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Calling All Expat Hpc'ers.... Where Do You Live And What Are House Prices Like Where You Live?


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We tend to forget the rest of the world is expensive. I would always pay the premium for the social capital and environment that the UK offers. The rest of the world always appears to be a bit of an arid concrete slum with small oasis pockets favoured by tourists.

Granted it isn't that great for younger generations who have to put up with boomer centric bias.

We might not think it is that great here, but the immigrants at Calais are queueing up to escape the hell that is France. Meanwhile we head for the oasis' like the Dordogne because we may not have to work on our fat public sector pensions. Choosing the best the rest of the world has to offer, probably about 1% of the planet, is an unfair comparison of the UK...don't ask me, ask the immigrants desperate to get in.

Edited by crashmonitor
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We tend to forget the rest of the world is expensive. I would always pay the premium for the social capital and environment that the UK offers. The rest of the world always appears to be a bit of an arid concrete slum with small oasis pockets favoured by tourists.

Granted it isn't that great for younger generations who have to put up with boomer centric bias.

We might not think it is that great here, but the immigrants at Calais are queueing up to escape the hell that is France. Meanwhile we head for the oasis' like the Dordogne because we may not have to work on our fat public sector pensions. Choosing the best the rest of the world has to offer, probably about 1% of the planet, is an unfair comparison of the UK...don't ask me ask the immigrants desperate to get in.

Is France hell or do we just give more generous benefits to them? What I really like about the UK is that if you have a house it often has a garden, in many countries that doesn't seem to be true in cities (please feel free to give me examples where I am wrong).

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I used to live in Sweden (Gothenburg) before moving to London.

I'll be moving there with my family later this year. Apparently rental places are hard to find, but buying a house looks a bit cheaper than where I am in the UK, if you go out of the centre. And like in Norway, you can pay mortgage interest from gross income.

Edited by spord
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We've got a romantic notion of Europe because we can choose the best places to live.......we are not going to relocate to some brutalist concrete slum in some God foresaken French town but we may choose the Dordogne or something similar.

We have our own brutalist and shitty housing but we also have the advantage of 300 years of being world number one and it feels like a real environment that has evolved and not one thrown up on the hoof.

Edited by crashmonitor
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I work in Gibraltar and live in Spain a few miles down the coast on the beach. Very nice place. Never imagined I could live somewhere so nice. You can get a big house with pool in a private resort just minutes for a UK salaried job for £700/month. If you commute out further the price will half.

The is a strong Gibraltar-effect raising prices nearby but if you're willing to commute a little you can live extremely cheaply or get an affordable villa.

The prices are low but only if you have a nice Gibraltar salary - for the locals life is hard unless you're a doctor or something.

There are modern tech jobs in places like Malaga for foreigners but otherwise you'd have to be a retiree.

You have to put up with a lot of crap (dangerous driving, expensive cars, dodgy Guardia Civil, too hot/humid sometimes, truly insane rain some winters, and not having quick access to buy certain thingss like in the UK) but the evenings and weekends playing guitar in the garden are amazing.

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I'll be moving there with my family later this year. Apparently rental places are hard to find, but buying a house looks a bit cheaper than where I am in the UK, if you go out of the centre. And like in Norway, you can pay mortgage interest from gross income.

It's a great place to live with a family, if not little dull. Finding a place to rent is really difficult due to the tightly regulated market, your best bet is to use one of the relocation companies. Houses & flats are in general superior quality to what you would find in UK. Buying / selling flats in is very straightforward as there are no transaction taxes and minimal agent fees, and also no solicitors involved. Usually there is an open day followed by bids and most flats would sell within a month of being on the market. You can browse hemnet.se , I'm not so sure about houses as different rules apply for freehold properties.

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I'm visiting my family in the north east of sweden. 150k gbp for a 6 room house two floors decent garden. 5 min walk to a lakem good schools (there aren't really bad schools up here). I'd move back in a heart beat if I could easily do that. Further north a terraced house for 10k GBP. No jobs really mind. The UK is so so not appealing at the moment. Quality of life here is seriously twice as high.

