More enquiries from Asia than ever before

Expat mortgages is seeing a surge in enquiries from Asia, as Hong Kong is identified as the most expensive city for British expatriates to live in.

A recent study carried out found that Hong Kong is now the most expensive city for British workers to reside, closely followed by Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore and then Seoul.

There has been an increase of 72% in mortgage completions for UK buy-to-let mortgages from Hong Kong residents during 2017, compared to the previous year and figures are rising this year.

The survey compares the living costs for expatriates, reviewing 209 cities worldwide and finding that Hong Kong is the most expensive, mainly due to soaring rental costs.

With the most expensive property in the world, expats living in the former British colony struggle to purchase property since the Chinese territory’s government imposed a 15% buyer’s Stamp Duty on foreign sales. This combined with tough loan-to-value mortgage requirements, such as buyers typically having to provide a 40% deposit. This situation has prompted many to look elsewhere for property investment and the UK is without doubt the most popular.

The number of enquiries for expat mortgages from Asia, and in particular Hong Kong, has been steadily rising over the past couple of years. UK property remains an attractive option for those living in countries where buying is simply not an option. Familiarity with the UK market and maintaining a tie with their homeland are all reasons why expatriates are finding comfort with UK property investment.

Help required?

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

Expats are seeing good long-term returns

Expats who currently own property in the UK are without doubt seeing a very good return on their investment. House prices increased again last month but it has to be said this growth is slowing month on month at present. UK property historically has always been a sound and solid long-term investment and if the experts are correct it will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Property prices were up 3.7% on last year which shows a very good return on investment. These figures are general across the country, but London and the surrounding areas were showing slightly less return. It is predicted that the housing market will slow down as the year progresses. This slowdown could well be a “blessing in disguise” for first time buyers as houses are being priced out of their reach.

Housing demand in the UK remains high both from expats and residents and this fact alone should well protect prices in the long term.

Is it a good time to buy in the UK?

Well the simple answer to this is yes, if you have a good size deposit available history shows a property investment in the UK will always give good returns. It’s true many things are uncertain at present with the Brexit issue at the heart of all confusion, but the facts are clear the UK has an eternal shortage of property to meet demand.

Mortgage interest rates remain low and for that reason alone it could well be a very good time to get into this market if you are an expat. Expats for years now have seen property as a very good alternative to leaving cash stagnating in high street banks, especially recently. There are a good range of mortgages available to expats offering advantageous rates both fixed and tracker.

Like too know more?

Please feel free to contact one of our experienced advisers for any assistance you may require. We look forward to being of assistance to you.

Expat re-mortgage activity rising fast

Recent figures just released show expat re-mortgage business is at an all-time high and rising. Looking back at the start of 2018 re-mortgage applications to date are 32.5% higher than the same period last year.

The vast majority of expat re-mortgages are borrowers taking advantage of the still low interest rates currently on offer as their fixed deals mature. The survey highlighted more than 43% of all people re-mortgaging saved on average £304.00 on their monthly payments. Many also re-mortgaged to fix their monthly payments again as they fear more interest rate rises are inevitable later in the year.

Many expats whilst re-mortgaging also released capital that had accumulated over the years, the average amounted to £22,800 per re-mortgage.

Top 5 reasons to re-mortgage

  • Better rate of interest
  • Revert to a fixed rate
  • Raise cash to pay off expensive loans
  • Reduce or clear expensive credit cards
  • Raise cash to assist child secure a mortgage

What is very encouraging is to see borrowers taking more control of their finances and seeking advice as to the best way forward after their existing mortgage deal matures. Years gone by many expat homeowners who had secured their mortgage deal just forgot all about it and “buried their heads in the sand” on maturity of the deal.

There are many pros and cons to re-mortgaging and all aspects need to be carefully considered to ensure it is beneficial for you. Always seek professional advice from a qualified mortgage adviser who will be able to guide you in the right direction, a wrong move could be very costly in the long term.

Need some advice?

If you are considering a new or re-mortgage and require some help please do call one of our fully qualified advisers.

Obtaining an expat mortgage

Many of the 4 million plus expats have a strong desire to own their own property in the UK. Property prices seem to be rising all the time and its little wonder the majority of expats seek UK ownership. It’s true certain parts of the country are stagnating in terms of increasing but on the whole the UK market is as strong as ever. There is still a lack of housing which makes the buy to let market very attractive to expats who want a foothold in the UK and get a decent return on their capital.

Whatever reasons you may have for considering purchasing a property in the UK, the good news is that there are lenders who are more than willing to offer expats mortgages. Many providers don’t even advertise the fact.


If you want an expat mortgage a good place to start is finding a broker who specialises in this area. Obtaining an expat mortgage can be very time consuming especially as you are likely to be resident abroad. An independent broker will have all options open to you on hand and will be able to act efficiently on your behalf.


The expat mortgage market is very complex and not all lenders offer this product in their portfolio. Independent brokers will have full access to all products available and be able to advise the most suitable for your needs.

What you will need to apply

  • Contact details (email address etc)
  • Property purchase details
  • Deposit available
  • Certified proof of address
  • Certified ID (Passport)
  • Bank statements (Normally 3/6 months)
  • Wage slips (Normally 3/6 months)
  • Certified accounts if self-employed, number of months vary from lender to lender

These requirements vary from lender to lender and the above is just to give you a guide to help speed up the process.

Help required

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