Expat UK homeowners are collectively wasting millions a year by failing to re-mortgage before their current deal expires.
A third of expats whose fixed rate or tracker mortgage ended in 2017 ended up on their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) for an average of six weeks.
Their failure to line up a new mortgage before their existing one expired cost them an average of £750 a year.
Why is this happening?
When fixed term mortgages come to an end, expat homeowners are automatically put on to their lender’s SVR, also known as a reversion rate.
The interest charged on SVRs is typically significantly higher than the rates available on new deals, meaning expats end up paying over the odds for their home loan until they switch to a new mortgage.
While it is not known exactly why expats are sitting on an SVR it is likely to be because they have failed to realise their mortgage term is coming to an end or have not left enough time to switch to a new deal before it expires.
Does this affect you?
Expat UK homeowners should start thinking about a new mortgage three to four months before their current deal expires.
The re-mortgage process typically takes between six and eight weeks. It is usually quicker if people are taking out a new mortgage with their current lender, while things tend to take longer if they are moving to a new lender.
New mortgage affordability rules were introduced in April 2014, so homeowners coming off five-year fixed rate deals may find the application process tougher than when they last applied.
The good news is that most lenders will allow you to secure a new mortgage deal three months before your existing one expires, enabling people to start the re-mortgage process well before their current deal runs out.
Seven out of ten expats who took out a mortgage in 2017 opted for a fixed rate deal.
Fixed rate mortgages give borrowers the security of knowing exactly what their monthly repayments will be.
If you would like to review your current mortgage, please do make contact and one of our advisers will be happy to guide you.