Cost of living soars for expats, survey finds

by Ray Clancy on July 17, 2012

Expats in the Eurozone have seen costs rise by 15% , research shows

The cost of living abroad has increased for expats in the last year, particularly for those living in the eurozone, research indicates.

Average costs have risen by 11% while those living amid the economic turmoil of the eurozone have seen costs rise by 15%, according to the latest Expat Payments Index from the Post Office.

Almost half of more than 900 expats surveyed said they were paying out more than 10% extra on household expenditure, motoring and meals out than last year. Nearly two in five thought that these prices had risen by more than 20%.

Just 3.5% of those surveyed said that they had not noticed an increase in living costs. But Spain, Cyprus and Portugal have been particularly badly hit by high living costs, the research found.

Two in five expats living in Spain said that the cost of eating out had risen by more than 15%, while 71% reported an increase of more than 10% year on year on fuel.

Nearly a third of those living in Cyprus said that prices had risen by more than 20%, with food prices seeing a particular increase. Meanwhile, 22% of people in Cyprus said their home had fallen in value by more than a fifth.

Two fifths of people living in Portugal reported year on year rises in living costs of more than 20%.

Four in 10 expats based in France said that their overall increase in costs was over 10%.

While sterling recently hit a new three and a half year high against the euro, the study also estimated that people transferring funds abroad via some UK banks are effectively wasting Ł13.17 in charges per transaction or Ł158 a year, rather than using a fee free provider.

Nearly three quarters of expatriates also said the value of their home had remained static or fallen in the last year and one in 10 said prices had plummeted by more than a fifth.

Three quarters of people said they were worried about the future and they would be forced to make significant cutbacks this year because of the dents in their finances.

Families living in the UK have come under intense pressure from high living costs, high unemployment and low returns on savings.

Living costs for UK expats are rising at almost four times the rate of inflation for British residents. However, there are some signs of the situation easing, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation dropping to 2.8% in May, the lowest level since November 2009.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Connor Davies July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

This is definitely true of Argentina. The inflation is rocketing here and compared to when I arrived a number of years ago it is much more expensive. Interesting to hear that it is getting more expensive in other countries around the world as well.

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exbrit69 August 22, 2012 at 12:59 am

Prices are going up a bit here in Indonesia but the cost of living s still about one tenth of that of the UK so I'll stay here thank you.

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