Expat buy to let UK mortgage company bucks the trend

Published:  6 Jun at 6 PM
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Following the recent dearth of UK buy-to-let mortgages available to expat investors, one innovative newcomer to the mortgage market is bucking the trend, albeit at a price.

Since major lenders in the expat buy-to let market such as Lloyds TSB withdrew their mortgage services due to ‘exposure to riskier lending’, expats wanting to invest in UK properties have had little chance of success. New kid on the block Kent Reliance has stepped into the breach, hoping to corner the market in expat investment portfolios.

According to Kent Reliance’s sales and marketing director, John Eastgate, the firm has already seen a surge in applications from expats requiring buy-to-let properties. Most, he said, are experienced in the sector and have strong track records, but have been excluded due to their overseas residence.

As in most niche markets, there are stringent requirements including the ownership of a property in London or the southeast of England. On the plus side, the firm will allow new-builds, unlike the few other companies left in the market.

The usual credit history and income check need to be completed, and the fee for service is a hefty two per cent. The only other building societies now offering expat buy-to-let mortgages are National Counties and Saffron, and all lenders favour those working for overseas international companies at executive level.

An alternative to a building society, according to largemortgageloans.com’s Nigel Bedford, is to deal with a private international bank. Applicants will need a high salary from a multinational company and secure, liquid worldwide assets, and no less than 50 per cent of the mortgage amount must be deposited with the bank granting the loan.
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