Expat Mortgage Rates | Current Rates & How To Compare Them

Expat mortgage rates often deviate from standard mortgage rates, and the application process can be more stringent, with additional requirements and considerations.

In this comprehensive guide, we provide a snapshot of the best expat mortgage rates on the market currently. 

And we’ll also delve into the intricacies of expat mortgage rates, the application process, strategies for comparing rates, and other crucial factors that expats need to know when buying property in the UK.

Expat Mortgage Rates

Current Expat Mortgage Rates

Current expat mortgage rates are hovering around the 5.5-6% mark and up, while buy to let expat mortgage rates are around 5.8% and up.

Here’s a snapshot of the current best expat mortgage rates: 

Mortgage TypeExpat Mortgage Rate (APR)Deposit Required
Residential Expat Mortgage5.5% – 6% and up20% – 40%
Buy-to-Let Expat Mortgage5.8% and up25% – 40%

Note: this is only a rough guide to the current expat mortgage rates available on the market. There is no guarantee that we can secure this rate for every client. It is always determined by lenders on a case-by-case basis. Rates can also fluctuate on a daily basis from lender to lender, but this is a good indication of the best on the market as of April 2024.

Understanding Expat Mortgage Rates

How Do Expat Mortgage Rates Compare to Standard Rates?

Expat mortgage rates in the UK are generally slightly higher than standard mortgage rates. 

This is primarily due to the added complexity and perceived risk associated with these types of loans. Expats often face challenges that can make the application process more complicated for lenders, such as:

  • Earning income in a foreign currency
  • Language barriers (to verify your employment and income, for example)
  • Unfamiliar legal and financial systems
  • Limited credit history in the UK

These factors can lead lenders to charge higher rates to compensate for the perceived risks. 

However, it’s important to note that there are specialist lenders and international building societies that cater specifically to the expat market. These providers may be able to offer expat mortgage rates that are more competitive, as they have a deeper understanding of the unique needs and circumstances of expat borrowers.

Generally speaking, high street banks often offer the best expat mortgage rates – but, only a small number of high street banks accept expat mortgages, and their lending criteria is typically the most strict out of any lender. 

As expat mortgage brokers, if we can package your application to fit into a high street lender’s criteria, we usually will, because the discounted rate will be worth it. However, sometimes it’s not possible depending on how much you’re looking to borrow vs your deposit and income – if this is the case, we can explore other options, from private banks to international building societies, to help you get the finance you need.

What Factors Influence Expat Mortgage Rates?

Expat mortgage rates can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including:

  • The complexity of the application: Lenders may charge higher rates for applications that are more complicated or require additional documentation.
  • The amount being borrowed: Larger loan amounts may be subject to higher rates.
  • The loan-to-income (LTI) ratio: Lenders typically have stricter LTI requirements for expat mortgages, which can impact the interest rate.
  • The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: A higher LTV ratio (i.e., a smaller deposit) may result in a higher interest rate.
  • The applicant’s credit profile and financial history: Strong credit and a solid financial history can help secure more favourable rates.
  • The location of the property and the applicant’s country of residence: Certain locations or countries may be perceived as riskier, leading to higher rates.

It’s worth noting that expat mortgage rates can be quite volatile and may fluctuate based on market conditions, lender policies, and the specific circumstances of the applicant.

Case Studies

The Expat Mortgage Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for an expat mortgage in the UK, you’ll typically need to meet the following criteria:

– Minimum income requirements (you can typically borrow 4.5x your income)

– Minimum deposit (usually 20-40% of the property value)

– Established credit history (preferably in the UK, but also your country of residence)

– Proof of employment or self-employment income

– Additional documentation, such as proof of residency and identification

It’s important to note that these requirements can vary between lenders, and some may have more flexible criteria for certain applicants.

A specialist expat mortgage broker can help you navigate the process, manage your application for you, and compare rates across the market.

