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Expat mortgages: investing in UK property

According to the United Nations, there are just over 4.5 million Britons living abroad. Many British expats command higher salaries when working outside of the UK, as well as a lower cost of living, which can afford them more disposable income which they may wish to invest in property in the UK through an expat mortgage.

While the 2014 Mortgage Market Review (MMR) meant that lenders must closely scrutinise the income and outgoings of all mortgage applicants, the European rules introduced in 2016 saw this scrutiny become closer still for people working abroad - particularly those who collect their salaries in a foreign currency. If applicants are using this salary to secure a mortgage, expat mortgage lenders must then consider fluctuating exchange rates when assessing affordability and get a measure of a potential borrower's global financial position.

Expat mortgages from Ipswich Building Society

Rather than put expat homebuyers through a computerised process, at Ipswich Building Society we prefer to assess each application on its own merit. We can’t promise to lend to every expat, but we will promise that each and every application is reviewed by one of our mortgage experts, giving them a fair assessment and the best possible chance of being accepted.

Our residential expat mortgages

The lending options for British expats looking to buy a property in the UK to be used as their primary residence can be limited. Through our expert Mortgage Consultants we can offer expats mortgages up to 90% loan to value with a maximum loan size of £500,000, for borrowers paid in GBP so they are able to buy a UK property where they or their family will live.

Unlike some other lenders, who may not accept applications from British expats, our manual underwriting means we take individual circumstances into account, whereas a computer-based system tends to be ‘rules based’ and more rigid.

Our Buy to Let expat mortgages

British expats may choose to remain on the property ladder in the UK for a variety of reasons, for some they simply see rental earnings as a good source of income or they may be maintaining a property for when they finish working abroad and return home to the UK. Whatever the reason, expats may find the process of applying for an expat buy to let mortgage rather probing.

As we calculate affordability based on rental cover, and not income, applicants can be paid in a foreign currency.

And there’s more! When assessing a buy to let expat mortgage application, we can top slice, which means we can take GBP-only personal income into account and utilise this to ‘top up’ or address any shortfall where rental cover requirements are not met.

Criteria for investing in UK property

Our expat mortgage products are available to UK nationals for properties located in England and Wales. Residential applicants can be paid in GBP or one of several nominated currencies.


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.