Currency Watch – Greece, Portugal & Spain are best bets for property in March

MARCH 2012

Currency Index look back at exchange rates in February, and the headlines likely to be affecting rates in March for buyers of overseas property.

February saw the Pound finish the month lower against all major currencies except the US Dollar, where rates improved by 1.08%. The EU bailout of Greece was the main news theme, with austerity measures being passed by the Greek parliament, and relative stability in the Eurozone being the outcome, giving a slightly stronger (more expensive) Euro.

The South African Rand was the most volatile currency, with a range of nearly 4% during February, while the Canadian Dollar was the most stable rate.

The South African Rand also showed the biggest increase in cost, with a Pound going over 3% further at the beginning of February compared to at the end of the month.
Overseas property buyers should be aware of key events coming up in March which are likely to affect exchange rates and therefore their overseas property prices:


• Ongoing: stability or not for the Eurozone after Greek bailout agreed?
• Tuesday 6th: Eurozone GDP (Q4 2011)
• Thursday 8th: UK Quantitative Easing decision
• Friday 9th: US unemployment & non-farm payrolls
• Tuesday 13th: US retail sales
• Wednesday 21st: Bank of England minutes
• Tuesday 27th: UK GDP (Q4 2011 third reading)


For comment and analysis on any of the above, please contact Currency Index.
Applying the exchange rate change to recent changes in local property markets around the world reveals the real change in cost to British buyers of property around the world.
For example a British cash buyer can now pick up a bargain in Greece for nearly 5% less than in recent months, or a saving of over £8,000 on a property which was on the market for €200,000. The countries where emigrating or buying overseas are becoming significantly more expensive, are New Zealand and South Africa, due to local increases in property prices. Brits will be pleased to know that the traditional favourite locations of Greece, Portugal, Spain and the USA have all reduced in price recently, despite exchange rates generally failing to improve further in February.

Data: Currency Index Feb ’12 /  Global Property Guide Q4 2011