Number of British expats looking to buy a home in UK to rent out rises substantially

by Ray Clancy on October 31, 2017

British expats are increasingly looking to buy a home in the UK and let it out with the numbers applying for mortgages to do so soaring in the last 12 months.

According to new research from Liquid Expat Mortgages, demand from expats looking for buy to let loans have increased by 90% year on year.


This rise comes despite stricter rules for buy to let lending brought in by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in January of this year and the broker suggests that the weaker pound means it is much more cost effective for British expats to buy.

Although house prices in the UK have held steady despite Brexit, getting a mortgage is the cheapest it has ever been with interest rates at their lowest level ever and no change in the last 10 years.

The British property market is becoming an increasingly attractive investment opportunity for overseas investors but there could be a change as early as next week when the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MCP) is widely expected to increase rates from 0.25% to 0.5%.

The broker research shows that majority of enquiries for buy to let mortgages have come from expats living in the United Arab Emirates at 30%, while 15% have come from Hong Kong and 10% from Singapore. It says that this trend is likely to continue in line with the recent forecast for the growth of global expats.

A recent report by market research and financial consultancy company Finaccord found that the number of expats across the world is at a record level and growth is expected to continue over the next few years. Saudi Arabia has the most expats and India has the highest rate of citizens expatriating.

‘Over the last decade, very few lenders provided mortgages to expats, but that has changed more recently thanks to the increasing demand from expats looking to invest in UK buy to let property,’ said Stuart Marshall, managing director of Liquid Expat Mortgages.

‘Many expats are keen to keep a foothold in the UK and the yields on buy to let properties in the UK are far ahead of those offered by other countries. This increased interest in UK buy to let mortgages is in spite of increasing initiatives by the UK government to dampen buy to let purchases, such as the second home stamp duty and increasing stress testing for buy to let mortgages,’ he added.

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