Following a turbulent 2022, it is reassuring that an upward turn is already being evidenced this year, with many indications that we are getting back on track. But what of international interest in UK property?
The good news is that current market conditions mean there’s a lot to be optimistic about on that front, too.
The UK’s economic struggles continue to see many face a challenging time – but the weaker pound makes UK property investment a particularly attractive prospect. This is especially the case when considering the ability to purchase ‘forward contracts’, enabling buyers to secure a future sum at today’s exchange rate. Indeed, international investors can capitalise on current exchange rates, using currency to their advantage to make the cost of a deposit far lower than at other times.
Added to this, with some domestically choosing to defer a property purchase until we are sailing in calmer economic waters, rental yields are on the rise. Suggestions are that rents are up 15% to 20% year on year, which makes for a good investment case when buying to let from abroad. It is true that mortgage costs may have gone up – but these are being more than balanced out by higher rents, meaning earning potential in this area is now considerable.
Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.
Meanwhile, November marked a turning point for fixed mortgage rates, which began to fall. This is not to say they are back at the levels enjoyed before, but they are moving in that direction. The market is normalising, meaning rates will go up and down, and we are back in a position where buyers can take advantage of current offers, which remain lower than historic averages.
Another advantage of the unprecedented events of last year is that some lenders have reduced the margin on their tracker products, making them a more attractive long-term play. In general, lenders have been forced to innovate and there are now a variety of options in terms of mortgage deals to suit different needs, with brokers playing an increasingly important role in helping customers find the best products for them – especially when looking from abroad, where the right lender options can be more challenging to find.
Added to this is the fact that there are many more lenders in the market than there were just a year ago. This has the effect of keeping competition healthy, encouraging further innovation of products and policies – including, for example, offset products and products that offer greater flexibility. There is also an additional incentive for lenders to keep prices low (or at least lower than the competition).
Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.
There are a number of factors that mean international interest in UK property is on the rise – a final one being that lenders are marketing to Chinese buyers again. With China opening up again following its zero-Covid policy, more Chinese property investors are likely to be able to travel to the UK to visit properties, along with their Far East neighbours – naturally increasing potential for investment.
There is no doubt that the last 12 months have been something of a rollercoaster ride for the market – but the fallout has undoubtedly created fertile ground for overseas investment in UK property, and this is a reason for positivity.
By Jeremy Law
Source: Property Week