Written by Offshoreonline for Expat Network
Brexit is causing many UK property investors to hold off purchase decisions, with the result that property prices are showing some of their slowest rises in years in many parts and in some prime areas such as London, even going backwards.
This decline in real values is now opening up real opportunities for expat buyers in the UK and international property buyers, believes expat mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org, as currency moves have served to magnify the real price drops and create dramatic opportunities for investors. Against both the US dollar and euro, currencies in which many expats are paid, sterling has depreciated by around 15% to 20% over the last three years. This has given overseas buyers an additional effective price cut, so it becomes clear why UK property is now offering very good value for overseas investors.
Average house prices in the UK increased by just 2.7% in the year to October 2018 according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 3.0% in September 2018. This is the lowest annual rate since July 2013 when it was 2.3%. The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices fell by 1.7% over the year to October 2018, following a fall of 1.8% in the year to September 2018.
Over the past two years since the UK voted to leave the EU, there has been a gradual slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England. According to estate agents You Move, some of Britain’s wealthiest areas have had up to 25% wiped off their value in 12 months as Brexit uncertainty continues.
Data from the property portal Rightmove revealed the average asking price of a London home had fallen below £600,000 for the first time since August 2015 and now stands well below the previous peak of almost £650,000, which was hit just before the Brexit vote in 2016.
“The UK property market is well regulated, transparent and still offers the kind of security many overseas investors seek,” explains international mortgage brokers Offshoreonline.org. “With sterling at a relative low and many UK property owners desperate to sell, this is a buyers’ market for both UK expats and international buyers”, thinks Guy Stephenson of expat mortgage specialists Offshoreonline.
UK buy to let mortgage rates for overseas buyers are now available from just 2.99%.