Expats overseas queuing to purchase UK buy to let properties

Published:  21 Dec at 6 PM
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In spite of the UK government’s recent change in its tax policy for buy-to-let purchases, sales of British properties to overseas buyers have soared since Brexit.

Since the sterling crash following the Brexit result, mortgage enquiries by non-British residents have soared by almost 50 percent, with the majority of the increase taking place in the fourth quarter of 2016. Opportunistic property investors living overseas are taking advantage of the discounts caused by the weaker exchange rate.

UK property is now considerably cheaper, particularly for investors paying with euros or dollars, and the rush to buy isn’t confined to London’s elite property areas. The majority of new buyers, it seems, are concentrating on other UK regions offering higher rental yields and better value than within the capital’s borders, and many are seeking property investments to guard against economic chaos down the line.

A good number of purchasers are expats living and working overseas, for whom a UK property makes sense as an investment. Many are taking advantage of the record low mortgage rates to increase their property portfolios, and others are looking to retirement in the UK as well as providing accommodation for sons or daughters planning to attend university in the UK.

Financial gurus suggest the mortgage rate may begin to rise over the near future, due to banks' and lenders’ increasing sterling funding costs, making now the best time to invest. The Brexit shock doesn’t seem to have dented the UK’s appeal for overseas buyers, whether expats working abroad or foreign investors with an eye to the main chance in the present-day shifting economic and political landscape.

Since 2014, several mortgage companies have begun offering finance to expats wishing to purchase UK buy to let properties. There’s a wider choice in this marketplace nowadays, and it’s not just London prices which are increasing in value at a fair rate. UAE expats are the most active, and a typical loan is for around £200,000, although expats in some other counties are ineligible for the loans.
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