Weekly Roundup: 9 August 2018

Briefly speaking… global expat population surges; Bank of America’s pre-Brexit move from London; the lure of Singapore for Australians; UK home rental costs rise; and the best ranked city for digital remote working.

photo of the Eiffel Tower in Paris to illustrate David Sapsted's Weekly Roundup

Global expatriate population expected to surge by 2021

The global expatriate population is projected to increase from its current 66.2 million to 87.5 million by 2021, according to a report from consultants Finaccord. The reports says that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Germany have the highest number of expats with individual workers accounting for more than 70 per cent of the total and students 8.5 per cent.David Bowles, a consultant at Finaccord, said: "The number of expatriates in the Gulf Cooperation States – mainly individual workers from Asian countries – has increased at an enormous pace in recent years as these economies are heavily dependent on the inflow of foreign workers."In contrast, in other countries such as the UK and the US, international students, especially from China, constitute a comparatively high proportion of the total expatriate population, while the US and Spain attract the most retired expatriates, chiefly Canadians retiring to the US, and British or German residents retiring to Spain."India generated by far the largest group of expatriates resident abroad in 2017, with the GCC states a major destination, followed by China and Canada.

Brexit: Bank of America prepares to move analysts from London to Paris

The Financial Times has reported that Bank of America is preparing to move research analysts from its London base to its EU hub in Paris "heightening concerns about London’s future as a financial services centre after Brexit".The report, which the bank has declined to confirm, said the analysts were among a “small number” of staff being considered for relocation. Bank of America has chosen Dublin as its new EU headquarters and Paris as a key centre for its trading business."While the number of research staff involved is small, the precedent of moving people who could stay in London into continental hubs will worry the UK, which is keen to preserve as much of its financial services ecosystem as possible even though Brexit will make it difficult for UK-based operations to trade directly with EU clients," said the FT.

Singapore tops the list for expat Australians

Singapore has emerged as the most desirable destination for expats in a survey of 1,774 Australians living and working abroad in 65 countries. Some 80 per cent of Australians in Singapore said they would recommend the place a destination to their countrymen.But while Singapore came out top of the overall poll, and also in the individual category on career advancement, Sweden was adjudged best for family life; China the best financially; and Philippines the best for lifestyle.Brett Evans, managing director of Atlas Wealth Management, which conducted the survey, said that, each year, more than 300,000 residents leave Australia for 12 months or more, with the number forecast to grow in the coming years."Australians have chosen to move overseas and live the expat life for decades. However, what has changed are both the destinations and the complexities of managing your life as an expat," said Mr Evans.

UK government tax changes blamed for rise on cost of renting a home

The cost of renting a home in the UK is predicted to rise by 15 per cent by 2023, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), with the supply of property coming on to the market expected to decrease at a time of increasing demand.Tax changes introduced by the current government are being blamed for making the market less attractive to landlords.Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: "This augers ill for those many households for whom owner occupation is either out of reach financially or just not a suitable tenure."Meanwhile, the monthly house price index from the Halifax showed house prices in the UK grew faster than expected in July. The annual rate grew to 3.3 per cent, well ahead of economists' forecasts and resulting in average prices hitting a new record of £230,280.

What's the best city for remote working?

Analysis of this year's InterNation’s Expat City Ranking Report - based on responses from more than 12,500 expatriates in 188 nations - has put Prague at the top of the list as the best place for remote working.Powwownow, a UK-based conference call service provider, conducted the analysis to find the best 15 cities around the world for remote working based on factors ranging from living costs and salaries, to internet speeds and the cost of a coffee. "As well as a considerably low cost of living, Prague falls within the Schengen zone, meaning EU citizens don’t need to apply for a visa to work here, making the Czech capital an ideal hub for digital nomads," said Powwownow.Johannesburg, Auckland, Amsterdam and London rounded off the top five in the rankings.
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