Continued sterling strength represents great time to buy property in Australia

by Greg on February 13, 2014

Pound sterling

At the start of a new year, we can sometimes be tempted to set ourselves aims that we would like to achieve in the coming 12 months. These might range from small things like keeping fit or eating more healthily, to big goals like moving abroad, buying a house or getting a job overseas.

We’re now well into 2014, and maybe you’re considering one of these ‘big goals’. If you are thinking of living or working abroad, or already do so, the exchange rate is all important, as it determines how far your money will go. And if it’s Australia you have in mind, then now may be the right time to take the plunge. Your pounds will go further than they have done for a long time, and you’ll get more for your money – and maybe the house of your dreams.

And of course, you’d get to enjoy all the benefits of life in Australia; great weather, a laidback lifestyle, awesome sights and beautiful countryside.

We’ve seen a real improvement in the performance of the British economy over recent months, and that has seen the pound strengthen. This is partly due to favourable economic and political data. For example, the latest employment figures – which saw unemployment fall to 7.1% – have helped sterling to its current high level and enable expats looking to buy overseas to get a better property than they would have done in the recent past.

Against the Australian dollar, sterling has soared. GBPAUD is at its highest level in around four and a half years. Taking a look at the current exchange rates now and a year ago, it’s plain to see that your money will now go a lot further. At the start of February 2013, the GBPAUD exchange rate was at 1.507, while it’s now sitting at 1.867. Back then, £200,000 would have got you AU€301,400, but now, that same amount is worth AU$373,400 – a difference of over AU€70,000.

That’s 70,000 reasons why now may be a really good time to take decisive action. Because of the nature of currency markets, no one knows when the exchange rate will go against you. Any dramatic fluctuations in the rate could go a long way to determining whether you can afford that Australian home of your dreams.

While it is important to try and get the best exchange rate, it is also vital to consider protecting yourself should the market move against you. World First will help protect your funds by fixing an exchange rate in advance for a currency transfer in the future – what’s known as a forward contract. Then, if the exchange rate goes against you in that time, you won’t lose out, having already agreed an exchange rate. This is also helpful when budgeting, as you’ll always know what you’ll pay.

If you’re a UK expat, or you’re looking to buy in Australia, the idea of transferring your money may sound somewhat daunting. World First understands that, and is here to make sure the process of making payments is as easy as it possibly can be. If you want to make regular payments for a mortgage or property maintenance, you can arrange automatic transfers so you don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to making a payment every month. Also, if there’s a particular rate you were hoping to achieve, you can sign up to rate alerts and you’ll be told the very moment it’s available.

They’ll give you a better exchange rate than the banks, and will make the process quick and easy. Every client is assigned their own dedicated dealer who’s always on hand whenever you need them, and they can explain your options, from spot contracts at the best rate on the day to forward contracts, where you can fix an exchange rate in advance and not lose out if the exchange rate goes against you. Sign up with World First today, and take advantage of their great rates and service. And with sterling strength on your side, there’s never been a better time to buy abroad.

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