UK Property Market

The UK remains one of the most attractive countries in the world for property investments. The UK has a buoyant property market, and finance is easily accessible (including mortgage products and loans for high-value property purchases). The array of real estate on offer makes the UK a particularly attractive market for American investors. The lending market is competitive given the number of lenders who operate in the UK, meaning buyers can secure excellent rates and terms.

Naturally, London real estate is most popular with US-based buyers given the variety of investment properties, pied-a-terre's, buy-to-let options, holiday homes, and larger family residences available. However, country estates, investment, buy-to-let and holiday properties elsewhere in the UK are also highly in-demand.


UK Property Market

Enness' Offer

Enness is a leading broker for high-value (£1 million-plus) UK property finance. The team specialise in brokering large mortgages for US-based buyers looking to purchase real estate anywhere in the UK. Headquartered in London's Mayfair and with a track record of brokering significant UK mortgages for US residents, Enness can broker:

  • UK mortgages for first-time buyers
  • Remortgages
  • Entrepreneur and self-employed property mortgages
  • UK property equity release
  • Debt consolidation
  • Expat mortgages for UK nationals living in the US
  • UK non-resident mortgages for foreign nationals living in the US

Buying Property In The UK As A US Resident Or Citizen

UK property remains one of the most attractive markets for real estate investments for US-based buyers. Rental properties in London are a particular favourite for US investors, but other large cities in the UK also offer good returns on investment. Country estates and holiday homes are also popular with US investors.

The UK doesn't restrict who can own property in the country, and as a US resident or citizen, you are eligible to buy real estate. Securing a UK mortgage as a non-resident can be a challenge, though, which can be a barrier to entry for US-based investors. Mainstream lenders in particular, are cautious when considering lending to American borrowers, particularly if you want to buy high-value property (anything over £1 million).

Enness has a track record of successfully supporting expats and non-resident investors to secure highly competitive UK mortgages. The firm has access to more than 500 lenders, including private banks and alternative and niche lenders who are more flexible and better equipped to support US-based borrowers. Whatever your plans, Enness will facilitate your access to lenders, negotiate the best rates and terms for a UK mortgage and ensure you secure a property finance package efficiently and with minimum stress.

The UK Real Estate Market And How Mortgages Work

If you are a US-based borrower and haven't lived in the UK before, you may be unaware of the legalities and processes of buying real estate and getting a mortgage. At first glance, it can seem that the two systems are relatively similar when they are very different. Everything from the role of a real estate agent (known as estate agents in the UK) to when you typically apply for a mortgage is different. First-time buyers will be unfamiliar with how the UK property system works. It is worth understanding the differences between US and UK systems, practices, fees, and legalities. 

Enness is always happy to explain more and give insights into how the process works in the UK. There is never any obligation to work with Enness beyond this – the team will spend as much time as you need to give you any insights or answer any questions you have.

Rental Mortgages For US Residents

If you want to buy rental property as an investment in the UK, you'll usually want what's known as a buy-to-let mortgage. Understanding how this type of mortgage works is helpful if you're going to invest in a rental property in the UK. 

Most buy-to-let mortgages in the UK are what are known as unregulated mortgages. You'll be looking for an unregulated buy-to-let mortgage if you won't use the property in a personal capacity or rent it out to anyone who is not a family member. Regulated mortgages are different, and these products are used if you are buying a property you will live in now or in the future or if you will make it available to a family member (a child studying in the UK, for example). It's essential to understand the differences between regulated and unregulated mortgages because which product you need impacts which lenders Enness will approach for you, how much you can borrow and the regulations around affordability. 

Usually, US buyers want to use the income from their UK rental to cover the monthly mortgage repayments. This is logical and makes great sense from a planning perspective. However, note that in the UK, lenders want to see rental income tops your monthly mortgage payments by about 110% to 150%, but this can change from lender to lender. 

As a non-resident, even if you are a high-net-worth individual, lenders will assess you carefully for UK buy-to-let property. Being a US citizen can make it harder to get a mortgage, and not all lenders can work with US-based borrowers. Enness has a network of lenders that gladly work with US citizens and residents, and your broker will ensure that the mortgage process moves forward quickly and smoothly. As long as you are in good financial standing and can document that the mortgage is affordable, you will still be able to borrow – even if you are looking for a large loan.

Some lenders prefer to work with US investors who have already made UK real estate investments and have a property portfolio as it gives confidence in your ability to manage rentals in the UK. If you are a first-time investor, you will still be able to access a UK buy-to-let mortgage, provided your financial situation supports it. If you're a first-time investor, it's always helpful to clearly document your plan of action for marketing the property and showcasing how you plan to manage property upkeep and maintenance, your network and connections that will help you run the property and so on. 

