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Expat Investor : May June 2009
EXPAT LOCATIONS Sun, quality of life and cheaper living Foreign Currency Direct’s cost of living survey shows why expatriates down under have much to smile about. against the euro may price many British expats out of living in close proximity to the British Isles. At the current rate of exchange of €1.12 to £1, Britons are paying an additional 10% on the cost of purchases in euros compared with September 2008 (this figure rose to 22% in January, when sterling fell to an all time low of 1.0195 against the euro). At current rates of exchange, the cost of living in Greece, Spain, Portugal and France is higher than the UK, with France revealed as the most expensive destination of choice for British expatriates (34% more expensive than the UK). Italy and Cyprus remain cheaper destinations closer to home, offering a cost of living that is 14% and 8% lower than the UK, respectively. Peter S. Ellis, Chief Executive of Foreign Currency Direct, comments on these findings, “Relative to the euro, exchange rates between the pound and the New Zealand and Australian dollar have remained surprisingly stable over the last six months. Coupled with an overall lower cost of living, and the promise of sun, sea and scenery, Australia and New Zealand are becoming increasingly attractive destinations for British expats. “When considering a move At a time when record numbers of Brits are emigrating to Australia to escape the UK’s gloomy weather, and even gloomier economic climate, new research from foreign currency broker Foreign Currency Direct reveals that poms living down under are enjoying a far lower cost of living than Brits who have settled in the other top 10 expat hot spots. The research compares the cost of essential and non-essential purchases common to a British person living overseas. New Zealand is revealed as the cheapest of Britons’ top 10 choices for emigration, with a cost of living 33% lower than in the UK. Australia is not far behind, offering a cost of living 22% lower than in the UK. Cheap deals down under ● A Ford Focus costs the equivalent of £9,338 in Australia and £9,401 in New Zealand. The same car in the UK would set you back an average of £12,866 ● Six large free range eggs will set an expat back 84p in Australia and 70p in New Zealand, around half the price of a similar carton 6 EXPAT INVESTOR ● of eggs in the UK (£1.61). Overall, a bag of groceries, including eggs, bread, milk and potatoes costs 34% less in New Zealand and 23% less in Australia than in the UK. ● A medium Starbucks cappuccino costs the equivalent of £1.38 in New Zealand and £1.10 COST OF LIVING OVERSEAS Top ten countries where Britons Percentage difference in would most like to own a property cost of living compared with the UK (%) Average cost in the UK New Zealand Australia Italy Cyprus Canada Greece US Spain Portugal France May/June 2009 £2,284.67 -32.72 -21.82 -13.55 -7.58 -1.37 +3.23 +4.68 +11.54 +13.02 +34.29 All costs represent an average of three data points. expatinvestor.com the cost of buying a car cost of essential groceries cost of typically British foods compared with the UK (%) compared with the UK (%) compared with the UK (%) £12,866 -26.93 -27.42 +11.03 -11.29 -34.12 +14.33 -14.43 +6.07 -19.70 +26.42 £6.03 -33.51 -22.99 -11.50 +10.87 -32.83 +23.46 -16.84 -42.71 -13.87 +53.53 £15.36 -0.97 -1.66 +67.67 +62.06 +15.35 +80.99 -12.37 +57.07 +64.37 +118.69 Percentage difference in Percentage difference in Percentage difference in in Australia, compared with £2.12 in the UK. ● A pint of lager, such as Budweiser, will set you back £1.79 in New Zealand and £2.39 in Australia. ● British favourites such as bacon and eggs, ketchup, Branston pickle and baked beans cost a similar amount in New Zealand and Australia as they do in the UK (1% cheaper in New Zealand and 2% cheaper in Australia than in the UK). Priced out of the Eurozone Despite the southern hemisphere offering a saving haven for British expats, the devaluation of the pound abroad, Britons should not only consider the quality of life and cost of property overseas, they should also be aware of significant variations in the cost of living. If your main source of income is in sterling, the cost of items overseas can vary significantly with exchange rates.” Foreign Currency Direct says it can help expats move their money overseas assuring them of the best possible exchange rate.
March April 2009