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Overseas property purchases affected by poor exchange rates

2nd August 2011

People buying homes overseas could be losing thousands of pounds as a result of poor exchange rates, a new report shows.

A fair exchange? Around 130,000 overseas properties were purchased by Britons between 2005 and 2009 

Independent analysis on the European property market found that average foreign property buyer spending £125,000 on their overseas home would receive €131,547 from a high street bank. However using a specialist foreign currency provider could result in an improved rate of €139,033 – a massive €7,486 difference equivalent to around £6,600, according to GSA.

The highest return on a £125,000 transfer was €139,650 offered,while the lowest was €131,062.50 offered by HSBC.

Just 10% of foreign currency transactions are made using a foreign currency provider, who can offer around 5.6% more than the High Street as they use commercial exchange rates to determine the value.

Savills International Research on second homes found that around 130,000 overseas properties were purchased by Britons between 2005 and 2009, potentially wasting millions as a result of poor exchange rates.

The team at say that they have seen a 32% increase in the number of customers buying properties in Europe in the last three months, compared to the same period in 2010.

Tom Higham, director at, said: “Despite the huge savings that can be made on large currency transactions by using a company such as ours, we’re astonished that so many people don’t shop around and just use their bank.

“We’re keen to ensure that, in these difficult economic times that their money works as hard for them as possible.”


Source:  Telegraph 2/8/11