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Decreasing value of the pound encourages expats

New research reveals that expats and foreign nationals are snapping up UK property, while the pound is weak, prices remain affordable outside London and the South East.

The new figures show that there has been a 20% year on year increase in expats and foreign nationals investing in UK property. These buyers are investing in both buy-to-lets and first, or second homes.

The research also reveals that in 2020, 60% of expats and foreign nationals buying property in the UK, opted for the Manchester area, while 25% choose Birmingham.  However, London has seen a 60% drop in buyers, this is the result of high property prices and poor rental yields, compared with other regions of the UK.

What may surprise many is that in real terms, property prices in the UK have fallen compared with a decade ago and there is a huge North-South divide. In London, the average property value has risen by nearly 70% in 10 years, whereas some other areas have fallen as much as 40%.

This growth in investors is partly down to the availability of a wider selection of mortgages designed for working expats and foreign nationals. Investors are also attracted by the UK’s robust legal system for property acquisition, which makes it one of the easiest places in the world to buy property.

Can we help?

If you would like to know more about the range of mortgages available to expats, both new and re-mortgage please do make contact. We have a fully experienced and qualified team waiting to assist you.


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Expats looking at buy-to-lets for income

The report from financial intermediaries revealed that 70% of respondents had seen a rise in enquiries from British expats about buy-to-let mortgages for UK property.

These findings reflect the growing demand for buy-to-let mortgages from overseas investors; due partly to the strength of foreign currency against the pound – attributed to the ‘Brexit effect’ – which has created an investment opportunity.

Following Brexit, the pound has weakened against most major currencies including the dollar and euro. Brits living in countries where the currency is pegged to the USA’s, such as Hong Kong have been attracted to investing in property back in their home country.

It was a concern for some that the new rules from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) introduced early this year, which limited the amount expat landlords could borrow and tougher lending tests, would impact demand, but the report would suggest this hasn’t been the case.

What is happening is investors, including expats, are still buying-to-let in Britain, but perhaps focusing on lower loan-to-values and using larger deposits to take the various changes into account, as well as adapting their portfolios and business models to maintain their profitability: for example by looking at up-and-coming areas across the UK instead of the more traditional rental hotspots like London.

Given the strong rental market in the UK and interest rates at an historic low, it appears that expats are still keen to keep a foothold on their home property ladder, and whilst the buy-to-let market has faced a number of challenges recently, those taking a long-term view seem undeterred.

Like to talk over your needs?

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


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Expat mortgage business remains very strong and stable

May 2022 has seen more expat mortgage business being conducted than this time last year. New applications for first time and re-mortgage business are also high for the time of year indicating expats still have faith in the UK property market.

Mortgage rates are at a record low fuelling the increase in business being done in all sectors of the mortgage market. However, experts are predicting rises in rates are on their way sooner rather than later.

May has seen a record number of expat re-mortgages as clients look to release equity built up over the years within their properties. The released equity is being used for various reasons including debt consolidation and funding their children’s education and house deposits.

Expats are also re-mortgaging to fix the rate of their loan for the longer term.

Confidence is high within the European expat community at present especially with those who own a property in the UK.

If you are considering taking out an expat mortgage or re-mortgaging, please call us and one of our advisers will be happy to assist.

UK property prices still increasing

According to the latest figures house prices are still on the rise, April/May saw an average 5% increase.

It is expected that house price increases will level out as the year goes on with a steady and reliable growth rate, again spelling good news all round.

At present the outlook property wise for 2022 is very positive within the UK, the signs are this will continue for the foreseeable future.


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Expats should note!

If you are sheltering from rising interest rates within the safety of your fixed rate, you may also be feeling a little nervous about what will happen when your deal ends.

Last week’s hike in interest rates to 1.25% came amid warnings the base rate could rise further to as much as 3% by the end the of the year.

Though no one has a crystal ball, and there’s no guarantee our mortgage rates will soar by this much, the predictions are leaving many homeowners feeling a mixture of concern and vulnerability.

Will these rates continue rising into 2023 and 2024? How will this play out for fixed rate deals due to expire in the next couple of years?

