More Brits consider moving abroad to make home ownership dream reality

by Ray Clancy on October 28, 2014

People become expats for lots of reasons including work and a better lifestyle, but now it seems that the cost of property in the UK is emerging as a new reason for moving abroad.

New research has found that a fifth of disillusioned house hunters would consider leaving the UK — and the United States tops the list of potential destinations, followed by Australia and New Zealand.

Very few lenders offer mortgages to expats returning to the UK

More than a fifth of UK house hunters would consider leaving the UK if it meant owning a home

With the latest figures showing that UK population growth has exceeded the number of new dwellings by more than double, new research from Mortgages has revealed people’s frustrations with the UK’s dysfunctional property market, and the lengths that some are considering going to just to have a home to call their own.

While almost a third, 30%, would take the sensible step of applying for assistance from the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, many would be willing to resort to far more desperate measures.

The survey of UK adults looking to buy a home found that 20% would consider moving to another country. Some 31% would move to the US, 29% to Australia and 20% to New Zealand.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Scandinavian countries, so often held up as leading lights for happiness, education and general standards of living, received just 9% of the vote.

Men (22%), were more likely than women (18%) to consider a move overseas in pursuit of property; while of those aged between 18 and 24-years old, some 23% indicated that they were most keen to leave the UK, followed by 21% of 35 to 44-year olds and 19% of over 55s.

‘A lack of affordable housing has resulted in a property market that is closed off to an increasing number of would-be home owners. As such, it’s hardly surprising that many people feel like they may have to take some rather drastic steps to own a home,’ said Matt Sanders, spokesperson for Mortgages.

‘While shared ownership, settling for small or alternative forms of accommodation, and even getting on a plane to another country are being mulled over as options for many, it’s also encouraging to see from our research that people are actively considering making use of the Help to Buy scheme. The majority of people who have applied to the scheme so far are first time buyers, but it’s open to all borrowers,’ he explained.

‘If you’re actively looking to buy a home, it’s well worth seeking advice from a qualified, impartial mortgage broker, who can give you an idea of what you can afford and the options available to you,’ he added.

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