In an uncertain world, it is understandable that we have seen an increase in interest in investing in property. It is human nature to want to put your money into something that you can see and touch.
Property markets are not equal and the legalities and potential for growth and/or income vary hugely but Europe still presents many opportunities for long-term investment and yield.
Surveys have shown that many expats are keen to invest in property in their home country either as they consider it a more secure place than where they are currently living, or as a potential base should they need to move back.
The upheavals in work, schooling and lifestyle over the past 18 months has made many of us reflect on the life we want to lead, and to consider future plans.
Initially, I saw an uplift in enquiries for wills and life cover, and while these are still popular, I am seeing more people who are interested in both equity investments and also property investment in the UK.
Fortunately, I can assist you with all aspects of personal financial planning.
UK property – where to buy?
If your primary concern is to invest for capital growth and/or income, the areas to consider are not necessarily the ones you know, but the ones with the right story. Areas with the right demographic, amenities, job market, government investment and redevelopment.
The good news is that the developers we work with have done the research for you which will make your life a whole lot easier and save you time.
While you may think you need to do the legwork yourself, such as researching a location, finding a property, engaging a rental agent and more, that is hard to do from a distance. It is also costly and time-consuming but the process can be made far easier.
We work with a number of experienced developers who source good investment property that is ideal for expats who want to buy remotely.
No need to spend time and money hunting for somewhere to buy when good options can be presented to you.
At time of writing, we have great opportunities in London, Manchester, Birmingham, York, Preston and Bracknell although some are nearly sold out. Other recent popular developments have included Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool.
Can I get a mortgage on a UK property when living in the GCC?
Yes, you can. Generally, the average ‘high street’ lender in the UK doesn’t deal with expats, but there are still multiple options.
Expats will require a larger deposit than a UK resident, usually around 30% of the purchase price, and it can be a little trickier but that’s why I work with expert mortgage brokers who have access to all the best rates and will make the process significantly easier.
Is now the right time to buy property?
No one can really predict timing but property should be a long-term investment. You also get an income if it is let, so ups and downs in value should not be a concern.
There are quite a few upfront costs when buying UK property – stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage fees – so property should be owned for a while to make a profit. This means that fluctuations need not matter as it is really the yield and long-term growth that is important.
According to the National Residential Landlord’s Association (NRLA), demand for UK rental housing is at a five-year high. Their data showed that demand for rented accommodation increased by 8% between the first and second quarters of 2021.
Rental property can give a steady income stream alongside other retirement planning.
Any other places to buy?
We can frequently offer investment property in Germany and can arrange mortgages on German property too. Please ask for information on current developments.
Why buy new?
There are multiple reasons why buying a brand new property or a newly refurbished building as an investment is beneficial. These include:
- High specifications
- Energy efficient. EPC ratings are now highly relevant.
- Current safety requirements met (no costly, old external cladding issues, for example)
- Most include appliances
- New home warranties
- No maintenance issues
- Buying off-plan is usually cheaper
- No chain
A diversified portfolio
When it comes to managing investments, it is important to have a degree of diversification, in order to both spread and reduce your risks.
We all need to have cash in the bank, a place to live one day, and then a mix of assets as investments. These can include pensions, personal investments and property and a combination is invariably the best option.
Many people reading this will already have equity related investments that I manage for them, whether in a pension or directly held, and we can easily add property into that mix. For UK property, I will also provide the relevant advice in respect of personal tax liabilities.
To read more about flexible investment options, see this article:
The future of investing is… flexible
This is ideal for any expat who doesn’t want to commit to property but knows that they need to invest for their future.
Current Property availability
For ease, I have a new page which will be kept up to date with some of the current developments that are available to my clients. These are in a range of areas and at different price points. Starting prices are lower than you might think.
Take a look here: UK property investments – latest info
NEWS – 18th March 2022. Coming soon. A professional service for your UK tax returns, ideal for UK property owners. Watch this space!
To arrange a discussion about investing in property, or on any aspect of your personal financial planning, please email me at email@example.com I run my own set-up under the Holborn Assets umbrella.
I write articles such as this one as part of the holistic personal financial planning service and that I provide to expats, and the general consumer, financial and legal information that I provide in The National newspaper, on radio, and on the Facebook group British Expats Dubai.
Please take a look at the other useful articles on this website.
The right advice for nice people