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%).

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.

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.

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.

 

Question – I’m an Expat can I get a mortgage on a UK property?

Scenario

I want to get a residential mortgage and have a deposit of about £75,000. I am self-employed, a UK resident and earn – and pay tax on – all of my earnings in the UK.

However, I am currently in Asia and am mostly paid by US-based organisations.

Is there any hope for me?

Answer

It is perfectly possible for you to get a mortgage while working abroad.

You just need to use a mortgage adviser who is familiar with what are called expat mortgages. These are mortgages for UK nationals who, like you, are working abroad but want to buy property in the UK, whether it’s on a residential or buy-to-let basis.

UK expats do find it harder to get a mortgage than Britons on the mainland. Harder, yes, but not impossible, especially when you use a specialist expat broker who knows which lenders are likely to lend to you and which will do so on the best terms for your personal circumstances.

A specialist should be able to help with interest-only mortgages, financing for the self-employed, buy to let, unusually constructed properties and unusual mortgage terms.

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.

 

Are you looking to be an expat first time buyer?

Expats living overseas are very keen to purchase property in the UK as the market continues to show good growth.

Mortgages are easier to come by than they were 2 years ago plus interest rates are at an all-time low.

Expats who own property abroad have had a worrying time of late as property prices in some European countries have fallen at alarming rates. The uncertainty in Europe is without doubt down to the weak Euro and poor economies of some countries.

First time buyers looking to break into the UK market are finding it very difficult as property prices continue to rise. A recent survey conducted for major high street estate agents shows lower end market properties are being snapped up by buy-to-let investors. It is no secret that the UK property market is currently under siege from the buy-to-let investor and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

What to do?

Suitable first-time purchases are almost impossible in the London and South-eastern areas so prospective buyers are looking further afield.

A major estate agent chain recently commented “It is still possible to buy a reasonably priced property in the London commuter belt if you look hard enough”. “Clients who are prepared to look outside the box are having a great deal of success”.

This coupled with some extremely good mortgage deals available have given expats a “window of opportunity” it would seem. The message that seems to come from all this is to act as quickly as possible before this avenue closes.

Mortgage advice?

If you require any assistance with your first time or re-mortgage please do not hesitate to contact one of our fully trained independent advisers who will be happy to help.

Expats are taking advantage of the independent broker

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.

Why independent?

Very simple you will have a much bigger choice of deals as an independent is not tied to any one company.

2021 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. This coupled with record low interest rates is indeed good news for the expat borrower.

Lenders are still holding interest rates steady as the prospect of the Bank of England raising rates has receded slightly.

All this positive news is giving the borrower confidence in the longer term, what happens after the Brexit negotiations are complete remains to be seen.

Expat mortgages are now easier and 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.

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.

 

Expats who use a broker normally save money

A recent survey has claimed that thousands of expat borrowers could be missing out on a better deal by not speaking to an independent mortgage adviser when looking for a mortgage.

Its survey of over 2,000 expats found that 33% of consumers who went direct to a lender didn’t understand how a mortgage adviser could help with their search.

The findings also showed that 67% of borrowers who went straight to a lender hadn’t re-mortgaged in the last five years and 74% stayed put because they felt they had ‘a good deal’. However, without seeking independent mortgage advice, these individuals would have missed out on mortgages deals that are only available through an independent mortgage adviser.

There are plans to use the research to tackle the misperceptions about independent mortgage advisers and raise awareness about how they can help borrowers to find the right mortgage for their needs.

Far more choice and much quicker

Borrowers going through an independent mortgage adviser have access to many more mortgages than those going direct to the lender, including specialist mortgages for the self-employed and later life lending solutions such as lifetime mortgages..

Homeowners 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 19% of those who went direct.

Borrowers who used a mortgage adviser were also overwhelmingly in favour of doing so again. 98% said that they found the support of a mortgage adviser ‘valuable’ and a further 95% said they would recommend using a mortgage adviser to family or friends.

Help required?

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

Who needs an expat mortgage? 

If you wish to buy a property in the UK and live abroad you need an expat mortgage.

Britons living abroad, either temporarily or permanently, will need to obtain a mortgage from a lender that has chosen to lend to expats.

Typically, expats are looking to invest in buy-to-let property whilst living overseas, perhaps to provide an income in retirement or even to live in upon their return.

Whilst fluctuating exchange rates can, at times, provide a good opportunity for investors, it is also true to say that many expats earn better salaries abroad than they would do here in the UK. A lower cost of living means they have more disposable income and want to invest in UK property.

Value for money

The UK property market still offers really good value for money if you own a property or can afford to buy one. Anybody who has owned a property in a good area of the UK over the last 10 years would have seen their investment grow substantially.

Traditionally the UK property market has always offered good value long term investment potential and there is no reason to believe this will not continue long into the future. The only unknown factor is what will happen after Brexit has concluded and how any deal will affect the housing market.

Sound investment?

As years gone by the UK offers long term profitability and there really is no reasons why this should not continue for many more to come.

Mortgage advice?

If you need assistance with a mortgage then call our expert independent advisers who are waiting to help.

 

Best returns for Expats!

Eight out of ten of Britain’s hot shot fund managers – in charge of active UK investment funds – would have been better off simply investing in bricks and mortar, according to a recent financial survey.

That’s despite the strong rises seen in the stock market over the past year, with the FTSE 100 ending 2020 at over 7000 points.

Analysis revealed that only 30% of fund managers (95 out of a total of 239) have beaten average house price growth of 26% since Dec 2013, across 100 major UK towns and cities.

Long-term a better bet

The housing market has also outperformed stocks over the last 20 years. Since 1996, the average property went up in value 304% while the FTSE All Share gained 270%. Top performers over the last two decades were Brighton and Hove on 510% beating London on 485% which was followed by Watford on 460%.

Over the past few years’ bricks and mortar has once again proved itself to be an investment to rival them all, capable of significantly outperforming the riskier forays of stock market speculators.

Active fund managers use vast amounts of in-depth research to find hidden value in companies, but just by sitting on their properties, homeowners and residential property investors have beaten most of the very best investment minds in the UK.

Can we help?

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