Starting Your Investment Plan
While statistics show that retirement and investment planning is a primary concern for many people of working age, more often than not, these concerns don’t transition into plans. As the working age continues to rise and the cost of living rises with it, we’re asking the question: are you retirement ready?
Starting your financial planning early is vital for building a successful investment portfolio and, as we enter a new financial year, there’s never been a better time to get started.
Building Your Investment Plan
Deciding whether you’re ‘retirement ready’ is just one part of a much larger puzzle but is the first step towards securing your financial freedom. One of the most important parts of your journey is establishing your investment plan – an outline of how you’ll approach your investments and what you’d need to retire without compromising your current lifestyle, based on your household income.
A vital part of your journey that will influence the majority of your decisions further down the road, here are some of the most common strategies that we see adopted by investors.
Choosing Your Investment Location
It’s no surprise that out of all your preparation, choosing your investment location is the one decision that can have the most obvious impact. One of the most important things to consider in your location is the potential returns you can get today versus the long-term growth you could experience over time. A balance of both is the best possible outcome, allowing you to maximise the strength of your investment.
You’ll also want to identify other metrics such as regeneration, career opportunities and demand – all of which can drive success over the long-term, with the Birmingham ‘Big City Plan’ being a prime example of this. Below you can find our breakdown of the best places to invest in the UK market in 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can international investors buy property in the UK?
UK property has long been a safe haven for overseas investors, and in recent months, the number of overseas landlords in the market has reached an all-time high.
According to research, there are around 184,000 international landlords with UK properties, which has increased 19% in the past five years alone.
While the process of purchasing UK property from overseas is generally a longer process and comes with more considerations, the returns often compensate for these. For overseas landlords purchasing additional property in the UK, a 3% charge will need to be paid.
This 3% will also be stacked with the 2% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge that applies to overseas investors.
How does buying UK property as an overseas investor work?
The UK is unique in that overseas investors must conduct their due diligence before they enter into any form of a binding contract. Typically this will involve:
- Checking the title of the property
- Obtaining a survey
- Carrying out searches of local authorities
- Obtaining information from the buyer
- Agreeing a terms of contract
All of this is usually done through a solicitor, which should be appointed locally in the UK. If the property is being financed through a mortgage, then an offer from the lender is also needed.
When both parties are ready to proceed, each then signs a separate but identical contract. Your solicitor will then agree with the vendor that contracts are binding, a process called ‘exchange of contracts’. At this stage, the buyer pays a deposit of between 5 and 10%.
Completion can take place on the same day as exchange, but usually there is a relatively short intervening period for legal and practical matters (usually no longer than 28 days). On completion, the balance of the price is paid, the title is transferred to the buyer and you can then take full possession of the property.
Working closely with a property investment company is one way to take some of the hassle out of the buying process. At Joseph Mews, for example, we work with investors buying off-plan property to guide them through the entire process, helping with mortgage applications, appointing advisers and maximising returns.
Can overseas buyers get a UK buy-to-let mortgage?
The most common ways for an international investor to buy a property is either through cash or by using a specialist buy-to-let product.
In the current market, there’s plenty of mortgage products available including specialist products for non-residents and expats. The most important thing? It pays to shop around as speaking with an expert can usually result in you finding the ideal product to suit your needs.
Whatever option you go for, you’ll be expected to produce several instances of paperwork for the application, these include:
- Proof of creditworthiness
- Mortgage affordability
You’ll also need a deposit (upwards of 25%) and demonstrate that you’ll be generating enough rental income from the tenant to cover the mortgage interest.
The amount you can borrow depends on how much rent the property can generate. Lenders will typically need your rental income to meet 125% of the monthly interest payments on the loan.
Can I attain residency through buying a UK property investment?
No, buying a house in the UK (to live or for buy-to-let) as a non-resident does not give you the right to live in the UK.
You will not receive any immigration permissions for buying a UK property and if you are interested in acquiring permanent residency, there are other routes you should take.
You can, however, apply for an Investor Visa which is one way of gaining residency in the UK.
How many UK taxes are there?
In the UK, there are several taxes to consider. From Income Tax to Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax, living – or investing – in the UK comes with a variety of different responsibilities.
For property investors, the key taxes to be aware of are: Income Tax, Stamp Duty Land Tax, Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax. For those who have plans of staying in the market for a long period of time, it’s crucial to be prepared for every one of these taxes.
While Stamp Duty Land Tax will need to be paid when purchasing the property, any rental income will be subject to Income Tax. Additionally, Capital Gains Tax will need to be paid on the sale of the property and estates worth over £325,000 will be subject to Inheritance Tax.