Home » Currency 101 » Here’s how to have a peaceful Christmas

In 2019 can we expect any respite from the currency volatility that has been such a problem for property buyers abroad? We think you know the answer to that! So why wait? Lock in your exchange rate before Christmas and you can spend your holidays planning an amazing, sunny, year ahead. Then pass on the gift!

It’s been another frantic year on the currency markets. Not that the pound has necessarily moved more than usual, it’s just that normally there is some sense behind those movements! This year it has all been about you-know-what – Brexit, and rumours and resignations – although the potential for interest rate increases was the secondary factor.

Christmas is a time when many of us get along to a church to sing a carol or two. While there this year, you might remind yourself of the famous prayer that asks for serenity in the face of that which you cannot change, the courage to change what you can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

You’ve still got time to grab a bit of Christmas serenity!

As we face another year of turmoil politically and economically, that same message could apply to anyone planning to buy a property abroad. You can’t change government negotiations, but you can work out the ways to do what you want anyway. Such as becoming a legal resident before Brexit (yes there’s still time!) or just accepting that you might have to fill in a form or two extra. Not such a big deal is it?

Or with currencies, you may have to be serene about the factors that can affect the pound – interest rates, GDP, earnings… But you don’t have to be a supplicant. You can fix your exchange rate with a forward contract. Then you really can be serene!

In fact, you can still do that before Christmas. Then you can focus on planning an amazing year ahead. Perhaps you’ll buy a holiday home that you can invite all the family down to next year. Maybe you could release some of the equity locked up in your home and spread some joy to the rest of the family who can’t afford their own property.

How much can you lose?

Why should you be so concerned about exchange rate changes? Well, our friends at Property Guides have a really useful widget on their property listings website which shows exactly how far the price of a foreign property goes up and down for buyers from the UK due to exchange rate changes.

For example, for this rather lovely new-build house on the Costa Blanca, exchange rate changes have altered the price in sterling by nearly £7,500 over the past six months.

Property Guides’ widget can make for sobering reading

It’s a great way of illustrating what we mean when we say that currency changes can easily take the price of your property out of your budget. If that happens after you’ve paid the deposit it can spell disaster.

When we do property shows up and down the country (such as Your Overseas Home, which has just announced six dates for 2019) and have the chance to speak to people face to face, it’s alarming how many people are leaving themselves open to this risk

So if you know of anyone who is planning a property purchase abroad – or who lives abroad and is worried about changing exchange rates – do please send them our details.

And if you’re planning the big move in 2019, get some financial security and really enjoy the festive season. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Sunny, New Year!

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