At the moment, lenders are increasing the rates on their mortgages to keep up with the Bank of England’s base rate increases.

This is not only the case for tracker and variable mortgages but also new fixed rates. So, anyone re-mortgaging onto a fixed rate deal now will be looking at average rates of around

What should we do to avoid being hit by mortgage rate increases?

If your mortgage is due to expire in the next six months, re-mortgaging now is an option. This is because most lenders will keep your offer live for six months. Therefore, if you were to fix your deal at today’s rates you may find they are much cheaper than November or even December’s average rates.

If your deal has longer than six months remaining, and you are due to re-mortgage in 2023 or even 2024 you may feel resigned to the fact you will eventually – when you come to re-mortgage – be hit with a much higher rate.

But there are some options for you to consider.

Overpaying your mortgage could take the pressure off future rate rises

Would re-mortgaging early help offset potential interest rate rises?

One option some borrowers with mortgages due to expire in 2023 and beyond may be considering is exiting their deal early and re-mortgage now.

However, caution to anyone considering this avenue, not least because most fixed rates carry an early repayment charge (ERC) throughout the period which will become chargeable if you switch to a new lender or deal.

Essential, get independent advice.

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Expats are wisely re-thinking their mortgage plans

 There was a surge in re-mortgage activity in February to May this year of this year, as expat borrowers look to lock into cheaper deals ahead of an expected interest rate rise.

 Since the financial crisis in 2008 mortgage rates have steadily fallen.

However, with the Bank of England hinting that it could raise interest rates in the near future and economists are predicting a hike could come as soon as July/August of this year and beyond.

Record low mortgage rates continue to sustain market activity, many of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee are now adding to the calls for an interest rate rise, this picture could very quickly change.

A “wait and see” approach is best avoided for existing expat UK homeowners considering re-mortgaging.

The number of expat mortgages approved also went up this year, suggesting the market is picking up steam now the Brexit outcome has been resolved.

Expats who avoid reviewing their current mortgage deal could well pay for this error in the long term as interest rates look to be going upwards. Not everybody will benefit from changing their mortgage, but it certainly makes sense to check how your existing deal stands up to the future.

Contact us.

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


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Always use an independent broker for ease and efficiency.

Expats are now using an independent broker more than ever before to secure their deals whether it be a new or re-mortgage. The survey showed using a broker will reduce completion times, they are fully versed in the expat mortgage process and able to react to the lenders requirements much quicker.

2022 has seen a large increase of approved mortgage applications compared to the same period last year. These increases show how restrictions are being eased by lenders as they compete for every single bit of business.

Expat mortgages are now quicker to complete.

 The time it takes to complete a new or re-mortgage for expat’s has reduced significantly in the last 2 years.

The industry is seeing a new application in a straightforward case complete in a matter of weeks rather than months. A straightforward re-mortgage is now on average completing in less the 6 weeks which is significantly quicker than this time last year.

A survey of expats applying for a mortgage was taken recently and it clearly showed one of the most important factors in the mortgage process was the speed of advancement, a close second was ease of application.

Good news is the lenders have taken notice of the findings and have reacted well by speeding up the process considerably.

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 – How will your investment perform in 2022/23?

House prices will rise between 3% & 5% across the UK this year, according to figures released by one of the major high street banks.

If these figures are achieved it follows the trend of this year, the report states increase in values could be stifled by the possibility of interest rate rises. Another factor that could possibly slow growth down is first time buyers being unable to get onto the property ladder.

As an expat with property in the UK if you compare this annual growth to what could be achieve from an investment in any high street bank, property looks a particularly good bet indeed.

Interestingly the report states they expect growth to slow slightly more in central London than elsewhere. The reason for this is the sheer lack of earnings to meet the rising costs of property. People looking to move into London and the surrounding areas just cannot get jobs that pay enough to support any form of mortgage.

Property in very short supply

There has been and still is a shortage of supply which constrains activity in the housing market and levels of house building remain low.

It is believed due to the shortage of property available that house prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future which spells good news for expats with property in the UK.


Expat mortgages remain relatively easy to obtain with a good selection of products available. This is expected to remain constant for the coming year with the prospect of one new lenders entering the market.

