Expats need to get moving

Brokers with expat and foreign investor customers buying property in the UK, need to secure completion before 31 March next year or face the risk of customers paying a large surcharge.

That is the warning from the expat mortgage markets, which explains that expats who miss the deadline will face higher stamp duty levies than residents.

Lenders, who are involved in the expat sector, are concerned that the current focus is on domestic borrowers beating the re-establishment of stamp duty on 1 April, but the 2020 budget announcement also included an extra 2% levy on property bought and completed by expats after 31 March.

With all the other news surrounding Covid-19, it would be easy to forget that the 2020 Budget also stated that the 3% levy on second homes will also apply to expat purchases after the 31st March, so that overall, completing from April 1st, expats will be paying 5% more than the standard rates. A double blow.

The property market is booming at present and expats are keen to maintain and establish a property foothold, even if they do not intend to live in the UK at present.

Advisers whose expat customers complete before the 31st March benefit from the postponement of the standard rate of stamp duty in the same way as everyone else, but now is the time to act before what could be up to an extra 5% levy is introduced in April.