Expat buy to let mortgage demand still strong

Published:  13 Apr at 6 PM
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In spite of new restrictions introduced by the government in March’s budget, the expat buy to let mortgage market is seeing increased demand for its products.

Expats wishing to maintain a foothold in the British property market are now being offered a wider choice of buy to let mortgages. UK property prices are still climbing faster than the 2015 global average, making buy to let not only a source of regular income but also a good bet for capital increases.

In order to increase their market share, new guys in the game Skipton International have just added to their list of countries from which it will accept expat mortgage requests. Diverse states such as Northern Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, the Grenadines, Mongolia and Turkey have been added this year, but popular South East Asian countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are still excluded along with Australia, South Africa, Kenya and most other African countries

Almost 25 per cent of all Skipton’s buy to let mortgage applications are from expats living and working in the UAE. Typical application values average around £200,000, with financial requirements including an annual earned or pension income of £40,000, or £50,000 if the applicant is paid in local currency.

Skipton MD Jim Coupe told reporters that his company is more than willing to offer buy to let mortgages to qualifying expat applicants. The 2014 launch of the service, he added, was in direct response to other companies’ negative polices regarding expat property investment loans.

Demand, he said, continues to strengthen and by adding more countries Skipton is able to help expats across the world to invest in UK property. According to the Knight Frank property price index, last year’s average UK property price growth was 4.5 per cent against a 3 per cent average worldwide. Turkey headed up the table with a massive 18 per cent increase, with New Zealand in second place at 14.2 per cent and Sweden third at 12.3 per cent.

According to the report’s author, the lack of housing affordability is becoming a global issue, with major world countries such as Belgium and New Zealand becoming the least affordable whilst Japan and South Korea are the most accessible.
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