Reports suggest London now a cheaper expat destination

Published:  19 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Money, Euro, England
Traditionally, London has been seen by relocating expat professionals as one of the world’s most expensive places to live and work.

As relocation packages shrink and popular reassignment destinations get more expensive, the comparative cost of living become a crucial calculation for potential expats. Online surveys play an increasing part in such decisions, although many experienced long-term expatriates may not agree with all their findings and the economic effects of the present-day geopolitical turmoil may not have been factored in.

According to the latest Mercer cost of living survey, expatriates living and working in notoriously pricey London have experienced a fall in costs of around 18 per cent over the past 20 years. Reasons are difficult to pin down, but economists point to the effect of shrinking sterling, especially since the Brexit referendum result was announced. The same economists are predicting a further fall following March 2019, making London even cheaper for the expat professionals who’re still there.

Unfortunately, those who see the reduction of costs as a good reason to take on a job in the capital need to take into account the fact that London’s quality of life is now one of the worst in the whole of Western Europe. In addition, the UK is facing its weakest growth period since the 2008 financial crash, putting its economy at the lowest point in a full nine years. Adding on the uncertainly over Brexit, it’s expected that quality of life in the capital will fall still further as local businesses shut shop and major employers take their companies elsewhere in the EU.

A hard Brexit resulting in aggressive tariffs is expected to result in inflation, hitting on London as a consumer hub and blackening its reputation still further. In addition, job opportunities for expats are likely to fall as European corporate investors previously planning UK expansions take their money elsewhere. All told, Asia is now the place for ambitious expatriates, even although major cities in the region have now taken over as the most expensive on the planet.
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