Britons spend less on European property amid weak pound, uncertainties

The political uncertainty and weak pound caused by the Brexit saw Britons spending 52 percent less on European property during the first three months of 2017 over the same period last year

Investments in European property down by 52 percent amidst post-Brexit uncertainties.

The political uncertainty and weak pound caused by the Brexit saw Britons spending 52 percent less on European property during the first three months of 2017 over the same period last year, reported Business Insider citing a study by payment card firm Fexco.

The lowest point was registered in January, when transaction values plunged to 78 percent from last year. Transaction levels in February were 42 percent lower compared to those in February 2016, while transaction values in March rose by 25 percent from the previous month.

“Two major concerns have curtailed British buyers’ appetite for European property since last June’s referendum – the sharp fall in the value of the Pound and lingering fears about whether UK citizens could face restrictions on living in an EU country after Brexit,” said David Lamb, head of dealing at FEXCO Corporate Payments.

“No one wants to buy an overseas property only to discover they could have got it cheaper if they had waited. As a result, discretionary spending – which includes new property purchases – has fallen sharply as many prospective buyers hold off on committing in hopes of a more favourable exchange rate.”

He noted that while the sterling has recovered from the lows recorded in late 2016, it is still “10 percent down on its pre-referendum level against the Euro than it was on the eve of the Brexit vote”.

“Its continuing volatility means anyone planning to invest in a European property should consider a currency hedging strategy to ensure they get the best value for their investment,” he added.

 

This article was edited by Denise Djong.