Lloyds Bank research: Strong appetite for property in UK among British expats

  • Brits abroad look to benefit from rising UK prices, with many considering Buy to Let
  • Expats based in the UAE, France and Switzerland are the most likely to buy in Britain
  • Only 11 per cent of British expats not confident of UK housing market growth

LONDON, 9-4-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — New research from Lloyds Bank has uncovered a strong appetite for property among British expats, with some 38 per cent who plan to buy a new property in the coming two years looking to rent it out for a regular income.

43 per cent say they are likely to buy a property in the next two years, with 26 per cent wanting to buy in the UK. The desire for UK property looks to be a wise investment, with 71 per cent of those that own rental properties in the UK having tenants in them at all times, compared to 47 per cent of those that have foreign properties.

Favoured property purchase locations for British Expats*
UK 25.8%
Australia 24.7%
USA 15.1%
Canada 8.2%
Spain 6.8%
New Zealand 5.4%
Switzerland 2.2%
France 2.2%
Asia 1.8%
Italy 1.1%
South Africa 1.1%
South America 0.4%

Richard Musty, Director, Lloyds Bank International Banking, commented: “Confidence in the UK property market is very strong. Our recent Investor Sentiment Index in March showed that consumer sentiment for UK property had grown by 50 percentage points since March 2013, so it’s not a surprise that Brits abroad are looking back home. While we welcome this investment in to Britain, it’s important that expats consider all their options and think about a range of investments in their portfolio and not just property.”

For many expats, the relatively weak Sterling also makes the UK property market even more attractive – their Euros or US Dollars now buy them more Pounds now than they would have done a few years ago. A £300,000 property is now approximately 25 per cent cheaper to a European buyer than it was in 2007, prior to the financial crisis.¹

Richard Musty said: “UK property prices are strengthening and British expats don’t want to miss out on this investment opportunity. Our research shows that huge numbers of expats are now ready to take the plunge as they look to benefit from high rents and a relatively weak pound. With that in mind, any potential investor must make sure that they get the right advice before deciding to invest back in to the UK.”

Expats based in the UAE (65 per cent), France (37 per cent) and Switzerland (29 per cent) are the most likely to buy in Britain, which may be related to geographic proximity or restrictive local laws in place for purchasing property in some countries. For example, 72 per cent of those in the UAE already own a UK property – the highest in the survey.

-Ends-

Notes to editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a survey of 1,039 British expats based in popular expat destinations: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, UAE, USA. The survey was conducted online by Freshminds in October 2013.

*Based on sample size of 279. Sample selected from base of 1,039 British expats who answered ‘quite likely or very likely’ to the question: “How likely or unlikely are you to buy a property/another property in the next two years?”.

For further information, please contact:

Bart Nash
bart.nash@lloydsbanking.com
020 7356 1975 / 07788 354 525

Laura Ellman
Laura.ellman@lloydsbanking.com
0207 356 2200 / 07786 335 317

¹Historic exchange rates taken at 01.01.2007 from XE.com

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