A number of commercial mortgage brokers have reported an increase in the number of ex-pats wanting to invest in the British buy-to-let market.
The ‘Ask the Broker’ survey by lender Together, mentioned in a BridgingAndCommercial.co.uk article from May 2017, found that 68% of respondents reported an increases in British people living abroad enquiring about loans to finance buy-to-let property in the UK.
The main reason for this is probably the falling value of the British pound following the Brexit vote. This has made it cheaper to buy British property for people living in countries with stronger currencies.
New affordability rules have made it more difficult to obtain a commercial mortgage, and there have also been decreases in tax relief for landlords. However, these changes have not put off ex-pats investing in buy-to-let properties. Brokers report that many ex-pats are looking at lower loan-to-value investments with larger deposits, and lower value commercial mortgages. With fewer mortgage payments, these deals can be profitable for landlords.
Letting agents can take care of collecting rents and property maintenance for landlords living abroad.
Some lenders will not approve a commercial mortgage application from a non-British resident on the basis that many ex-pats have not built up a recent credit history in the UK, which makes it impossible to meet the lending criteria. A mortgage broker can provide advice for ex-pat property investors and find specialist lenders who are able to asses individual mortgage applicants from people living abroad, despite them not having a British credit record.