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Expatriate mortgage market showing signs of easing, thinks

After years of bad news, expatriate buyers should on balance have an easier time in 2014 finding a lender for a UK mortgage, thinks specialist international mortgage broker 

Buyers living outside of the UK will not normally be eligible for loans offered by UK high street banks and building societies, so it falls to specialist brokers to dig deep and find the handful of lenders who are interested in serving this often overlooked, but buoyant part of the market. There is now strong evidence of renewed interest in expatriate UK property buyers by the banks, possibly as a result of increased competition for UK mortgages among the main lenders, with the Co-op being the latest to re-join the fray for UK home loans.

At least three new lenders are now offering loans to expatriates of all nationalities who want to buy either their main home or a buy to let in the UK. Two of these are regional building societies, the third an international bank which specialises is central London properties. Importantly for expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Australia, two of the most popular destinations for working expatriates, the banks will again lend to residents there.

“For the regional UK building society this is a market which makes perfect sense. Most have always underwritten loans individually, so they have clear grasp of the risk profile of the borrower. For these organisations, a working UK expat on a solid contract earning a tax free salary is a very attractive proposition, so it was only a matter of time before they began to wake up to the opportunities out there.”

Expats looking to buy a main home, where a close member of family will be living, can now access variable mortgage rates as low as 3.14%, with a 20% deposit. Buy to let rates start from 4.99% with 40% deposits or 5.13% with a 25% deposit.

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