Stamp duty changes drive interest from overseas buyers

Criteria searches related to applicants on a visa have risen by 146% for buy-to-let (BTL) enquiries since May, as well as 97% for residential criteria enquiries, data from Legal & General Mortgage Club has revealed.

The mortgage club suggested its analysis shows that a growing number of overseas buyers are reacting to recent changes to stamp duty, which include a 2% surcharge for non-UK buyers beginning in April 2021, as well as the stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000.

The data is from L&G's SmartrCriteria tool, which helps advisers to determine whether a particular lender would consider a mortgage application from their client, and showed that criteria searches related to “visas” were the fourth most searched term by advisers during the first week of June. By 27 July, it ranked as the most searched term by advisers.

Of the residential visa searches made by advisers in July, L&G said that 88% of applicants have a tier 2 or other working visa while the majority (71%) have been in the UK for two years or more.
The SmartrCriteria data also indicated that 66% of non-UK applicants would be looking to borrow between 80 to 90% of the property value. 

“Britain’s housing market is bucking the trend and has faced unprecedented levels of demand since reopening in May, and now figures show that a growing number of overseas buyers are also taking interest in UK property,” L&G Mortgage Club director, Kevin Roberts, commented:

“Our SmartrCriteria tool is tracking some of the key industry trends in the mortgage market’s new normal and shows recent announcements from the Government have clearly gained the attention of non-UK based buyers. Many are now looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday while also investing in the market before the 2% surcharge for overseas customers takes effect.

“Lending criteria is changing every day in the mortgage market at the moment, and advisers will be key in helping these borrowers and others to cut through the noise and find the best product for their particular circumstances.”

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