In some cases, you may be able to do what is known as top-slicing. This mechanism is used when the rental revenue you make on your buy-to-let property isn't enough to cover the monthly mortgage payment. If you want to top slice, Enness approaches lenders that will let you use rental and personal income to pay your mortgage. Top slicing can sometimes increase how much you can borrow, but it's not available to every borrower. It's usually something lenders will consider for high-net-worth individuals with excellent income. Lenders will want to ensure that top-slicing is a viable option from a risk perspective and that you are not at increased risk of not being able to repay the mortgage, especially as you are a non-resident borrower. If you would like to explore top-slicing as a US national or resident buying UK property, Enness can negotiate this for you. 

Whether you want to buy in London or elsewhere in the UK, and however much you want to borrow, Enness will be able to help you secure the most competitive UK mortgage rates and terms from a network of more than 500 lenders.

UK Mortgage Rates

The UK mortgage and lending market is one of the most liquid and competitive in the world. There are lots of lenders, and many of these are happy to work with US-based borrowers. If you want to buy high-value real estate in the UK or have specific property finance requirements, there will be a lender that can serve you.

If you live in the US and want to buy high-end real estate in the UK, Enness will source and negotiate very competitive finance packages for you. Tracker mortgages start at around 2% for real estate valued at £1-2 million, and Enness can secure five-year fixed-rate mortgages from about 2.15%.

Finding a competitive UK mortgage as a US resident can be tricky, even if you are a British expat living in the United States. Enness has a track record of working with non-resident borrowers who are high-net-worth individuals or those with unusual backgrounds. The team has a history of securing highly competitive UK mortgages in these scenarios. Your broker will connect you with lenders willing to lend to you and who can meet your requirements. Regardless of your background, your broker will negotiate the best finance package for you and keep the deal moving quickly towards completion.

Whatever your circumstances and however much you are looking to borrow, Enness will explain all your options and help you understand what lenders need to see to offer you the best finance package. Get in touch to chat about how Enness can help or the rates likely to be available to you. There is never any obligation to proceed beyond an initial discussion if you don't want to take the process further, but the team will be able to give you clarity on your options.

UK High-Net-Worth Mortgages

Many lenders compete for space and clients in the UK mortgage market, and as experienced brokers, Enness can use this to your advantage. If you are a high-net-worth individual, you will be particularly appealing to lenders. Using your global assets and wealth, Enness can broker very competitive UK mortgages and property finance. 

As a US citizen or US-based borrower, you need specialist and very tailored support from a mortgage broker. For many lenders, non-resident buyers are one thing, but US-based buyers are quite another. However, there are many options if you work with a broker with the right connections and know which lenders have an appetite to work with US buyers. 

The UK mortgage that is best for you will ultimately depend on your financial situation, net worth, income, assets, and background. Enness will review your situation, talk you through your options and explain the path to securing the best and most flexible UK mortgage for you. 

For many US buyers purchasing UK real estate, products known as high-net-worth mortgages can be a great option. Here, if you meet the criteria for a lender to consider you a high-net-worth individual, you'll find that lenders may be able to be more flexible, especially around rules such as affordability and minimum income requirements.

These mortgages may be a possibility if you have an annual income of more than the equivalent of £300,000. A high-net-worth mortgage may also be an option if you have a net worth of £3 million or more, in addition to the value of your principal residence.

Complex Income Mortgages For US Borrowers

If you are based in the US or are a US citizen and want to purchase UK real estate, many mainstream lenders (e.g., high street banks) may find it hard to cater to you. This is partly due to your nationality and residence – many lenders can't lend to US citizens or residents. However, if you have "non-standard" income or a financial situation that is unusual (i.e., you have significant wealth but comparatively little income, you have multicurrency income, are the beneficiary of a trust, etc.), finding a lender is even more difficult. Most lenders see US citizens as complex borrowers by default, making it challenging to secure finance if you are shopping the UK mortgage market alone. 

Enness regularly works with US-based borrowers and citizens to broker competitive UK mortgages, even for high-value property purchases. Enness also has a track record of sourcing and negotiating UK mortgages if you have links to the US and have non-standard income or a situation that not every lender can cater to. Working with a broker like Enness that can present the strengths of your case to lenders will make all the difference to what rates lenders offer you and, in some cases, if you can borrow at all. 

Before Enness approaches lenders on your behalf, your broker will take time to go over your background, assets, and requirements. Your broker will do this to work out which of the 500 lenders in Enness' network will offer you the most competitive UK mortgage. When your broker understands the situation and everything you need, they will be able to negotiate successfully with lenders and reduce the headline rates of your mortgage as much as possible.  

