Special Features

Rule Britannia?

John Foster | Fosters Financial
|
13th April 2021
John Foster Fosters Financial
"It is the non-UK nationals who have come to the UK following Brexit with the hope of starting a new life here, who have had their dreams of owning their own home diminished or completely dashed"

This month, several prominent mortgage lenders have announced that they will be introducing new criteria, which will affect all new mortgage applications from non-UK nationals.

When this comes into effect, it is reported that any foreign national looking to purchase or remortgage a property in the UK, will now need to prove that they have permanent right to reside if they have not lived in the UK for more than five years, without needing to fulfil additional lending criteria.

As each lender has its own criteria, there are of course some exceptions to this. For example, where the LTV is less than 75% or the applicant’s annual income is £100k or more.

Citizens of the Republic of Ireland will have automatic permanent right to reside in the UK, and people from the European Economic Area (EEA), EU and Switzerland who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, can also apply to continue living in the UK as part of the EU Settlement Scheme.

Sadly, it is the non-UK nationals who have come to the UK following Brexit with the hope of starting a new life here, who have had their dreams of owning their own home diminished or completely dashed, without having settled status.

Only a month ago, I spoke about the problems EU expats are experiencing in buying and refinancing property in the UK, following the end of passport arrangements for financial services. But, instead of helping them, we have introduced a 2% stamp duty land tax surcharge for non-UK residents purchasing property in England and Northern Ireland. So, if the situation does change, they will now have to pay more too.

With the UK’s apparent housing shortage, one may argue that deterring overseas investors will enable us to bridge this gap and provide more affordable housing for UK residents. But, as a country that has historically welcomed overseas investment, it almost certainly appears like we are now not. But is this a good or a bad thing?

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