The UK has become a popular location in recent years for property investment from around the world – including Hong Kong and the Middle East – and while the return on investment in some countries has become a lot more challenging, the UK continues to offer long-term growth and stability.
If you are looking for investment opportunities then the UK property market is an attractive option. There are many different types of properties in the UK, ranging from luxury apartments in cosmopolitan city centres including London and Manchester to countryside properties with beautiful gardens in the south of England or Scotland – and with the right support you can be sure to find the right property to invest in.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about whether you can buy a property in the UK – and what you need to consider.
Do I need to be a UK Citizen to buy a property in the UK?
The short answer is no, you don’t need to be a UK citizen or to live in the UK to buy a property in the UK but there are various rules and regulations that you need to be aware of.
Below are some general guidelines but as regulations change, we recommend checking the latest rules that are specific to your individual circumstances to make sure that you are eligible before signing any property purchase agreement. Our team of friendly real estate brokers and partners we work with can help you. Get in touch if you need help.
Having access to funds is important for anyone outside of the UK looking to buy a property.
If you are a cash buyer then that will help. Having money that’s readily available removes the need to apply for a mortgage which can occasionally cause complications and as well as increasing the chances of a smooth transaction, being a cash buyer can also improve the return on investment on a property considerably as there are no interest charges that are normally incurred with a mortgage.
Having access to funds is vital and a key criteria to buying a property in the UK is that the buyer must demonstrate that they have funds – either in cash or from an approved mortgage – to make the purchase of the property.
To secure a mortgage, you will need to meet the criteria set out by the lender and this can vary depending on who you deal with.
For more information on mortgages, see our article Can I get a mortgage in the UK?
Expats and existing residency
There are currently no restrictions for expats that want to buy a UK property. Even if you are an expat currently living outside of the UK, buying a UK-based property is still allowed.
It’s also possible for foreigners and non-residents who are not expats to buy a property in the UK, but this is where the rules get stricter.
When it comes to securing a mortgage, many mortgage companies, or banks have slightly different criteria that need to be met such as having a UK bank account or already having a place of residency in the UK for the last 2 years.
To ensure a successful purchase, it’s recommended to work with a real estate broker that has knowledge of the UK market as well as experience helping investors in your local area.
Have further questions?
If you have questions about buying a property in the UK, contact our friendly team and we will be happy to help. You might also be interested in our Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.
Ready to buy a property in the UK?
There are many benefits to buying a property in the UK but there’s also a lot of complexities to consider. Having a good understanding of the UK property market is important to making the right decision and that’s why, at Luxury Invest Group we provide our clients with the expertise and support they need to find the right property.
If you are ready to discover the right property in the UK, get in touch today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any restrictions on buying a property for non-EU citizens?
No, there aren’t any restrictions specific to if you are an EU Citizen or non-EU Citizen. If you are based in a non-EU country such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia then the same rules and regulations apply.
Do I need to have a mortgage to buy a UK property?
In order to buy a UK property, you must be able to demonstrate that you have access to the funds to cover the agreed buying price of the property. It’s not strictly a requirement to have a mortgage but it will be needed if you don’t have the full required funds readily available.
Are there any limits on the size or value of a UK property?
No, there are not currently any limitations on how big or small a property must be – or what the value of the property is. The value of a property will, however, have an impact on the taxes that you need to pay as well as the value of a potential mortgage.
To find out about taxes, read How much is stamp duty?
How long does buying a property in the UK take?
The process for buying a property in the UK can vary depending on a number of factors.
As an overseas investor, the time frame is most likely 1-2 months, especially if you are buying the property as an investment and as a buy-to-let directly from a developer. The aim is to usually exchange contracts within 28 days of reservation.
Another factor to take into account is the time it takes to arrange an approved mortgage. This could extend the process by a couple of weeks.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is something that a lot of overseas investors need to know about but most don’t. We’ve put together a simple guide outlining everything you need to know about Stamp Duty as a non-resident UK property investor.
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