Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

There are several reasons why thousands of expatriates decide to move to Spain every year.  Whether it be for career opportunities, retirement or just to enjoy the more laidback lifestyle, Spain has always been a great attraction for Brits who have decided to leave the UK.

With Spain’s economy showing strong signs of recovery, and inflation falling each month, the future of the country is certainly looking much brighter.  Economy Minister, Luis de Guindos, told the press earlier this week: “The government expects the economy to continue to strengthen and growth to be at least the same as in the previous quarter.”  Spain’s GDP rose by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013, the second consecutive rise.

So what does this mean for the housing market?

As Spain is starting to emerge from the economic downturn, now is perhaps the best time for expats to ponder the move to take the plunge, and take full advantage of the buyers’ market.  According to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index, although countries in the south of the eurozone remain at the bottom of the global house price table, the rate of decline in property prices is slowing down in Spain, so I expect a considerable rise in foreign buyers in 2014 while prices are still extremely low.

Last year, 34,369 Spanish properties were purchased by foreigners, as prices were still following a downward trend.  Since the 2008 crisis, the number of Latin American buyers in Spain has fallen, but this made way for a rise in Scandinavian buyers, totalling over 4,000 last year, along with the constant increase in Russian property owners in Spain since 2007.  A recent law that grants Spanish residency to non-EU citizens who purchase property worth over 500,000 euros, also sparked an increase in foreign buyers.

The majority still see the Costa del Sol as the preferred destination for a holiday or family home, although people with a bigger budget have been choosing exclusive districts in Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands.

Why choose Spain?

As I said earlier, there are countless reasons why expats decide to leave the UK and make a life in Spain.  As well as lifestyle choices, warmer climate and a reduced cost of living, Brits can take advantage of many financial benefits that they are unable to ‘back home.

Firstly, the current Sterling-Euro exchange rate is also a big pull for expats.  The European Central Bank announced this week that interest rates in the eurozone are to remain the same or slightly lower for a longer length of time in order to stimulate economic growth, benefitting Brits moving to Spain.  The euro is now at 1,19 against the pound, which is far more appealing than the previous 1,03 low.

Secondly, Brits who are thinking of retirement in the sun can become much more tax efficient by switching to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).  This means that as well as mitigating inheritance tax liabilities, pensions can be paid out in any chosen currency, along with numerous other advantages.

Wealth management professionals can ensure the transition from one country to another is as hassle-free as possible, and at the same time, ensuring your investments, savings and pension pots continue to flourish.  Expert financial consultants will take over the responsibility of your wealth portfolio when you’ve made The Big Move.

As Spain begins the gradual task of returning to its former economic glory, the country has a lot to offer expats.  And with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, fabulous beaches, majestic countryside, some of Europe’s best and most intriguing cultural and historical cities, first-rate education and healthcare systems, traditional fiestas, a social, family-orientated and alfresco way of life, and world-class sporting facilities, you can see why an estimated 800,000 Brits already call it ‘home’.

About Mike Coady

Mike Coady is an expat expert based in Dubai and is on hand to help with all of the above and more.

Mike is an award-winning money coach and industry leader in the financial sector.

Qualified to UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) standards, a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management (FISM), a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD), and featured as a highly qualified Financial Adviser in Which Financial Adviser.

To learn how to choose a great financial adviser, download our free guide.

Blog published by Mike Coady.