Offshore Banking Updated:
There's nothing better than the thought of getting away from it all, particularly at this time of year when the UK weather can leave a lot to be desired. But, what if you could have your very own holiday home that's available whenever you wish? It's the dream of many, and if you're savvy you could get a great return for your money.
But which is best – sun or ski? Should you buy your holiday home in a ski resort or a winter sun destination if you want to make the most of your hard-earned cash? Well, according to research from HSBC, it looks like sun could win the day.
Their Overseas Winter Holiday Homes Study found that a one-bedroom property would set you back £116,000 in Aspen, £160,000 in the French Alps and a whopping £244,000 in Vaud (Switzerland), whereas it'd cost just £55,000 in Orlando and a mere £47,000 in Cape Town.
This affordability is even more impressive when looking at the strength of the British pound. Against the dollar the pound is up 7.1% on last year, giving buyers an extra £6,500 per £100,000 they plan to spend, while against the South African Rand the pound is up 33% – giving buyers around £24,000 more to play with than in February 2013.
Of course, there'll be other things to consider as well as the initial outlay, such as taxes, the cost of flights and whether you want your property to be an investment as well as a holiday home, in which case things like rental yields will need to be taken into account. It'll also be important to consider things like exchange rates when the time comes to buy your overseas property, as well as international money transfer – after all, the money has to get over there somewhere.
James Yerkess, HSBC head of FX, said:"There are huge variations in what UK buyers can get for their money abroad, with exchange rates, local property markets and tax levels all making a difference. "Buyers should consider how far they are prepared to travel, as well as whether the property is a holiday home or an investment, before making a decision to buy. Taxes, the cost of maintenance and the cost of regular flights should also be factored in when making these decisions.
A lot of it comes down to personal preference and whether you'd rather lounge around on a beach or make the most of the slopes, but if you're looking at it from an economic standpoint it might be worth considering destinations that are more sun than snow.
Take Tenerife – although a two-bedroom apartment will cost around £149,000, if you combine it with fantastic flight costs (on average just £89 during winter) and the value of the pound against the euro (up 4.31% over the last year), as well as the possibility of letting it out to year-round holidaymakers, and winter sun could still win the day.
All you've got left to do is get the finances arranged!
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