Navigating the Application Process

The expat mortgage application process can be more complex and time-consuming than a standard mortgage application. You may need to provide additional documentation, such as:

  • Proof of overseas income and assets
  • Evidence of employment or self-employment status
  • Copies of passports and visas
  • Bank statements from both the UK and the your country of residence
  • Proof of address and residency status

This additional documentation is often required to demonstrate your financial stability and creditworthiness to the lender.

The Role of Expat Mortgage Brokers

Working with a specialist expat mortgage broker can be invaluable during the application process. We have in-depth knowledge of the expat mortgage market and have established relationships with a wide range of lenders, including private banks, international building societies, and specialist providers.

We can assist with:

  • Assessing your eligibility and financial profile
  • Establishing exactly how much you could borrow towards your new UK property
  • Identifying the most suitable lenders and mortgage products
  • Comparing expat mortgage rates across the market
  • Guiding you through the application process and ensuring all necessary documentation is provided
  • Negotiating with lenders on your behalf to secure the best possible rates and terms
  • Providing advice on currency exchange and other financial considerations

Comparing Expat Mortgage Rates

Comparing expat mortgage rates can be a significant challenge, as these products are too complex to be easily listed on comparison websites. 

Expat mortgage rates can vary significantly based on the individual applicant’s situation, making it difficult to find a standardised, apples-to-apples comparison.

Generally speaking, the best way to compare expat mortgage rates is to work with a specialist expat mortgage broker. 

We have knowledge of the market, strong relationships with underwriters and business development teams, and industry-specific technology to compare rates from various lenders even for complex cases. 

At UK Expat Mortgage, we are completely independent and are not tied to any one lender, so we always present our clients with the most cost-effective solution for our clients, as long as it is suitable for their needs.

We can also provide valuable insights into the different lender policies, application requirements, and other factors that can impact the overall cost of the mortgage.

Other Considerations for Expat Homebuyers

Moving Costs and Logistics

Purchasing a property in the UK while living overseas can involve additional costs and logistical challenges. Remember that you may need to factor in other expenses such as:

  • Property inspection and valuation fees
  • Legal fees and conveyancing costs
  • Stamp duty land tax
  • Potential currency exchange fees
  • Travel expenses for site visits and meetings with solicitors if required

Tax Implications and Reporting Requirements

Expats purchasing property in the UK may also need to consider the tax implications, both in the UK and in their country of residence. This can include:

  • UK stamp duty land tax
  • Capital gains tax (if the property is sold in the future)
  • Potential tax liabilities in your home country

Property Management and Rental Considerations

If you’re purchasing a buy to let and plan to rent out the property, you’ll need to consider the logistics of property management, such as:

  • Finding and vetting reliable property management companies
  • Ensuring compliance with UK landlord regulations
  • Navigating the tax implications of rental income

You’ll also need an expat buy to let mortgage which generally have slightly higher loan to value requirements (typically at least 25% deposit).

How UK Expat Mortgage Can Help

Our Service

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Specialist Expat Mortgage Broker

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Independent, Whole of Market Advice

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Dedicated Support From Expat Specialists

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Complex Income Accepted

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Residential & Buy to Let Options

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Access to High Street Banks, International Building Societies & Specialist Lenders

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We Compare The Market For Every Client

How It Works

Consultation

Book a free call with one of our expat mortgage brokers so we can explore your borrowing potential. We’ll need to know where you’re based, your income situation, and your property aspirations.

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Compare

If you’re eligible, we will compare options from multiple expat lenders, from high street banks to international building societies, to find the best fit for your situation. We are whole of market and fully independent.

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Agreement In Principle

When we’ve found the best terms for you, we’ll present you with your options and provide your Agreement in Principle to solidify your buying position.

Application

We’ll submit your full mortgage application. We do the heavy lifting, keeping it as simple and stress-free for you as we possibly can – and we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.

Completion

Enjoy your new UK property, with the peace of mind that you got the best deal on the market for your mortgage.

Residential Expat Mortgages

​ Borrow from £100k

 Up to 80% LTV

 New purchases and refinancing

Complex income accepted

Buy to Let Expat Mortgages

Borrow from £100k

Up to 75% LTV

New BTL purchases and refinancing

Rental income and salary accepted

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