The Perils of Currency Mortgages When Taking a Loan in Spain

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Whilst on the face of it low interest currency mortgages can seem attractive the reality can be quite different. Lenders like Banco de Valencia regularly promoted their currency mortgages to Spanish Buyers as an alternative to taking a Euro loan. During the years of 2007 to 2010 when Euribor rates were climbing and loan rates hit their height of over 5% many clients were convinced a Japanese Yen rate was much a much better bet. Many of these clients have now found they have a loan that is in size considerably more than the loan they first took out due to the exchange rate fluctuations. The loan is always in Euros and converted to Yen at completion and converted back to Euros from Yen if the loan is cleared early. Because the Yen has strengthened against the Euro anyone wishing to clear the loan would have less Euros coming back when the conversion was done and therefore left with outstanding amount on the loan despite having a loan that has been paid up to date for the entire time it has been held. Any benefit on rate has been completely wiped out. Clients therefore are tied into the loan and victims of exchange rate fluctuations requiring a reversal of the trend to reduce the capital outstanding on either sale or early repayment.

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