The Stars are Aligned for Brits to Buy Property in Florida

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The British are perfectly placed in time and space to gain from the best property investment market on the planet. Going forward, the British Home Group is working on highly flexible and innovative international mortgage product, in collaboration with a major currency exchange company, that will allow UK homebuyers in Florida to freeze the exchange rate of their multi-currency mortgage for up to two years - thus further minimising any currency exchange risk from financing a property purchase overseas.

Whether or not you are into astrology, there is no doubting that "The stars are aligned" over Florida right now. The British are perfectly placed in time and space to gain from the best property investment market on the planet.

The recent 26 year high of the £ pound against the $ dollar - this of course makes everything made in America including goods, services and property much cheaper for Brits. But watch out the dollar has strengthened this week!

The Euro is gaining in strength against the pound which makes European property a less attractive investment proposition for UK buyers.

UK property is no longer as attractive an investment as it was and the trend continues downward. There are more Brits looking abroad to spend their money

·         Supply is high in Florida: there is a huge glut of good quality property for sale in the Sunshine State

·         Developers who can't sell but need to raise cash and move on to their next project are literally off-loading their property on to the market.

·         Properties are going back onto the market: there are a large number of houses on the market repossessed from US buyers who can no longer afford their mortgage payments as US mortgage rates increase.

·         Demand from the native market is low: US Buyers now find it more difficult to get mortgages as 'credit crunched' US banks become more conservative in their lending decisions.

·         The US's Government-backed mortgage providers "Fannie Mae" and "Freddie Mac" have had to be rescued by The US Federal Reserve making it even more difficult for the average US citizen to get a mortgage

·         UK buyers are no longer rated as high risk or "sub-prime" borrowers and can take advantage of preferential mortgages and loans at this time through Orlando-based British Home Loans

Welshman Lee Weaver, Director of Operations of The British Homes Group, which specialises in providing a "one stop shop" service for British people looking to investigate the Florida property market says: "In all our 30 years helping UK buyers find Florida dream homes, the market has never been so full of bargains.

"For example, Countrywide Financial Corporation, the US's No. 1 home lender is currently marketing over 1,600 homes in Florida with some houses listed at 40% less than their market value two years ago. There are even reports that some estate agents have had to turn away sellers as they simply have too many properties to sell."

There are some great bargains to be had - a beautiful 5-bedroom house close to the world-famous attractions could cost you just $399,000 when last year it was closer to $700,000.

But bargain hunters who might still be waiting for prices to come down further need to take heed of figures out this week and reported by the Orlando Sentinel, which indicate the market is turning.

·         Four months ago realtors had 12 months supply of homes on their books. Today they have 7 months supply. Economists say the market is in balance when realtors have six months supply.

·         Developers have started building again. New home starts are up on last year.

·         We are at last seeing a slowing of price drops. Economics Professor at the University of Florida Dr Hank Fishkind has charted a tailing off of price decreases which indicates the bottom is almost reached.

·         The dollar is slightly regaining its strength against the pound. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, recently issued a gloomy assessment of the UK economy which led to the pound reaching its lowest level against the dollar ($1.8617 on 14/08/08) in almost two years.

Teeside-born Christine Doran, General Manager the British Homes Group, says, "Increasing numbers of people from the UK are snapping up both luxury homes and investment condos. Our figures for the first half of 2008 for closed home sales to UK buyers in Orlando are up 306% when compared with the same 6-month period a year ago.

"We have been helping UK home and Holiday Ownership buyers in Florida for nearly 30 years, with companies such as Disney, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton and many of our industry's leading multi-national building companies. We believe there really has never been a better time for UK investors to buy in Florida."

Still not convinced that now is the time to invest in Florida? Find it a daunting prospect buying a home in a country several thousand miles away with a shuddering economic climate? Take a look at (http://www.britishhomesgroup.com). The friendly British and American staff at British Homes Group guarantee totally professional advice on the current Florida market, on sales and mortgages and much more. BHG's aim is to say it as it is. The British Homes Group has also set up an Advisory Panel of completely independent UK and US experts who provide impartial advice on tax, insurance, immigration and visa matters.

Going forward, the British Home Group is working on highly flexible and innovative international mortgage product, in collaboration with a major currency exchange company, that will allow UK homebuyers in Florida to freeze the exchange rate of their multi-currency mortgage for up to two years - thus further minimising any currency exchange risk from financing a property purchase overseas.

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Lee Weaver

Kerry Clark
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