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Thousands of expat borrowers could be missing out on a better mortgage deal by not speaking to an independent adviser, research has found.

The survey of over 1,200 expats revealed that 33% who went direct to a lender did not understand how an independent mortgage adviser could help with their search.

The findings also showed that 66% of borrowers who went straight to a lender hadn’t re-mortgaged in the last five years, while 74% stayed put because they felt they had a ‘good deal’.

Without seeking independent mortgage advice, individuals would have missed out on the extra mortgage deals that are only available through an independent mortgage adviser.

The analysis showed that the mortgage industry still needs to demonstrate the value of independent mortgage advice to expat borrowers – just 30% of those who went direct to the lender said that they would likely speak to a mortgage adviser next time.

Meanwhile, 60% who didn’t seek advice when they took out their last mortgage didn’t know mortgage advisers were there to help the borrower, and just over a third (34%) thought an independent mortgage adviser was there to support the lender.

What is more, borrowers going through an independent mortgage adviser have access to far more mortgages than those going direct to the lender.

Expats who benefitted from a mortgage adviser searching the market for the best mortgage deal were more likely to have switched in the last five years (29%), compared to just one in five (19%) of those who went direct.

Expats who used a mortgage adviser were also in favour of doing so again. Nearly all (98%) said that they found the support of a mortgage adviser ‘valuable’ and a further 95% said they would recommend using an independent mortgage adviser to family or friends.

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

Expats are re-mortgaging for value

Expat re-mortgaging levels have soared to an eight-year high as borrowers take advantage of lower monthly repayments, figures have revealed.

The number of expats re-mortgaging in December and January increased by more than a third year-on-year to almost 3,300 – the highest number since January 2011.

The value of re-mortgaging fell due to a drop in the average loan size, but with overall mortgage activity down it still accounted for two-fifths of total lending in December and January alone.

Expat borrowing activity has been fuelled by the lower rates on offer, rates currently are the lowest they have been for the last 7 years. However, there are fears the boom may not last, amid a fall in affordability and expectations of a rise in interest rates.

In January, the repayment as a percentage of total income rose month-on-month from 17% to 18%, while 54% of those surveyed in February expect a rate rise within the next year.

Expats who have not reviewed their current mortgage deal recently would be well advised to do so as rates are expected to rise later this year.

Help required?

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

No wonder expats want more UK property

A major shift in housing needs driven by the pandemic and lockdown has pushed house prices up to their highest levels ever, Nationwide has reported today.

According to the building society’s latest house price index, prices grew by 6.9% annually in February.

This followed a slight slowdown in January when annual prices climbed by 6.4% and prices dipped compared to the previous month.

But February experienced something of a rebound according to Nationwide, with month-on-month growth of 0.3% which ‘more than erased’/ the small decline experienced in January.

It means the average house price in the UK in February was £231,061 which, according to the building society, is the highest on record.

This rise has indeed been a surprise, it seemed more likely that annual price growth would soften further ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase. While the stamp duty holiday is not due to expire until the end of March, activity and price growth would be expected to weaken well before that, given that the purchase process typically takes several months.

Changing housing preferences

The shift in housing preferences might be responsible for this increase in demand.

Indeed, the lockdown and increasing numbers of people who have begun working remotely, has prompted a shift in preference towards more spacious properties in less densely populated areas.

Far from surrendering its gains, the housing market has launched a surprise attack on previous highs, aided by armies of people who still want to shed the home they discovered was too small for them during repeated lockdowns.

Record high agreed sale prices are a sign that the market is still being buffeted by the unshakeable desire of many to move to larger, more spacious, and more expensive homes.

 

Expats are keeping active after Brexit.

Expats are in ever increasing numbers trying to either get on the ladder or increase their current UK property holding. The majority of expats see property in the UK as a “pension fund” or a way of laying financial security for the long-term future.

Bricks and mortar have always been a national obsession. The wisdom that property is fundamentally an exceptionally good long-term investment has been passed down from generation to generation.

Brexit

This is the one area that could affect the property market, if all the experts are correct it is unlikely to have any lasting long-term damage. Facts are whatever happens the UK property market is highly likely to remain strong and positive.

Applications

Expat mortgage applications are currently at an all-time high and the outlook for 2021/22 remains positive. It would seem that the high property prices do not deter the investor. Expats seem to have the attitude that investing in savings accounts are a lost cause and property offers far better returns in the long run.

According to recently released figures the UK property market has been the best performing in the whole of Western Europe. It is therefore not surprising that so many people want to invest in an ever-shrinking market.

Need assistance?

If you require help with your current or new mortgage please contact one of our experienced independent advisers who will be happy to assist.