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Expat broker optimistic on post Covid UK buy to let housing market

Hope for Expat Buy-to-Let Housing Market for UK after Coronavirus (Covid-19)

  • – Rightmove data supports house price resilience
  • – Demand from Hong Kong impacting too

“Why are UK housing process rising now” was the question asked by Rightmove in their latest (February 2021) survey of the UK housing market. Data produced by Rightmove shows that house prices are continuing to rise, despite the pandemic, with both visits to estate agents rising year on year and Rightmove’s own web traffic up 45% on the same month last year.

The property portal estimates asking prices are 3% up over 12 months, but importantly, the number of properties being offed for sale is lower by 21%. Expat mortgage broker Offshoreonline’s Guy Stephenson notes that “This may well be a classic case of demand outstripping supply, supported by the effect of the Stamp Duty holiday, which is encouraging buyers to complete before March 31st, so buyers are clearly motivated to complete.”

Offshoreonline also point out that events in Hong Kong have had a significant effect on demand for buy to let property, in particular in areas such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle. Stephenson continues, “We have seen a surge in new clients from Hong Kong, as groups of residents there seek to establish a second base in the UK. Chinese buyer numbers alone are clearly not enough to impact the market, but put together with other factors at present and the Hong Kong effect certainly has the potential to make an impact at the margin.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the Stamp Duty holiday may yet be extended to June, think some commentators. Add that to another unforeseen consequence of the UK lockdown, a substantial growth in savings, as expenditure has been restricted. The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, estimates expenditure postponed has already created at least £100 billion of savings. Whilst some of this will be spent on the high street, there is also a strong chance that savers who want to move house are waiting in the wings, but now with substantially larger deposits.

With expat buy to let mortgage rates available from 2.69%, potential buyers are urged by Offshoreonline to have buying plans pre-approved by their lender, so they can move quickly and not be overlooked by sellers or agents.

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