Falling pound sees US expats buying into British homes

Published:  28 Oct at 6 PM
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As sterling’s weakness continues, expats from the USA are increasingly setting up home in the UK.

British property prices are falling, and the post-Brexit decline in the value of sterling is making homes in the UK even more affordable for those buying via foreign currency transfers. More than 200,000 Americans are already living and working in the UK, with a growing number looking to buy real estate at bargain prices.

Since the end of June, real estate agents in attractive parts of the UK have noted a considerable increase in interest from USA citizens. Some long-stayers have been renting, but believe now is a great time to get on the property ladder, and others are looking to make a buy-to-let investment.

Another factor encouraging Americans already in the UK is the upcoming presidential election, perhaps the most controversial race to the White House in living memory. It’s believed that a majority of USA expats would hate to see a Trump presidency, and aren’t too keen on the alternative, preferring to put down roots across the pond rather than return to chaos.

According to the CEO of one popular estate agency, notable investments in the range between $250,000 to $500,000 are now being made, with the rush looking to continue as Brexit unfolds and the pound continues to suffer. Buying a British property now, he says, has a compelling logic for those who can afford to take advantage of the situation.

Director at currencies.co.uk Jonathan Watson explained that swings in the market are always a sign for people to start thinking of purchasing property. However, he added, US citizens remaining permanently in the UK should examine the tax implications of a purchase. Double taxation treaties are in place between the UK and USA, thus preventing US nationals from being taxed twice, but any investments must be correctly declared on Americans’ annual tax returns as well as in their UK returns.
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