Can Expats Buy Property in the UK?
Yes, there are no legal restrictions on expats buying property in the UK, including those who are purchasing a Buy-to-Let property for expat investment.
That said, those with less than two years of residency within the UK may face more restrictions and their purchase may require a bigger deposit. During the purchase, you may need to appoint a UK solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal paperwork when buying a UK property investment.
In terms of taxes, the same property taxes generally apply for non-residents and expats as they do for UK residents. Stamp Duty for overseas buyers has increased by 2% following the 2021 Budget, while those buying additional properties to their main residence still face another extra 3% as they would if they were a UK resident. You can find out more about Stamp Duty rates here.
If you’re a non-UK resident owner of a UK property, you’ll still pay tax on rental income, although you may be able to get an exemption if you pay tax on this income in your home country and there’s a double taxation agreement in place with the UK.
Best Investments for Expats
The question on everyones mind right now: what is the best investments for expats and if it’s property, where are they?
There’s no doubt that while some stocks and cryptocurrency assets are delivering exceptional returns right now, they still remain an extremely volatile market.
UK property remains a key stable asset for many overseas buyers – including expat investors that are looking to build passive income. With a much higher ceiling for long-term growth and the added value of being a tangible asset, property can be the cornerstone of any thriving portfolio.
According to Nationwide, UK property prices grew by 2.1% in April 2021, the strongest month-on-month increase since February 2004. This puts annual UK house price growth at 7.1%. Looking ahead, Savills believe the UK average property price is expected to rise by 21% by 2025:
- UK average property price in 2022: £269,945
- Forecasted UK average property price in 2025: £326,633
Want to know where the best places to invest in the UK in 2022 are? Check out our top picks, updated for the new year.
Stunning Off-Plan Investment Opportunity
- Off-plan apartments – estimated completion 2023
- City-centre location just 3 minutes from Brindleyplace
- Unique waterfront living in Birmingham
- 24.5% price growth expected by 2026 (JLL)
- Top location for London leavers – forecasting yields above 5%
How to Invest as an Expat
One of the key factors in any expat investment is where you choose to invest. The UK has a wealth of property investment options beyond the obvious draw of London – a traditionally popular choice.
There’s a host of regional options now available, delivering above average rental yields and impressive capital growth, driven by undersupply and rising demand.
Once you have your perfect investment, it’s time to start thinking about financing. Unless you’re buying property in cash, you’ll need a Buy-to-Let mortgage to cover the price, of which there are several options to choose from.
As always, working with a specialist lender and shopping around will mean you get the best deal you possibly can. Regardless of your choice, you’ll be expected to deliver several important documents during the purchase – passport, proof of creditworthiness and mortgage affordability. You may also require a slightly higher deposit (upwards of 25%) and the ability to demonstrate you can generate enough rental income to the cover the interest on the mortgage.
Want to know what your property finance options are? Read our breakdown.