An expatriate couple returning to Britain have sold their Spanish home for just over a third its value in an attempt to recoup some of the costs.
Bob and Phyllis Puddicombe decided to move back to the UK after the financial crash left their dream of living in Spain undermined, reports the Telegraph.
The couple had lived in Almayate near Malaga for 13 years and concluded that getting older meant having the security of the NHS was more of a priority.
Falling property prices meant that it has been difficult to sell their €250,000 (£206,000) three-bedroom villa, but they have finally managed it, although this has been at an incredible loss.
The property went for €87,000 (£71,500), only enabling them to buy a small ex-council house in Plymouth, the area they lived in before moving to Spain.
Despite the loss, the Puddicombes are grateful to have managed to sell the villa, as many of their friends have not been so fortunate.
Popular coastal regions of Spain have been particularly badly hit by the fall in property prices and supply of holiday villas is now greater than the demand, putting those trying to sell in a difficult situation.
Spain is not the only country on the continent where this is a problem, but the sheer number of expats living there who are being negatively impacted by soaring costs and an adverse exchange rate is exacerbating the issues.
Since the crisis, house prices in Spain have fallen by 30 per cent on average and up to 70 per cent in some resorts. Coupled with the rising property values in the UK, expats are finding it difficult or impossible to return home.
Edward Knox, an analyst at currency brokers Caxton FX, told the news provider: “Many may have been holding on, hoping property prices would recover. But now they face the double whammy of prices falling and a weaker euro. Not surprisingly, many are opting to get out now before the situation gets worse.”