Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Sterling Strength and Fall In French Housing Prices Provide Perfect Expat Opportunity

Simon Hiltonby Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

If you’re thinking of moving abroad, one of the main considerations is what kind of house you’ll be able to get for your money. This is determined obviously by the value of the house you’re buying, but also by the exchange rates, which can have a significant impact on what kind of property you’ll end up in.

If, for example, the pound is strong against the euro, you’ll get more for your money, and you may be able to afford more than you thought. The exchange rates can fluctuate dramatically in the space of just a few weeks or even days, so it’s always worth keeping your eye on the markets.

If you’re purchasing a house in France, and you were transferring £200,000 to pay for it, you’d get around €243,000 based on the current GBPEUR exchange rate. If you were transferring the same amount one year ago, you’d have got €13,000 less for your money. That could be the difference between a good home and a great home, and demonstrates the importance of keeping abreast of what’s going on in the currency markets.

The figure below shows you how the exchange rates have moved in the last year and how right now looks like a strong time for British buyers looking to purchase property in France...

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