Marketing No Comments

The Perfect Rental Storm Continues for UK Expat and Foreign National Investors

A shortage of rental homes and huge numbers of renters in the market are combining to create the perfect rental storm for UK Expat Investors.

The ‘Perfect Rental Storm’ continues for UK expat and foreign national investors in 2023 as a shortage of rental homes combine with huge numbers in the rental market to make for a very profitable rental landscape.

Shortage of Rental Homes

There are currently less than half the normal number of homes available to rent at the moment and this is contributing to fast-rising rents. This equates to the typical estate agent having only 8 available rental properties. The pre-pandemic average was 16, which shows how much rental availability has suffered in recent years.

The low number of rental homes is being driven by high consumer demand and high mortgage rates, which mean that prospective buyers are struggling to get onto the property ladder and are consequently stuck in the rental market. This situation means that rental prices are rising quickly amidst fierce competition. In practice, the average rents for those starting a new tenancy have risen by 12% in the last year.

With cities proving even more popular in the rental market, places like Manchester, Birmingham, and Cardiff have risen as much as 15%. Even renters who are choosing to stay put are facing increases of around 4%. This is largely because many existing renters are in fixed-period rental contracts and landlords aren’t looking to increase prices in a bid to maintain tenancies. Because of the much lower price-increases for renters who stay put, many renters are choosing to stay where they are to avoid risking higher rents. According to data from the English Housing Survey, the average length a renter stays in a property has now risen to 4.4 years, which is up from only 2.7 years in 2012. This means that the flow of available homes into the market is very slow and is further exasperating supply constraints.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

Sky High Rental Numbers

In addition to the shortage of rental homes, there are also sky high numbers of people in the rental market, with the proportion of people in the private rental sector jumping by 28% in the last ten years. According to the government’s latest housing census, 5 million households are now renting their home in the private sector. This is likely a result of affordability constraints caused by house price growth and lower first-time buyer numbers, as well as many of the factors mentioned above. Crucially, the number of households has also increased, with the number of new properties being built not matching this increase.

The huge numbers of households renting at the moment is good news for UK expat and foreign national investors, as the shortage of rental homes is being further exasperated by ever-increasing numbers of renters. These factors will both contribute to constant increases in rental incomes and rental yields, meaning big profits for UK expat and foreign national investors with the right property.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

What Does This Mean for UK Expat and Foreign National Investors?

‘The problem of high rents and low rental availability is unlikely to go anywhere as a huge increase in rental supply will be difficult as a result of higher borrowing costs and regulatory changes’ says Stuart Marshall, CEO of Liquid Expat Mortgages. ‘But for those who do manage to invest in property, the rewards are likely to be huge. The number of households in the rental market has grown massively over the last ten years and it’s likely to keep growing, with the number of new homes being built continually falling short. Rental demand is consequently bound to stay high, and this will feed big profits for UK expat and foreign national landlords.’

‘Competition is also lower for UK expat and foreign national landlords who choose to invest in UK property now. This is due to new tax and regulatory changes in the buy-to-let sector which have impacted landlords’ bottom lines and contributed to lower levels of investment into the rental sector. In turn, this has contributed to landlords selling their existing rental properties as investors look to cash in on capital growth profits, especially given the massive price rises in the last few years.’

‘While there are obvious difficulties for UK expat and foreign national investors to navigate when investing in UK property, things are not as difficult as they once were’ says Stuart Marshall. ‘The advent of specialist UK expat and foreign national mortgage brokers has been a hugely positive change for many UK expat and foreign national investors as these brokers can help investors to navigate the inherent difficulties of investing in UK property. Not only will they help to smooth the process and make completion as quick as possible, but they can also help to advise UK expat and foreign national investors in the process of choosing a property for their specific investment goals.’

