Australia is a top destination for Brits who choose to move overseas, but a recent spike in the number of expats buying investment properties back in the UK suggests many want to keep their options open back in their home country.

Over the past 12 months, the number of British citizens living in Australia who are looking to invest in the buy-to-let market back in the UK has risen by 29%, according to Cherry Mortgage and Finance.

While some want to give themselves a bolthole for if they ever decide to return to the UK, many will be looking at property as an investment for the future and a way of providing a monthly rental income. With parts of Australia now some of the most expensive places to buy property in the world, it’s no surprise that many consider themselves priced out of the market and see the UK as a safer place for their money.

In Sydney, which was recently named the second least affordable housing market in the world after Hong Kong, house prices are 13 times higher than the average income.

Buy-to-let mortgages for expats

However, mortgages can be difficult to obtain from overseas, even for British nationals, as there is a perception that they are higher risk. According to Money Expert, demand for buy-to-let mortgages from overseas has grown recently as more people want to capitalise on the UK’s booming market. Lenders will often require higher deposits to offset the risk, or offer higher interest rates, as well as require a more detailed credit rating.

Matthew Fleming-Duffy, managing director of Cherry Mortgage and Finance said: “If you are looking to purchase an investment property and have a 30% deposit, earn over £45,000 sterling equivalent, work for a multi-national corporate, have an existing UK mortgage and are looking to purchase ‘vanilla’ properties, then you are in luck as you will have options.

“If your income is lower, or if you are self-employed, or if you are looking to purchase more unusual properties, then you may find that the product options being offered to you are expensive and your potential purchase becomes unfeasible, or indeed that you cannot even borrow.”

However, products are available from certain lenders if investors are willing to shop around.