Why overseas demand for UK buy-to-let has suddenly soared


According to buy-to-let lender Skipton International, overseas interest in UK buy-to-let opportunities has soared this year.

The lender reports that enquiry values through its online mortgage calculator have increased by 43% year-on-year to the end of August. It revealed that the enquiry value for 2019 so far is, in fact, more than for the whole of 2018.

London and the south-east appear to be the most popular locations, but demand across all regions, including Scotland, is strong. Roger Hughes, business development manager for Skipton International, said: “We believe many overseas residents are considering UK property good value at present, which is resulting in Skipton International receiving record levels of applications.”

Less risk for overseas investors

Skipton suggests that the driving force behind the increasing interest from overseas buy-to-let investors is the devaluation of the pound since the Brexit vote which means the upfront cost of purchasing a UK property has been reduced for those earning or with savings in a foreign currency. Right now, the UK buy-to-let property market presents good value for overseas investors.

Hughes explained: “On 10 June 2016 the exchange rate was $1.43 (USD) to the pound. Recently it touched $1.20 – a 16% reduction in the dollar amount required to fund a given amount of sterling.

“Once the property has been purchased, the rental income will be paid in sterling, which removes most of the currency risk in maintaining the UK mortgage.”

It was in February this year that Skipton extended its buy-to-let mortgage proposition to include applications from non-UK nationals resident overseas. Previously, the lender only offered UK buy-to-let mortgages to British expatriates.

Roger Hughes, said: “We have been continually refining our UK buy-to-let offering and will continue to search out ways in which we can make our products more readily available and inclusive.”

For more information on investing in UK property from abroad, read our guide.

Better value for money

Property developer Click Properties has also released figures showing that buyer enquiries from overseas have seen a marked increase over the past six months. Around 20% of all the developer’s leads came from the Far East, it was reported, while 10% came from the US.

Anthony Moubarak, head of sales at Click, said: “The current weakness of the pound means that global currencies, not least of all the dollar, go much further making an investment in the UK good value for money.  However, this isn’t simply a case of exchange rates.

“Whilst many domestic purchasers are adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ approach around the Brexit situation, savvy overseas investors view the political climate as an opportunity.”

“Among domestic interest, there is an ever-increasing number of renters moving out of central London in order to buy and achieve a lot more for their money.”

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free

Map of the UK and Ireland under a magnifying glass

Why overseas demand for UK buy-to-let has suddenly soared


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.