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Overseas investors still interested in UK property despite Brexit

27th February 2020 Print

It’s probably fair to say that anyone involved in property in the UK is breathing a sigh of relief that Brexit is finally underway. Regardless of anyone’s individual feelings on the matter, at least everyone now knows more or less where they stand and what the future is going to bring.

This includes the overseas buyers who have spent the last few years taking advantage of currency fluctuations to snap up UK property. The good news is that even with the Pound stabilizing, they seem to be maintaining their enthusiasm.

Current overseas buyers are a mixture of international investors and ex-pats

At present, overseas buyers active in the UK property market seem to comprise a mixture of international investors and UK ex-pats. Both groups likely have similar goals. These will typically include benefitting from the UK’s generous rental yields, plus the prospect of capital appreciation and keeping a foothold in the UK itself should they wish to come and live here. 

While this last point may have particular relevance to UK ex-pats, it can also be very important to international investors. Even with Brexit, the UK is widely viewed as a safe and attractive place to live, especially for families with children who want them to be able to speak perfect English and have the benefit of the UK’s education system, particularly its universities.

Overseas buyers are increasingly interested in the north rather than London

For years, overseas buyers have favoured London over any other UK property market. While London is still popular, especially its commercial-property sector, increasing numbers of overseas buyers are now taking their property investment funds up north.

Manchester is especially popular which is both a reason for the expansion of Manchester Airport and a reason to think that the expansion will fuel further growth in the area.

Birmingham is another favourite and there is also plenty of interest in other key regional destinations such as Liverpool. With HS2 having been given the go-ahead, growth could be boosted even further.

Administrative complexities are not deterring buyers

Even UK residents have to deal with a lot of administration and paperwork to buy a house. Overseas buyers have even more administrative hoops to jump through. Fortunately, there is general acceptance that this is a tedious necessity to protect everyone from the threat of money laundering through the UK property market.

For overseas buyers who want financing, the situation can be even more complicated, especially if they have never lived in the UK (or not for a long time) and hence do not have an up-to-date credit record.

Providing mortgages for overseas residents is a very specialist market and hence charges can be very high. This may be part of the reason why overseas buyers are so enthusiastic about the Midlands and North, where yields are at their highest.

The good news is that financing is often available to those who have the patience to navigate your way through the application process. This can become somewhat easier if overseas buyers get a specialist mortgage broker on their side.

Author Bio

Indlu are estate and letting agents in Manchester, offering a no sale, no fee sales and lettings service, property management services and a free rental valuation.