Article provided by FX provider and Expatriate Group partner Halo Financial.
Tough times for the USD
The big news right now is all about the US Dollar, highlighting the close ties between political activity and the strength of a country’s currency. With the potential for a US government shutdown, Sterling has soared against its American rival and is nearing the $1.40 point, with the US Dollar’s other key currency pairing, the Euro, reaching above the €1.22 mark.
There has been an enormous sell-off of the US Dollar, partly down to improving commodities markets and in part down to China’s decision to move away from US Treasuries, which have not helped the USD. However, economic results for the US appear positive, and the budget bill passed by the US as a stop gap will hopefully act as a sticky plaster for the US government – for the moment, at least.
The current situation makes it look unlikely that the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates any time soon, despite murmurs from some Federal Reserve members that they would not be surprised if there were three interest hikes throughout 2018. An overall tone of cautiousness has contributed to the US Dollar’s weakness; while concerns about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have also been a factor.
Florida still top dog
Meanwhile, a recent survey has shown that Florida still takes the top slot for overseas buyers of US property. The Florida Realtors survey reported that Florida made up 22 percent of overseas buyers of residential properties in the US, buying 61,300 properties in Florida over the past year. The most popular areas with property buyers were Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, making up over 50% of the overall Florida properties purchased by overseas buyers.
In another report, recent research from the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) suggests that boosting US immigration in sensible numbers could be a massive money saver for the country. Increasing US immigration would help address shortages of labour in the US and provide a welcome leg-up for the American economy. At the same time, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that they are not proposing to deport H-1B visa holders, which should promote a sigh of relief for many with existing H-1B visas, including, interestingly, the CEOs of Google and Microsoft!
Investment interest remains
Despite all the economic and political concerns coming from the US, interest in real estate investment remains high; the USA was recently voted the most stable country for property investment. New York came second to Number One, London, in a recent foreign investment survey from the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) of the most popular cities for real estate investment. Los Angeles came fourth, with Seattle, Washington and San Francisco also hitting prominent spots in the league tables.