Expats living overseas

Almost five million Britons live or work outside the UK and many of them don’t want to give up property ownership in the UK. Over the past 10 years, expat mortgages have grown in stature as more Brits see owning a property in the UK as a very good long-term investment.

It’s no secret that most European properties do not give the sort of investment returns that one in the UK does, so it’s little wonder expats look to secure property in their homeland.

Who needs an expat mortgage and what are the typical reasons? 

Britons living abroad, either temporarily or permanently, will need to obtain a mortgage from a lender that has chosen to lend to expats.

Typically, expats are looking to invest in buy-to-let property whilst living overseas, perhaps to provide an income in retirement or even to live in upon their return.

Whilst fluctuating exchange rates can, at times, provide a good opportunity for investors, it is also true to say that many expats earn better salaries abroad than they would do here in the UK. A lower cost of living means they have more disposable income and want to invest in UK property.

Aside from investors inquiries from individuals looking to buy properties for their families to live in – frequently where children are involved and the preference is for them to be schooled in the UK.

Selecting a mortgage to suit your needs

Securing an expat mortgage doesn’t have to be difficult, it is always recommended to get expert professional help. Using a specialist expat broker will, without doubt, give you the edge as they will be experienced in this type of mortgage process.

Can we help?

If you are looking for an expat new or re-mortgage please do make contact and one of our fully qualified advisers will be happy to assist.

Expats are cashing in

Expats are cashing in

The expat new and re-mortgage market last year saw increased activity especially towards the latter part of the year. Applications for re-mortgages rose by 48% over 2016 and have to date continued in the same vein into 2018.

With the value of UK property still on the rise month on month expats have seen this as an opportunity to raise capital for alternative ventures. It is expected that property values will continue to rise over the next few years albeit at a lesser pace. The Brexit negotiations are allegedly heading to a successful conclusion but as we all know this could change at any time. The chancellor is predicting interest rate rises in the future but at a “steady” pace. All these factors are giving expats confidence in the future and capital raising seems to be the order of the day.

Lenders have responded to this activity and increased the number of mortgages available to the expat. Expats now have a good range of products to choose from with competitive rates on offer.

If you are thinking of re-mortgaging there are many pros and cons and all aspects need to be carefully considered before any decision is made. It is recommended that you seek professional advice as to whether this suits your needs both in the short and longer term.

Will rates increase?

I guess this is the “million dollars” question, if all the predictions for the long term are to be believed it is likely we will see rate increases later in the year. It is most likely these increases (if any) will be on a small scale as the Chancellor said in November last year.

Need some help?

If you are thinking of re-mortgaging or want advice on a new mortgage please do call and one of our fully qualified advisers who will be happy to assist.

Expats can save in 2018

Expat re-mortgage loan approvals hit a nine-year high in November, just as borrowers were experiencing the first base rate rise in over a decade, Bank of England figures show.

The Bank of England base rate was increased from 0.25% to 0.5% in early November – the first increase in more than 10 years.

That month some 3,500 expat re-mortgage loans were approved, marking the highest figure since October 2008, the latest figures revealed.

The report also showed that expats borrowing using secured loans and overdrafts fell back to a near two-year low in the run-up to Christmas, prompting suggestions that rising interest rates may have had a “significant psychological impact” on some expat borrowers.

The gap between the cheapest and most expensive mortgages mean you could save an astonishing £3,000 every year by moving if you’re on an adverse deal.

It’s estimated that over 18,000 expats are languishing on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) and if you are one them it would be a wise move to review your mortgage NOW.

How to save

  1. Start investigating into switching your mortgage at least three months before your initial term ends –When the initial term of a mortgage ends, lenders transfer customers onto their Standard Variable Rate (SVR).
  2. Get professional help to secure the best possible deal to meet your ongoing needs.
  3. Overpay while interest rates are low –Interest rates may have crept up recently but they’re still historically low. If you’re in a position where you can afford to overpay on your mortgage, this is as good as investing money long term as it can reduce your overall debt.

Can we help? 

If you are looking for a new or re-mortgage please make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to assist.


Interest rates remain unchanged – but for how long?

The Bank of England left monetary policy unchanged in December, as had been widely expected.

After raising interest rates for the first time in more than a decade in November, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street was always set for a quiet month, and that proved so, with the bank leaving interest rates unchanged at 0.5%.

At its November meeting, the bank hinted that the path of interest rates could steepen somewhat in the coming year or so, signalling the potential for another rate hike in early 2018, and possibly even another towards the end of the year, should the economy remain reasonably robust. That view was maintained in December. Any future increases in Bank Rate are expected to be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent.

The bank made clear that Brexit remains the most important influence on the British economy right now, saying that: Developments regarding the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union – and in particular the reaction of households, businesses and asset prices to them – remain the most significant influence on, and source of uncertainty about, the economic outlook.

With inflation still rising thanks to the depreciation of the pound since the vote to leave the EU last summer, the bank faces a key trade-off, balancing that inflation with the slowdown in the economy, dwindling consumer spending and declining inward investment.

Expat mortgages

If you are an expat with a mortgaged property in the UK this could affect you in 2018. As a new year’s resolution, you could be well advised to review your current mortgage deal with a view to securing a longer-term fixed deal. These are without doubt uncertain times so reviewing your longer-term plans cannot be a bad idea.

Can we assist?

If you would like to review your current mortgage planning, please make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to help save you money.

Sustained growth for expats

The mortgage market for expats grew between October and November after the first interest rate rise for a decade with approvals up 2.5% month on month, the latest data shows.

It may have been a case of expat borrowers looking to switch from variable rate products and lock into lower fixed rate deals.

However, approvals are still well up compared to the same period a year ago and the number of borrowers with small deposits, usually first-time buyers, being approved continued to increase steadily.

After months of speculation, the Bank of England base rate increased to 0.5% and this prompted many people to switch their mortgage and lock in a low rate. Overall approvals have increased month on month and we expect this to continue as those expats on variable rate mortgages see their monthly payments increase.

While the mortgage market has continued its impressive recent performance, there are concerns about first time expat buyers and those with small deposits being squeezed due to sky high purchase prices. Their share of the market continues to fall, which shows how important it is for lenders, Government and builders alike to do more to support buyers.

Yorkshire offered the best chance for first time buyers and other people with small deposits to get onto the property ladder. 26.3% of all loans went to this part of the market during November, a higher proportion than any other region.

Yorkshire was one of only two regions to see more or an equal proportion of loans go to small borrowers than their larger deposit counterparts, the other being the North West. In the North West 25.7% of loans went to this segment versus 25% to large deposit borrowers while in Yorkshire the ratio was 26.3% for both.

Help required?

If you are an expat looking for a new or re-mortgage, please make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to help.