|More British expats are looking to buy property in the UK, with London the most popular location for real estate investment from this group of buyers, it is claimed.Three out of four home loan enquiries for UK properties in the first quarter of 2015 at deVere Mortgages were from expat buyers, most notably from Russia, Asia, the Middle East and the United States.According to the organisation, part of deVere United Kingdom, which offers advice to British expats and to foreign nationals looking to buy property in the UK, currency changes is one of the main motivations.
‘Currency weakness against the dollar is making Britain relatively less expensive than it previously has been and London becomes cheaper than other elite cities for international property portfolio investors,’ said Tom Elliott, deVere Group’s international investment strategist.
‘For this reason, interest has been particularly strong from expats from Russia, the Far East, the Middle East and the US. These individuals are taking advantage of the economic recovery, continuing strong demand growth and limited new building due to planning rules,’ he added.
The amount of enquiries has surprised the company. ‘We knew demand would always be strong from expats because of the distinct investment advantages and because expats, typically, have a higher level of disposable income than those residing full time in the UK,’ said UK head of financial planning, Kevin White.
‘These individuals are increasingly aware that they are typically deemed as high risk by UK lenders and will therefore need mortgage advice from industry experts who have established relationships with the relevant lenders,’ he added.
The firm, which has 80,000 mainly expat clients globally, says it plans to increase the volume of mortgage business significantly this year and will be working with more than 200 UK and international lenders.
It also offers a variety of mortgage packages including buy to let, equity release, re-mortgaging overseas properties and tax optimisation from rental income.