Need some help?

If you require any assistance with your new or existing mortgage please do call one of our fully qualified independent advisers who will be happy to help.

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Expats who do not review their mortgage could be paying 1000’s more than they need

Now more than ever expats are looking for ways to reduce their monthly outgoings, one of the biggest expenses most people have every month is the mortgage payment.

As an expat there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment with poor exchange rates and the aftermath of Covid. It may be a very prudent move to review your current mortgage to establish if it is still the best deal for you, and you are not paying more than you need to.

This will not be the case for everybody, your current deal may well be exceptionally good, but it is most certainly worth checking as the wrong deal could be costing you thousands extra every year.

Expats have an excellent choice of mortgage deals currently available, so it is a very good time to check you are not paying more than you need to.

If you decide to re-mortgage this may an opportune moment to review any expensive loans and credit cards you may have. It is likely the UK property has gained in value giving you a larger equity which could be used to reduce the expensive debt.

Reasons to re-mortgage

  • To save money.
  • Raise extra cash for a project you have planned.
  • Your current deal is ending soon
  • You want to pay more to clear the loan earlier and the lender will not permit this.

Reasons not to re-mortgage

  • You have a penalty on your current mortgage which makes it prohibitive.
  • You have had credit problems since taking out your current mortgage.
  • You currently have an advantageous rate which may be fixed.

Can we help?

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


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Expats, are you thinking to re-mortgage? If so do not wait any longer

Double digit annual growth means the equity in many homeowners’ properties will have increased a great deal in the last two years.

Figures show since the start of the pandemic the average home has increased in value by £47,568.

Many homeowners will therefore be in a position to move up an ‘LTV band’. LTV or – loan-to-value (LTV) ratio – refers to the proportion of your property’s value you need to borrow.

It maybe you are a few hundred pounds away from being able to change to a 75% LTV band which will mean you can get much better rates. Speak to an independent adviser as they can help you to achieve this.

Will the cost-of-living crisis impact my re-mortgage affordability?

There’s another reason why it’s worth re-mortgaging now rather than in a few months’ time. The cost-of-living crisis means many of us are noticing a big difference to our day-to-day spending.

From an extra £10 when you fill up your car, to the cost of your supermarket shop going up each week to the knowledge you are going to be paying an additional £600 or more on your heating bill over the year – you will probably be paying out more now than you were when you took out your mortgage.

Although lenders assess living costs when assessing mortgage applications, many have not yet updated their affordability calculators to take the current situation into account.

Therefore, by re-mortgaging now you can take advantage of a some offers which many will not there in a few weeks.

Mortgage offers last, in general, for six months. For new builds it might be longer. So, if your mortgage is due to expire in the next six months you can lock into a better deal whilst conditions are good.

Need help?

Please do make contact and one of our independent advisers will be happy to assist.

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Expats looking to fix deals as rates rise

Expat mortgage business continues to flourish in 2022, both re-mortgage and new applications have increased as interest rates remain in the borrowers favour but they are rising.

Expats are very keen to secure and expand their holdings in the UK due to the potential long-term profits that the property market offers. A large number of expats have seen the buy-to-let market as an area of good returns whilst they are living overseas, and this continues to create a lot of interest.

Currently the biggest growth area within the expat mortgage business are fixed rate deals. Since the turn of the year and the latter part of 2021 fixed rate deals have attracted a great deal of interest.

Our advisers are reporting more and more expats are asking about fixing their mortgages as they are concerned that rates may be on the increase sooner rather than later.

Is now a good time to revert to a fixed deal?

Both UK residents and expats may wish to review their current mortgage deal to take advantage of the current low rates on offer. It is very important to remember that to cancel your current deal may not always be the best advice due to exit fees. However, if you are at the end of your current deal or on a standard rate it could be a very good time to consider a fixed deal.

At this present time there is a good range of fixed deals on offer ranging from 2 -10 years. It would be very wise to seek professional advice as to which one may suit your needs as all people have different objectives.

Can we be of assistance?

If you require some help with your mortgage or re-mortgage please do call one of our fully qualified independent advisers and we will be pleased to help.