Buying a property in the UK as a Non Resident

There are no legal restrictions on expats buying a property in the UK. Foreigners and non-residents can also get a mortgage in the UK.

According to the most recent figures, 52.8% of households in the UK own their own home; 28.2% of them do so outright and 24.6% do so with a mortgage. This figure is greater than the EU average but lower than other European nations like Switzerland, Germany, and France. Due to the Right-to-Buy programme, which was implemented in the 1980s and allowed council tenants to purchase their homes at a reduced price, home ownership in the UK increased in the latter half of the 20th century. The average age of first-time purchasers has increased recently, primarily as a result of rising home prices. The Institute for Fiscal Studies claims that over the past 20 years, homeownership among young adults has more than halved.

Is it Legal for Foreigners to Buy Property in the UK? 

For Foreigners, whether residents or not, can legally buy property in the UK.

Foreigners who purchase property in some UK locales can even qualify for a UK mortgage. But if they have less than two years of UK residency, they may face additional criteria, higher interest rates, and greater deposits.

 

Can a Foreigner Buy Property in the UK on Mortgage? 

Yeah, foreign people can buy property in the UK, but there may be some complications.

This is due to the fact that many UK lenders won’t be ready to lend to a non-UK person, which limits your alternatives or forces you to pay higher interest rates or greater down payments.

You can seek assistance obtaining a UK mortgage for residential property from specialist lenders or international banks to prevent this. However, keep in mind that these organisations will base their decision to lend on a number of variables, such as age, income, and credit score.

How to buy property in the UK

Obtaining a mortgage, making a down payment on the mortgage, and making a down payment on the desired property are typically the steps in the process for home acquisitions. In order to cover the down payment, you would typically need to set aside between 5% and 20% of the overall purchase price. Mortgages are available to non-residents who want to purchase property in the UK, however the costs and interest rates are typically higher.

Similar procedures apply to buying commercial real estate, with the distinction that non-residents typically pay cash and do not need mortgages. There are, however, banks that offer commercial mortgage options.

The process of Buying a Property in the UK begins with:

  1. Overview: Arranging a viewing with the UK property owner is recommended in all cases.
  2. Property valuation: Gaining an appropriate UK property valuation is advised, especially if you are unfamiliar with real estate market value vs. market price. 
  3. Solicitor: It is best to consult with a solicitor before making any purchases, especially if you are a non-resident foreigner buying property in the UK.
  4. UK Estate agent: Remember to inquire whether the property owner has the right to contract or if he or she is an independent party with implied rights. Check to see if you require the services of a UK estate agent to represent your interests as a buyer. 
  5. The Offer: Your solicitor would draught this agreement if the property owner agreed or declined the UK mortgage application. This is the time to bargain for the best deal for both parties.
  6. Sale: if the selling price is agreed upon, a contract will be drawn. 
  7. Conveyance: this is the process of making the UK property officially yours, this is done by the solicitor. 
  8. UK Mortgage application: going back to the bank to reach an agreement with the mortgage advisor on a suitable mortgage deal for the application.
  9. UK Mortgage valuation: usually mortgage lenders arrange the valuation, this confirms that your property is worth the amount being lent. 
  10. Legalities: the final phase involves the solicitor getting various legal forms completed for the conveyance: 
  11. a.Solicitor confirms details of the property for the contract 
  12. b.Solicitor’s searches for planning history, mining, drainage and other potential developments 
  13. c.Mortgage confirmation 
  14. d.Insurance  
  15. Signing of the contract – finally the contracts are signed and exchanged.

Can Immigrants Buy Property in the UK Without a Visa?

Non-UK residents can, in fact, buy property in the UK without a visa. You may, however, apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa if you intend to invest £2 million or more in the UK.

To be eligible for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, you must: • Be at least 18 years old.

• Be able to demonstrate that the money belongs to you or your partner.

• Have an account with a UK-regulated bank.

The visa allows you to stay for three years and four months, which can be extended, and it allows your ‘dependents’ to accompany you.

What documents do you need to buying a property in the UK?

Due to government measures to prevent money laundering and fraud, several parties involved in the purchase of a property in the UK are required by law to verify a buyer’s identity. Solicitors and banks, as well as property agents involved in transactions, conduct checks at various stages of the transaction.

Documentation required for Buy Property in the UK includes: 

  • Hard copies or copies certified by your lawyer, not online printouts of your utility bills.
  • Your latest P60 form
  • Your pay stubs from the final 3 months
  • Passport or license to drive 
  • Bank statements for the last three months, or certified accounts for the last three years if self-employed.
  • • Your SA302 form if you are self-employed (the HMRC can take a long time to send this, so plan ahead!)

The 15 Most Affordable Places to buying a property in the UK:

So, where can you get the best deal on a house? Here are the cheapest places to Buying a property in the UK:

  1. Grimsby, Lincolnshire
  2. Stanley, County Durham
  3. Rhondda, Glamorgan
  4. Liverpool
  5. Stoke-on-Trent
  6. Leeds, West Yorkshire
  7. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  8. Belfast and Antrim
  9. Hull
  10. Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  11. Birmingham
  12. Swansea, South Wales
  13. Dumfries
  14. Peterborough
  15. Chatham

How do I get a UK investor visa?

  • The  U.K accepts dual citizenship.
  • The personal interview, business experience, and medical examination do not apply to the investor visa
  • The applicant can bring his family
  • Upon successful application approval, you will receive a 3-year visa and more than 5 years of legal residence in the UK; qualify for permanent residence status or ILR (Indefinite Leave to remain) of indefinite stay
  • As a result of proper tax planning, applicable direct taxes can be mitigated, as in most cases, foreigners can avoid direct taxes if the income earned is outside the UK.

Can expats buy property in UK?

Yes, expats have an advantage over non-resident foreigners because they have a bank account, a work history, and a tax record in the UK.