Slam! That’s the sound of doors banging shut on my fantasies. I’d long dreamt of spending what I refer to euphemistically as “the next phase of my life” in a sun-splashed Mediterranean villa, feasting on a diet of olive oil, pasta and Campari, sending postcards to envious oldies stuck here. In this Somerset-Maugham-meets-The-Best-Exotic-Marigold-Hotel scenario, I would be tanned and lithe from swimming and tennis; and blissfully laid-back, my only concern the Vespas roaring beneath my balcony.
I nursed this dream so lovingly that the only question in my mind was whether I would plump for the Costa or Cortona. No more. First Spain, now Cyprus, have sunk into desperate straits; Italy looks as if it could go the way of its neighbours. The derailing of the southern economies has cheated tens of thousands of Britons of their investments, and millions of our dreams.
Crashing economies and falling property prices make your expat dream cheaper you fool.
You can get a two bed pied a terre a little inland from the Algarve (say, 12 km in) for maybe €60 k these days. That\’s a house BTW, not an apartment. €150k and up will buy you a three bed house w/garden.