Mortgage famine prevents UK expats from coming home

Published:  7 Mar at 6 PM
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Many UK expats working abroad intend to return home after their contracts end, but are unable to do so due to banks and building societies refusing their mortgage applications.

Mortgage brokers are snowed under with applications from expat workers wishing to buy into a UK home once their contracts are finished. Enquiries have doubled due to traditional mortgage providers refusing loans to applicants who have no recent financial history in the UK.

CEO of Springtide Capital Henry Knight is surprised that so few lenders will consider providing products for returning UK citizens who’ve been working abroad for some years. Knight considers that UK mortgage lenders are shooting themselves in the foot, as many expat applicants are cash-rich and backed by blue-chip employers.

Many lenders, Knight adds, use computerised underwriting programmes which automatically refuse an application from those with no recent credit history as they are considered a poor risk. Following Lloyds and Halifax’s recent stop on lending to returning expats, Knight believes there’s a large gap in the market to be filled by smaller lenders offering personal service.

To avoid being stigmatised for their lack of a UK address, many expats planning to return are using mail forwarding services giving a base in Britain. Using such a service can also be useful in maintaining a UK credit history.
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