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Posted December 12th, 2013 by Charles Purdy

A stronger Pound means Christmas comes early for property-buyers

Sterling’s rally in the final weeks of 2013 is great news for British people buying overseas homes, thanks to their pounds buying them more foreign currency and making their purchase cheaper.

It’s against the dollar that Sterling has risen most aggressively, with the exchange rate now hovering around a two-year high at £1/$1.63 – don’t forget, it’s been below $1.50 on a number of occasions this year. Against the euro, Sterling is not far off levels last seen in January with £1 worth around €1.19 – compare this to the start of August when the rate had fallen to a dismal £1/€1.14.

What does this mean in real terms for UK buyers in the Eurozone or Florida? More affordable property is the simple answer.

This cosy two-bedroom villa in Spain’s pretty northern Costa Blanca is on the market for €219,000, a fixed price for local people with euros in the bank. For a British buyer whose funds are still in pounds though, this property is around £8,000 cheaper than it was at the start of August, purely down to the exchange rate moving back in favour of Sterling.

In Florida, the difference is equally impressive. This smart five-bedroom home in Davenport is on the market for $249,900, a fixed price for locals with dollars in the bank. But for a British buyer whose funds are still in pounds, this property is more than £13,000 cheaper than it was at various points earlier in the year, when the exchange rate dipped below £1/$1.50.

“Certainly for buyers in the USA, exchange rates are the most favourable they’ve been all year, while for the euro they’re edging that way,” said Charles Purdy at Smart Currency Exchange. “Many of our clients opt to forward buy currency when rates get this good, so they’re effectively reserving an exchange rate for a transfer they’ll need to make at a later date – ideal when purchasing a property abroad and you need to work to a fixed budget and you are offered a competitive exchange rate.”

To find out more about how Smart Currency Exchange could save you money and forward buy currency for you, download their free report by clicking here.

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