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Fees ban won't stop this group of buy to let investors, insists bank

The government’s proposed ban on letting agency fees levied on tenants - and the possibility that they may instead fall on landlords - will not deter ex-pat investors according to Skipton International bank.

The Guernsey-registered bank has been offering buy to let mortgages for British expats since 2014. Since then, over £100 million has been lent to British expats around the world and over 600 buy to let mortgages have been completed.

“The majority of British expats buy property in the UK as a long term investment. While the rental from a property services the mortgage, the long term capital gains tend to be much more important for expats when thinking about buying a property” according to Jim Coupe, the bank’s managing director. 

“As far as our customer base goes, previous changes to buy to let such as the 3% stamp duty levy on buy to let properties last April, have had little effect on expat investors. Indeed, we have seen the number of enquiries from British expats, and the value of loans, grow substantially this year” he adds.

In the two months from September 2016, Skipton International has had an 80 per cent increase in applications from British expats, in part due to the devaluation of Sterling.

“Enquiries have been up from British expats all over the world, but in particular from the Gulf” suggests Coupe. 

“In the first nine months of the year, the value of buy to let mortgage enquiries from British expats based in Kuwait increased by 130 per cent on the whole of 2015, while it doubled in Oman and rose by 37 per cent from the United Arab Emirates. We experienced a similar increase in demand from expats in Europe, with double the number of enquiries from Spain, and substantial increases from Germany, France and Switzerland too.”

Earlier this year, Skipton opened up their mortgages to self-employed applicants and also expanded their eligible country list, enabling more British expats to access its mortgages.

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