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Spain Tops the List as Most Google Searched Place to Move to

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A study conducted by researchers at Bird & Co has identified the European countries most frequently searched on Google by UK residents looking to relocate overseas.

For some time, residents in the UK have been facing mounting pressure and financial strain due to the continuous rise in house prices and the cost-of-living crisis. As a result, and according to research, it appears many individuals are now considering relocating overseas, perhaps for a more appealing and comfortable life.

The study analysed Google search data from UK residents, using the search terms "moving to [country name] from UK" for all 44 European countries. The data showed the estimated average volume of searches over the past 12 months, revealing the areas of most interest to UK citizens.

The top ten most searched countries, with the estimated average volume of searches over the last 12 months, were:

  • Spain - 1,600
  • Ireland & Portugal - 800
  • France - 700
  • Germany - 500
  • Switzerland - 450
  • Norway - 400
  • Italy & Greece - 350
  • Netherlands - 300

Why is Spain the Most Popular Destination Amongst UK Citizens?

The results revealed that Spain was the most popular country searched by UK residents, with an average volume of 1,600 over the past year.

Spain's popularity as a relocation destination for Brits can be attributed to various factors. One reason could be due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, which has ultimately put a squeeze on spending with no sign of improvement anytime soon. In contrast, Spain offers a more affordable standard of living, giving people more for their money, making it an attractive option for individuals looking to relocate.

Spain's economic stability and housing market also makes it a safer and more reliable investment for potential homeowners. While the UK’s mortgage rates have settled somewhat since last September’s mini-budget, rates are still increasing deterring prospective buyers away from the UK housing market.

Additionally, the sunny climate in Spain is a significant draw for UK citizens who are looking to escape the notoriously cold and rainy weather back home. With its warm temperatures and beautiful beaches, Spain offers a more favourable and enjoyable climate and lifestyle for many individuals.

Ireland and Portugal Are the 2nd Most Popular Destinations Amongst UK Citizens

According to the findings, Ireland and Portugal had the second-highest average search volume, averaging at 800 monthly searches each over the past year. These results are interesting, given that these two countries have very different climates and cultures.

Ireland's cooler climate and scenic countryside may be a draw for those seeking a quieter lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of city living. On the other hand, Portugal's sunny climate, sandy beaches, as well as the vibrant nightlife, may be more appealing to those looking for a more exciting and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

The cost of living in Portugal is, on average, now 26.3% lower than in the UK. In contrast, the cost of living in the UK is making it increasingly difficult for a number of people to afford to stay in their homes. This includes the rising cost of energy bills, maintenance of property and daily expenditures.

Compared to the UK, property prices in Portugal are also significantly lower. The average cost per square meter to buy an apartment in Portugal is €2,938.35 in city centre locations, and €2,036.29 elsewhere. In contrast, prices in the UK are much higher, with costs of £4,349.62 per square metre in Central London and £3,208.30 outside of it.

On the surface, Ireland may come as a more unexpected choice for those looking to relocate, given that the cost of living there is widely regarded as higher than in the UK. However, the UK's departure from the European Union may have left some individuals feeling dissatisfied and thus may be considering Ireland as an alternative place to live.

Although Ireland has its own language and unique cultural identity, the fact that English is the universally spoken language might make it a popular and feasible relocation destination for some Brits.

However, despite these differences and the effects of Brexit, both countries offer easy immigration and residency options for UK expats, making both locations increasingly attractive to relocate.

France is the 4th Most Popular Destination for UK Citizens

The results revealed that France had the fourth-highest search volume, with an average of 700 monthly searches in the past year. Known for its world-renowned cuisine and rich cultural heritage, France has been a desirable destination for UK citizens considering relocation.

The French property market provides appealing options for British nationals who plan to relocate. France has relatively lower property prices compared to the UK and a wide variety of housing choices, ranging from idyllic rural homes to upbeat city apartments. Additionally, the steady and modest rise of house prices in France has made it an attractive alternative for UK homeowners.

Germany is the 5th Most Popular Destination for UK Citizens

According to the findings, Germany ranked fifth place, with an average monthly search volume of 500 over the past 12 months.

Compared to the UK, Germany offers a 21% lower cost of living. It also has a range of job opportunities and boasts one of the largest economies in Europe. At present, its unemployment rate of 2.8% is the second lowest in Europe, significantly lower than the EU average of 6.1%.

These attractive factors may be compelling more UK homeowners to consider a move to Germany, where they may be able to find a more affordable and stable cost of living. For many people, it would allow them to enjoy a better quality of life whilst still being able to afford their homes and living expenses.

Want to Sell Your Property and Relocate Abroad?

If you are planning to sell your home and relocate abroad, our experienced conveyancing solicitors can provide the assistance you need for a smooth and stress-free move and transaction.

Get in touch with our conveyancing solicitors by giving us a call or getting a quote online.

Our Methodology

The data presented in this study was obtained through Ahrefs, by analysing Google search data from UK residents using the search term "moving to [country name] from the UK”. The provided data displays the approximate average search volume for each search term over the last 12 months.

It should be noted that, while the data was gathered from credible sources, its interpretation is solely that of the researchers at Bird & Co.