While a weak euro is not encouraging and beneficial for residents in France, it’s been a boost to many retired expats in France as well as those who have always dreamed of moving there.
Recently this week one euro was worth £0.75 and $1.14 and one British pound was worth €1.33 which is one of the best exchange rates in years, especially if you’re coming from abroad. While it costs considerably more to travel home that it did a year ago, there are many tourists and expats in France who are pleased at the continued weakness of the euro.
In review are a few areas that a weak euro could have a marked impact on foreigners in France.
The weak euro has meant good news for those who have always dreamed of buying a property in France. There are some amazing deals for anyone willing to take the risk and who has a bit of money to spare. While it may be too early to notice a swing, the prediction is a healthy change in the upcoming half term and Easter breaks. People can get a lot more for their money if they act now.
Pensions and Savings
The weakening Euro has allowed for expats and visitors to be able to afford simple things. A few years ago it expensive to eat a meal out but now due to the weakening Euro, small luxuries in life are affordable.
Financial advisors think some expats will be hit hard, especially those with overheads in the UK or those paying back their UK mortgages in euros. On the other hand, people with money in the UK or US should act quickly.
It is advised that people with money back home convert it now. Additionally they are advised to opt for an FCA-regulated foreign exchange office rather than their bank. Customers often get a much better exchange rate than at their local bank as those offices are far more competitive. Shopping around can make a difference in exchange rates of up to 20 percent. Banks may take a commission of up to 30 percent, whereas the rates can be a whole lot lower at an exchange office.
The weakening euro has already seen tourist getting busy booking holidays to Italy and Spain but in France experts say any boost may be offset by fears over terrorist attacks. Some tourist agencies say the biggest change they have seen recently is due to terrorism fears. People are afraid of using public transport and that they want to travel privately.
Paul Rickard, research consultant at the European Tourism Association, expects the falling euro will see a boost in tourism. Additionally he stated that a weaker euro would likely have a positive impact on tourism as the general perception over time will be one of increased value for those from outside the eurozone.
Weaker currency or not, France is still the most popular holiday destination in the world, according to a report last week from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). It beat out the likes of the US, Spain, and China in the ranking, earning $56.1 billion from tourism in 2013 alone.
Photo by textilefurkey