Mar Bonnin-Palmer makes sure you don’t get caught out by post-Brexit swings in the currency market.
Q. I’m oﬀ on a viewing trip in a couple of months. I tend to exchange money directly at the airport but I seem to be getting less and less every time. Is it worth using a currency exchange provider ahead of time? If so, how long before each trip?
A. Getting your money at the airport can be very expensive as rates are not very competitive. Most providers – including moneycorp – give you the possibility to pre-order the currency online at better rates and arrange for collection at the airport. Alternatively, you could simply open an account with us and take advantage of our pre-paid currency card. This card will also allow you to release the Euros you pre-ordered directly from (most) cashpoints in France. Setting up an international payments account also means that you will be all set up to pay for your deposit and transfer funds to France when you’ve found your property.
Q.We have a certain amount of money set aside for a deposit and it’s pretty much set in stone – which is worrying, because the value of the Pound keeps going up and down. How can we make sure we’ll be able to buy a house and that the value of the Pound won’t go down to the point where our deposit is no longer enough?
A. Most foreign exchange companies oﬀer a range of tools and market guidance to help clients protect the value of their transaction. You can monitor the exchange rate with the help of a rate tracker or even place a market order which speciﬁes an upper and lower acceptable rate that falls within your budget. Currency markets always ﬂuctuate and there are no guarantees, but using specialist tools can help you make the most of your money and manage your property investment even while on a ﬁxed budget.
Q. Would you recommend ﬁnding a property ﬁrst, then using a currency ﬁrm to sort out payments/deposit? Or would it be too late to sort out money transfers by that point?
A. It is advisable to have an initial conversation with a currency specialist before you go to France to view properties. Knowing rates (and your options beforehand) will not only help you to set a budget but it will help to focus your property search. Besides, opening an account is free of charge and obligation, so there is no pressure to order a transfer. Having an account means that if you do ﬁnd a house, you will be able to speak to your designated account manager straightaway and get the ball rolling quickly.
Q. If Brexit has shown us anything it’s how the value of a currency can drop from one day to the next. How can I protect myself against negative volatility?
Currency values ﬂuctuate according to a range of diﬀerent factors. Brexit is an example of the inﬂuence of both national and international politics. Currencies all ﬂuctuate in relation to one another, so an event which drives up the Euro will have a knock-on eﬀect on the Pound and vice versa. Brexit is a great example of how unpredictable these inﬂuences can be; it’s an unprecedented situation and there have been several surprises along the way. As such, this makes market movements diﬃcult to predict. A specialist can help you understand trends and prepare for market volatility so that you get the most out of your money when buying a property in France.
Mar Bonnin-Palmer is Senior Key Account Manager at moneycorp, the foreign exchange expert and specialist in currency transfers for overseas property.