Edit. No jobs for me but if you're an engineer you're laughing.

Edited by Snafu
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First Post - Probably been reading this site for ten years..........

New England – Made redundant in 2007 perfectly timed for my moved to the USA

Wasn’t really affected by the financial crisis as rented for a few years and neither was boston as prices in the city appeared to be immune.

Finally relocated to ct where I bought a 4bed house on an acre of land for $200K, 2 years later had to move 40 miles north of boston , living in an1500sqft 2bed 2 bath apartment with pool and tennis courts on site that sell for around $110K.

On the face it property in the US seems better value than the uk but, Property tax works out at about 2.5% of my house’s assess value, which is like my friends in england paying 6k a year council tax on their 250 grand homes. Can you imagine that!

Also my family medical insurance is $10k a year.

Taxes are lower over here especially in New Hampshire as there’s no state income Tax or VAT.

I love England but every time I think about returning home I know Id most likely have to move close to London for work, but whats the point when I talk to one of my friend whose having to spend 600 grand for a ordinary detached house in woking, I tell him he’s mad. Even in the town I grew up in anything worth looking at is heading for 300K.

I look at my dad who at 34 was earning more than the value of his detached 3 bed house on a firemans salary. Then I think about my step sister who is a newly qualified midwife and has to move in with her dad because she cant afford her own place.

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I have brought two houses since first joining this forum in 2008 ish or so.

1) Florida - $14,900

2) Amsterdam - E215,000

I refuse to contribute to this over inflated crap hole.

when looking at the options I had to consider, do I WANT to live there for that money? The truth is, most places around here they would have to PAY ME TO LIVE IN.

The powers that be just dont understand the concept of WANT vs the concept HAVE TOO

They have created a country that people DONT WANT TO LIVE IN. as such, anyone with any brains leaves which is resulting in even bigger problems for the UK.

Im still 'living' in the UK but i split my time between the Clearwater beaches and the joys of Amsterdam Cheese shops. Both of these things I want, and have the ability to choose, I chose.

The Amsterdam property was real money, cash. But I looked at comparible 'artists' quarters in London, for example, Soho, and found that even the cheapest hovel was over £500k. Really. Whats the point.London used to be full of artists, poets, academics. People used to live in London. Now the only people that can populate London are people on housing benefits or high flyers. I can take a walk down my street and see people in their pygamas at their door. Thats because people LIVE in the capital. London is a huge bank and it shuts at 5pm.

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Redlands, California.

The "Inland Empire" (a 100-mile ribbon development along the I-10 freeway, stretching from Los Angeles to Palm Springs) experienced an enormous boom leading up to the 2007 crash, with prices for even modest homes in dodgy neighbourhoods hitting half a million. Between 2007-09 prices dropped as much as two thirds in some places, bumped along the bottom until early 2012, and then started to pick up again. We have a 1,600 square foot detached home (in the US, square footage is the usual estate agent's measurement of home size, not the number of bedrooms) in an OK but not upscale development on the San Bernardino side of the freeway. It peaked at $420k in 2007, sold for $159k in 2009, and we bought it last year for $190k. According to Zillow, it's now worth $220k, but that's a blunt instrument.

Economically, the IE is not in good shape, and most people who live there commute to LA or the high tech employers just to the south; hence the value of property is roughly proportional to the commuting distance to LA and Orange County. We are a good hour and a half away, even with no slowdowns on the freeway, but even then prices are showing signs of starting to overheat again. However, unlike London, if you're willing to accept a long commute, it is still possible for couples on an average household income to buy a reasonable home within a just feasible commute. Unlike in Britain, the crash (in 2007) was allowed to happen without government tinkering to prevent it, which I suspect is a big part of the reason why.

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Unlike in Britain, the crash (in 2007) was allowed to happen without government tinkering to prevent it, which I suspect is a big part of the reason why.

Maybe it was allowed in some parts, like your San Bernaghetto with its closed airforce base, potholed roads.. but less of a crash in prime areas. That's not to suggest you didn't buy at very good value.

