Guest article by Altura Mortgage Finance
According to government data, in 2019 there were approximately 6.2 million people with non-British nationality living in the UK and 9.5 million people who were born abroad.
Of course, it’s no surprise that many foreign nationals living and working in the UK want to buy a property. Yet, many lenders are reluctant to lend to people without permanent residency status or a long residential address history in this country.
At Altura, one of our key areas of expertise is helping foreign nationals who want to buy property in the UK. We can help you if you come across any of these issues when applying, so just get in touch if you’d like to discuss your situation further.
Here are some areas you will need to consider
Issues with visas and settled status
If you’re a foreign national buying a property in the UK, some of the first questions a lender will ask will concern your residency status:
How long have you lived in the UK?
What’s your visa situation?
How long is remaining on your visa to stay in the UK?
What sort of visa do you have (e.g. a spouse or student visa)?
These questions are likely to have more impact post-Brexit, as EU nationals are likely to have to prove their ‘settled status’ to remain in the UK.
Many lenders will require you to have lived or worked in the UK for a year before considering an application, while some may want you to have at least 24 months left on your visa.
Speak to an Altura expert if you want to buy a property in the UK but you’re not sure whether your visa or residency status will enable this.
You’ve not been in the UK exclusively for the last few months/years
While you may want to live in the UK, it’s possible that your job or family commitments may take you overseas for a period of time. So, it may not be possible for you to provide evidence that you have lived exclusively in the UK for the last years.
Again, a lender is likely to want to understand your residential history, and where you have lived for the past three to five years. If you have regularly moved, it pays to speak to an expert so they can present your case to a lender in the best light.
Your deposit is coming from overseas
When buying a property in the UK you’re likely to need a deposit of around 15% as a minimum. If you’ve previously lived and worked overseas, it is a possibility that the deposit for your purchase is coming from an overseas bank, made up of savings you have accumulated while working abroad.
A UK lender will want to see proof of funds, and so you will have to supply evidence (a bank statement or similar) showing your deposit. Depending on the lender and language, such documents may also need translation.
Part of your income is in foreign currency
If you work for an international company, particularly if you moved to the UK with them, part of your income may be in a foreign currency or paid offshore.
Examples might include a bonus from an international bank paid in US dollars, Euros or Swiss Francs, or an executive who spends time outside of the UK and has a ‘split contract’ to pay part of their income offshore.
Many lenders struggle to take such income into account, especially following changes in regulation in 2016 (the Mortgage Credit Directive). This means you may need help to find a lender who can use this part of your income.
You’re not sure how the UK house buying process works
Buying a property in the UK comes with its own complications. The process works differently to many other countries, and the roles played by the lender, surveyor, and solicitor may differ from your home country.
When you work with an expert like Altura we can guide you through the buying process as well as arranging the finance you need to complete the purchase. Having a UK-based professional to ensure everything goes smoothly can take the stress away from your move. If you would like more information you can contact the team at Black Swan Capital at [email protected] or reach out to Altura directly at [email protected]