If you are a resident of the US or an American citizen, Enness will assist you in securing a high-value UK mortgage, even if you:

  • Have a unique or unusual income structure
  • Own a business or businesses, are an entrepreneur or are self-employed 
  • Have diverse income streams
  • Are the beneficiary of a trust
  • Generate significant income through investments
  • Are retired or are nearing retirement age 
  • Benefit from large bonuses on top of your base pay
  • Plan to sell high-value assets to support your UK property purchase
  • Have a high net worth but comparatively low income

If you fall into any of the categories noted here (or similar), don't hesitate to contact Enness. The team know the UK mortgage market inside out and will be able to assist you as an American borrower to secure the best mortgage for your UK real estate purchase.

Self-employed And Entrepreneur Mortgages

The US remains one of the most entrepreneurial and business-centric countries in the world. Naturally, it is home to many start-ups, businesses and companies in various sectors. However, even if you are a very successful entrepreneur with high income, getting a UK mortgage as an American citizen or resident will be challenging. Lenders are always cautious with lending to entrepreneurs, even if you are very successful and have built up a great business.  

If you are American or based in the US and work for yourself in any capacity, most lenders will use your last three years of tax returns to determine how much you can borrow for a UK mortgage. Usually, lenders will use figures from your tax returns to determine how much you can borrow and check how stable your finances are. However, your tax returns may not accurately reflect your (or your company's) profitability. For example, you might have a relatively low salary because you invest most of your profit back into the business. You may also have made significant personal investments to set up the company, which will be repaid in the future and can be used to secure more competitive mortgage rates. Enness will always work with you to understand the whole situation so your broker can explain it accurately and effectively to lenders, laying a better foundation for negotiations. 

Regardless of your earning power and income, if you work for yourself as a US resident or American citizen and you want a UK mortgage, how you present your case to lenders is critical. Enness has extensive experience and an impressive track record of securing very competitive UK mortgages for US business owners, entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals.

UK Mortgages For Expats Living In The US

Enness helps British expats living in America to access the best UK mortgages. While getting a mortgage as an expat with British nationality should be relatively straightforward, often it is very complicated, especially given many lenders find it hard to cater to borrowers with any connection to the US. Not every UK lender can lend to non-resident borrowers, even if you are a UK passport holder. The process can become even more convoluted if you are in the market to buy a high-value property or you want to borrow a significant amount. Enness knows exactly how to secure competitive UK mortgages for US-based expats. The team will negotiate and deliver the best UK non-resident mortgage for your requirements – whatever these are.

How Enness Supports American Borrowers Buying UK Property

Enness is a leading broker of million-pound-plus mortgages for high-net-worth individuals and families buying high-value and prime UK property. Enness' brokers specialise in negotiating UK mortgages and property finance for US and non-resident borrowers. 

When you approach Enness, your broker will start by listening to your requirements for a UK mortgage. Here, the team will be looking to understand your goals, the type of real estate you will be buying and anything else that needs to be considered, like flexible terms you'd like to negotiate or any specific lenders you want to work with. 

Enness will also assess your financial situation, global assets, and income at this stage. Your broker will do this so they can identify the best mortgage product for you and which lenders will best meet your needs. Your broker will explain all your options and outline the terms you can benefit from. The team will also explain what lenders they will approach on your behalf and why these institutions will offer you the most competitive mortgage. This will be especially important as not every lender can work with American buyers. When your broker has answered all your questions and given you all the information you need, they will approach lenders on your behalf. 

The best mortgage for you will not always be the mortgage that offers the cheapest rate. Enness will always negotiate the best rates for you, but they will also consider other factors that will be advantageous for you in the short, medium, and long term. For example, sometimes, you will find that an offer of a slightly higher rate that is part of a package that allows you to borrow more or with more flexible terms is better than a slightly lower rate. 

Enness will negotiate your UK mortgage with lenders, and if they can, they will present two (or more) offers for you to compare. Your broker will explain the offers and any differences between proposals so you can make an informed choice of the best offer. When you are ready to move forward, Enness will let the lender know you accept the offer, and they will submit your mortgage application for you. Your broker remains at your disposal to ensure the transaction moves forward and is completed as quickly as possible. 


Contact Enness Mortgage Brokers in the UK

Enness is a leading, high-value mortgage broker. Based in central London, Enness brokers the most competitive UK mortgages for American residents and citizens, regardless of how much you are looking to borrow. Get in touch with Enness' team of UK mortgage brokers today to learn more about how the team can support you with securing a UK mortgage.

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