To maximise the quality of the investment, UK expat and foreign national investors should keep abreast of the popular types of property and what is appealing to renters at the moment. In the most recent housing census, it’s clear that the popularity of flats has seen a huge increase over the last few years, with 500,000 more households living in flats compared to ten years ago. This demand for flats also lines up with the popular properties for UK expat and foreign national investors at the moment. Namely, energy efficient properties with lower management and running costs because they can assure a stability of rental income. In fact, much of the recent focus for UK expat and foreign national investors is shifting away from capital growth and back to solid rental incomes. This is because the rental market is booming but huge rises in property value over the last few years have contributed to low capital growth potential. City centres have also become incredibly popular for renters, which again favours flats in the rental market. Flats are also highly mortgageable, which is good news for UK expat and foreign national investors, as there are a range of excellent UK expat and foreign national mortgage products available at the moment.

Source: EIN News

Marketing No Comments

A buyer’s market for UK with demand from overseas purchasers

One Global Group predicts that the United Kingdom (UK) will experience a return to the buyer’s market in the coming year and that demand from Malaysia and other international markets will increase even more.

The company is optimistic about 2023 since the year’s market circumstances would be perfect for foreign purchasers wishing to buy a home in the UK.

“We’re seeing buyers from across Asia purchasing in UK locations that are offering the best value for money,” said Eli McGeever, director of research and technology innovation at One Global Labs.

“What ties these investors together is that they’re all purchasing for one of these four reasons, which is as a place for somewhere for their children to live while studying, as wealth preservation, to diversify their assets, or they are immigrating and need a home to live in,” he said.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

According to McGeever, although borrowing rates are higher than they were earlier this year, purchasers have a lot more options because there are still currency gains to be had and rising house inventory levels.

“That being said, buyers in Hong Kong have a broad interest, due to the diversity of buyers, from seasoned investors to BNO buyers looking to purchase a home to live in. There are many more types of properties demanded compared to a few years ago. These can range from apartments in inner London, to detached/semi-detached homes in the Home Counties.

“Hong Kongers have also been strong buyers in regional powerhouses, such as Manchester and Birmingham. Whereas buyers in Singapore and Malaysia are still more interested in London,” he said.

McGeever said there are five key areas that are going to make 2023 a buyer’s market and the ideal time for investors in Asia looking to purchase a home in the UK.

“These are price corrections in some markets, more home inventory, strong rental price growth, favourable exchange rates, and, mortgage rates lowering,” he said.

McGeever said that following the unsustainable real estate buying frenzy of the previous two years, sales volumes have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Although costs are still rising in much of the UK on an annual basis, he said that they have started to decline in select markets.

“What’s likely to happen next year is that prices will correct by a couple of percentage points in some markets while staying pretty level or rising in others. Each city has its markets. For example, areas in London such as Harrow, Hounslow, and Newham will likely outperform the market, as will areas in Manchester, such as its city centre,” he said.

McGeever said that the housing stock is finally increasing, which will bring the real estate market some much-needed equilibrium.

He said that a lack of available housing has contributed to the dramatic price growth that has occurred since the Covid epidemic began.

According to him, building more homes will assist to slow the price increase.

The housing stock has increased by 40 per cent over the last year, according to Zoopla. But inventories are still 19 per cent below levels from 2017 to 2019.

According to McGeever, rental costs have increased quickly in the UK over the past year, and he doesn’t think this trend will slow down in 2023.

He said the high rental costs will probably encourage more people to look into purchasing a home, particularly first-time purchasers who would prefer to increase their equity in a brand-new residence.

“Investors who are looking for a buy-to-let property should not be concerned about demand weakening anytime soon. We expect the Pound Sterling to remain below rates seen only a year ago. This provides savings over any expected interest rate rise. However, One Global Group expects the Pound Sterling to strengthen for 2023 so early movers will benefit,” he said.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

Pent-up demand in off-plan projects

McGeever said that interest in off-plan projects has increased.

