Can You Buy a House in the UK as a Non-UK Resident?

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Can You Buy a House in the UK as a Non-UK Resident?
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Are you a non-UK resident who is interested in buying a house in the UK? If so then you have come to the right place.

Buying property in a country where you are not a permanent resident is complicated. That’s why We Buy Any Home has created the following guide to help you better understand the process of buying property in the UK when you are not a resident.

Who can buy property in the UK as a non-UK resident?

Living abroad does not mean you cannot get onto the UK property ladder or purchase outright. You can buy a property if you are an EU citizen, non-EU citizen, living abroad as an expat, a foreign national, or a skilled worker with a tier 2 visa.

Getting a mortgage can be difficult as a non-UK resident as you will need to show the lender that you can pay the mortgage.

You will find it easier to get a mortgage if you have a permanent job, a good credit history both in the UK and abroad, and a UK bank account.

Why buy property in the UK?

Many non-UK residents wish to buy property in the UK because the market is often seen as a smart investment. Some do this to sell the property for a profit in the future – while others look to rent it out, to achieve a continuous stream of income. You may also choose to buy property in the UK so you can live there (either for some of the year, or permanently in the future).

How to buy a house in the UK as a non-UK resident

The first step of buying in the UK as a non-UK resident is finding a mortgage lender that specialises in sales to non-UK residents or UK citizens who live abroad.

Once you have done that, the property hunt begins. When you find the perfect property it is time to make an offer, and if it is accepted, a UK solicitor or conveyancer will be required to deal with the legal side of things.

Next up is the deposit payment, a survey, and agreeing on a move-in date. The process is simple and the most challenging stage will be finding what mortgage options there are for you and your circumstances.

Are there any mortgage lenders for non-UK residents?

There are certainly fewer options for non-UK residents. However, many of the major banks and specialist lenders are able to provide a mortgage in the UK for non-UK residents.

The most common criteria for acquirg a mortgage are your age, income, job, affordability, and credit score. It all adds up!

Some of the most prolific lenders to non-UK residents include Barclays and NatWest, which offer mortgages to investors from abroad, HSBC which offers mortgages for expats, and Skipton International which offers mortgages on buy-to-let mortgages for expats.

How to get a good credit history to buy property in the UK?

A good credit history will significantly increase your chances of being approved for a UK mortgage. However, your credit score is specific to each country, meaning it only applies in the country where the credit was taken out.

The best way to improve or start improving a UK credit history is to keep a UK credit card open and use it when visiting the UK. Also, if possible, register a UK bank account at a friend or family address in the UK.

If you do not have a credit history in the UK then don’t fret, it is possible to get a mortgage without one. However, there are fewer options available. A higher interest rate and a bigger deposit may be a consequence in these cases.

Where to buy a house in the UK

London is the go-to location for many people buying a property in the UK as non-UK residents. However, although London has a certain pull and a wide variety of properties, there are plenty of viable options across the UK.

London property prices are the highest in the UK (on average), but there is value to be had in growing markets where rental returns can be higher, and equity increases greater. A little research can go a long way for you to see what else the UK property market has to offer.

Can you buy a house in the UK as a non-UK resident after Brexit?

The pound has fluctuated in value since the Brexit vote to leave the EU and has seen a significant drop compared to what it was before the decision. This has put many non-UK resident buyers in a favourable position for buying.

Even after the vote, it is still possible for non-UK residents to buy property in the UK.

Tips for buying property in the UK as a non-UK resident

Buying property in the UK as a non-UK resident all starts with research. The area you move into is vital because it determines what price you will have to pay, what you can get for your budget, and how much you can command in terms of rent.

You should make sure that wherever you move is close to whatever is important to you at the time, or what will make it easier to rent out your property (if you are opting for that route). Obvious factors to consider are whether your area has good schools, amenities, transport links, and employment opportunities.

You should also consider the price trends in the area. Are they increasing in line with the national average or better? Have they fallen in recent years?

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