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If you are thinking of buying a property in France in 2016, it is important to plan your finances carefully in the last weeks of 2015, particularly any currency transfers to and from France.

Anyone sending money to or from France is at the mercy of fluctuating euro-sterling or euro-US dollar exchange rates. With important economic and political events still expected by the end of 2015 and in the pipeline for 2016, the strength of the euro may change quickly, affecting the exchange rate you receive. Unless you plan ahead, this can make it impossible to know how much you will get for your money and to budget effectively, particularly for larger transfers to pay a deposit, for final property purchase, or any regular maintenance payments for your French home.


We have seen the remarkable effects of economic events on exchange rates over the years, and the start of 2015 was a particularly eventful example. Just one week of January 2015 had passed before sterling fell to a 17-month low against the US dollar, but hitting a six-year high against the euro at the same time!


December is usually a busy month for economic data, setting the tone for the year ahead. These announcements can have a dramatic effect across all currency markets. We have seen notable currency market movement already in December, with significant movements for sterling, the euro and the US dollar as a result of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to extend Quantitative Easing for another six months. Markets are now waiting for news of the US interest rate decision, which is also likely to have a considerable effect on exchange rates.


With a number of similar economic events on the horizon for 2016, we are likely to see more rapid exchange rate movements, so it is all the more important to make sure you have a strategy for any large currency exchanges you need to make during the remainder of 2015, and plan ahead for those you will need in 2016. By keeping one eye looking forward and budgeting effectively, you can really get the most for your money.

The experienced traders at Smart Currency Exchange are constantly monitoring the currency markets and can keep you updated about market changes could affect you and your money. One way they can help you to avoid losing money from exchange rate movements is a Forward Contract, a specialist currency product that lets you lock in the exchange rate at a favourable time, so you know exactly how many euros you will receive for your sterling and vice versa, providing valuable peace of mind at this hectic time.

For a quote request from Smart, please click on the link below:

The AIPP is the Association of International Property Professionals. It is a non- governmental, not for profit association of international property professionals which was established to improve standards of professionalism in what is otherwise a largely unregulated industry. All members of the AIPP voluntarily subscribe to their code of conduct. Before being able to join French Properties Direct and our director, Sue, had to submit a CV and background information, provide evidence of sufficient experience within the industry and have reference checks.


We decided to join for several reasons. Firstly, we wanted to be able to offer our clients the best assurances we could as to the integrity and professionalism of the company. Secondly, the AIPP also provides valuable information to individuals who are buying and selling property internationally and we want to be able to provide a link to that information for our clients and thirdly membership does help us comply with the existing legal requirements of the industry.


Here is a quote from their website:


"Thousands of people are buying overseas property: for holidays, for living or for investment. The AIPP provides a set of standards for those companies selling international property and is working to ensure that the public understands what it means when they see the AIPP Member logo on company literature.

AIPP Members have voluntarily signed up to follow the AIPP Code of Conduct, a code established to help consumers by showing where they will find professional, accountable companies; it is an illustration of each Member’s commitment to high standards in their work.

Members must act with honesty, transparency and integrity in all the dealings with the public and with the industry."


Through the AIPP we have also subscribed to the Property Ombudsman service.


As association members we can add their logo to our website and publicity materials. You will find it at the top right of the website and by clicking on it you will be able to read more about the organisation.



Welcome to French Properties Direct’s new web site and our new blog. The old blog, which you could access via blogger and from the orange ‘B’ at the top of the old web site’s home page is no more. Future blogs will be on the website and so will be much easier to access.


We upgraded our web site this month to make it responsive to mobile access – that is, easier to read if you are using a tablet or an i-phone. It has also given us the opportunity to make improvements to the web site’s functionality. I think Craig, who designed it and got it up and running, has done a really good job. And we hope that you find it easier to use, more responsive (obviously) and a little more contemporary in appearance.


Meanwhile the market continues to be active. Despite – or perhaps because of – the challenging events taking place around the world people continue to want to live in France, especially the rural backwaters where life is pretty much as it was a generation ago in the UK. The pound is continuing to strengthen [ 1.4258€ = £1 as I write this] and, as a rule, we continue to enjoy better weather – even though much of France experienced its first dusting of snow this week.


Warning of a white Christmas? Who knows!  Watch this space.....

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