What is an expat international mortgage?

expat mortgages

What is an expat international mortgage?

Expat international mortgages are mortgages specifically designed for people wanting to purchase property in another country to where they live and work. For example, a British expat couple living in the UAE, wishing to purchase a buy-to-let property in the UK, or remortgage or seek equity release from their UK home.

What’s the difference between an expat international mortgage and a regular mortgage?

There will be different checks and due diligence procedures when obtaining an expat international mortgage, compared to applying for a mortgage locally. This is because expats are typically deemed as ‘high risk’ by lenders. Expats must obtain a “Mortgage in Principal” before proceeding with the purchase process. Generally, mortgage terms are less favorable for expats, like lower loan-to-value and term. Often, the application process is longer for expats, though some lenders now offer flexible services such as an online mortgage calculator, quick turnaround on approvals and queries, with an in-principle decision being provided online or over the phone.

Are mortgages for expats popular?

The number of expats seeking an international mortgage is on the rise. Skipton International has seen enquiries from the UAE for their expat UK buy-to-let mortgages more than double in the last year. Just over a quarter of all enquiries that Skipton received in 2017 came from expats in the UAE, more than any other single jurisdiction. An overwhelming 70% of residents in the UAE still rent their homes, compared to only 35% of the population in the UK. Despite the UAE relaxing rules for expats to buy property in certain areas, foreign residents are still struggling to afford the cash required as down payment. This, combined with the devaluation of the pound surrounding Brexit, has led British expats to turn in larger numbers to investment in UK property.

How can I get an expat international mortgage?

Increasing demand has led to an increasing number of lenders offering expat international mortgages, however, it’s still an evolving market, with new solutions coming online regularly. It’s best to speak to a consultant or broker specialized in mortgages for expats, to ensure you get the best rates locked in now, and the flexibility you may need in the future. Your consultant will identify suitable and competitive interest rates and mortgage packages, and handle all of the application paperwork, resolving any issues with you before submitting your application to the bank.

Do you live abroad and need an expat international mortgage? 

Talk to one of our experienced in-house expat mortgage advisors today. What makes our advisors great is that we have currency experts on hand, as currency risk can form a huge part of your international investment.

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Andrew Hipshon

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