The perfect time to buy UK property for UAE residents – Enness in The National

Islay Robinson GROUP CEO

Islay Robinson


Islay Robinson

The UK economy is slowing, Brexit has split the country, the pound is plunging and Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister. Who would want to buy a property in a country like this?

Answer: you might.

For many UAE residents, now could be a once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity, especially if you have always dreamed of a bolthole in London but been scared away by the sky-high prices.

House prices fell 4.4 per cent in London in the year to May, the largest drop since August 2009 when they fell 7 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics, and with transaction levels also well down you might be able to negotiate a further discount.

If you fancy snapping up a London property, however, there are some things you need to know.

First, London isn’t exactly cheap, despite recent slippage. Second, you will face a hefty stamp duty bill, including a 3 per cent surcharge for overseas buyers, investors and second homeowners, which would total £30,000 on a £500,000 property.

Third, you need a decent deposit. Alina Yarovaya, marketing manager at Enness, a UK mortgage brokerage for high net worth clients, says UAE expats and locals typically need a minimum 25 per cent deposit to secure a mortgage. “If you can do that mortgage rates range from 2 per cent to 5 per cent, depending on your personal profile.”

You then need to sort out your mortgage finance; your choices include UAE banks such as Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, international banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and NatWest International or UK-based lenders such as building societies Ipswich, Kent Reliance, Market Harborough and Skipton International, who all offer expat mortgages, as well as Islamic lenders such as Gatehouse Bank.

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