Data shows British appetite for European property is climbing back towards pre-referendum levels
As summer holiday season approaches, Britons have increased the amount they spend on European property by two thirds – according to data released today by the international payment specialist Fexco Corporate Payments.
Britons spent 66 per cent more in sterling terms on Eurozone property in the first four months of 2018 compared with the same period last year.
The analysis, of nearly 1000 Euro transactions made by UK customers through FEXCO Corporate Payments, suggests Britons’ dreams of owning a place in the sun are being rekindled by sterling’s improving fortunes.
By contrast, the total sterling value of property transactions made in the first four months of 2017 was 69 per cent less than that made in the same period in 2016, immediately before the EU referendum. However during the first four months of this year, it recovered to just 10 per cent below the level seen in 2016.
Last year also saw the number of new property purchases collapse, with the majority of property-related funds being sent by Fexco to the Eurozone destined for clients’ ongoing commitments such as mortgage payments, maintenance or management fees.
However since the start 2018 the number of new property purchases has increased, and as a resultthe average size of transaction recorded by Fexco has more than doubled, from £9,108 in the first four months of 2017 to £22,515 as more home purchases were made between January and April this year.
The total number of property transactions has increased too, with Fexco logging 15% more transactions between January and April 2018 than it did in the first four months of 2017.
David Lamb, head of dealing at Fexco Corporate Payments, explained:
“The resurgence of British buyers’ appetite for European property shows the enduring appeal of a place in the sun.
“Yet a holiday home is the ultimate discretionary purchase, and last year many would-be buyers put their plans on hold as the sharp fall in the value of the Pound made Eurozone property more expensive.
“Sterling has made steady gains against the Euro in 2018, and the Pound hit an 11-month high against the single currency in April. Its return to form has inspired many of those who dream of owning a home away from home in Europe to take the plunge.
“Nevertheless as Britain’s economy faltered at the end of April and start of May, sterling felt the pinch and slid two cents against the Euro within just a few days. While no-one chooses to buy a home abroad based on the exchange rate alone, such volatility means anyone planning to invest should consider a currency hedging strategy to ensure they get the best value.”