Brexit fallout sees surge in expat buyers as UK property prices stall

Published:  25 Aug at 6 PM
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Banks and building societies are seeing an increase in mortgage enquiries from UK expat overseas due to stalling UK property prices and the decrease in the value of sterling.

The Bank of England’s recent interest rate cut, sterling’s plunge and the post-Brexit stalling of the UK housing market are tempting British expats living and working overseas to cash in on a bargain. The London property market is most affected at present, with the trend beginning to spread to desirable locations in the rest of the country.

Professionals in the mortgage and finance sector believe the cut in interest rates was the spur in a situation which began after Britain voted to leave the EU. Expats with foreign currency now have increased spending power, and the banks are looking to benefit from increased mortgage sales as enquiries surge by around 50 per cent.

The perfect storm of Brexit, rate cut and currency depreciation seem to have created a British expat investors’ feel-good factor right across the mortgage and housing market, according to one provider. Prior to the referendum, buyers had been delaying their decisions until the result were known, with the voters’ decision to leave acting as an impetus to bag a bargain.

Enquirers from the Far East, the USA and Europe are already contacting estate agents, with London the focus at present. Foreign buyers as well as expats living overseas can expect to save tens of thousands of pounds on an average London property due to the depreciation of sterling.

The post-Brexit effect on UK domestic demand, however, is another story, as mortgage approvals have fallen to an 18 month low since the result was announced. Again, London is worst affected, with prices in some areas falling for the first time in years. The situation is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future, giving overseas buyers an even better chance to buy at a low price.
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