Hong Kong Exodus.
In 2021, the UK government introduced a new visa programme for British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders in Hong Kong. The visa programme was announced as a reaction to Beijing’s newly imposed national security laws. Boris Johnson deemed these laws to be a breach of the 1984 Sino-British declaration which meant Hong Kong citizens would have certain freedoms guaranteed for 50 years. This visa programme essentially provides a fast-track to British citizenship for BNO passport holders in Hong Kong.
As a result of the continuing strict Covid restrictions, Hong Kong is seeing a huge population exodus with 121,500 people leaving between June 2021 and June 2022. Many of those leaving Hong Kong are taking the UK government up on its offer of fast-tracked British citizenship, with the UK government having received 140,500 applications so far.
Lenders Taking Note of Specific Situations.
‘The evolving situation in Hong Kong has been recognised by lenders who are introducing specialised products to meet demand’ says Stuart Marshall, CEO of Liquid Expat Mortgages. ‘Liquid Expat Mortgages has been working with one particular specialist expat lender to deliver an exclusive product and test the appetite of our target customer.’
Rebecca Pickard, Head of Liquid Expat Mortgages’ Asia Department, has been a major driver to help lenders understand what people are looking for when it comes creating and delivering a product that is deemed essential by would-be property buyers. As a result, a brand-new, exclusive product is now available exclusively to BNO passport holders who are borrowing in their personal name and with a maximum LTV of 65%. It is available on standard residential property and buy-to-let properties for both new purchases and re-mortgages.
Attractive Rates for Different Types of Customers.
‘There has been a need to ensure rates are attractive and the residential rates are as low as 2.99% with buy-to-let rates available at 3.29%. Customers who are interested must also have a minimum income of £37,500 and look to buy a property with a minimum value of £167,000. With Hong Kong customers benefitting from the current fall in Sterling, 35% deposits will not be a problem for many residents looking to secure a UK mortgage. What’s more, the flexibility of some of the other product features are all geared towards assisting Hong Kong BNO passport holders find a mortgage for a UK property purchase or re-mortgage.’
Specialist Brokers Playing a Key Role.
Rebecca Pickard continues to say that ‘specialist brokers are in a unique position as political circumstances in Hong Kong continue to evolve. When compared to more conventional brokers, specialist brokers need to listen carefully to the needs of their customers.’
‘Demand from BNO passport holders in Hong Kong for a product to fill the gap in the market for lower value UK property finance and re-finance has grown dramatically. Specialist brokers like Liquid Expat Mortgages have had to do the legwork and match the product to the demand.’
Liquid Expat Mortgages
Ground Floor, 3 Richmond Terrace,
Phone: 0161 871 1216
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