Hong Kong expats turn to UK for property investment

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Skipton International is experiencing a surge in enquiries for its expat mortgage products from Asia, as Hong Kong is identified as the most expensive city for British expatriates to live in.

A recent study carried out by Mercer found that Hong Kong is now the most expensive city for British workers to reside, closely followed by Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore and then Seoul. Skipton saw an increase of 65% in mortgage completions for UK buy-to-let mortgages from Hong Kong residents during 2017, compared to the previous year.

Mercer’s survey compares the living costs for expatriates, reviewing 209 cities worldwide and finding that Hong Kong is the most expensive, mainly due to soaring rental costs.

With the most expensive property in the world, expats living in the former British colony struggle to purchase property since the Chinese territory’s government imposed a 15 per cent Buyer’s Stamp Duty on foreign sales.

This combined with tough loan-to-value mortgage requirements, with buyers typically having to provide a 40 per cent deposit, has prompted many to look to the UK to invest.

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Nigel Pascoe, Director of Business Development, said: “The number of enquiries for expat mortgages from Asia, and in particular Hong Kong, has been steadily rising over the past couple of years. UK property remains an attractive option for those living in countries where buying is simply not an option.

Familiarity with the UK market and maintaining a tie with their homeland are all reasons why expatriates are finding comfort with UK property investment.

“The expat market is something Skipton International has lengthy experience and expertise in and we are always looking at how we can make our mortgages and savings more accessible for those British residents working abroad.”

Skipton International have approved more than 1,300 expat mortgages by lending £290 million to British Expatriates around the globe.

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