Whether it’s a villa in the sun-kissed Côte d'Azur, a chalet in the Alps or a pied-à-terre in Paris, France has long been a favourite destination for second home owners. And that desire shows no sign of abating, as trends in the French capital are showing: “In Paris, foreign buyers are now accounting for nearly one in 10 property transactions”, says Amaury de Monclin, founder of Bluesky France Finance.
Now could be a great time to buy. While house prices in the UK have risen 10.2 per cent, in the past year, the French market has been sluggish with prices falling 1.1 per cent over the same period. And the strength of the pound means that budgets are going even further. Sterling recently touched €1.28 against the euro, which compares with a low in 2013 of €1.14.
Tanya Uniacke, Head of European Partners at foreign exchange experts moneycorp, comments: “In terms of the sterling euro exchange rate, now is a great time for Brits to start refocusing their investments in France. This strengthening of the pound means a property purchase of €300,000 would cost you over £18,000 less today than in October 2013. The pound’s recent performance has been influenced by reports showing the UK as the strongest performing economy of G7 nations, outdoing its Eurozone neighbours.”
As exchange rate fluctuations have such a big impact on your property purchase, seeking guidance from a foreign exchange specialist could save you thousands.
The City A.M. International Payments service, provided by Moneycorp, typically offers rates which are between 3-4 per cent more competitive than you can expect from a high street bank. On a transfer of £100,000 that could mean a saving of up to £4,000.
The fees are low, too. Banks can typically charge as much as £40 every time you want to make an overseas transfer. But with City A.M. International Payments, it’s completely free to make transfers online, and if you would prefer to make your transfer over the phone it will only cost you £10. Once you’ve bought your new home, you’ll likely have regular monthly payments to consider for maintenance costs or for your mortgage. With the City A.M. service you could save as much as £480 every year – that’s certainly enough to cover flights to your new holiday home.
Every client is assigned a personal account manager who will be able to explain the various specialist tools available through the service and guide you through the process of moving money overseas. On a property purchase, months can often pass between making an offer and closing the sale, so you could find yourself at the mercy of foreign exchange fluctuations. With City A.M. International Payments you can lock in an exchange rate for up to 24 months with a “forward contract”. So if you can afford your property at the current exchange rate, you know fluctuations in the foreign exchange market won’t break your budget.
With the City A.M. International Payments service you can take advantage of the Regular Payment Plan, which makes paying monthly bills hassle free. You can save recipient details to moneycorp’s online platform and automatically arrange for payments to be made, according to your needs.
It can be daunting to transfer the large amounts inevitably involved in a property purchase. But with City A.M. International Payments you can rest assured that your money is in the safe hands of experts. Moneycorp has been trading foreign exchange since 1979 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the provision of payment services. Last year alone they carried out 6.4 million customer transactions, trading £10 billion in almost 100 different currencies.