Expat mortgages (UK)

If you’re a UK national living abroad and looking to buy a house in the UK, then you might need an expat mortgage. This guide answers the key questions about expat mortgages.

Better.co.uk mortgage advisers cannot currently assist expats in securing UK mortgages. This article is for educational purposes only.

What is an expat?

A UK expat is a UK national who lives abroad. 

For example, a UK national living in Spain is considered an expat, and they would need an expat mortgage if they wanted to buy a property in the UK.

Expat mortgages (UK)

An expat mortgage is a mortgage taken out by a UK national residing abroad, who is buying a house in the UK.

An expat mortgage is not to be confused with an overseas mortgage.

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Can expats get a UK mortgage?

Yes, expats can apply for a mortgage in the UK. The process will differ from that for a UK resident.

Owning a home in the UK can offer you a safety net if you return to the UK. It can also help if you’re worried about house prices going up while you’re away. 

Lenders see expat buyers as higher risk than borrowers living and working in the UK. So expats applying for a UK mortgage may find that lenders need a bit more from them to approve their mortgage.

The key differences might include stricter lending criteria and the need for a bigger deposit. 

Some lenders will also ask to see a UK passport and your UK bank account details.

Which UK banks offer expat mortgages?

It can be more challenging for expats to get a mortgage as fewer lenders are available for expats buying properties in the UK.

Some popular lenders that provide expat mortgages include:

  • HSBC

  • NatWest International

  • Santander International

  • Skipton International

Choosing the ‘best’ lender for an expat mortgage will depend on the buyer’s needs and circumstances. Speaking to a mortgage broker is your best bet when looking for the right lender.

Expat buy-to-let mortgage

There are more buy-to-let mortgages available to expats than residential mortgages. This is because people living abroad tend to want to purchase a property they can then rent out.

Remortgaging to a buy-to-let mortgage

If you plan to move abroad and wish to rent out your existing home, you’ll need to remortgage your existing residential property as a buy-to-let.

Expat mortgage broker

Not all brokers will be able to assist expats looking for a mortgage, so you might have to shop around to find the right kind of mortgage broker.

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