Lettings fees for landlords unlikely to deter buy-to-let investors

Houses to let

Moves by the British Chancellor to shift lettings fees from tenants to agents is unlikely to put off expat investors.

Skipton International expects demand from British expats investing in the UK to remain high following the proposal in today’s Autumn Statement.

The Guernsey-registered bank has been offering buy-to-let mortgages for British expats since 2014. Since then, over £100 million has been lent to British expats around the world and over 600 buy-to-let mortgages have been completed.

Jim Coupe, Managing Director, Skipton International, said: “The majority of British expats buy property in the UK as a long term investment. While the rental from a property services the mortgage, the long term capital gains tend to be much more important for expats when thinking about buying a property.

“As far as our customer base goes, previous changes to buy-to-let, such as the 3% stamp duty levy on buy-to-let properties last April, have had little effect on expat investors. Indeed, we have seen the number of enquiries from British expats, and the value of loans, grow substantially this year.”

In the two months from September 2016, Skipton International has had an 80% increase in applications from British expats, in part due to the devaluation of Sterling.

Jim said: “Enquiries have been up from British expats all over the world, but in particular from the Gulf. In the first nine months of the year, the value of buy-to-let mortgage enquiries from British expats based in Kuwait increased by 130% on the whole of 2015, while it doubled in Oman and rose by 37% from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We experienced a similar increase in demand from expats in Europe, with double the number of enquiries from Spain, and substantial increases from Germany, France and Switzerland too.”

Earlier this year, Skipton opened up their mortgages to self-employed applicants and also expanded their eligible country list, enabling even more British expats to access the mortgages.

Skipton International won Best Offshore Account Provider 2016 at the Moneyfacts Awards; the third time Skipton has won a Moneyfacts Award, and the bank has been commended, highly commended, or has won an award for the past seven years.

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