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Posted May 15th, 2014 by Charles Purdy

Make a bargain even better in a buyer’s market

Flat is the best way to describe property markets in most southern European countries, which means a buyer’s market and low house prices. For British buyers though, during the first half of 2014 conditions have swung even more in your favour, thanks to the stronger pound.

Since the start of the year, the value of the pound has risen against both the euro and dollar, with the odd bump along the way. For anyone who is buying property abroad and has their funds in pounds still, this is welcome news.
Rewind a year, and a €200,000 property in the Eurozone would have cost approximately £7,000 more to a UK buyer than it would today. Why? Back in May 2013, the exchange rate fluctuated between £1/€1.16 and £1/€1.18, while today the rate is hovering around £1/€1.22.

But that’s not all – there is a way to increase your buying power abroad even more, which is to use Smart Currency Exchange to exchange your pounds into euros and send them abroad, rather than simply asking your UK bank to make the euro or dollar transfer. FCA-authorised Smart Currency Exchange typically offers exchange rates that can be up to 4 per cent better than those your bank would give you, knocking even more off the price of your foreign home.

Here’s a real example. This beautifully restored watermill in France’s Dordogne is on the market for €689,000 (call for 0207 898 0549 for details). It’s value in pounds in May last year was in the region of £590,000. Today’s value to a UK buyer is around £565,000, depending on the exact exchange rate you were offered. And, using Smart Currency Exchange rather than your bank to buy the required amount of euros to purchase this property, could feasibly save you around £16,000.

For British property buyers in the USA, the exchange has been equally kind in 2014. In the middle of May 2013, when the exchange rate was hovering around £1/$1.52, a $200,000 home was worth around £132,000. Today, with the rate around £1/$1.67, the value of the property in pounds is now around £120,000.

To find out more about how Smart Currency Exchange could help you send funds abroad and save money in the process, download their free guide.


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