Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #479: Expats

End of the Eldorado dream: A plunging pound and property crash have left thousands of expat Britons on the breadline

This is the key paragraph:

What makes matters more worrying still is that for many there is no way out of this nightmare. The housing market has gone into freefall, with negative equity now widespread.

Properties are being marked down by as much as 50 per cent – and still not shifting. New building has virtually stopped.

Couples are being forced apart, as husbands or wives head home in a desperate attempt to find work.

Emphasis added by me.

That one sentence is what millions of you will be paraphrasing in 2009 and 2010:

What makes matters more worrying still is that for many there is no way out of this nightmare.

Emphasis added by me.

Those are the extreme cases. What is so extraordinary about the situation unfolding on the Costas is the suffering of the silent majority. Those most hard-hit are individuals who least expected to find themselves in financial difficulties.

Having worked hard all their lives, they took the decision to move to Spain to improve the quality of their lives in retirement.

Emphasis added by me.

None of us came to live in Spain without money,’ she points out. ‘Unlike Britain, which has an open door policy for anyone who arrives without even a penny to their name, we knew that if you came to Spain you had to have money to survive.

‘We brought our own money with us and we invested it wisely. We bought our own homes and we have never taken a penny from the state. But what is happening now is that we are being buried by economic factors beyond our control. It’s really worrying.’

Emphasis added by me.

But when they decided the Spanish lifestyle was not for them and put the property on the market, they were in for a rude shock.

‘I never really settled in Spain,’ explains Jan, 68. ‘I missed my grown-up children and Barrie had sick relatives in the UK who needed looking after, so we made the decision to move home. This time last year we put the house on the market for £228,000 – but there has been no interest in it,’ she says.

‘Previously, you would have just dropped the price a bit, but because of the collapse of the market we have been told that that would make no difference.

‘We need to make enough to pay off our £100,000 mortgage and to buy a small flat back in England, but there aren’t even property developers out there willing to take it off our hands. As it stands now, our dream house is worthless.’

If that weren’t bad enough, the couple are struggling to make ends meet. Barrie’s pension has fallen by 300 euros a month, while their mortgage repayments and everyday costs have all gone up.

‘Taking everything into consideration, we have worked out that after all our outgoings in November 2007 we had 310.41 euros left over every month,’ says Jan.

‘Now, in December 2008, we are minus 154.24 euros every month.’

Emphasis added by me.

Look at how quickly things can change.

How will it change for you?

Explore posts in the same categories: C.O.A.T. - Belief, C.O.A.T. - Money, C.O.A.T. - Self-Defense, Depression 2.0

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