Hong Kong expats turning to UK for property investment as Hong Kong emerges as the most expensive city for British expatriates
Hong Kong expats are turning to the UK for property investment as Hong Kong is identified as the most expensive city for British expatriates to live in. Mortgage lender Skipton International has reported a surge in enquiries for its expat mortgage products from Asia.
A recent study carried out by Mercer found that Hong Kong is now the most expensive city for British workers to reside, closely followed by Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore and then Seoul. Skipton saw an increase of 65% in mortgage completions for UK buy-to-let mortgages from Hong Kong residents during 2017, compared to the previous year.
Mercer’s survey compares the living costs for expatriates, reviewing 209 cities worldwide and finding that Hong Kong is the most expensive, mainly due to soaring rental costs.
With the most expensive property in the world, expats living in Hong Kong struggle to purchase property since the Chinese territory’s government imposed a 15 per cent Buyer’s Stamp Duty on foreign sales.
This combined with tough loan-to-value mortgage requirements, with buyers typically having to provide a 40 per cent deposit, has prompted many to look to the UK to invest.
Director of Business Development, Nigel Pascoe said that the number of enquiries for expat mortgages from Asia, and in particular Hong Kong, has been steadily rising over the past couple of years. UK property remains an attractive option for those living in countries where buying is simply not an option.
Expatriates are driven to UK property investment as they are familiar with the market and want to maintain a tie with their homeland.
Pascoe said the expat market is something Skipton International has lengthy experience and expertise in and it is always looking to make its mortgages and savings more accessible for those British residents working abroad.
Skipton International has approved more than 1,300 expat mortgages by lending £290 million to British Expatriates around the globe.