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Euro 'could terminate as we know it'

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Euro 'could terminate as we know it'

The ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone could bring about the end of the currency "as we know it", an expert has warned.

According to Peter Elias, founder and managing director of property specialist Allez-Francais, the election of Francois Hollande as French president has created additional uncertainty in the eurozone.

Indeed, he said the pound rose to a three-and-a-half year high against the single currency shortly after he won the presidency.

As a result, Mr Elias is concerned that the euro may continue to weaken, particularly as uncertainty surrounding Greece still remains, while questions regarding the financial futures of Portugal, Spain and Italy are also unanswered at present.

This, he said, could potentially lead to the end of the single European currency in its present form.

Mr Elias has therefore encouraged anyone looking to buy a property in France to take steps to minimise their risk.

"At present, the French property market is fairly flat, with prices stable outside of the large cities - where there are signs of price inflation," he commented.

However, Mr Elias noted that the number of properties on the market is very high at the moment. As a result, he believes buyers may be able to negotiate a reduction on the asking price.

Mr Elias added that since the new French president has promised to hit high net worth individuals with a larger tax bill, many affluent investors may opt to put their money into British property.

London was identified as a particularly "appealing option", as house prices in the city are rising and it is generally seen as a "safe haven" amid the continuing economic turmoil in Europe.

This backs up recent observations from Liam Bailey of Knight Frank, who said Britain's recent slip back into recession is unlikely to put real estate investors from overseas off transferring money into established markets such as London.

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