•   In the past 12 months, the Pound has risen 8.6% against the Euro, but twice as much against the Indian and Brazilian currencies

  •  Sterling rises more than 14% against the South African Rand

Money

Britain’s economy may be in recession but its currency is flying high. The Pound has strengthened against a basket of international currencies, according to figures compiled by foreign exchange specialists, Moneycorp, meaning British buyers of overseas property can get much more bang for their buck. Well, Pound anyway.

Sterling’s solid performance against the Euro has grabbed most of the headlines – it’s up 8.6% on this time last year. But that’s small beer compared to the Pound’s extraordinary 18% appreciation against the Indian Rupee, or its 17.7% increase against the Brazilian Real.

Other countries are also offering substantially better value thanks to the soaring Pound. Anyone relocating to South Africa will see their Pounds go 14.1% further against the Rand, while Brits buying in Sri Lanka can enjoy an exchange rate that’s 15.1% better than it was in May 2011.


Meanwhile, anyone looking for a pied-à-terre in Poland or Prague will see their Pound buy 15.9% more Polish Zloty and 12.6% more Czech Koruna respectively than it did this time last year.

The following table shows the top countries where your Pound will currently stretch further compared to 12 months ago:

Country

Currency (A)

% increase in Pound* vs Currency (A) compared to 12 months ago**

India

Rupee

18.0

Brazil

Real

17.7

Hungary

Forint

17.4

Romania

New Lei

16.1

Poland

Zloty

15.9

Sri Lanka

Rupee

15.1

South Africa

Rand

14.1

Czech Rep

Koruna

12.6

Mexico

Peso

12.3

Tunisia

Dinar

11.7

Turkey

Lira

11.5

* 2012 rate taken at 9.50am on 8/5/2012

** 2011 currency rate – taken as average during period 9/5/11 to 14/5/11

But it’s not all one-way traffic. Moneycorp data shows that the Pound has weakened 4% against the Chinese Yuan and 3.8% against the Kenyan Shilling relative to this time last year. And for anyone buying in the US, the Pound is worth 1.2% less against the US Dollar than May 2011.

Alex Lawson, senior broker at Moneycorp, commented: “Everyone’s talking about how the Pound is soaring against the Euro and that’s understandable given the continuing question marks over the single currency’s future.

“While the EU is by far the most popular place for Brits to buy a second home, Sterling’s strength has made a purchase far more attractive in other countries, too.

“17.7% on the Brazilian Real and just over 14% on the Rand gives anyone buying in those countries significantly more purchasing power.”