Expat buy-to-lets are increasing again

There seems to be no stopping the buy-to-let expat market, applications for the first 4 months of this year were up again on this time last year. Expats seem to be determined to get a foothold in the UK property market and existing expat landlords are not shy to increase their portfolios either.

Even with all the new legislation including tax changes doesn’t seem to dampen expats enthusiasm for the buy-to-let market.

The general consensus of opinion is that UK property still offers good long-term potential. One expat landlord commented “our UK property returns a good rental income annually even with the new tax laws and the value since we bought it has increased by £43,000, so it’s not all bad”.

Buy-to-lets may well be in for a rocky ride over the next few years but the general feeling is that in the long-term potential is still very good.

Are good interest rates for expats still available on buy-to-lets?

Well, the simple answer to that is yes! if you have a sizable deposit then rates are even better. Mortgage lenders are currently fighting to secure your business in a very competitive market place.

We have seen an increase in longer term fixed rate mortgages recently as clients want to set their outgoings of their investment property. There is also talk of rate rises later this year so this route would seem a very sensible one to consider.

It is commonly known with buy-to-let mortgages the larger the deposit you can put down the better the deal that can be secured.

Need assistance?

Our professional advisers are used to dealing with all types of buy-to-let mortgages, they have vast experience in this area. Please do call to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to help.

Are you one of these?

Expat UK homeowners are collectively wasting millions a year by failing to re-mortgage before their current deal expires.

A third of expats whose fixed rate or tracker mortgage ended in 2017 ended up on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) for an average of six weeks.

Their failure to line up a new mortgage before their existing one expired cost them an average of £750 a year.

Why is this happening?

When fixed term mortgages come to an end, expat homeowners are automatically put on to their lender’s SVR, also known as a reversion rate.

The interest charged on SVRs is typically significantly higher than the rates available on new deals, meaning expats end up paying over the odds for their home loan until they switch to a new mortgage.

While it is not known exactly why expats are sitting on an SVR it is likely to be because they have failed to realise their mortgage term is coming to an end or have not left enough time to switch to a new deal before it expires.

Does this affect you?

Expat UK homeowners should start thinking about a new mortgage three to four months before their current deal expires.

The re-mortgage process typically takes between six and eight weeks. It is usually quicker if people are taking out a new mortgage with their current lender, while things tend to take longer if they are moving to a new lender.

New mortgage affordability rules were introduced in April 2014, so homeowners coming off five-year fixed rate deals may find the application process tougher than when they last applied.

The good news is that most lenders will allow you to secure a new mortgage deal three months before your existing one expires, enabling people to start the re-mortgage process well before their current deal runs out.


Seven out of ten expats who took out a mortgage in 2017 opted for a fixed rate deal.

Fixed rate mortgages give borrowers the security of knowing exactly what their monthly repayments will be.

Help required?

If you would like to review your current mortgage, please do make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to guide you.

What does a mortgage broker do for expats?

What does a mortgage broker do for expats?

Essentially, they are there to help expats find the best mortgage deals in the UK. They aim to make that as simple and stress-free as possible, looking at each person’s situation and finding the best product to match their needs.

The mortgage product minefield

There are many expat residential and buy-to-let mortgage products currently available in the UK. This number is increasing every year, highlighting the sheer number of options out there.

That is a big minefield to navigate if someone wants to investigate all of those without help.

Combine all those options with infinitely-varied personal and income circumstances, plus the variety of property types and how they can impact a buyer’s options… the value of obtaining correct advice has never been higher.

It’s important to speak to an independent adviser with access to as many lenders on the market as possible.

Homeowners recommend brokers

A survey found nine out of ten expat homeowners (92%) who had used a broker in the past were ‘quite likely’ or ‘very likely’ to recommend using a broker to their friends when getting a mortgage. This highlights why it’s important to educate the public on the value of mortgage brokers. Potential borrowers can benefit from a broker’s access to a huge number of products, and the right advice is key.

Increasing interaction

Most encouraging of all, we’re seeing lenders liaising with broker firms to get feedback on the market and policy, asking about areas they can better assist clients in.

It’s great to see lenders looking at the challenges clients face in the property and mortgage market and to be actively seeking solutions.

This increased interaction also means that lenders use brokers to pilot criteria changes and to launch exclusive rates that you can only access via intermediaries. Clients are not always aware of this benefit, and this again highlights the value of using a mortgage broker.

Need assistance

If you are an expat looking to secure a mortgage in the UK, please do make contact and one of our qualified advisers will be pleased to help.

Expat mortgage approvals rising fast

Approvals for house purchases in the UK by expats increased towards the end of 2017 and 2018 has followed the same pattern according to the latest figures from the Bank of England.

The number of expat loan approvals for purchasing so far this year is up a massive 21% on the same period last year. Re-mortgaging saw an astonishing increase of 41% over the same period.

The next few months are likely to be less active, but at present we can confirm business is very active with the buy-to-let market surprisingly leading the way. This activity seems to be powered by the Brexit ongoing negotiations with expats feeling they want a property in the UK more now than ever before.

Re-mortgaging in the expat market continues to be very buoyant as homeowners look to lock in advantageous interest rates which are still currently on offer. These rates are likely to disappear as the year progresses if the experts are correct as a rate rise is expected.

Why re-mortgage?

There are many reasons you may wish to consider a re-mortgage and it is without any doubt something every expat homeowner should consider, especially if you are stuck on your current lenders standard variable rate. It is not always best advice as your current deal may have conditions that are not beneficial to re-mortgaging, but you should take time to review on a regular basis. So why re-mortgage?

  • Secure a better rate of interest than you are currently paying.
  • Change current deal to a fixed rate for long term security.
  • Raising capital from equity within your property.

Need assistance?

Our professional team of fully qualified advisers are used to dealing with all types of expat re-mortgage/mortgage business. Please do call to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to help.