International Healthcare News: Expats in Spain 'should rent rather than buy' -
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International Healthcare News: Expats in Spain 'should rent rather than buy'

Expatriates with international health insurance who are considering relocating abroad and purchasing property in Spain may wish to reconsider this idea.

Chris Marshall, founder of, wrote in a blog on the site that he has witnessed many individuals return to their home countries having lost money on Spanish real estate, while some cannot even afford to sell their new house and are stuck in the nation.

People intend to offload their assets, use the return to invest in the country's property and then expect to "live on pensions or do a few small jobs" to make enough money to survive, he remarked.

Although this "sounds good in theory", the expat pointed out that when property prices fall, employment dries up and exchange rates become unfavourable, individuals can find themselves in financial difficulty.

Mr Marshall noted much has been written recently regarding how Spanish real estate values have bottomed out, with some individuals arguing "that now is the time to buy [and] great deals are to be had".

Instead, expatriates relocating abroad to Spain should rent, he stated.

The next few years will see the Spanish labour market experiencing high levels of volatility and massive reforms are likely to take place as the nation tries to recover the confidence of investors, the expert continued.

Furthermore, the country currently must deal with the worst unemployment in the whole of the eurozone and a high proportion of jobless young people.

A "flexible, mobile and motivated workforce" may be able to find jobs in Spain, he stated, advising expats to "rent and remain a player", instead of remaining fixed in one location.

The country "desperately needs to find new markets, products and services to export and attract investment", Mr Marshall added.

Nonetheless, the third quarter of 2011 saw the number of Spanish house sales made by overseas buyers grow 24.9 per cent when compared with the same period in 2010, statistics from the country's Ministry of Public Transactions demonstrated.

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