Lenders vow to maintain strong expat mortgage market in no-deal
by: Antonia Di Lorenzo
Lenders will continue to support both
nationals and British expats living in the EU who want to buy a property
in the UK, despite a ‘no-deal’ Brexit looking increasingly likely.
The reassurances follow a warning that 1.8 million
British expats living in the EU may be financially impacted if the UK
crashes out of Europe with no deal, according to James Green, deVere
Group’s divisional manager of Western Europe.
Last week Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that a
no-deal Brexit “wouldn’t be the end of the world,” after the
UK government published its first
technical notices advising businesses and consumers on the preparations
being done for the prospect of there being no Brexit deal.
Mark Harris, chief executive at Savills, told
Mortgage Solutions there was no particular concern around the
mortgage market ahead of Brexit.
He said: “Deal or not, lenders will continue to lend
to both nationals and expats, who should demonstrate they own all the
documentation required to prove they have the right criteria to
average of demand
To support this statement, Guy Stephenson, director of
Offshoreonline, explained that demand for UK property from overseas
buyers was getting stronger, despite the year starting quietly.
He added: “The real question is whether Brexit may
have an impact on UK house prices, but nobody knows the answer. It is
hard to see how Brexit may affect the process for an EU based buyer in
the UK, as in the event of a hard Brexit, it will be no worse than for a
“Due to uncertainty around Brexit, some people could
postpone their decision to get a mortgage. This could reduce the demand
and house prices as a consequence.
“The only real impact we see concerns British people
who want to buy in Europe. Indeed, the demand has dropped because they
do not know what their living conditions will be after Brexit.”
flow of applications
Marsden Building Society general manager Heather
Crinion added that the situation for UK expats living abroad was still
uncertain given the financial and political impact had yet to be
confirmed for them.
She said: “As published recently, we have seen an
increase in the past months on expat enquiries so it would seem that the
market remains strong at present. Looking to the future, we would expect
there will remain an expat community living abroad and as long as this
remains, so does their mortgage need which we are committed to support.”
Skipton Director of business development Nigel Pascoe
echoed this, noting that the lender continued to see a regular flow of
mortgage applications from UK expats, even though a no-deal Brexit
decision has been reported as increasingly likely over recent months.
He added: “Many expats view UK property investment as
a long term strategy and will be expecting to return to the UK at some
point in the future, so will be looking for investments in UK pounds.
“Also, the majority of expats are paid in a local
currency and as such, a proportion of their savings are often held in a
local currency. When the pound weakened, expats had an opportunity to
reduce the local currency cost of purchasing a property back home making
the potential returns more attractive,” he concluded.