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August 2017

UK mortgage enquiries from expats soar

Published: Thursday 10 August 2017

By David Fuller 

A mortgage company which specialises in offering UK mortgages to expats has revealed that it has received almost £500 million worth of mortgage enquires in the first seven months of this year.

According to Skipton International’s latest figures, the company has received a 130 per cent increase in the number of mortgage enquires received from expats so far this year.

Yet this rise had not been fuelled by Brits seeking a return to the UK following Brexit. In fact, just under a quarter of all enquiries (24 per cent) came from British expats based in the United Arab Emirates. The other four top-ranking countries for expat enquiries were the USA (12.5 per cent), Hong Kong (9 per cent), Singapore (7.5 per cent) and Switzerland (6 per cent).

Enquiries from all five of these countries have doubled in size during the past seven months, the figures show.

“Despite changes for buy-to-let landlords – such as the phasing out of interest rate relief – buy-to-let investments have continued to prove popular with a growing number of British expats looking at ways to secure long-term investments in the UK," explained Nigel Pascoe, director of lending at Skipton International. “Online enquires make up a significant part of our business, with a growing number of expats choosing to find out about what they can borrow through our online mortgage calculator.

“Being able to get an agreement in principle straight away online makes it easier for potential investors to plan their purchase from anywhere in the world."

One reason that EU countries may not feature too highly on this list is due to the discrepancy between British property prices and those in the EU. A recent report carried out by Retirement Advantage Equity Release shows that since 2010, the combination of sustained price rises in the UK housing market and falls in many popular EU destinations could leave expats facing a substantial shortfall if they choose to come back to the UK.

“While UK property prices have risen, relative values in the EU have not kept pace,” said Alice Watson, head of marketing at Retirement Advantage Equity Release. “Many people simply wouldn’t be able to afford to move back to their old homes.”

About Halo Financial

Halo Financial is a leading UK foreign exchange brokerage, offering a comprehensive range of services to individuals and businesses since its inception in 2005. The business prides itself on offering a flexible and personalised approach for each of its clients, simplifying the seemingly complex foreign exchange market to maximise savings in currency transactions, protect against currency risk and make money go further.

Staffed by qualified technical analysts, the company is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Revenue and Customs.

“Excellent”, “Reliable”, “Professional”, “Knowledgeable”, and “Helpful”– just some of the great feedback received as a Gold Trusted Service Provider for Feefo.com. The team at Halo are proud that customers rate their services so highly and are happy to recommend to others. The company is always striving to provide the best possible service and to innovate services and products in line with customers’ ever-evolving needs.

Halo Financial won Best Customer Focus category in the 2016 Best Business Awards; received OPP Gold for Best Supporting Service; the Gold Award for Financial Support and Innovation from Relocate Magazine, Commendations in the 2016 and 2017 Moneyfacts Awards and has 5 out 5 Star Customer Gold Merchant Status via independent review website, Feefo.com, winning their Gold Trusted Service award. 

For more information, infographics and the latest currency insights, visit www.halofinancial.com/news