The U.K.’s surprising Brexit vote sent global markets into a tailspin, with economists warning about the possibly dire long-term effects. But beyond the gloomy scenarios lie a few upsides, at least in the short-term: cheaper travel and cut-price British goods, investing opportunities and London property at drastically reduced prices.
Here are nine ways you can find a Brexit bargain:
1. With the British pound plummeting, travel to the U.K. is now much cheaper. “If you’ve been on the fence about a trip to the U.K., it certainly seems like this is a great time to go!” Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of thepointsguy.com, told Forbes.com. “Britain is effectively on sale, giving American tourists a fantastic opportunity to visit this historically expensive country on the cheap.”
With the British pound worth about $1.33 — 16 percent lower than it was a year ago — travelers’ buying power has increased significantly, putting what used to be an expensive destination within reach of more Americans. Food, drinks, museums and hotels all are cheaper. With the euro valued at $1.11, a few cents lower than a year ago, discounts are also to be found on the continent, though not quite as good as in Britain.
2. Airfares to the U.K. and the European continent are dropping, too. A looming recession in the U.K. is just the latest reason — low fuel prices and the strength of the U.S. dollar, which likely kept some Europeans from visiting America, have enticed airlines to drop some fares for U.S. travelers, says George Hobica, founder of airfarewatchdog.com. Hobica says that, after the Brexit vote, fares from the U.S. to the U.K. dropped as low as $550 roundtrip and flights from the U.S. to the European continent fell to about the same level, drastically lower than a year or two ago.
The opportunities for inexpensive fares will likely continue as Britain continues along its path to exiting the EU, he adds. But seat sales are quick and fleeting, sometimes only lasting a day.
3. Hotels may offer cheaper rates directly than you can get from online booking sites. Hobica explains that since travel booking websites often don’t adjust prices daily to reflect currency fluctuations, it is a good idea to compare online prices with what the hotel is offering in local currency. Also, it may be a good idea to consider booking through a website that offers refunds if exchange rates go down, such as tingo.com. It’s also worth checking the local European versions of popular travel websites to see if you can get a bargain by paying for the trip in local currency.
4. Reconsider that package tour. You may now be able to buy each part of the package more cheaply. “Package tours should be looked at with greater scrutiny, because they were probably priced a year ago,” says Hobica.
1. British chocolate should get cheaper. Brexit supporters say the EU has artificially kept the price of chocolate up due to high tariffs. Should Britain leave the EU, the price of Easter eggs and other treats may come down next year. However, leaving the EU may result in British chocolate tasting worse, since EU rules require that chocolate contain a minimum of 30 percent cocoa.
2. Whisky and wine prices will fall, too. Since whisky makers in U.K. don’t import anything to make the product, the cost of the liquor will go down as the dollar appreciates against the pound, said Miron Woinicki, a professor of international economics at Vanderbilt University, in an interview with Vice. The same principle would apply to European wines as the dollar gets stronger against the euro as a result of Brexit.
1. Keep an eye on British real estate. One assessment from the British Treasury suggests an economic shock from Brexit could cause home prices to drop by 18 percent, creating an opportunity for buyers. “For overseas buyers, this big and dramatic drop in the value of sterling will effectively offset the Stamp Duty and tax adjustments and it will make prime London property a lucrative investment for overseas investors bold enough to take a punt despite the market uncertainty,” explained Peter Wetherell, chief executive of Wetherell, a Mayfair-based broker, to Marketwatch.
2. U.S. mortgages could be more affordable, too. With loan rates hitting three-year lows and the Fed less likely to hike its key rate anytime soon, it’s still a good time to get a new mortgage or refinance the one you have.
1. Market volatility also means buying opportunities. Uncertainty and fear tend to roil the market, but the best investors keep their emotions in check. That doesn’t mean the average investor should jump to buy or sell today, but it’s a good time to look at your portfolio and re-examine any stocks on your wish list that might have gotten cheaper. Investment bank Morgan Stanley issued a list of 18 stocks that could be good buys after the Brexit vote:
- Acceleron Pharma (XLRN)
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN)
- Allergan (AGN)
- Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL)
- Amgen (AMGN)
- Apple (AAPL)
- Cheniere Energy (LNG)
- Concho Resources Inc. (CXO)
- Devon Energy (DVN)
- Facebook (FB)
- Ferrari (RACE)
- Proofpoint Inc. (PFPT)
- ServiceMaster Global (SERV)
- Signature Bank (SBNY)
- Swift Transportation (SWFT)
- Synchrony Financial (SYF)
- Workiva (WF)
- Wynn Resorts (WYNN)
Additionally, any continued volatility in the markets could create future buying opportunities.