I follow Dr Housing Bubble for Socal and finally there are some encouraging signals for the hpcers on there, with equiv of MMR, investors pulling back a bit, and rising inventory, after a few years of chronic reflation of prices.

Latest entry + the comments.. although always many a clever forever HPI VI on there too: http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/socal-housing-market-boom-and-bust-inventory-rising-high-levels/

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I live in a bog standard medium sized Japanese city. Average annual household income in Japan is JPY5m, take home will be about JPY4m (that's all tax - their equivalent of council tax comes out if your wages directly), but there are tax breaks, child allowance depending on your circumstances.

I am too lazy to look up the exact stats, but there was a leaflet through the door recently advertising new build flats from about JPY25m (2 LDK) to JPY35m (4LDK). LDK means open plan living room, dining room, kitchen (standard Japanese layout, but bear in mind the washing machine is in a separate room adjoining the bathroom so you don't have the "I can't wash my clothes and watch the TV" problem you get in UK open plans.) and the number indicates the number of bedrooms.

According to the flyer this all eminently affordable as you put down a JPY10m deposit for the 2LDK and JPY15m for the 4LDK. Repayments were being touted as around JPY40k/mth which is affordable, but saving for the deposit would need to be done prior to marriage and kids.

By comparison my rent for a 2LDK is JPY75k/mth. You'd be looking at double (at least) in Tokyo I would imagine. Tenancies are European style (secure tenancy, no inspections, you need supply the white goods yourself).

Japanese housing does not retain value (no-one wants to buy second hand housing) and cannot be used as a source of savings like in the UK.

The figures above are from memory so if any Japanese hands feel they look wrong I am happy to be corrected.

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Yeah...

The wife knew a couple who bought a new 3LDK `mansion` about 5 years earlier 30mil.

When they sold they were offered 10mil.

They were both in tears....

But still they took the loss and went on to buy a small house for 40mil.

Have you seen what`s happening to Japans population Fafa?

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Is France hell or do we just give more generous benefits to them? What I really like about the UK is that if you have a house it often has a garden, in many countries that doesn't seem to be true in cities (please feel free to give me examples where I am wrong).

France has roughly the same level of immigration as the UK it's just that the UK media and those who swallow it's "UK is where all foreigners want to live" bollucks never get told that or just close their eyes and ears to anything that doesn't fit in with their UKcentric view of the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_France

"In 2010, Eurostat estimated that 7.2 million foreign-born immigrants lived in France corresponding to 11.1% of the total population. Of these, 5.1 million (7.8%) were born outside the European Union and 2.1 million (3.3%) were born in another EU member state.[1]"

Of course there are some awful towns in France that resemble places like Slough or Basildon in the UK but there are also very many delightful small towns that are equally as good a place to live in as the best the UK has to offer with houses at half the cost. Wages around where I live in central France are mostly minimum wage jobs that pay around 15K but when a small house can be yours for around 50k that isn't so bad and it usually comes with a proper garden not a bin storage area excuse for a garden..

Edited by campervanman
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Yeah...

The wife knew a couple who bought a new 3LDK `mansion` about 5 years earlier 30mil.

When they sold they were offered 10mil.

They were both in tears....

But still they took the loss and went on to buy a small house for 40mil.

Have you seen what`s happening to Japans population Fafa?

Going off a cliff, they are now seriously talking about immigration I think - lots of programmes on the TV about lively foreigners I notice. However Ah-so mentioned in another thread that household formation is going up due to increase in single living.

Anyway that's a painful drop. Surprised they tried to move, my understanding was people buy one property and that's it (for the reasons you gave)

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I live in Kuwait, (the middle East). Foreigners are not allowed to own property here and my employer provides housing (two bed flat) so the market is of little concern to me. Never the less, Kuwaiti's love to rack up impressive West London property portfolios. When locals find out I am British I am typically with bombarded with technical questions about the British house buying process, what an "estate agent" is as well as my opinion on Holland Park, Pimlico, Chelsea etc etc.

