UK Housing Market Picking Up

Figures from the Halifax this morning have shown that house prices in the UK have risen by 1.3% in January compared to the same time last year which is the first annual rise in prices since October 2010. According to the Halifax they have stated that the housing market is showing “signs of life” but did say the outlook was still unclear. Part of this improvement could be put down to the recently introduced Bank of England scheme ‘Funding for Lending’ which has seen a lot of cheap funds made available to banks and building societies which are to be passed onto private individual and business clients to help increase the flow of money through the economy. A strongly performing housing market in the UK is important for the economy and also Sterling exchange rates as a huge number of people have money tied up in houses and so the talk of negative equity and falling house prices can and does have a negative impact on Sterling. So, should we see house prices continue to increase and the number of property sales improve further we will as a result see more funds move through the economy which as a result could help the UK avoid a triple dip recession. Any positive news like this can have a good impact for Sterling so speak to one of our currency brokers today to find out what impact today’s data release has had on your currency transfer.

GBP USD Exchange Rates

Sterling has fallen recently against the Dollar and currently does not look likely to head back towards the 1.60 level for some time, however later on today we have US mortgage approval figures which will give us an indication as to how well the US housing market is performing. As per the UK, positive news here could give the USD yet more strength and we could see rates fall further. However, the Dollar may be strong at present but the US economy is far from in a good state with high levels of unemployment, stagnant growth and a concern that they may lose their safe haven status. This means that despite the recent negative trend we could see it reverse at any time, especially in such a volatile market. The recent market movement and the current threat of further volatility highlights just how important it is to stay in close contact with your currency broker here at Foreign Currency Direct plc so they can keep you informed of any relevant currency movement.

Contract Options

At Foreign Currency Direct plc we offer a number of different contract options including market orders where you can select the rate of exchange you would like to achieve and then should the market reach that level (whether you are buying or selling) our systems here will automatically purchase the currency for you which means you do not need to watch the currency market 24/7! Another popular contract option is a forward contract where, for a small deposit you can fix today’s exchange rate for a period in the future which is perfect to help clients take some of the risk out of the market and more importantly for many of our clients it helps people budget. If you are buying a property abroad while the currency market is moving effectively the price of the property is changing every couple of seconds, using a forward contract means you will know exactly how much the property will cost you.

For more information on anything in this currency report or to discuss your currency requirements and the options available to you please call us today on 01494 849 752 or email me directly on