Overseas buyers and British expats without correct advice are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase property in the UK, according to research provided deVere Mortgages. The observation follows the introduction of new tougher requirements for buy-to-let borrowers year by UK lenders.
Darren Mead, Head of Mortgages at the firm, which is part of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, comments: “Foreign nationals from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the U.S. as well as British expats residing in those destinations are a hugely important demographic for the UK’s property market. Quite sensibly, they view British property as a safe haven asset and, due to the relative weakness of the pound, it has become more attractive in recent times.
“In our experience these buyers, without seeking quality advice first, are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase property in the UK, often being turned away by mainstream, high street lenders. Expats have been typically deemed as ‘higher risk’ by UK lenders, even if they have substantial assets and a high salary. But now, due to the changing criteria, buyers are finding it more difficult, unless they work with mortgage advisors who specialise in expat home loans for those who live outside the UK. This is because more common lenders now require borrowers to receive a minimum of 145 per cent of their mortgage costs in rental income. Previously it was 125 per cent.
“This change to lender affordability criteria, could have potentially significant affects on the UK’s property market for expat buyers if they are not made aware prior to making a mortgage application. It is therefore highly recommended that expats and overseas buyers looking to buy property in the UK seek advice from cross-border specialists who have well-established relationships with UK lenders. They will be best-placed to help clients meet the stringent criteria in what is becoming an increasingly strict mortgage environment.”