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How to make serious savings on foreign exchange when buying or selling property

30-Jul-2020 16:18:35

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COVID-19 has seen a record number of New Zealanders looking to return home and a big increase in overseas enquiries from those interested in owning a slice of Aotearoa. But moving countries can be stressful at the best of times, so how do you minimise the stress, complexity and cost?

If you’re living overseas and looking at buying or selling property in New Zealand, you’re probably wondering how you’ll deal with the fluctuating exchange rates, when is the best time to transfer the funds and what sort of fees are involved.

Here’s a few scenarios to show you how TorFX can help.

Living in the UK and looking to buy property in New Zealand
A couple had plans to buy a property in New Zealand, but they were concerned about the deterioration in the British Pound/New Zealand dollar exchange rate. Their TorFX account manager was able to keep them up to date with the latest news and helped them set up a rate alert, so they’d be informed automatically by text and email if the rate dropped further.


In December they decided to fix the exchange rate at 1.98 using a forward contract. By the time they were ready to transfer their funds in June 2020 the rate had dropped to 1.90. If they hadn’t secured the rate, their NZD $ 594,000 transfer would have been worth NZD $24,000 less!

Moving to New Zealand and drawing down on Australian superannuation
A 65-year-old man decided to move to New Zealand from Australia to retire and purchase a property. After initial discussions with his real estate sales consultant about purchasing a property, the retiree also told his sales consultant that he was looking at drawing down on his superannuation and transferring some additional funds to New Zealand. His sales consultant connected him with TorFX and over the last 12 months the man has completed 11 transfers totalling NZD $940,000 with each transfer ranging in value from NZD $5,000 – NZD $200,000. When compared to the banks, TorFX was able to save him NZD $22,200 across all of his transfers.


New Zealander selling property to move abroad
A woman began planning her move back to Australia in August 2019, with her New Zealand property estimated to sell for around NZD $600,000. With the New Zealand/Australian dollar exchange rate at a high of 0.97, she predicted that she would have around AUD $582,000 once she transferred her funds back to Australia. However due to a number of prospective buyers pulling out at the last minute, she was unable to sell her property until November, at which point the exchange rate had fallen to 0.92, resulting in her transfer only being worth AUD $552,000 (NZD $30,000 less than expected).

Fortunately, she opened an account with TorFX in August and used a forward contract to fix the exchange rate. This meant her transfer was protected from the market dip, saving her from potentially losing NZD $30,000.

How TorFX can help
A leading and globally recognised International Foreign Exchange and Payments Provider, TorFX has been helping individuals and businesses move money around the world since 2004.

TorFX offers a range of specialist foreign exchange services and tailored support. They can help identify the best time for you to move your money and achieve better returns. Benefits include:

  • Highly competitive exchange rates, 2%-5% better than those offered by the banks
  • Personal service from a dedicated account manager
  • Fast, efficient and fee free service
  • Dedicated team of foreign exchange specialists providing unique market insights and guidance
  • Broad range of foreign exchange products to suit all circumstances, spot contracts, forward contracts limit orders, stop loss orders and rate alerts

If you’re looking to buy or sell property and need help with foreign exchange, TorFX can help make the process simple and cost effective. For more information, email harcourts@torfx.com.au or you can request a quote here.

This article is featured in Harcourts' Property Focus Newsletter Issue 4, 2020

Topics: property focus, saving tips, foreign exchange, COVID-19, TorFX