US house price growth slows

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller index of American property values shows that property prices across the 20 cities tracked by the index rose at a slower rate in the year to November than they had in previous months.

The group’s data revealed that average property values across the 20 cities increased by 4.3 per cent in the year to November 2013, having risen by 4.5 per cent in the year ended in October. It was the 11th straight month that the index has recorded slight of price deceleration from the previous month.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Fran

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year increase, with San Francisco recording the largest gains (up by 8.9 per cent), followed by an 8.6 per cent average price increase in Miami. Cleveland showed the smallest increase, at just 0.6 per cent.

Las Vegas and Dallas (both 7.7 per cent), as well as Tampa (6.8 per cent), Seattle (6 per cent), Portland (6.6 per cent) and Atlanta (4.9 per cent) also all recorded house price growth above the index average.

Although property prices in the country may be becoming more affordable again, after a period of strong growth, one way to make sure you get even more for your money when it comes to buying a home in the country is to ensure you take advantage of favourable exchange rates.

When exchanging large lump sums for emigration, or house purchasing, purposes only small fluctuations in the foreign exchange markets can have a significant impact on the amount of money you could be potentially starting your new life with.

For example, if you sold your UK property a few months ago and have decided to exchange, say, £150,000 for US Dollars ahead of your move across the Pond, then yesterday you would have received just US$224,700. However, had you got yourself organised and decided to exchange the same amount back in  late October, when the exchange rate was at its highest level in the past three months, then you would have received US$241,800 – over US$17,000 more for doing very little!

You see, the foreign exchange markets are far from a lottery. Wise emigrants start to plan their exchange well in advance by engaging the services of a specialist foreign exchange firm like Halo Financial. Companies like Halo understand just why the exchange rates are moving and what impact this has on your currency transaction.

What’s more, they can also explain how to make your money go further and give you a range options on exactly when you wish to exchange, and how much you should exchange at a time.

To find out how you can make sure you can get the best exchange rate possible, and take advantage of positive fluctuations in the markets, visit