Expats with a UK mortgage should read

More and more expats are looking for ways to reduce their monthly outgoings. One of the biggest expenses most people have every month is their mortgage payment.  Keeping this in mind it would be a wise move to review your current mortgage so as to establish if it is still the best deal for you.

This will not be the case for everybody, your current deal may well be particularly good, but it is most certainly worth checking.

With all the uncertainty the Brexit situation is having on the UK currently a prudent move may be to fix a term for your current mortgage, this would take out all the uncertainty over that period.

Five-year fixed deals tend to be more popular amongst borrowers who are seeking stability. Expats will be opting for these deals to provide some certainty amid the potential economic and political upheavals in the next few years due to Brexit and now Covid19.

Currently over 77% of expats re-mortgaging expect a rise in the Bank of England (BoE) base rate next year. This compares to 35% in January 2020.

It is highly recommended to seek professional independent advice as to what new deal could suit your current situation.

Reasons to re-mortgage

  • To save money.
  • Raise extra cash for a project you have planned.
  • Your current deal is ending soon
  • Transfer to a fixed medium/long term deal

Help required?

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

 

House prices on the up again

Expats who own or contemplating owning a property in the UK will be pleased to know the average home now costs nearly a quarter of a million pounds with mortgage approvals hitting their highest level since the financial crisis erupted.

Rising activity in the housing market pushed the price of the average home up 7.3% in the last 12 months to £249,870, according to the Halifax index for September.

Further evidence of the lockdown mini boom came as expat lenders recorded the highest level of approvals since October 2008, adding that they had also received more expat mortgage applications from both first-time buyers and re-mortgagers than any time since 2008.

Experts predict the uptick to be short lived however, claiming demand is being driven by a combination of pent-up demand released after the lockdown market freeze, the stamp duty cut.

According to this official data, average house prices stood at £255,000 in England, £170,000 in Wales, £155,000 in Scotland and £141,000 in Norther Ireland.

Most forecast the market to cool off in coming months as demand wanes and the economic realities of the pandemic start to become more apparent.

With the final stages of Brexit looming and the uncertainties ahead wise expats are buying now rather than the wait and see approach.

Is it a good time to buy in the UK?

The very quick and simple answer is yes.

The affordable properties that are available to purchase seem to be diminishing on an daily basis, which without doubt will mean higher prices to pay in the future. The good thing is there are still some particularly good mortgage deals around for expats so it could be the right time to start your search.

Need assistance?

If you require help with your current or new mortgage please call one of our experienced advisers who will be happy to assist.

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.

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.

Use an 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.

2020 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.

Like too 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.

 

Expat seem to be focusing on buy-to-let’s

A recent report has shown a large increase in expat buy-to-let business, figures show expats are increasing their portfolios as quickly as they can. This year has seen a surge of first time buy-to-let applications.

A new survey shows more than 50% of existing expat landlords are looking to increase their portfolios as they see particularly good profits in the long term. Brexit may be playing a part in expats thinking as well.

At this present time all is in the favour of the landlord with low mortgage interest rates and stable rental incomes.  It has become much easier in the last 12 months for expats to be able to secure a mortgage if the required deposit levels are available.

Lenders are without doubt seeing this marketplace as a growth area and more and more deals are becoming available on a daily basis. If you are thinking of going into this area of investment call us and we will be pleased to talk over your options.

Buy to let mortgages

UK and expat landlords are reaping rewards from lower mortgage charges and longer fixed rate deals. We always recommend talking to a professional independent adviser as some deals are not quite what they seem.

Competition in the marketplace is forcing lenders to reduce charges and fees as well as offering longer fixed rate deals.

Need some assistance?

If we can help with your new mortgage please call one of our fully experienced independent advisers, we are here to help!

Expats could get a well-earned bonus?

More than a fifth of expat mortgage borrowers are not keen to move to a new lender, no matter how good a new deal they are offered, according to research. Mortgage experts say staying with your existing mortgage provider could be the equivalent of turning down a good pay rise or bonus.

According to the new data, more than a third of expat borrowers haven’t changed their mortgage in the past five years, despite better deals on offer. This means that expat UK homeowners could be unnecessarily overpaying by thousands of pounds a year. Just ask yourself, when was the last time you reviewed your mortgage?

Most at risk of overpaying are expat homeowners whose deals have ended and have moved to their provider’s standard variable rate (SVR).

Now is the time to consider re-mortgaging as rates are likely to rise in the near future. Borrowers on a SVR could save the equivalent of a monthly pay rise or an annual family holiday.

Mortgage rates came down again this year, but this is about to end if you believe what the experts are saying. Rates could start to rise as early as November so if you are on a SVR mortgage get it reviewed urgently.

Could you give yourself the equivalent of a cash bonus by re-mortgaging?

The simple answer to this question is YES! If you have a current deal with no penalties to change It is strongly advised you to contact us to see what is available.

Your mortgage is likely your biggest financial obligation; don’t let it be your biggest blind spot.

Can we assist?

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

 

Expats seem to favour fixed deals

Mortgages with five-year fixed rates have undergone a surge in popularity within the expat community, nearly half of the completed deals recently have been for 5 years or more.

Mortgage brokers think the fact the Bank of England base rate is currently low, coupled with fears over future rate rises, is main driver behind the soaring popularity of five-year deals, which allow customers to lock into a specified rate for a longer term.

