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Expats will remain confident

The Bank of England base rate has been unanimously held at 0.75% for the third time this year.

In the minutes the Monetary Policy Committee noted that there is still a weakness in the housing market.

They said: “Weakness in the housing market had also persisted, with housing investment having declined in Q4, the UK House Price Index having fallen at its fastest pace since mid-2011 in the three months to February, and the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase having fallen in March.

“That said, the total number of residential property transactions had been more stable. Secured household credit conditions were little changed, although high loan-to-value mortgage rates had continued to fall.

“Consumer credit growth had slowed further in March, to 6.4% on a year earlier, with evidence from the latest Credit Conditions Survey suggesting that that had partly reflected a continued tightening in credit availability.”

The Bank now expects Britain’s GDP to grow by 1.5% this year, up from 1.2% forecast in February, owing to a larger-than-expected boost from companies in the United Kingdom and the European Union building stocks ahead of the Brexit deadlines. However that boost is likely to be temporary.

Expat mortgage business is still growing fast

This financial year has seen more new expat mortgage business being conducted than this time last year and applications are still rising as the year progresses.

Expat mortgage rates still remain at a very affordable level fuelling the increase in business being done in all sectors of the mortgage market.

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As expat mortgage specialists we offer a much-valued service to our client so please make contact if we can assist you.

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Expats looking for stability

EMore expats with mortgages on UK properties are looking to lock in a longer fixed deal than ever before. Experts believe this situation has been brought about due to the Brexit uncertainty and what could happen to the mortgage market.

Popularity of longer-term deals had waned at the start of 2018 with expat borrowers opting to fix their mortgage for two years, according to the latest figures.

In the later part of last year demand for five-year fixed-rate re-mortgages went up 40%, representing half the market according to the report.

Lenders are eager to attract longer-term business which has created a competitive landscape for expats. This has ensured five-year average rates have remained relatively flat month-on-month.

Five-year fixed deals tend to be more popular amongst borrowers who are seeking stability. Expats will be opting for these deals to provide some certainty amid the potential economic and political upheavals in the next few years due to Brexit.

Currently over 77% of expats re-mortgaging expect a rise in the Bank of England (BoE) base rate this year. This compares to 35% in April 2017.

After hints of a rate increase earlier in the year, sluggish economic growth discouraged the BoE from raising the base rate. Yet more than three quarters of borrowers still believe another base rate increase will happen at some point in the next twelve months.

Independent brokers

It also emerged the number of expat borrowers using an independent broker to re-mortgage has also hit a record high in November increasing from 60% in March this year to 84%.

Can we help?

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