The amount of money being lent by banks to expats reached its highest level in the month of November since 2008, data shows. With the buy-to-let market stumbling to get back in gear after recent stamp duty hikes, first-time expat buyers and re-mortgages are now propping up the market. Last month, gross mortgage lending to expats reached record levels and the trend seems to be continuing.
Brexit and the election have without doubt had an effect on the market but enquiries since the election have increased even more.
Overall mortgage lending to expats continues to hold up very well, but we seem to have a twin-track market. A recent weakness in buy-to-let and has been offset by an increase in first-time buyers and re-mortgage lending. But now it seems the buy-to-let market is making a new surge since October 2019.
A continuing acute shortage of homes being offered for sale is one aspect of a broken housing market that looks unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.
Outlook for 2020
The annual growth in mortgage lending was most likely driven by an increase in the number of expats re-mortgaging to better rates, offsetting the impact of a fall in property transactions.
Affordability constraints, caused by increasing house prices, the cost of stamp duty and rising inflation, are still hindering the market by limiting the number of people who can afford a property. This is likely to continue throughout 2020.
Experts within the expat lending community expect the market to remain strong and active especially if Brexit finally reaches a conclusion.
If you are looking for a new or re-mortgage, please do make contact and one of our independent advisers will be pleased to help.