Plunging currencies encourage Brits to purchase overseas

Published:  14 Mar at 6 PM
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Strengthened sterling as a result of confidence in the UK economy’s recovery and falling currencies in troubled regions of the world have sent would-be UK expats on a bargain-hunting buying frenzy.

Spain and France are at the top of most wish-lists, with the lower end of the Spanish property market still falling and entire abandoned villages on the market for less than a London garage. France’s real estate sector is still underperforming, and Greek property prices fell a further nine per cent last year.

Surprise entries to the bargain property market include Turkey, South Africa and Thailand. Turkey’s weak local housing market and falling currency are encouraging interest in its coastal areas, and the crash of the South African rand over 2013 has resulted in a 33 per cent increase in bricks and mortar than coud have been bought for the same price in early 2013.

Compared to similar homes in the West, Thailand’s house prices are traditionally cheap, but a dramatic fall in the baht over the last few months due to political unrest has made Thai homes even more attractive to retirees and those nearing retirement. Coupled with gloriously hot weather and a very low cost of living, it’s a win-win situation for those over 60 who are entitled to a retirement visa.

Overseas property agents are reporting increased sales across the board, and on and offline currency movement firms, now the preferred option over high street banks, are also extremely busy. Online estate agencies specialising in overseas properties are reporting a boom in enquiries over and above what was expected following the UK’s disastrous 2013 winter weather and floods.
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