Strong dollar drives US demand for property

The strong dollar is driving up US demand for property overseas. The currency is boosting their spending power across Europe, with both Italian and Greek agents reporting a rise in interest.

InsureMyTrip highlights the UK, France and Italy as the three European countries as the most popular destinations for travel beyond US borders between June and August 2015. But with the dollar at a 12-year high against the weak euro this year, buyers are also looking to snap up property during their travels.

Jane Smith of local property agency Magic Marche says they have seen enquiries surge 20 per cent in he first half 2015.
“With a strong US dollar against the Euro, buyers from the USA have increased in numbers,” she comments. “Restored country houses remain the most popular choice but we’ve also seen a growing trend in townhouses, where buyers can enjoy the benefits of having shops, restaurants, cafés and local markets right on their doorstep.”

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of family-run holiday home company Appassionata, says that her latest luxury fractional ownership home, Casa Tre Archi, has so far attracted keen interest Stateside, with 67 per cent of owners coming from America.

“Italy is a tourist destination enjoyed by visitors from all over the world and many of those hail from the US,” she adds. “Our two countries have ties that span centuries and modern-day Italy still holds many attractions for American visitors. We’ve found that many of those who come here are utterly charmed by Italy’s attributes, from its stunning architecture to its beautiful beaches, as well as the local cuisine and the open, welcoming nature of regions like Le Marche.”

One factor in the euro’s weakness this year has been the growing uncertainty surrounding the Greek economy. Today, Greece reached an agreement with its EU debtors that is likely to see the country remain in the euro. While some businesses have been hesitant during the months of long negotiations, others have sought to take advantage of favourable exchange rates. Indeed, in Mykonos, the Greek Aegean Sea island, lettings demand and revenue has doubled this summer, according to Beauchamp Estates.

“In Mykonos, we have seen ‘business as usual’,” said managing head Roi Deldimou, in the week ahead of the country’s bailout referendum last month.

“We have continued to see buyer enquiries from across the world, while many of our top lettings properties are already fully-booked for the entire summer.”

“Through exchange rate movement, British tourists paying that sum this year are getting a 10 per cent discount compared to last year when paying in pounds sterling, and it is 18 per cent cheaper for visitors paying in US dollars,” she added. “It is no surprise that there has been an increase in demand from the US market this year.”