Expat buy to let property investments soar since sterling fall

Published:  17 Nov at 6 PM
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New research has shown a considerable increase in the number of British expats overseas investing in UK buy-to-let property. The surge is being attributed to the sterling crash following the Brexit vote.

Skipton International, one of the few British financial institutions offering expat buy-to-let loans, has shown an 80 per cent increase in loan applications from UK expats working overseas. British nationals working in the Gulf States have been first in line to take advantage of the exchange rate, and are being followed by expats in a number of other popular locations.

According to Skipton, 500 expat mortgages totalling £100 million have been completed over the past two years since the company began offering the service. According to Nigel Pascoe, Skipton’s director of lending, since the announcement that Britain had voted to leave the EU the rate of overseas applications has soared, boosted by the dramatic fall of sterling.

On average, post-Brexit daily buy-to-let loan enquiries have quadrupled compared to pre-Brexit numbers, and are expected to continue to rise. Britons working on overseas assignments are using sterling’s devaluation as an opportunity to buy UK properties, using foreign currency savings as deposits.

Pascoe said the purchase of buy-to-let properties in the UK is commonly a long-term investment strategy for British expats, as they can service mortgage payments from rental receipts whilst enjoying capital growth on the properties themselves. Recent changes in UK stamp duty on expat buy-to-let properties don’t seem to have had much effect on the attractiveness of the investment, especially considering sterling’s weakness.

Early this year, a panel of property investment experts predicted a good year for the sector, although subsequent changes in the tax system mean exact records of expenditure need to be kept.
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