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Struggling to Get On the Property Ladder? Move to Qatar, Say the Experts

It’s no secret that many young people are struggling to get a toe hold on the property ladder.

In the UK, for example, relatively low salaries in comparison to ever-rising property prices means that many of the younger generation are being priced out of the market.

A recent study by the Daily Mail, for example, found that the average worker aged between 20 and 24 will need to more than double their salary before they can afford to buy even an average starter home.

Dreams of off-road parking, detached properties or expansive gardens will require even more sacrifice.

No wonder then that the age of the average first-time buyer in the UK has risen from 28 in 1995, up to 31 as of 2015. If the market continues to move at its current pace it seems likely that this age will continue to rise in the forthcoming years.

However for those individuals willing to forgo life in their home country, in the hope of becoming a property owner elsewhere, expat life might just be the tonic needed for your home ownership woes.

HSBC has recently published information gleaned from thousands of their expat customers regarding not just the incomes that expats can look forward to, but also the relative affordability in housing to be found abroad. And for those with the motivation to move abroad, and possessing the kinds of skills that are in short supply globally, it seems that the Middle East could just be the solution to home ownership.

The recent study highlighted a number of startling benefits for those willing to relocate to Bahrain, Qatar or Saudi Arabia.

Firstly, of course, are the generous salaries coupled with a low-tax environment which provides considerable disposable income. For example 75% of expats living in Qatar claim they have been able to save more money than in their home country. This is hardly surprising when 71% of young expats in Qatar claim they are earning more than they were at home.

This is mirrored by many other Gulf States too. 30% of those living in Bahrain made a similar claim, while 27% of expats living in Saudi Arabia had the same experience. All told, it seems that relocating to the Middle East can have a very positive impact on your bank account.

Let’s also not forget that many expat packages don’t purely consist of wages; many relocation packages also offer a generous housing allowance, meaning that rent or mortgage payments can also be subsidized for those living here and healthcare.

Lastly, while many expats have complained in recent years about the rising costs of real estate in the UAE, not all Gulf States are suffering the same fate.

An astonishing 31% of young expats living in Qatar said they were able to buy their first home while working there, with 24% of all the Qatari-based expats surveyed said that they had been able to buy additional property thanks to their expat lifestyle.

Indeed, while Qatar may boast the most impressive stats for the younger generation, taking the expat population as a whole, 30% of expats in Bahrain and 27% of those in Saudi Arabia said they were able to afford additional property after their move.

The message here is clear; for young workers struggling to get a foot on the property ladder you could do a lot worse than consider the move abroad.

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