European Migration: Allure of Cheap Housing and Remote Work Among Key Factors

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Inflation, remote work and relatively cheaper housing are pushing an increasing number of Americans to take a leap across the ocean and move to Europe. And now, with the euro and the dollar recently reaching parity, there’s even another reason to do so.

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Bloomberg reports that Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece and France are among Americans’ most popular destinations. The number of Americans looking to move to Greece in April through June, for example, increased 40% compared to a year earlier, Sotheby’s International Realty told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg also reports that U.S. demand in France and Italy is at its highest in three years.

“The rising cost of living has made it more expensive to live in any major US city than in European cities,” Michael Witkowski, vice president of U.S.-based expat consultancy ECA International, told Bloomberg. “Expensive home prices as well as a strong US dollar and political tensions are all contributing factors to the growing allure of Europe.”

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Indeed, existing-home sales dropped for the fifth straight month in June, with the median existing-home price up 13.4% in June compared to a year earlier, according to a July 20 National Association of Realtors report.

“Falling housing affordability continues to take a toll on potential home buyers,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Both mortgage rates and home prices have risen too sharply in a short span of time.”

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Some European countries are also taking steps to make things easier for expats. Italy, for example, has recently established digital nomad work visas. In addition, several European countries offer “golden visas,” which allow foreigners to become residents or citizens by investing large amounts of money, according to the European Travel Information and Authorization System. Benefits of the visa include the ability to live and receive education in the country, as well as have access to the country’s healthcare system. 

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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