Buying off the beaten path enables purchasers who need financing to secure a mortgage close to the project’s completion date, he said.

He said this is a smart choice for people who anticipate that the interest rate will drop in 12, 24, or 36 months.

“Property developers are also currently offering more competitive pricing and lower deposits. This trend is expected to continue in the year to come,” he said.

According to him, notable projects in the UK with strong buying interest from overseas buyers include Graphite Square (Vauxhall, London), Fulton & Fifth (Wembley, London), and One Victoria (Victoria District, Manchester).

Graphite Square is a residential development by Third.i Group in London’s Vauxhall.

“The residences are just a short distance from the River Thames, the West End, Battersea Park, and Chelsea, so residents are never too far away from your next adventure in the capital. Prices start from £735,000 in the loft-style residences akin to what you might find in New York City’s Manhattan,” he said.

Fulton & Fifth, the newest development from Regal London is an upscale, “live-work-play” Wembley Park project comprising five apartment blocks set along Wealdstone Brook that will hold more than 800 homes on completion in early 2025. Prices start from £440,000.

One Victoria is a development by One Heritage Group PLC. Set over two blocks, it fronts Great Ducie Street. One East is a 14-storey building with 84 apartments while One West is 10 storeys high with 45 apartments, with prices starting from £199,000.

By Kathy B

Source: New Straits Times

Marketing No Comments

Foreign property investors must be registered, says government

The government is urging all overseas entities who own property in the UK to register at Companies House.

The Register of Overseas Entities came into force in August this year and requires all entities in scope to register with Companies House before the deadline of January 31 2023. The registration process involved them declaring the beneficial owners and/or managing officers for properties in this country.

As the deadline nears, Companies House is urging overseas entities and agents to register in good time and avoid some common pitfalls.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

To make sure registrations are processed quickly, Companies House is recommending that agents  work with their clients to make sure all the information is correct before their registration is submitted , to file as early as possible before the deadline of January 31, and for agents to file on behalf of their clients – it’s likely to be easier and quicker for them than for the clients.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

Overseas entities must register on time to avoid prosecution or civil financial penalties. Overseas entities that fail to register will also find it difficult to sell, lease or raise charges over their land. 

Rachael Watts, Head of Register of Overseas Entities at Companies House, says: “We have seen a significant number of filings rejected with most of these due to errors in the agent information section. Common errors include the registry name being abbreviated or incorrect, and inconsistencies in the agent’s name, overall person with responsibility, address, and email address.

“By minimising these errors and registering in good time, overseas entities and agents can avoid running into issues later on.”

By Graham Norwood

Source: Letting Agent Today

Marketing No Comments

Overseas buyers are flocking to London due to dollar strength, says agent

Carter Jonas predicts that 2023 will be an exceptional year for the prime central London (PCL) market following a recent spike in the number of cash buyers registering to purchase property in the heart of the capital.

Most recently, the Marylebone and Mayfair office has seen all cash buyers, many of whom are dollar buyers utilising the good exchange rates to purchase in prime central London, Next year is expected to continue on this trajectory, the estate agency says.

Carter Jonas predicts that the prime central London property market is set to out-perform the rest of London – and the country – in the coming months as overseas Dollar buyers from the US, Middle East and Asia flocking to the Capital to take advantage of the weak pound.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

Samuel Richardson, head of sales at Carter Jonas in Marylebone and Mayfair, commented: “We are anticipating that 2023 will be a very good year for the prime London property market. At the end of September this year, UK property was 25% less expensive for these buyers than in June 2021 and this is a trend we expect to continue. 80% of those that purchased via our Marylebone office in prime central London in the last quarter of 2022 have been from overseas. 50% have been Dollar buyers, the majority from America, followed by those from the Middle East and Singapore. Interestingly, 90% of American buyers were Californian.

“The major prime central London boroughs will remain desirable investment locations next year. Mayfair, Marylebone, Kensington and Chelsea are set to outperform all London markets as these buyers are purchasing in cash for purely investment purposes.

