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Overseas buyers take advantage of stamp duty holiday before 2021 surcharge

Interest in UK property from overseas buyers is surging as investors look to take advantage of the current stamp duty holiday which ends on March 31 2021.

At the same time, overseas investors are also looking to pick up UK properties before an additional 2% stamp duty surcharge for non-UK buyers is introduced next April.

According to data from Legal & General Mortgage Club, 'visas' was the most searched for term by mortgage advisers by the end of July, up from the fourth most popular at the start of June.


These searches help advisers to determine whether a particular lender would consider a mortgage application from their client.

The data also shows that throughout July, mortgage searches made by advisers for 'expats not in the UK' featured in the top 10, with 'expat not in the UK' and 'foreign income' appearing in the top five.

Meanwhile, one in every 22 residential searches was for a query relating to an applicant currently on a visa or an expat not based in the UK.

Searches relating to prospective overseas buyers on a visa were most commonly made for buy-to-let residential properties.

Of searches made by advisers on behalf of foreign investors last month, 88% had a tier 2 or other working visa, 71% of whom have been in the UK for two years or more.

Some 66% of non-UK mortgage applicants would be looking to borrow between 80% and 90% of the property's value.

"Britain’s housing market is bucking the trend and has faced unprecedented levels of demand since reopening in May, and now figures show that a growing number of overseas buyers are also taking interest in UK property," says Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club.

"There is an opportunity for advisers to support many of these buyers, particularly if they have little to no credit history in the UK."

"Lending criteria is changing every day in the mortgage market at the moment, and advisers will be key in helping these borrowers and others to cut through the noise and find the best product for their particular circumstances," says Roberts.


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