According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), an estimated 4.7 million UK-born people currently live abroad, with an increasing number looking to buy property back home for a variety of reasons. However, it can be challenging securing expat property finance, so knowing which providers can help is invaluable.
As we recently reported, London was recently voted the most attractive city for real estate investors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Speaking to one of our trusted finance providers, Al Rayan Bank, this is more evident than ever, with significant growth in the number and volume of property transactions financed for British citizens living outside of the United Kingdom over the last year. This is regardless of the prospect of Brexit.
According to Al Rayan Bank, their expat property finance business has more than doubled – 144% – since the 2016 EU Referendum;
Keith Leach, Chief Commercial Officer at Al Rayan Bank, comments: “We believe this is not only due to our more complete product range, improved distribution channels – particularly in the GCC, but the current favourable exchange rate for British expats looking to buy property in the UK.
Furthermore, over 75% of our expat deals in 2016 were from British expats living in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi, showing a desire to make long term plans for a return to the UK. We are seeing demand from clients looking for property all over the UK, but London remains the most popular, with over 30% of all our deals in 2016 being in the capital.”
As an Islamic bank, Al Rayan Bank’s property finance products do not involve interest, as this is prohibited for Muslims. Instead the customer and the Bank buy the property as partners; the customer acquires the Bank’s share over time, whilst paying rent to use the Bank’s share in the property. When all acquisition payments have been made and the finance has been settled, ownership of the property transfers fully to the customer.
Al Rayan Bank is an inclusive bank which appeals to people of any faith, and none. The bank estimates that approximately 25% of its customers are non-Muslims.
This is an example of our extensive provider relationships, enabling us to assist with clients’ property finance requirements, regardless of global location or complexity.