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.”
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