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Expats look to invest in UK property market

Although many clients of expat financial services providers would like to invest in the UK property market, it can sometimes be difficult to obtain mortgages to this end. As such, over recent years a number of banks, building societies and other providers have sought to develop products that are specifically aimed at the British expat customer who is looking to retain a capital interest in the UK property market. Despite these changes, it is still advisable for British expats to seek independent financial advice as to how they can circumvent the “high risk” label placed on them by many major UK lenders.

Another stumbling block to expats investing in the British housing market are the numerous identity checks and financial checks placed on borrowers; many checks are automated and nearly all rely on the electoral role and the possession of a UK address and/or credit card.

Furthermore, some lenders will not even consider lending to expats in certain countries although expats residing in EU countries tend to have comparatively little trouble finding a potential lender. The situation is improving though. This year some lenders started offering products to expats in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mongolia, Northern Cyprus, Senegal, Sri Lanka and St Vincent; countries which until this point had been considered as high risk.

One provider, offshore banking specialist Skipton International, has said that in the fallout of the EU referendum it has seen a considerable surge in interest from British expats looking to take advantage of the weakened pound by using it as leverage for buy-to-let investments. “We have seen up to four times the number of queries we were seeing before Brexit,” said a spokesperson with the firm.

Those who apply for expat buy-to-let mortgages tend to make their repayments in a variety of ways, from using regular savings to using money derived from QROPS pensions incomes. Advice from an expat financial services specialist can help would-be investors determine the best route .

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

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End to 15-year-rule for expats

Great news for the clients of expat financial services: the government has announced proposals to abolish the 15-year time limit on the right of expats to participate in UK general elections.

The policy statement, which was published as part of document entitled “A democracy that works for everyone: British citizens overseas”, details the government’s idea of ensuring rigorous checks on the identities of expats so that they can register to vote without suspicion of fraud.

Furthermore, cost analysis performed by the government predicts that ending the 15-year rule and implementing an expat voting registration scheme will actually cost only a six-figure sum; far less than the millions of pounds some experts have previously claimed it would require.

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Expats make property a priority before Spanish renaissance

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Experts are warning that this period of opportunity cannot continue forever, as it is expected that the Spanish economy will soon rebound from a recent period of trouble with what is anticipated to be a marked and prolonged period of prosperity.

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