The Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown period has left us all appreciating life a lot more: our health, our families, as well as our ability to travel the world.

We’re all yearning for some time abroad, far away from the Great British mundanities. Some people more than others, as the lockdown period saw a rise in online enquiries for buying property abroad.

Could this be an optimal time to buy an international property? Or does the risk outweigh the potential opportunity? 

 

Buying property abroad

Many estate agents have reported a surge during lockdown of Brits searching for overseas property, mostly in Portugal, Spain and France. 

Rightmove reported that locations such as the Costa del Sol, Spain were up 34% year on year during May, as well as homes in Dordogne and Brittany in France, which were also up by 33%.

Are people just dreaming of exotic landscapes whilst sitting in their living room for the 37th day in a row, or has Coronavirus made people reconsider how and where they would like to live altogether? 

 

How to view properties during Coronavirus 

2020 is officially the year of functioning online, from shopping, working, communicating with family to even purchasing a house.

‘Virtual viewing’ technology is now making it easier for buyers to get a feel for a potential home - without even having to step foot on the property. Thankfully, it’s precisely this technology that’s keeping the housing market afloat during the pandemic.  

This is music to the ears of anyone hoping to purchase a property abroad, as it means that current travel restrictions won’t slow down the process or prevent the sale from going through. 

Additionally, it’s looking as though airlines could be preparing to take flight again as of early July, which would make the viewing process more practical again. Check our Travel Tracker for the latest country-specific information.

 

How does the foreign exchange market affect house purchases?

With Brexit, General Elections and the Coronavirus outbreak, we’ve had to deal with a lot of market volatility in the past few years. Unbeknown to many, the fluctuating foreign exchange market can actually work in your favour and could save you thousands when it comes to buying a house.

The Financial Times recently told the story of a couple who had to pull out of a housing process due to the pandemic.They stated that ‘with the pound regaining some strength against the euro since the middle of March, by mid-April the property would have been £87,000 cheaper.’ This demonstrates how important it is to act at the right moment to benefit you financially.

Working with Caxton will enable you to preload your funds when the rate is preferential and working in your favour. Here’s a real life case study of how Ed, our Head of Private Client, saved thousands by loading in advance for his overseas wedding.

 

International Payments

If the idea of a bolthole in the sun peaks your interest, or simply if you have overseas payments to make, Caxton’s International Payments team can assist with any queries you may have. No matter how large the sum of money, or how frequent the overseas payment, we’ve got you covered.

Gain access to a dedicated account manager to help you with any questions - contact our Payments team today on 0333 123 1815.