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The best US cities for UK expats to buy property in 2024

Currencies Direct June 4th 2024 - 4 minute read

As the USA imposes no restrictions on foreign property purchases, many UK expats choose to buy real estate in the United States. 

For UK expats looking to buy property in the US, several cities stand out for their vibrant culture, economic opportunities, and diverse lifestyle options. Choosing the right city involves balancing factors such as the cost of living, job opportunities, lifestyle preferences, and community. Here are our best US cities for UK expats to consider.  

San Francisco (California) 

San Francisco in California offers iconic attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The city’s rich cultural scene includes numerous museums, theatres, and galleries, while its diverse neighbourhoods provide a variety of dining and shopping experiences. 

It also boasts one of the country’s most densely populated British expat communities, making it an ideal choice for Brits moving across the pond. 

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the US, with the average price for a three- to four-bed home coming in around $1.4 million (approximately £1.1 million). However, the city’s thriving tech industry and stunning scenery make it a desirable location despite the high costs. It’s particularly attractive to entrepreneurs and investors. 

In terms of weather, San Francisco has mild, wet winters and cool, dry summers, making it comfortable year-round. 

Miami (Florida) 

Miami is famous for its beautiful beaches, such as South Beach and Miami Beach, as well as its lively nightlife and Latin American culture. Some of Miami’s main attractions include the Art Deco Historic District, Little Havana, and the numerous art galleries and festivals, including the famous Art Basel. 

In Miami, the average home is priced around $600,000 (approximately £470,000), which is more affordable compared to San Francisco but still higher than the UK average. What you’ll get varies depending on location: a four-bed house in a suburban neighbourhood could cost the same as a one-bed condo downtown. 

Miami’s real estate market is attractive due to its coastal location, vibrant culture, and perennial appeal to retirees, meaning it can be a good long-term investment. 

Miami enjoys a tropical climate, with warm weather for most of the year. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are mild and pleasant. However, the city does experience a hurricane season from June to November. 

New York City (New York) 

New York City is home to a number of world-renowned landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Times Square. The city enjoys a plethora of cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a number of Broadway theatres, and the famous neighbourhoods of Brooklyn and Queens. 

New York’s property market is among the most expensive in the world, with NY homes averaging around $770,000 (approximately £600,000) for a two-bed apartment in Manhattan, although outer boroughs like Brooklyn and Staten Island can be cheaper. However, its bustling economy and wealth of job opportunities can be perfect for UK expats moving abroad for work purposes.   

New York City experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are often very cold, summers are hot and humid, and spring and autumn offer more mild, comfortable conditions. 

Seattle (Washington) 

Seattle is known for its famous coffee culture, the iconic Space Needle, and Pike Place Market, among other attractions. The city’s natural surroundings, including Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound, offer ample outdoor opportunities. Seattle also has a robust music and arts scene and is home to numerous museums and theatres. 

The average home price in Seattle is $900,000 (approximately £700,000), which should get you a two- or three-bed property in a decent neighbourhood. While this is higher than the UK average, it’s still more affordable compared to cities like San Francisco and New York and can be a great alternative for British expats looking to relocate. 

Seattle has a maritime climate, with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Winters rarely see temperatures below freezing, but the city is known for its overcast skies and frequent rain, particularly in the autumn and winter months. 

Austin (Texas) 

Lastly, we have Austin, Texas. Austin has long been celebrated for its country music scene, its annual festivals and numerous party venues. The city also offers outdoor activities like boating on Lady Bird Lake and attractions such as the Texas State Capitol and Barton Springs Pool. 

Prices in Austin average around $580,000 (approximately £450,000) for a three-bed home, making it relatively affordable compared to other major US cities. The city’s vibrant cultural scene contributes to its growing popularity among expats, and it can be an ideal, cost-effective place for UK expats to purchase property in the US. 

Austin has a subtropical climate, with very hot summers and short, mild winters. Although the city enjoys plenty of sunshine year-round, spring can bring severe thunderstorms. 

How we can help 

If you’re considering moving across the pond and buying a property in the US, getting a strong exchange rate for your currency transfers can make all the difference. 

Currency markets are always moving, so it’s crucial that you time your transfer. For example, the GBP/USD exchange rate slipped from $1.28 in March 2024 to $1.24 just one month later. If you were transferring £500,000, this four-cent difference would mean you received $20,000 less. 

Here at Currencies Direct, we specialise in currency. We can monitor the market for you, providing updates and expert insights, to help you navigate FX volatility and secure a strong exchange rate. 

We also offer a range of transfer options and products, paired with unparalleled customer support. It’s why we’ve won multiple awards over the years and earned thousands of five-star reviews from happy customers on Trustpilot. 

And with 24/7 support available via our app, our team is always on hand to provide assistance and guidance whenever you need it.  

Get in touch with us today to find out more or open an account. It’s completely free to sign up, and there’s no obligation for you to make a transfer once your account is up and running. 

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Currencies Direct

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