“Areas such as southwest London will likely be more heavily impacted, as those who bought there in recent years will be affected by the rising interest rates. This could see a drop in property values, as many people may sell up.”

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

Richardson added: “I am almost certain that prime central London will outperform all other London areas in 2023. Despite there still being high demand and lack of supply, the soaring rental market will see the return of the investor as they take advantage of better rental yields. Savvy investors are also taking advantage of discounts from developers who are selling remaining units in new build developments and are happy to discount to cash buyers.

“Buyer demographics are varied from international and domestic professionals buying pied-a-terres in convenient, high traffic areas, to those purchasing short-term investments or properties for children whilst studying in London. We’re also seeing many families looking for a more permanent and long-term abode. These buyers are spending anywhere from £800,000 to upwards of £70m.

“If the dollar remains strong, I believe that prime central London will outperform the rest of London next year. The reason for this is due to high demand and a soaring rental market which will appeal to investors taking advantage of the good exchange rates.”

By Marc Da Silva

Source: Property Industry Eye

Marketing No Comments

Hong Kong Buyers Rushing to Buy UK Property

There are increasing numbers of Hong Kong residents who are looking to buy UK property. This is largely as a result of the evolving political situation in Hong Kong. Many Hong Kongers seeking UK property are taking advantage of the UK’s visa scheme for BNO passport holders, which was introduced in 2021. The visa programme provides a fast-track to British citizenship and was announced as a reaction to Beijing’s newly imposed national security laws which were seen to breach the 1984 Sino-British declaration which guaranteed certain freedoms to Hong Kong citizens for 50 years.

Between June 2021 and 2022 alone, Hong Kong has seen 121,500 people leave, with many of these taking the UK government up on its offer of fast-tracked British citizenship. In fact, the UK government has received 140,500 applications already.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

Hong Kong Buyers Looking to the UK
‘The UK has been a popular location for Hong Kong investors for a while. This is because it’s extremely affordable for most Hong Kong buyers compared to their expensive domestic market. The exchange rate from Hong Kong dollars to British Sterling also makes this a favourable purchase, especially given the current state of the Great British Pound. Strong rental yields and capital growth offered by UK property have also served to compound the attractive nature of UK property for Hong Kong buyers. But with so many Hong Kong residents looking to move to the UK, at least on a temporary basis, the demand for UK property from Hong Kong has grown even more’ says Stuart Marshall of Liquid Expat Mortgages.

‘We’ve seen a huge increase in enquiries from Hong Kong. But there are a number of common issues that Hong Kong buyers encounter. One of the most common early hurdles that Hong Kong buyers come across is that they are trying to use a high street lender. Such lenders are usually not equipped to properly serve a borrower from Hong Kong. A specialist mortgage broker, on the other hand, will have the infrastructure to put Hong Kong borrowers in touch with specialist lenders who have foreign national – and, in some cases, Hong Kong – specific deals.’

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

Mortgage Deals Available for Hong Kong Buyers
A positive for Hong Kong investors in the UK is that, because of the demand at the moment, lenders are creating deals specifically for Hong Kong investors to satisfy the need for specialised products in the marketplace. ‘Lenders have been working with brokers to understand the specific needs of Hong Kong borrowers and work on crafting products that meet these needs. These products are available for a wide variety of uses on both residential and buy-to-let properties, new purchases and re-mortgages.’

Source: EIN News

Marketing No Comments

Weak Pound Encouraging Overseas Investors To Buy UK Property

When the mini-budget tanked the pound to record lows against the dollar, overseas buyers again began circling UK property in increasing numbers.

While many overseas investors are better off when buying UK property compared to the start of 2022, the same is not true for domestic buyers who are contending with a number of difficulties including energy prices, high inflation and heightened interest rates.

For those foreign nationals paying in US Dollars, the average UK home now costs 14.8% less, with the average London property costing 16.5% less.

