Expats Ready To Plough Cash Into UK Buy To Let

Expats are pouring money into property back in Britain as prices rise, according to new research.

British expats may choose to live overseas, but they have huge confidence that house prices back home will continue to rise, says the study by Lloyds Bank.

The survey suggests that 38% of British expats will buy a property in the UK during the next two years with the intention of renting the home as a buy to let.

The research also found:

  • 43% reckon they are likely to buy a property in the next two years
  • 26% want to buy in the UK.
  • 71% with buy to let rental properties in the UK have tenants living in them all the time, compared to 47% renting out foreign properties.

Expat property hot spots

The favourite places to buy investment property for expats, according to the bank, are:

  • UK – 25.8%
  • Australia – 24.7%
  • USA – 15.1%
  • Canada – 8.2%
  • Spain – 6.8%
  • >New Zealand – 5.4%
  • Switzerland – 2.2%
  • France – 2.2%
  • Asia – 1.8%
  • Italy – 1.1%
  • South Africa – 1.1%
  • South America – 0.4%

For many expats, the value of the Pound against the US dollar and Euro makes buying in the UK attractive as their money buys more in Sterling. A £300,000 property is now approximately 25% cheaper to a European buyer than in 2007, before the financial crisis hit.

Rising prices entice investors

Richard Musty, Director, Lloyds Bank International Banking, said: “Overseas buyers, and especially expats, have a lot of confidence in the UK housing market, so it’s not really any surprise that they are looking at a market they know back home to invest their cash.

“However, property is just one investment option and they should consider a more diverse portfolio.

However, rising property prices are the big draw luring expats to invest back home. Our study reveals expats want to buy property in huge numbers and feel they could miss out on an investment opportunity if they do not act now.”

Musty suggests that expats should take professional investment advice before taking the plunge with buy to let property – especially after Chancellor George Osborne announced upcoming capital gains tax changes for expats and non-residents due to start from January 2015.

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