Lack of mortgages keep expats from home

Robyn Hall

March 1, 2013

Enquiries to the broker have almost doubled since the start of the year from ex-patriots across the world. But it says the increase in enquiries is a result of a lack of suitable mortgage products for applicants with no financial history in the UK during the last two years.

Henry Knight, managing director of Springtide Capital, said: “We have noticed a significant increase in enquiries from ex-patriots since the beginning of the year and have been surprised at how few lenders are currently offering products to meet their requirements.

“Ex-patriots are often ideal borrowers who are usually cash rich, with funding from the blue chip companies that employ them. However, the majority of high street lenders are all too restricted in their approach as their computer systems will reject applicants with no existing UK address as they view them as too high risk.”

Two mainstream lenders have notably removed themselves from the ex-patriot market in recent months. Both Halifax and Lloyds had previously offered ex-pats their standard residential rates.

However, both lenders recently withdrew these products leaving a gap in the market of up to £1m.

Knight added: “We can see an emerging opportunity for smaller lenders to fill this gap with a more personalised service versus the ‘computer says no’ approach of the larger lenders. One example of this is the work we have been doing with Market Harborough Building Society who are one of the only lenders appealing to ex-patriots at present. With all of the enquiries we have on the table this year there is certainly room for a few more lenders to enter the market with this kind of offering.”

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