The huge savings UK expat and foreign national investors are making because of a weak pound are doing a great deal to offset the rising mortgage rates.

A weak pound is encouraging overseas investors to buy UK property for comparatively cheaper prices as domestic buyer competition wanes.

Domestic investors will be forced to watch on as house prices continue to climb while the weakening pound is presenting excellent investment opportunities for UK expat and foreign national investors.

Economic and political turbulence has continually contributed to a weaker pound in recent times. When the mini-budget tanked the pound to record lows against the dollar, overseas buyers again began circling in increasing numbers. And though the turbulence seems to be stabilising somewhat, international buyers are still keen to purchase UK property. Here’s why it’s important for UK expat and foreign national investors.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

What Does a Weak Pound Mean for Overseas Investors?

For those foreign nationals paying in US Dollars, the average UK home now costs 14.8% less, with the average London property costing 16.5% less. ‘This is the kind of difference that currency fluctuations can make’ says Stuart Marshall of Liquid Expat Mortgages. ‘While domestic buyers will feel the effects of a weak pound across the board on any imported item them buy, a weak pound is leaving property comparatively cheaper despite house price growth. For example, in London, prices have risen by 4.9% so far in 2022. However, foreign nationals buying in US dollars are paying a sixth less than at the start of 2022. Buyers in the UAE are benefitting to almost the same degree saving 14.5% on the average UK property and 16.2% on the average London property, while buyers are saving 13.9% and 15.6% in their native currency.’

What Does a Weak Pound Mean for Domestic Buyers?

Domestic investors will be forced to watch on as house prices continue to climb while the weakening pound is presenting excellent investment opportunities for UK expat and foreign national investors. While many overseas investors are better off when buying UK property compared to the start of 2022, the same is not true for domestic buyers who are contending with a number of difficulties including energy prices, high inflation, heightened interest rates and low confidence in the economy and housing market.

Domestic buyers will see their buying power reduced further, as their day to day lives become more expensive since the weak pound will mean that imports cost more. This, in turn, pushes up inflation and is likely to cause interest rates to be raised again in an effort to curb soaring inflation.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

The Bigger Picture.

‘Of course, currency rates are not the be-all-end-all, but they are certainly a big win for UK expat and foreign national investors. However, the huge savings they are making because of a weak pound are doing a great deal to offset the rising mortgage rates. And while the higher mortgage rates are adding to the cost of investment, rental profits are also incredibly high due to the large numbers in the rental market. In fact, each property available to rent currently has 11 prospective renters trying to secure tenancy on the property. This competition is pushing up rental prices and rental profits for discerning investors and these higher yields are also lessening the effects of the higher mortgage rates.’

‘Because of the dampened domestic market, UK expat and foreign national investors are also finding it easier to pick up a bargain as the number of properties on the market has been growing over the spring and summer, leading to greater choice, slower sales, and an increased number of price reductions. Further, though house price appreciation over the pandemic is translating to affordability constraints now for domestic buyers, the types of properties that are popular for UK expat and foreign national investors are quite different. Namely, many UK expats and foreign nationals have been opting to invest in city centre flats, as these properties are particularly popular in the rental market. This is good news, considering the fact that the average house price has grown five times more than the average cost of a flat since 2020.’

‘Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that UK expat and foreign national investors will be shopping in a different mortgage market than domestic investors. While domestic buyers saw a third of all mortgage products removed from the market after the mini-budget, the UK expat and foreign national mortgage market is constantly trying to introduce new products to meet specific customer demand. With the weak pound lending strength to overseas buyers, it’s likely that lenders will be trying to introduce new products to entice business from this lucrative sector. This means that UK expat and foreign national investors will frequently see lower rates and better deals, compared to domestic investors.’

