Expat Landlords Cashing In On Falling Pound

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The number of expat landlords buying homes to rent in the UK is increasing, according to new data.

Overseas landlords account for 11% of all property investors – just over one in 10 compared with just 7% or one in 14 a year ago.

The biggest rises in the number of non-resident landlords were in London and the East of England (Both 8%) and in the South East and North West (Both 7%).

The increase means London has the most overseas landlords – numbering 18% or almost one in five, up from 10% a year ago.

Wales has the fewest expat landlords, posting a fall of 2% as the only region recording a drop.

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Strong dollar

The numbers are even more astonishing because last year’s 7% population of landlords from abroad was a record low, says data publisher Hamptons International, a leading letting and estate agency.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of Research at Hamptons International, said: “The proportion of homes let by overseas based landlords rose for the first time in more than nine years. The East and London recorded the biggest increases.

“Sterling’s depreciation has made investment property in Great Britain more attractive to international investors. The average home cost 23% or £53,065 less than in 2014 for a US dollar buyer, solely due to the currency changes.”

The drop in value of  Sterling more than pays for the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge payable on second home purchases, she explained.

Drop in number of Middle East investors

“The average home costs £53,065 or 23% less than it did in 2014 for a US dollar buyer – solely due to a fall in the value of the pound. Meanwhile the stamp duty bill on this second home purchase would be £9,140. In London, the average property would save a US dollar buyer £107,030 compared with 2014,” said Beveridge.

The largest group of overseas landlords comes from Western Europe, accounting for one in three (33%).

However, the fastest growing group are North Americans, who own 14% of buy to let homes bought by overseas landlords this year. The number of landlords from eastern Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand was also up, but those from the Middle East declined.

In 2014, 9% of overseas property investors were from the Middle East, dropping to 6.5% in the intervening five years.

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