U.S. Housing Market Recovery Mirrors Strengthening Dollar

Posted on October 21, 2010

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As Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner wrestles with global current exchange rates, so does the U.S. housing market.

According to new data from currency specialist Moneycorp, the currency market has a major bearing on the fortunes of US realtors. The data indicates a clear correlation between the currency fluctuations of the USD and GBP against the number of Britons investing in US property.

Last month’s National Association of Realtors (NAR) stats, which provide an overview of US home sales, indicated a recovery in the property market which was bolstered by a rise in sales from overseas investors. In particular, the British are investing more and more in US real estate with Florida and the West coast being the destinations of choice.

LAURA MCLOUGHLIN

Laura McLoughlin, Regional Manager, Moneycorp says, “Our latest findings correlate with the positive news from the NAR concerning the US property market. The exchange rate has a huge bearing on the number of clients we have buying property in the US as it can fluctuate up to 10% in a matter of weeks. It is important that foreign property buyers in the US consult with a currency specialist to maximize their spending power.”

While the NAR is cautious about the positive data as home sales are still underperforming from a foreign investment perspective, Moneycorp’s findings show that there are an increasing number of Brits buying property in the US.

Laura McLoughlin gives some top tips for overseas buyers looking to invest in the US:

  • Plan ahead. Currency markets fluctuate constantly and if you simply wait until you have to make a payment, you will get the exchange rate of the day. Exchange rates can fluctuate up to 10% in a matter of weeks, so it’s vital that you use time to your advantage.
  • Get expert guidance. Currency market expertise is no longer restricted to bank trading floors. Currency specialists have teams of trained and qualified dealers who can help consumers through the minefields that are the currency markets.
  • Don’t get stung by overseas banks. Be aware that overseas banks can often charge handling fees just for receiving your money, which can amount to up to 1% of the value of your transfer. You can negotiate with the receiving bank before sending your funds, but currency specialists can also help.
  • Pay in large amounts. Consolidate your payments into larger lump sums can help avoid transfer fees.
  • Take advantage of favorable rates. For people with pensions or other regular income from the UK, a Regular Payment Plan will also allow foreign buyers to plan ahead and lock into favorable rates to make sure they get the most out of their hard earned cash.

by Michael Gerrity from realestatechannel.com