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In the UK, foreign citizens have the same rights as British citizens when it comes to mortgages. However, not every UK lender gives loans to non-residents of the EU.

Requirements for borrowers

There are two types of mortgage in the UK:

  • A residency programme provides mortgages to applicants purchasing property intended as their main residence. In order to obtain a loan, the borrower should have a residence permit and preferably have lived in the UK for at least three years. Applicants who have spent less time on British soil (one or two years) should have a residence permit that is valid for the two following years.
  • An investment programme offers mortgages for the purchase of property intended for letting. It is not compulsory to live in the UK to obtain this type of mortgage.

The borrower must be at least 25 years old upon mortgage approval and no older than 65 by the time it is redeemed. The mortgage applicant must have a monthly income of at least £30,000. The loan repayments cannot exceed 35% of the monthly income. A permanent income is not required if the applicant can prove available cash or assets in the amount of at least £1,000,000.

Lending terms

EFG, HSBC and Coutts are among the banks providing mortgages to foreign citizens in the UK.

Non-residents may be granted a mortgage at rates ranging from 2.5–5.0%, with a maturity term of 5–25 years. The mortgage value cannot exceed 70% of the property value while its minimum value is at least £250,000.

According to this arrangement, the mortgage is initially granted for five years and from then on, every five years rolling. The interest rates are lower, but borrowers are charged a rollover fee each time.

There are mortgage restrictions for off-plan properties and rooms in serviced apartment complexes. Banks can also be reluctant to give mortgages to borrowers investing in leasehold apartments for terms of less than 60 years.

Documents

Mortgage applications in the UK require the following documents:

  • passport;
  • residence permit (if applicable);
  • bank statements for the previous six months confirming regular income (salary, dividends, rentals, bonuses);
  • income certificates for the previous two months.

In order to use assets to qualify for a mortgage, the borrower must be able to provide proof of property ownership, account statements, proof of investment, security account or bank deposit statements.

All documents should be translated into English and notarised.

Extra costs

When the mortgage is formalised, the borrower incurs the following costs:

  • stamp duty — 0–12% property value;
  • broker’s fees — 1,0–1.5%;
  • property insurance coverage — 0.5–1,0% mortgage amount;
  • booking fee — £100–700;
  • arrangement fee — about £1,000;
  • valuation fee — £300–500.

The average mortgage prepayment charge is about 1–3%.