Thinking of buying a home abroad? Now could be the time
When buying a property abroad, you are at the mercy of the fluctuating exchange rate, which is favourable at the moment, but may not be in future years. Many foreign exchange specialists have the facility to fix a rate for regular transfers, thus avoiding unwelcome surprises.
Whilst concerns about the financial stability of the Eurozone remain widespread, there’s another side to Europe’s ongoing economic woes that any Briton who has been to the continent recently may well have noticed.
Two years ago, exchange rates were underwhelming at best, averaging 1.17 to the pound. By 2014, this had jumped to 1.23, meaning an extra €300 for every £5,000 exchanged. And that has only improved since then. At the time of writing, the rate was around 1.33 to the pound, which is a significant increase.
Needless to say, this makes the idea of buying a home abroad even more enticing than it already was. With increasingly crowded cities, strained public transport and that old British complaint, the unpredictable and often uninviting weather, comes even more temptation to leave the country and set up shop abroad. Add to that the fact that you get more for your money at the moment compared with previous years, and it’s hard to think of many reasons not to begin researching your ideal adoptive country.
This isn’t to say there aren’t several problems that Britons encounter when they finally settle on a dream destination and find a beautiful home to buy. You’ll need to transfer money from country to country, and from currency to currency, which throws up all manner of problems that many people won’t initially have expected. The most obvious way to do this is through a high street bank. After all, they take care of your current account, mortgage and savings, so surely it’s easier to stick with what you know.
Well, “no” would be a quick way to answer that question. Instead, foreign exchange specialists are far and away the best option available to anyone who needs to send a large amount of money abroad. Back when most major banks were offering rates below 1.20%, firms such as Currencies Direct, one of the biggest in the sector, were providing transfers at 1.22%. Moreover, these do not come with transfer or receiving fees, which can often add up quickly when you’re talking about hundreds of thousands.
A major concern for many is what could happen if the markets change direction. While now is a great time to be buying Euro with Sterling, there’s no definite guarantee this will always be the case. This is where foreign exchange specialists really come into their own, with the option to fix a rate for regular transfers for up to 12 months, giving you peace of mind that your £600 per month mortgage in Spain won’t suddenly cost you £700 because of a weaker pound, thus reducing stress and giving you more cash to splash when enjoying that new life abroad.