‘Investing in UK property is one of the best financial decisions that UK expat and foreign national investors can make – and the enduring popularity of this form of investment is testament to this. The weak pound is only making this proposition more inviting and, along with a competitive UK expat and foreign national mortgage market, is doing a lot to offset the damage done by house prices and mortgage rates. For canny UK expat and foreign national investors, it’s important to keep track of the market developments as things are changing every day, and the turbulent political scene is influencing a lot. For example, the recently announced stamp duty break is good news for first-time UK expat and foreign national investors and will further add fuel to the investment fire. A specialist UK expat or foreign national mortgage broker can help their clients to keep abreast of this situation and invest at the perfect time for them.’

Source: MENAFN

Marketing No Comments

Truss to announce stamp duty cut – report

UK housebuilders rallied on Wednesday following a report that Friday’s mini-budget could include a plan to cut stamp duty.

According to The Times, prime minister Liz Truss will announce the move in the mini-budget in an attempt to drive economic growth. It was understood the PM and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have been working on the plans for more than a month.

Truss believes that cutting stamp duty will encourage economic growth by allowing more people to move and enabling first-time buyers to get on the property ladder, The Times said.

It cited two Whitehall sources as saying that cuts to stamp duty were the “rabbit” in the mini-budget, which the government is billing as a “growth plan”.

Under the current system, no stamp duty is paid on the first £125,000 of any property purchase. Between £125,001 and £250,000 stamp duty is levied at 2%, £250,001 and £925,000 at 5%, £925,001 and £1.5m at 10% and anything above £1.5m at 12%. For first-time buyers the threshold at which stamp duty is paid is £300,000.

During the pandemic, then chancellor Rishi Sunak lifted the stamp duty threshold to £500,000.

At 0910 BST, Persimmon shares were up 5.4%, while Taylor Wimpey and Barratt were up 4% and Berkeley was 3.5% firmer. On the FTSE 250, Redrow was 5.6% higher, while Bellway and Crest Nicholson were up 3.6% and 3.4%, respectively.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Nobody can accuse the new government of lacking an economic vision. If its low-tax approach extends to stamp duty, recent history tells us it will trigger higher levels of demand in the housing market at a time when mortgages are getting more expensive, which will support social mobility.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

“Prices could move higher in the short term if supply initially struggles to keep up but more balanced conditions will return provided the cut is immediate and permanent.”

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, referred to the potential stamp duty cut as “the old Tory trick of juicing the housing market in its heartlands to boost confidence (wealth effect) whilst doing not a lot for housing supply”.

“I’m not for concreting over the green belt at all, but there will be questions about the economic soundness of this policy, as there always is. However, with interest rates rising so quickly, an offset to the cost of buying a home would grease the wheels of the market -without higher rates could cause the housing market to seize up.”

He added: “Clearly a stamp duty cut is good news for housebuilders who can expect higher selling prices as a result.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, argued that a stamp duty cut could do more harm than good.

“Buyers are unlikely to be unhappy at the prospect of a tax cut, but if the government chooses to cut Stamp Duty in an effort to stimulate the housing market, there’s a risk it could do more harm than good.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

“It’s easy to see why the government is concerned about the housing market. We’ve seen demand fall consistently since May, when rocketing bills, rising house prices and ever-increasing interest rates started to take a toll on buyer enthusiasm. There’s a risk that if rate rises accelerate, pressure on buyers could reach a tipping point, where demand dries up.

“We know from very recent experience that a Stamp Duty holiday can stimulate demand. However, the only reason these holidays work is because people feel they have a small window of opportunity to take advantage, otherwise they’ll miss out. The point at which they think they can just wait for the next one, they will start to become less effective.

“Even if it does stimulate demand, it overlooks the fact that the real brake on the property market is a severe shortage of supply. With an average of 36 properties on each agent’s books, we’re still close to an all-time low in the availability of property for sale. Driving demand without addressing supply would risk more buyers chasing a tiny number of properties, which would push prices up.

