The UK market for expat mortgages: to sell or not to sell?

Posted on 25 April 2017 by Richard

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 After plenty of chocolate and some fairly sunny weather, the Easter break is over and attention now turns to the long run up to the summer holidays. For many people it will be two weeks of bliss away from the UK, but there are some who would like to turn that two weeks into something longer. After watching umpteen repeats of Wanted Down Under and various other programmes of the same genre, thoughts of a permanent move abroad start to materialise. However, is it as easy and good for you as it might initially seem? The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that up to 30 September 2016 around 128,000 UK passport holders emigrated from the UK, with around 50 per cent citing work-related reasons for going.

However, it's not all one-way traffic. In Australia, for example, it's estimated that every year, around 7,000 UK citizens are returning to the UK for good and that nearly half of those with permanent migration visas return home within five years.

So, if you're planning on emigrating, there's one big burning question to deal with: 'Do we go the whole hog, sell up and plough everything into our new life in a new country or do we hedge our bets a bit and hang onto our home here?' It's a thorny problem all right but there's always a strong case for hanging on to your UK home - you've always got a home to come back to in case the grass isn't quite as green as it first looked!

The UK lending market for expats has changed an awful lot in the last few years.

Gone are the days when the best you were likely to get was your current lender's standard variable rate on a 'consent-to-let' basis. Now there are many lenders who are quite happy to lend to expats, though as you may expect, they aren't always the household names we know and love. A number of the smaller regional building societies have stepped up to the plate to help borrowers overseas, with pay rates that are lower than you'd expect and loan to values around 75 per cent if you're renting your home out or 80 per cent if you're keeping it for family usage.

Some of these lenders will also look at using your personal income to help if the monthly rental income should prove to be a little short. So, if you are abroad - or thinking of moving abroad - it's worth speaking to a broker to see what your mortgage options are before making a decision on your home.

For more information on what your mortgage options are if your returning to the UK or if you are planning to emigrate to another country submit an enquiry here or call


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