New Homes Are A Headache For Expats In The US

Finding the right place to live is often the biggest problems faced by relocating expats, according to one outsourcing firm.

The three top destinations for British expats are the USA, India and Switzerland, says Cartus, a specialist relocation consultancy.

Besides the normal issues like arranging schools for families switching countries, sorting out cars and healthcare, housing proved a headache in all three places.

The company’s top expat destination was the USA.

Most British workers transfer to one of the large metropolitan areas, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Rental homes are scarce in these popular areas and landlords are putting up prices and ask for significant deposits in advance, making renting expensive.

Wasting time

The problem is worse out of towns and cities as housing to rent is scarce.

Education also raises issues as schools and universities in the States have different curriculum expectations than the UK.

India is a minefield for finding a home to rent.

The country is vast and the housing rental market fragmented, while desirable properties in the right neighbourhoods are few and far between, says Cartus.

The main problem is landlords leave homes under offer on the market often after the tenancy agreement is signed.

“This can waste a lot of time calling agents or landlords to arrange viewings only to find the property is unavailable and should have been taken offline weeks before,” said a Cartus spokesman.

“Many expats are disappointed to find they cannot source a property they thought was vacant.”

Sky high prices

Switzerland is well-known for sky high prices, and housing is among the most expensive day-to-day costs.

Housing supply is static, while demand is high, which pushes up rents and makes the nicest homes too expensive for many expats.

The problem zones are typically the financial centres of Zurich and Geneva.

The Cartus research Trends in Global Relocation: 2015 Biggest Challenges survey reveals 64% of expats are disappointed with the high costs of housing in their new home and 52% had their expectations over the type of property they could afford shattered.

“nearly half of relocating expats that went through our firm went to the USA,” said the Cartus spokesman. “That is still the highest number of relocating expats even though the figures are five points down on the previous year.”

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