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Expat UK property owners see good increases 

UK house prices rose by 1.7% in September, equating to an increase of £4,400 to the value of the average property, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index.

This means that UK house prices are now at a record high of £267,500.

This month-on-month rise is the strongest increase since February 2007 and ups year-on-year house price inflation up to 7.4%.

This also reversed the recent three-month downward trend in annual growth, which had peaked at an annual rate of 9.6% in May.

Wales continued to record the strongest house price inflation of any UK region or nation, with annual growth of 11.5% in September (average house price of £194,286).

Scotland also continues to outperform the UK national average, with growth of 8.3% (average house price of £188,525).

The Southwest remained the strongest performing region in England, with annual house price growth of 9.7% (average house price of £276,226).

The Northwest saw the next biggest increase, with house prices up by 9% year-on-year (average house price of £201,927), marginally ahead of Yorkshire and Humber at 8.9% (average house price of £186,815).

The weakest performing regions in terms of annual house price inflation are all to be found in the South and East of England, though these are also the areas with the highest average house prices.

Eastern England has seen annual growth of 7.2% (average house price of £310,664) while in the Southeast it is 7% (average house price of £360,795).

Greater London remains the outlier, with annual growth of just 1% (average house price of £510,515) and was again the only region or nation to record a fall in house prices over the latest rolling three-monthly period (0.1%).

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Expat mortgage applications are on the increase

The last 9 months has seen a significant increase in expat applications and approved mortgages against figures just issued for 2020. The increase shows how restrictions are being lifted as expat lenders compete for every single bit of business, this coupled with lower interest rates in real terms is indeed good news for the expat property investor.

Lenders continue to hold down rates, this is giving the borrower more confidence as the future looks bright even if small rises in interest rates are imminent..

Appropriate for expats with a current mortgage to re-mortgage?

Interest rates are most certainly in the borrower’s favour at present but there is always a lot of debate of how long these rates will last. All of this in mind it could be a very shrewd move to consider your own mortgage position. It is very commonplace for expat clients with a mortgage to just leave it as they are not aware of the savings that could be achieved with a re-mortgage.

There are many pros and cons to re-mortgaging all aspects need to be very carefully considered. It is not always best advice to re-mortgage to save money in the short term so please be sure to contact a professional independent adviser, they will give you an unbiased opinion of your situation.

If the time is right to change your current deal you might like to re-structure the borrowing you have in total. Mortgages offer much lower interest rates than store or credit cards, so equity in the property could be used to address this, again this is NOT always best advice.

Like to know more?

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

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Expats look to lock in deals for financial stability

Eight in 10 expat borrowers searching for mortgages in August were looking at fixed-rate deals, according to new analysis.

Fixed-rate mortgages are, as the name suggests, deals in which the interest rate remains the same for the term of the deal. Borrowers can choose deals in which they fix their rate for two, five-years or even 10 years.

While 80.1% were searching for the availability of fixed-rate deals, just under 20% were looking for variable rates – which offer interest rates based on external factors, such as the Bank of England base rate.

Currently the Bank of England has set rates at a low of 0.1% but there are some fears this could be increased, particularly as inflation is currently high.

Moneyfacts said in these times of economic uncertainty, it would seem the majority of borrowers had decided it would be easier to budget by protecting themselves from future interest rate volatility in the shelter of a fixed deal.

The data demonstrated a vast majority of potential new mortgage holders may be more risk-averse in the current economic climate.

Nearly 87% of the deals in the ‘fixed rate’ mortgage market were two or five-year products. Meanwhile, a third of borrowers were looking for a two-year deal whilst just over a quarter were searching for a five-year deal.

Longer term financial stability may also be in the forefront of consumers’ minds as the economy moves forwards.

Like to know more?

If you require help with your new or re-mortgage please do contact one of our fully qualified independent advisers who will be happy to assist.

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Expats are seeking UK property

Overseas buyers and expats are sizing up the UK property market for potential bargains, taking advantage of the weak pound and the political uncertainty over Brexit which continues, according to the latest figures released

The property portal found that searches for UK property by overseas buyers have grown steadily this year. They now account for 6.2% of all activity on the portal in the first three months of this year, compared to just 3.6% three years ago, an increase of 72%.

It said some investors are keen to capitalise on softening prices and a weak pound and are looking for discounts. This could fuel demand for UK property, alongside expats planning a return to the UK amid uncertainty.

Areas with the most interest

London is in strong demand as the third most sought-after location, but the UK’s regional cities could benefit the most from interest from overseas buyers, with Glasgow and Birmingham the most popular search locations, followed by Manchester and Leicester.

Greatest interest is from?

US house hunters are watching the market most closely, accounting for nearly 50,000 searches in the third quarter of this year, as shown by the list below of the top 3 countries/areas where buyers are searching from:

  1. USA
  2. France
  3. Asia

Owning property in the UK is a goal of many overseas property investors including expats, it’s clear a rise in the proportion of searches for UK property which are taking place overseas since June 2018.

Can we assist you?

If you are looking for a new or re-mortgage do get in contact and one of our qualified independent advisers will be happy to help.