Strengthening sterling brings good news for expats overseas

Published:  8 May at 6 PM
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Strong economic data during the first quarter of 2014 has sent the pound into an upward spiral, benefiting expats on fixed or frozen pensions as well as those looking to buy a home.

Real estate in many favourite expat spots in the Eurozone is at its cheapest since well before the 2008 crash, and the strong pound is resulting in even better bargains on properties priced in euros. Savings on cash-in-hand property purchases can be considerable.

Sterling is also at a four-year high against the US dollar, with one pound now buying $1.67 as against £1.49 in March 2013. It may not sound like much, but US$150,000 converts to £89820 as against £100,671, a difference of £10,851 useful for covering moving costs, lawyers’ fees and much more.

Purchasing £100,000-worth of euros for your real estate deal, you’d win by around €6,000 over last year, with the rate now 1.21 per cent against 1.15 per cent. Regular state and other pension and investment payments from the UK to expats are also affected positively, easing the strain of inflation in the host country.

With at least 10 keen buyers for each UK property on the market, and prices edging upwards outside London and other prime areas as well as soaring in the capital and its suburbs, selling your home has never been easier. In contrast, the real estate market in Spain, France and other popular expat destination is still in the doldrums, making 2014 the best time ever to emigrate.
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