British expats who want to keep a foothold in the UK property market, where prices went up faster than the global average last year, now have a greater variety of choices of buy-to-let mortgages.

One of the few lenders caters to expat, Skipton International, has now broadened the list of countries it is willing to accept mortgage requests for UK properties from.

So far this year, the new additions are: Colombia, Costa Rica, Northern Cyprus, Ghana, Mongolia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, St Vincent and the Grenadines as well as Turkey.

Since introducing this offering in 2014, Skipton has had the highest demand from expats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with almost 25% of all international applications coming from this region.

Typically, the application value for a buy-to-let mortgage levels around £200,000. The requirements to borrow from Skipton include a minimum salary or pension income of £40,000 (£50,000 is paid in a local currency). Applications from residents from a total of 92 countries, including Australia, Kenya and South Africa, will not be accepted.

Jim Coupe, managing director of Skipton International, said: “We are delighted to be able to help more British expats secure investment properties in the UK. We launched the mortgages as a direct response to the difficulties expats face securing mortgages on properties in the UK.”

“Demand for buy-to-let mortgages from British expats continues to be strong and by opening up our mortgages to more countries we can continue to give British nationals living around the world the opportunity to invest in property in the UK.”

A survey by the Knight Frank Global House Price Index revealed that the UK property market continues to grow at a faster rate than the average of the analysed 55 countries. These statistics suggest that expats who are considering to return to Britain eventually, may find it harder to buy a property after being out of the market for a couple of years.

Last year, the average growth in house prices for the UK came up to 4.5%, whereas the overall global increase only came up to 3%, according to the Knight Frank index.

This high level of residential property growth led the UK to come in on the 26th place out of the 55 surveyed countries. The top three were made up of Turkey with a growth of 18.4% in 2015, followed by New Zealand seeing an increase of 14.2% and Sweden going up 12.3%.

Nevertheless, the UK house price growth during Q4 of 2015 alone reached 1.5%, putting it in the top 10 for this period and matching the growth of countries like Colombia, South Africa and Malta.

Kate Everett-Allen, author of the Knight Frank report, said: “Housing affordability, or the lack of it, is rising up policymakers’ agendas worldwide. According to the latest data from the OECD, which measures house prices against incomes for 24 of its 34 members, Belgium and New Zealand are currently the world’s least affordable markets, while home ownership is most accessible in South Korea and Japan.”

Source: The Telegraph