Oh yeah, did I mention that British people are banned from buying in Kuwait? Good thing that our government stands up for the British people.

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Oh yeah, did I mention that British people are banned from buying in Kuwait? Good thing that our government stands up for the British people.

To be fair, Britain has little left to sell to foreigners other than land, houses and companies.

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I live in Brisbane Australia. Prices are mental. We live in probably the most expensive part only 1k north of the City. Our rent is $600 aweek but we do not need a car. Which is pretty rare here in Oz. The car only comes out the garage for a beer run or days out to the beach which is only 25k away. Average wages are probably $55k per annum. Average house prices must be north of half a million. But the climate is great loads of free outdoor places to spend time at. Australians are not the friendliest most welcoming but its home for aslong as we can work to pay the rent. Would never buy as its so much cheaper to rent.

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Interesting perspective.

4 bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Johnannesburg, South Africa.

Price as around GBP 120,000 (ZAR 2.2million) which is around 3x Annual sallary.

10-15 min commute ot work, nice big garden, swimming pool, sublime weather.

Seems pretty cheap compared to some of the houses posted in this thread ... but i guess thats becuase south africa comes with its own challenges!

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Interesting perspective.

4 bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Johnannesburg, South Africa.

Price as around GBP 120,000 (ZAR 2.2million) which is around 3x Annual sallary.

10-15 min commute ot work, nice big garden, swimming pool, sublime weather.

Seems pretty cheap compared to some of the houses posted in this thread ... but i guess thats becuase south africa comes with its own challenges!

Chubb armed response?

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Best thread on HPC. It makes sense to look abroad to get some perspective.

A lot of people in the UK think we have it bad. We do. But you only have to look abroad to see that the situation is widespread.

Thank you everyone for posting income to price ratios; this makes comparisions a lot simpler.


I can't comment since for the past 5 years I have not had my own home as such - too expensive!


Of the places I've lived:

Buenos Aires, Argentina: It's a very difficult one to calculate. All I can do is quote what I think my girlfriend, (a doctor) earnt: ~$1000/month. House price, maybe $150,000?

Norway: Seems to be one of the least bad places out there, probably due to space. Others have posted figures in this thread.

Spain: Still crashing. Possible to buy for €20,000 but actually €60,000 is still a minimum I see advertised. Wages <€500/month in these areas (or nothing). Only speculators so it seems.

Then there's the places I've considered living...

The only places in the world that are not mad prices have rules on borrowing and/or non-residents. These places I know of are muslim: Indonesia, Phillipines, some of the middle east (big contrasts here depending on whether they're still following religious guidance or just let the belt buckle go).

It's credit turbo charging speculation not capitalism per sec. Places not aligned with the west don't always have lower 'prices': Cuba, Venezeula, Argentina, Iran, China, Russia, North Korea.

Nimibia wasn't cheap either. Can the whole world be using property as a store of wealth? Or speculating? The whole world?

In terms of countries there is no cheap place out there I know of with jobs. It's a matter of local areas within those countries. But of course then you have to factor in the local wages vs those prices to find where exactly is a profitable place to live and work and... do we really have that data? It's better to cut that out and just look at who has the disposable income - but you need to map exactly where those people are living, not just which country they are from, making this very difficult. Do you know a better way?

Don't forget to look back in time too. My grandfather said he was able to pay his house off in 4 years and he was a farm labourer.

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France has roughly the same level of immigration as the UK it's just that the UK media and those who swallow it's "UK is where all foreigners want to live" bollucks never get told that or just close their eyes and ears to anything that doesn't fit in with their UKcentric view of the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_France

France has race riots you f'en moron they cause major problems and the natives want them out.

Im working on building a gas plant in Scotland and every sign is in Polish and yet scum like you think its a good thing they are taking British jobs.

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France has race riots you f'en moron they cause major problems and the natives want them out.

Yeah, but in France they wall the Arabs up in ghettos so the French can pretend they're not there.

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