as allowing a focus on a different, possibly more preferable lifestyle. For example, expats who’ve older parents in the home country or children now heading for boarding school are now considering buying a UK property, with some linking the purchase to a new job offer and others wishing to have access to the UK’s NHS. A reliable Western-style education for children is another reason. The expat trend of moving back home is now evident and is growing everywhere British expats are found.

It first began before the pandemic hit, and the global demand is now rising fast. It’s not limited to UK expats with, for example, New Zealand now seeing an increasing number of repatriations from all across the world, especially from countries more than eight hours’ flying time from home. Expats, it seems, are now taking the long-term view that family and lifestyle needs should be balanced against career plans and the wish for wealth, especially for those with growing families.

For British expat returnees, suburbia is the place, as it offers a middle ground of urban life including good restaurants, pubs and cultural amenities. Asia-based expats are now leading the trend, perhaps partially due to increasing local levels of xenophobia and its attendant racism.
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