“By ramping up prices at a time of rising mortgage rates, the end result would be higher monthly mortgage costs, which would be increasingly unaffordable. And the Stamp Duty holiday wouldn’t help on this front. This in itself could be enough to put buyers off, and if it deters enough of them, it could end up having the opposite impact to the one that’s intended.”

By Michele Maatouk

Source: Sharecast

Marketing No Comments

London rental properties letting within minutes

One lettings agency in London says that tenant demand is so great in the capital for rental properties that many homes are being let within minutes of becoming available.

Benham and Reeves point to demand created by the return of professionals and international students, along with the growing shortage of available properties to rent, for creating a ‘challenging market’.

Tenant enquiry levels have continued to increase over the summer, across the firm’s 19 branches.

They say this is the ‘Most competitive London rental market that we have ever known’.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

Many branches have had almost no stock
In addition, tenants are finding that many branches have had almost no stock available, at best one or two apartments available to rent.

In a market update, the agent says: “Many properties are renting within hours – and some within minutes – as applicants immediately make an enquiry as soon as a property goes live on our website.

“This is swiftly followed by a full asking rent offer and once agreed, a holding deposit – so anxious are they to secure a property.

“This of course is great news for buy-to-let investors who, in many parts of the capital, are seeing their rental properties let immediately with voids at an absolute minimum. Sometimes just a day or two.”

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

London is now a ‘landlord’s market’
The update also makes clear that the imbalance between supply and demand means that London is now a ‘landlord’s market’ with property investors expanding their property portfolios.

And rents are rising to pre-pandemic levels – some are now 10% higher.

Investors from overseas are also finding that the weakness of sterling makes London property considerably more affordable, while the shortage of rental properties means demand is the highest that the agent ‘has ever seen’.

Professionals returning to live and work in London, along with international students, are fuelling demand.

In some areas, including the City and east London, around 85% of applicants have been international students.

With the rental market so competitive, tenancy renewals remain at an all-time high – often more than 90% of existing tenants are renewing because they see there is a limited choice of properties available.

Source: Property 118

Marketing No Comments

Overseas investors ‘will not be deterred’ from UK property by new rules

Despite measures and additional taxation to curb overseas investors in UK property, the asset class still holds great allure for a number of reasons.

On 1 August 2022, a new register of overseas entities was launched in the UK. This means anyone investing in or acquiring property in the UK from abroad will need to register with Companies House.

The aim of the register is to prevent individuals or companies buying property with illicit funds, but some believe the additional paperwork could serve as a deterrent for some legitimate overseas investors.

However, David Hannah, group chairman at Cornerstone Tax, believes the UK property market will still provide enough of an attraction to foreign buyers for myriad reasons, as it still presents an “exciting opportunity”.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

Big demand from overseas investors
Hannah points out that the UK property market is very much an international market, and it can therefore be affected by geo-political events all over the world.

“Even if domestic demand cools, I think international demand will increase and the UK market will be affected because of it. I don’t think foreign investment will be overly deterred by the new rules coming into place on 1 August.

“Property in the UK represents an exciting opportunity for foreign buyers because of the drop in the value of the pound.”

The historic house price growth has always provided an attraction to overseas investors, gaining the sector a reputation as a safe haven as it generally shows less volatility than many other asset classes.

In recent years, this growth has been even stronger due to a range of contributing factors.

Hannah comments: “UK house prices continue to rise at a staggering rate domestically, being pushed higher by factors such as the influx of oversea investors.

“In the past, factors such as the stamp duty holiday have caused more people to consider buying property. However, due to the increase in average house prices, it has made it more difficult than ever for buyers to purchase their first property.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

What’s in the pipeline?
Recent data revealed that overseas investors now own around £90.7bn of property in England and Wales. Around half of this (£45.3bn) is concentrated in London, which has historically attracted the most attention from foreign buyers.

