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UK Mortgage for Expats in UAE

Are you a UK-origin person living in the UAE looking for a mortgage in England? This is the only article you need to understand your options and make the right decision.
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There are various reasons why you might be looking at a UK mortgage for expats in UAE, whether as investments or to return home.

However, getting a mortgage in England may be challenging, particularly if you live in the UAE, due to the Mortgage Credit Directive laid out by the European Commission in 2014.

Working and living abroad can influence your access to lending options despite having a substantial income if you were to have one. Numerous mainstream lenders may not cater to expatriates due to their lack of familiarity with international mortgage procedures. 

Nonetheless, rest assured, there are alternative solutions accessible to you. In this article, we will discuss the same for expats in the UAE looking to buy properties in England.

Can I Get A UK Mortgage If I Live in Dubai?

Getting a mortgage in England when you’re working and residing in the UAE as an expatriate is indeed feasible.

Although it may limit your choices due to the complexity involved compared to applications from UK residents, there are specialist lenders well-versed in handling such cases and can often provide a more comprehensive assessment of your financial situation.

There are several methods available for securing a UK mortgage when living overseas. And while some lenders might think twice before offering you a mortgage if you’re a UAE expat, our experienced mortgage advisors may be able to help you find a suitable option.

3 Ways To Get A UK Mortgage for Expats in UAE

1. Purchasing Property For Residence

What are Expat Mortgages

Acquiring properties for residence is likely to be the most straightforward path to securing a mortgage when residing abroad. 

As a British expat buying property in England, the mortgage application will primarily depend on your income and financial situation, simplifying the process compared to other types of mortgages, such as buy-to-let mortgages.

The regulations governing buy-to-let properties in England are becoming stricter, affecting overseas buyers. 

However, by purchasing property in England without renting it, you can circumvent these regulations or additional pieces of criteria and potentially secure a more favourable mortgage deal as a result. 

If the above is the case it is likely you may be looking for a residential mortgage. 

It’s crucial to acknowledge that many lenders consider a single income source. If your income derives from multiple channels, collaborating with an expert broker could assist you in accurately portraying your complete income to any prospective lender. 

This might just help you meet the required criteria and get your application through.

2. Refinancing Properties Owned in England

If you currently own property in England, including potential investments, your current mortgage(s) might be reaching the end of their fixed-rate periods, transitioning to the lender’s higher SVR. 

Alternatively, you may have used your tax-free foreign salary to make extra payments to reduce the principal of your mortgages. 

Coupled with the rise in property value, this could mean there’s available equity, potentially leading to significant reductions in repayments through remortgaging.

3. Buying Properties in England As Investments

The UK often presents itself as a potentially prime investment location, primarily due to high-value rentals and then return on investment (ROI). 

What are Expat Buy-To-Let Mortgages

Buy-to-let properties stand out as attractive opportunities for investors seeking long-term growth and stable rental income.

For those contemplating a return to England in the future, renting out their property until their eventual relocation could be an appealing option. Of course if then moving into the property a residential mortgage would be needed, opting to convert their buy-to-let mortgage into a residential one for personal occupancy.

Expat investors living in UAE seeking a UK mortgage may require finance for different scenarios:

  • To get a buy-to-let property with a single tenancy
  • Alternatively, financing for an HMO with its more rigorous regulatory demands but potentially higher returns.

In 2017, the Prudential Regulatory Authority implemented new regulations that set greater requirements for prospective landlord-investors. 

Traditional lenders now mandate that landlords provide a rental coverage ratio of 145% for standard buy-to-lets and up to 170% for HMOs. This is just a rough guide each individual lender will have their own required rental coverage ratio. 

Reasons Why You Might Find It Difficult To Obtain A UK Mortgage As A UAE Expat

  • Lack of an international credit rating
  • Proof of residence might be strict to validate if you’re looking to buy property in England from the UAE
  • You might not have suitable proof of income documents
  • Your salary might be paid in Dirham for example which is hard to quantify. 

However, it’s not impossible. If you need specialised advice from experienced mortgage advisors, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do I need to visit the UK to apply for a mortgage as an expatriate in the UAE?

Not necessarily. Many lenders offer remote application processes for expatriates.

2. Can I apply for a buy-to-let mortgage in England from the UAE?

Yes, expatriates in the UAE can apply for buy-to-let mortgages in England.

3. What documents will I need to provide for a UK mortgage application from the UAE?

Typically, documents include proof of income, residency status, identification, and financial statements.

4. Are there specialist lenders catering to expatriates in the UAE seeking UK mortgages?

Yes, there are specialist lenders who understand the unique circumstances of expatriates living in the UAE.

5. Can I switch my existing UK mortgage to a better deal while living in the UAE?

Yes, it’s possible to remortgage your UK property from the UAE to access better terms if they are available.

6. What currencies are acceptable for UK mortgage lenders for expatriates in the UAE?

Depending on the lender, lenders may be able to accept income in various currencies, including pounds, dirhams, or others.

7. How long does the UK mortgage application process typically take from the UAE?

The duration varies, but you can typically expect the process to take several months to complete from the start of the transaction to the finish.

8. Are there restrictions on the type of UK properties expatriates in the UAE can purchase with a mortgage?

Generally, expatriates can purchase residential or commercial properties with a mortgage, subject to lender approval and regulations. For specifics, it’s best to talk with a suitable lender or advisor who can assess the details of your unique situation/property type and provide a tailored solution accordingly.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

All content is written by qualified mortgage advisors to provide current, reliable and accurate mortgage information. The information on this website is not specific for each individual reader and therefore does not constitute financial advice.

CeMAP & CERER Qualified Mortgage Adviser

I am CeMAP & CERER qualified mortgage adviser and have helped a number of clients realise their dreams when they thought it would not be possible. I’m skilled at getting mortgages sorted for people with a history of missed payments, CCJs, defaults, debt management programmes, IVAs and bankruptcies.

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