It comes as no shock that house prices in Britain have been steadily rising for the last few years. Yet we don’t have it as bad as other countries; they see the United Kingdom as a great destination for portfolio investment. Australia, for instance, is producing some of the highest BTL (Buy-to-Let) figures for expat property consolidation in the West. The UK is at the top of their hit list.
Why is this the case? And what may stand between expats in Australia and their bid for a successful mortgage? Join us as we investigate.
The great BTL migration
Australian house prices have been climbing rapidly for several years. The climate, culture and geopolitical distance are very attractive to Western buyers. Sydney is ranked as the second most expensive city in the world, just behind Hong Kong, with house prices more than 13 times above average income. Mortgage rates have risen, and urban areas have welcomed an abundance of buyer interest from around the globe.
As of early 2018, this looks to be slowing down, but Sydney and Melbourne are still two of the most costly locations for property. Lending criteria is tight. Many banks have strict caps surrounding the Loan to Value (LTV) ratio. Australian investors, therefore, are increasingly priced out of their own domestic market.
Together, it is a perfect storm – UK expats are now on the search elsewhere for better opportunities, and they’ve landed on the shores of British Buy-to-Let. From 2017-18, the UK experienced a 29% spike in the number of British expats in Australia applying for mortgages back in their home country.
Why might investment be difficult?
On the surface, there shouldn’t be anything to roadblock a British expat’s BTL strategy. But the truth is less assured, since the UK and Australian governments have a generalised agreement that they shouldn’t lend to expats from either nation. It acts like a treaty, with various legal frameworks working to limit spill over in each BTL sector.
It is rare for a mortgage to be approved, unless you know what the benchmarks are. Some of them include:
- Earning from a multinational corporation: GDP is in a precarious state compared to the Australian dollar. Multinational employees have payslips that can be easily translated to the lender’s currency, so they’re more transparent.
- An income of £45,000 or more, in British pound sterling: For whatever reason, it has become the litmus test for mortgage applications, even just to make it past the initial review stages.
- Funding 30% of the mortgage yourself: This may eliminate new-build or unusual BTL properties from the firing line. If you can afford a higher amount, that’s a mark in your favour, and will diversify your options.
Expats can beat the barriers set in front of them, with the right assistance. That’s where we enter the picture: Liquid Expat Mortgages have substantial experience guiding British expats in Australia to a deal that suits their circumstances and portfolio objectives.