When it comes to buying property in the UK, the rules are straightforward and lenient. Legally, residents and non-residents, including overseas buyers and foreign investors, can easily buy property in the UK. According to estate agents in York, buying property in the UK is actually very easy and since there are no legal restrictions the process is seamless. If you have been thinking about buying property in the UK, then this detailed breakdown of requirements and eligibility criteria will help you unlock the door towards investing in the UK property market.
Both residents and foreign investors are eligible to buy property in the UK. However, it is important to remember that foreign investors or overseas buyers who are looking to invest in the UK property market should have lived in the UK for around 2 years or more. And, it is ideal if they have a job in the UK. If these above-mentioned criteria are not met, then overseas buyers are still eligible to buy property in the UK but they may have to deal with rigid rules and could even be asked to put down a higher deposit.
If you are applying for a mortgage, then you need to meet certain eligibility criteria. For one, buyers between the ages of 18 to 75 are eligible for a mortgage. Second, the buyer should be able to put down 5 per cent to 20 per cent of the value of the property as the deposit. In some cases, banks could loan 100 per cent of the borrowing amount, but it is usually only around 80 per cent. Lastly, the buyer will need to show a permanent source of income, stable expenditure and minimal debt to be eligible for a mortgage.
Since not all banks offer a mortgage to non-UK residents, overseas buyers should be prepared to pay higher rates of interest. Overseas buyers and foreign investors can always apply for an expat mortgage in the UK. Technically, there is not much difference between an expat mortgage and a regular mortgage. Both local and foreign buyers will have to speak to banks or professional lenders, they will have to give all their paperwork and documentation and they will have to pay back the mortgage with added interest. However, expat mortgages could be a little more expensive than standard mortgages due to a higher rate of interest. Also, expats may face a stricter application process for pre-mortgage approval.
Documentation: ID and address proof
Buyers have to provide identification which includes their name and address. Providing identification is a legal requirement to ensure that the buyer is who he says he is and that there are no fraudulent transactions. A passport, a driving license or even an EEA membership identity card is an acceptable form of ID. As for proof of address, a buyer could produce a driving license or passport as proof of address or utility bills which are less than 3 months old.
Proof of funds
The buyer will have to show the source of funds or proof of funds. This could be the sale receipt from the sale of any property, inheritance, financial gifts from family or even a statement of their savings account. Buyers should always include pay slips of the last 3 to 6 months to show that they have a recurring source of income as well as their income tax return documents. The more paperwork that is available to show proof of funds, the easier it will be to obtain a mortgage or make a purchase.
In terms of the property price, there is no difference between what residents and non-residents will pay. The purchase price property will remain the same for all parties, irrespective of their residential status. Both local buyers and foreign investors will have to pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax when they purchase property, as well as the Capital Gains Tax if applicable. Since September 2022, buyers who are purchasing a property valued under £250,000 are exempt from paying the Stamp Duty Land Tax. Buyers who are purchasing properties between £250,001 and £925,000 will have to pay a 5 per cent Stamp Duty Land Tax whereas 10 per cent will be levied on properties between £925,001 and £1.5 million. As for properties above £1.5 million, buyers will have to pay 12 per cent as the Stamp Duty Land Tax.