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Expat demand for buy-to-let property increases

There has been a sharp rise in the number of expats in Australia looking to invest in UK buy-to-let property, despite tougher lending criteria, new figures show.

Despite tougher mortgage lending rules, there has been a 29% increase in the volume of expats based in Australia seeking to enter the UK buy-to-let market, according to Cherry Mortgage and Finance.

There are more than 1.1 million Brits living in Australia and the UK-based expat mortgage broker believes, based on recent enquiries, that many wish to buy property back in the UK, either as a pure investment, or as something they intend to live in the property again upon their return.

Matthew Fleming-Duffy, managing director of Cherry Mortgage and Finance, said: “It would be good to see this change and following the joint press conference held by Theresa May and Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull last year. This may indeed become a focus of renewed co-operation between our countries, as Australia is a key destination for many British expats.

“We receive a large volume of enquiries from expats in Australia and have a handful of lenders that will arrange buy-to-let loans for them.

“Typically, UK expats are looking to invest in buy-to-let property whilst living in Australia, perhaps as a way to provide an income in retirement, or even to live in upon their return.

“On the whole, we receive enquiries from people in all walks of life including white collar workers, teachers, engineers and those employed in the medical profession.

“It has got a lot harder to get a mortgage in the UK if you don't live there - even if you're a British expatriate. We saw a few lenders withdraw from expat lending last year, as a direct result of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive.” 

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