Residential expat mortgage for British couple in Africa

11th April 2017
Residential expat mortgage for British couple in Africa

An estate agent recently referred a couple to me who were UK expats living in Africa and wished to secure a residential expat mortgage for a property to live in when they returned to the UK.

My clients were in their 40s, the husband was a manager at an oil and gas company, and his partner was a housewife. They wanted to purchase a residential property but didn’t plan on living in it until they returned to the UK in the future.

The property they wished to purchase was valued at £585,000 and they wished to borrow £300,000, making the loan to value (LTV) 51%. Such a low LTV would usually not pose too many challenges but given the client was based in Africa, it wasn’t such a straight forward case.

The couple had been living outside the UK for 10 years so their UK footprint was limited. A further challenge was the client being paid in dollars, something a UK lender can see as a barrier to lending.

There are few lenders who cater for residential expat mortgage requirements – they are far more at ease with assisting them with buy to let investment – but helping these types of clients is something we specialise in at Enness. As such, we have an extensive network of lenders and the knowledge of who to approach in these situations.


I contacted a small building society who I know manually underwrite their loans and don’t use credit score as an affordability criterion. I was correct to do so as they were very happy to proceed with the clients, despite them residing in Africa, outside of their lending criteria.

I secured my clients a residential expat mortgage at a discounted variable rate of 3.25% over a 5-year term on the basis of them living in the property on their return to the UK.

If you are an expat looking to plan for the future, get in touch with Enness as we are experienced in securing property finance for such circumstances.

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