This was according to research from Benham and Reeves, which also named the south east and the north west as the top two property investment destinations for those living abroad, after the capital. Overseas owners have around £15.6bn tied up in the south east, and £7.6bn in the north west.

In total, according to Benham and Reeves, 247,016 properties across England and Wales are owned by overseas investors. As well as the highest value of properties, the highest number of these can be found in London, with 85,451 foreign-owned.

One of the biggest draws in recent years has been the falling value of the pound, which makes it cheaper for overseas investors buying property here.

A challenge for anyone buying property right now in the UK is the supply gap, as less sellers have been coming to the market.

Hannah notes that the 24% rise in prospective sellers putting homes on the market offers hope that this trend could be easing, “thus causing a more manageable supply and demand level and potentially slowing the rapid rise of property prices”.

The register will also be applied retrospectively to property bought up to 20 years ago in England and Wales and since December 2014 in Scotland. UK property owners who live overseas should ensure they are up to date on the latest requirements.

Source: Buy Association

Marketing No Comments

Will new disclosure rules deter foreign buyers?

The UK property market continues its upward trajectory as recent data from Halifax shows that the average house price now stands at £294,845, which represents a 6.8% rise, or £18,849 since the start of the year.

Supply-demand imbalance continues to be the main contributor to the rising prices.

With inflation in the UK rising to 9.4% in the year to June – marking its highest rate in 40 years, many are expecting a sharp decline in the property market, but the influx of foreign investment for properties in the UK could continue to push house prices higher. Recent research from Benham and Reeves shows that overseas nationals now own almost 250,000 homes across England and Wales – amounting to £90.7 billion worth of property.

London continues to be home to the highest value of foreign-owned homes, with all of the city’s top five property deals in 2021 – all of them worth £20 million or more – involving Chinese billionaires according to Beauchamp.

Contact us today to discuss Expat Mortgages and how we can assist you.

Following sanctions imposed to Russian investors there were fears that foreign investment would falter, however Chinese investors seem to have picked up the slack. There are now 85,451 properties (amounting to a total value of £45.3 billion) in the capital owned by oversea investors who are able to take advantage of the UK’s thriving market.

The drop in the value of the pound, which has fallen by 11% since the start of the year, seems to be one of the major appealing aspects of buying property in the UK. 61 luxury properties in London – each worth more than £10 million, have been sold in the first six months of 2022 – representing the highest number in a decade.

Even though overseas buyers are an important segment of the market throughout the UK, there have been attempts to deter foreign investment.

There will be an introduction of new rules that will come into force on 1 August. The new register of overseas entities maintained by Companies House means that buyers will be forced to declare their ownership and provide details of beneficial owners.

The register will be publicly available at Companies House and intends to dissuade individuals looking to buy UK properties with illicit funds. It is unclear how significant this new regulation could be and whether it will deter foreign investment in the UK property market.

David Hannah, Group Chairman at Cornerstone Tax, is not convinced that it will.

Discover our Expat Mortgage Broker services.

“What people must consider is that the UK property market is an international market, meaning it can be affected by geo-political events all over the world.

“Even if domestic demand cools, I think international demand will increase and the UK market will be affected because of it. I don’t think foreign investment will be overly deterred by the new rules coming in to place on 1 August.

“Property in the UK represents an exciting opportunity for foreign buyers because of the drop in the value of the pound.

“UK house prices continue to rise at a staggering rate domestically, being pushed higher by factors such as the influx of oversea investors. In the past, factors such as the stamp duty holiday have caused more people to consider buying property. However, due to the increase in average house prices, it has made it more difficult than ever for buyers to purchase their first property.

“There is hope that more available properties will enter the UK housing market and the latest House Price Index shows an increase of 24% in the number of prospective sellers bringing homes to the market – thus causing a more manageable supply and demand level and potentially slowing the rapid rise of property prices.”

By EYE CORRESPONDENT

Source: Property Industry Eye