Stronger Sterling benefiting UK buyers in the French Alps in 2014

Posted on 30 May 2014

Brits on the verge or in the process of buying a property in the French Alps are benefiting from Sterling’s persistent strength against the euro during 2014, with the exchange rate barely dropping below £1/€1.2 this year and the current rate hovering around an 18-month high of €1.23.

The difference the exchange rate can make to the cost of a French home can be considerable, especially on high value properties. Rewind a year, and a €400,000 property in a French ski resort would have cost approximately £14,000 more to a UK buyer than it would today. Why? Back in May 2013, the exchange rate fluctuated between £1/€1.16 and £1/€1.18, compared to today’s rate of between £1/€1.22 and £1/€1.22.

To make the most of the current exchange rate and ensure your pounds get you as many euros as possible, UK buyers are advised to use a currency exchange specialist to transfer euros to France, rather than simply asking their UK bank to send the funds. An FCA-authorised currency exchange specialist typically offers exchange rates that can be up to four per cent better than those your bank would give you, thereby knocking even more off the price of your apartment or chalet in the French Alps. They usually won’t charge you commission either and often absorb banks’ sending and receiving charges.

The customer service from a currency specialist will also be better than that of your banks – you’ll have a personal account manager at the end of the phone or email to buy currency as and when you need it.

Once you own a home in the Alps, your currency specialist will be able to make regular payments to and from France for you too, for example if you need to make mortgage payments, pay bills or repatriate rental income.

Contact to be put in touch with a recommended currency exchange specialist.