What does Europes QE mean for property buyers?

  • 10 years ago
  • Uncategorized

This week, the European Central Bank confirmed that it will expand its stimulus measures to include quantitative easing. 

The €1.1 trillion measure will see the bank buy €60 billion bonds ever month from central governments, agencies and European institutions in the euro area.

The payments are designed to boost the supply of money within the eurozone economy and will continue to at least September 2016 or until they say a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation.

The move ends months of speculation surrounding the European economy and whether the central bank would opt for the extreme financial measure. In response to the announcement, the euro fell to an 11-year low against the dollar, emphasising the impact the move will have upon property investors. With exchange rates favourable to both Americans and Brits, buyers’ stronger spending power is likely to boost investment in the European market, despite any loss in positive sentiment.

Indeed, Americans have seen their buying power in France surge, thanks to the dollar gaining around 15 per cent against the euro in the past 12 months. Asian capital will also continue to view real estate markets in continental Europe as attractive, says CBRE, due to the wider yield gap; prolonged low interest rates; and favourable exchange rates.

The ECB announcement follows Switzerland’s surprise decision to end its pegging of the Swiss Franc to the euro, a move that saw the Franc’s value to climb against the euro. 

While Swiss homes have increased in price by around 13 per cent, property in the French Alps is around eight per cent cheaper for UK buyers compared to the same month last year, according to ski property specialist Skiingproperty.com.

For Russians, the rouble’s devaluation against the euro since January 2014 has pushed up the price of a French ski pad by more than 60 per cent. 

“The arrival of QE in the Eurozone combined with the Swiss Central Bank’s decision to unfix its currency against the euro could change the dynamics of the European ski property market in Europe this year,” says Julian Walker, director at Skiingproperty.com. 

“France, a truly international market, immediately becomes more attractive to foreign buyers.”

“The number of Swiss popping over border to purchase in the French Alps should also increase this year, given the injection to their buying power,” Walker forecasts. 


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