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Currency exchange rates 'a good indicator of overseas property costs'

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A foreign exchange comparison could be useful for overseas property buyers before they enter into a transaction, experts have suggested.

According to Property-Abroad.com, currency exchange rates are an "excellent factor to gauge" what investors from the UK can expect to pay for a home in the US.

Therefore, purchasers could get the best possible deal by keeping a close eye on the relative value of the pound against the dollar ahead of a money transfer.

Les Calvert, director at Property-Abroad.com, commented: "With the way that the dollar and the pound are at the moment, it is as good a time as any to start looking at buying over there.

"I don't anticipate the dollar to drop much further against the pound."

Mr Calvert noted that plenty of opportunities for investors could be found in the US rental market, as returns on "ready-tenanted properties" are "guaranteed".

Atlanta was flagged up as one part of the country that is generating lots of interest among foreign property buyers in the UK at the moment. Mr Calvert added that investors who enter the US buy-to-let market can expect to receive "excellent" returns.

This comes after the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales in the US went up by 7.3 per cent during November 2011. Figures showed that the index stood at 100.1 throughout the month – up from 94.5 a year earlier.

The organisation noted that this is the highest it has reached since April 2010.

As a result, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, is confident that the number of closed existing home sales will "continue to improve" during the next few months.
He added that the recent surge in pending home sales in the US came about partly because of buyers "recommitting" following earlier problems with mortgages and other aspects of their contract.

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