Surprisingly, a recent survey, carried out by a financial services company, found that 74 per cent of those living in Spain have considered moving back to the UK. The reasons seems to be the economic crisis which has meant falling property prices, the weak pound, and fears over job security which has made those living in Spain rethink the move.
Britons living in Spain have suffered financially, especially those relying on a pension from the UK, with four in five complaining that the drop in the value of the pound against the euro has left them a lot worse off (hear hear).
Badly hit also are those with holiday homes to rent in Spain. With many more properties available, the incomes from rentals have dropped and there are less people around looking to rent. People who own property abroad have seen the problem compounded by a dramatic fall in the real estate market, particularly in Spain, where prices on the Costas have dropped as much as 65 per cent in some place.
A spokesman for the financial services company that carried out the survey said, "Our research shows that British expats have had a tough time and the findings reveal that no country has escaped unharmed from the economic downturn, Brits living in Europe are feeling the effects of the weak pound as they are more likely to be reliant on income from their British property, UK pension and other regular sources of funds."
Having said all that, the percentage of people actually going back is minimal and many are looking for 2010 to be the year that things start turning round. Judging by the strong pound last week that could be sooner rather than later.
In fact many of the people visiting international property shows in the UK last year were still looking to move abroad, specifically Spain which indicates that while the downturn has made a difference, there are signs that things are beginning to happen.
Buyers have been waiting for the right moment, and are now thinking about making a move, as the thinking is that house prices are unlikely to drop any further.