Potential pitfalls of five-year deals

While they provide a certain amount of security, five-year fixes aren’t necessarily for everyone. Indeed, several of those questioned in the survey of 200 mortgage intermediaries raised concerns.

They stressed that products with a longer term initial fixed period might only be suitable for customers who expected to retain their current property for an extended period. This was because Expats considering a house sale might have to pay early redemption penalties which could outweigh the benefits of a longer-term deal.

Low interest rates, economic uncertainty around Brexit and now Covid-19, a reduction in home-mover transactions and more re-mortgaging means that five-year products have become a viable option for a much larger proportion of Expats but do get advice before proceeding.

Outlook

Going forward, the brokers questioned, did not see any reason for five-year fixed rates to fall out of favour. Brexit and now the Coronavirus could well keep interest rates stable for the time being.

In need of some guidance?

Can we be of assistance with your new mortgage/re-mortgage we have fully qualified independent advisers waiting to help you.

Expat mortgage borrowing growing at a rapid rate

Mortgage borrowing in the expat sector is over 26% higher overall than 12 months ago recent figures show. The number of mortgage applications for May, June & July combined also saw the highest numbers for the last 3 years. This is surprising to the market as it was muted that the coronavirus would have an adverse effect.

The really good news for the expat borrower is that application approvals have reached a record high in 2020 and look set to continue in this vain.

It has indeed been an extremely busy year for brokers and lenders alike as expat borrowers have taken advantage of the low interest rates that are on offer. Brokers around the Country believe business has been enhance by the Brexit situation with Brits wanting a foothold on the UK property market.

Re-mortgaging numbers in particular have been rising month on month and continue to do so. Expats have recognised that interest rates could be due to increase, perhaps later in 2020 and have taken advantage of the exceptionally good fixed rate deals that are available. The wise expat will move to re-mortgage now sooner rather than later.

Re-mortgage

If you are one of the thousands of expats who have not re-mortgaged, and you are still on a standard variable rate deal now is the time to review your circumstances. If the predictions are correct interest rates are due to rise early in the 2021 with further rises on the horizon.

Good news is there are still some very good fixed and discount deals on offer, but it’s likely they won’t be around for much longer.

Can we assist?

If you require some help with your current or new mortgage please do call one of our fully qualified advisers.

 

How is the expat mortgage market holding up during these very strange times?

The market so far has been largely unmoved by Brexit and now the Covid-19 pandemic. Lenders have continued to drop interest rates across the board since last summer which indicates a lack of concern currently.

There seems to still be a large appetite for banks to lend. The rates are extremely competitive and there are still plenty of high loan-to-value mortgages available to expat consumers.

If you are an expat with a mortgaged property in the UK now is a great time to lock in a new deal for the next few years and make the most of the low rates on offer.

Expats re-mortgaging for value

Expat re-mortgaging levels have soared to an eight-year high in last 3 months as borrowers take advantage of lower monthly repayments the latest figures have revealed.

The value of re-mortgaging fell due to a drop in the average loan size, but with overall mortgage activity down it still accounted for two-fifths of total lending in the last 3 months.

Expat borrowing activity has been fuelled by the lower rates on offer, rates currently are the lowest they have been for the last 7 years.

Expats who have not reviewed their current mortgage deal recently would be well advised to do so as rates are expected to rise in the future.

Help required?

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

Expats want UK properties

Political uncertainty in Hong Kong is one of the factors driving an increase in enquiries from non-UK residents.

Data showed ‘visas’ was the most searched for term by advisers in the last week of July, and searches for ‘non-UK residents’ were also on the rise.

The tool, which helps advisers determine whether a particular lender might consider an application from their client, also showed buy-to-let searches for applicants on a visa had also risen by 146%. This has been since the announcement of a 2% stamp duty surcharge for overseas buyers, which will come in effect in April 2021. But the stamp duty holiday, announced by the chancellor last month, was also cited as one of the other reasons for the interest from overseas buyers.

Hong Kong buyers

The rise in visa-related enquiries coincides with increased interest from Hong Kong-based buyers as they turn their attention to the UK housing market amidst growing political uncertainty in the territory.

Recent industry data revealed a surge in demand from Hong Kong-based buyers. It said this was likely to grow further following the government’s announcement on 22nd July of a new route to citizenship for 300,000 British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders.

Britain’s housing market is bucking the trend and has faced unprecedented levels of demand since reopening in May, and now figures show that a growing number of overseas buyers are also taking a very keen interest in UK property.”

Lending criteria is changing every day in the mortgage market at the moment, and advisers will be key in helping borrowers and others to cut through the red tape and find the best product for their particular circumstances.

Can we help?

If you are looking to secure a new or re-mortgage please do make contact and one of our independent advisers will be happy to assist.

Expats living overseas

Almost five million Britons live or work outside the UK and many of them don’t want to give up property ownership in the UK. Over the past 10 years expat mortgages have grown in stature as more Brits see owning a property in the UK as a very good long-term investment.

It’s no secret that most European properties do not give the sort of investment returns that one in the UK does, so it’s little wonder expats look to secure property in their homeland.

Who needs an expat mortgage and what are the typical reasons? 

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.

Mortgage advice?

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