Navigating the UK Mortgage Market: A Blueprint for Expats and Foreign Buyers


As the Bank of England Policy Committee meeting approaches on 3rd August 2023, there’s growing anticipation about the future of interest rates. The recent rate rise of 0.5%, higher than expected, has stirred discussions among lenders and analysts. However, indications of a potential hold on rates during the upcoming meeting are gaining momentum. Several lenders, including TSB and Cooperative, have already lowered their 3-year fixed rates, with some first-time buyer 5-year fixed rates following suit. As inflation becomes less of a concern, the political landscape comes into focus, with the conservative government aiming to demonstrate economic control ahead of the 2024 general election.

In this blog post, we will delve into the key factors influencing the mortgage market, the prospects of interest rate changes, and the potential opportunities for overseas investors and British ex-pats amidst the evolving landscape.

Factors Influencing the Mortgage Market:

The last rate rise of 0.5% took the industry by surprise, leading analysts to ponder the possibility of no change in rates during the upcoming Bank of England meeting on 3rd August 2023. This cautious approach may be attributed to a number of factors, including lenders lowering their 3-year fixed rates and some first-time buyer 5-year fixed rates. Such actions may reflect a response to inflation becoming less concerning and the conservative government’s desire to showcase economic control ahead of the 2024 general election.

Favorable Indicators for the UK Property Market:

Despite slight dips in house completions compared to the same period in 2022, June 2023 showed improvement from May, signaling ongoing interest in the UK property market. Additionally, certain regions experienced minor declines in property prices, creating attractive opportunities for overseas investors and British ex-pats looking to seize the right moment to enter the market.

Navigating the Uncertainty:

The UK property market remains in a state of flux, with uncertainty surrounding interest rates, inflation, and market dynamics. This environment, however, can present advantageous prospects for astute investors, offering potential buying opportunities for those aiming to make well-timed decisions.


As the UK mortgage market anticipates the outcome of the Bank of England Policy Committee meeting, investors and buyers must stay vigilant and well-informed. Navigating through the ever-changing landscape requires a keen eye on uncertain interest rate developments, inflation trends, and the government’s economic control measures ahead of the 2024 general election. For overseas investors and British ex-pats eyeing the UK property market, being attuned to these factors can help them make strategic decisions and capitalise on promising market opportunities as they emerge.


HSBC’s Surprise Move and Its Impact on the UK Mortgage Market

One of the UK’s largest lenders and a prominent international banking organization, HSBC, made a surprising decision yesterday to withdraw certain UK mortgage products. The purpose behind this move is to reprice them more in line with the UK market, according to our sources.

While it appears to be an isolated action by HSBC at this stage, it has undoubtedly caused concern among borrowers and industry professionals, who are now wondering if other lenders will follow suit. Brokers and intermediaries were informed of the withdrawal of current lending products at 1 pm yesterday, suggesting that there may have been an imbalance in lending and borrowing margins leading to this decision by the bank. However, there has been no official confirmation as yet.

With the next Bank of England review of the UK interest base rate scheduled for 22nd June, borrowers may understandably feel apprehensive about this move. However, indicators from the US suggest that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise interest rates further in June. This potential outcome would be welcome news for the UK, as the country often observes trends set by the Fed in line with other economies.

Another point to consider is that most other UK lenders promptly adjusted their rates in response to the rate rise in May, while HSBC did not follow suit across all products.

While this could potentially be an isolated decision by HSBC, only time will reveal the full implications on the mortgage market. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it develops.


The UK Housing Market: Resilience Amidst Rising Interest Rates

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With May’s increase in the Bank of England’s base interest rate to 4.5%, there is growing speculation about whether the UK housing market bubble will finally burst. However, despite the current challenges, the housing market in the UK has shown remarkable resilience in the face of previous uncertainties, such as the Brexit vote in 2016. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that contribute to the stability of the UK housing market, even amidst a cost of living crisis, higher interest rates, and soaring inflation. We will discuss the housing shortage, the robust legal system, and the lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis that make the UK housing market an attractive and worthwhile investment for overseas buyers, including British expats and foreign investors. 

The Shortage of Housing in the UK

One of the primary factors supporting the stability of the UK housing market is the chronic shortage of housing. Each year, approximately 300,000 new homes are needed to keep up with the demand from the growing population. This demand-supply imbalance creates a sustained need for housing, which helps maintain property values and supports market stability. Even in the face of economic fluctuations, the fundamental need for housing remains strong, making it a resilient market for long-term investment. 

The Robust Legal System and Investor-Friendly Policies

The UK housing market benefits from a well-established legal system that safeguards the rights of property owners and investors. With one of the oldest and most practiced legal systems in place, property owners can have confidence in the protection of their assets. Additionally, the UK offers a favourable tenancy and landlord system, providing security for investors. These factors contribute to a favourable investment environment, attracting both domestic and international investors who value stability and legal protections. 

Sensible Lending Practices and Risk Underwriting

The lessons learned from the 2008 financial crisis have led to improved affordability and risk underwriting practices in the UK housing market. Lenders now adhere to stricter lending criteria, ensuring that borrowers can afford their mortgage repayments. This prudent approach to lending reduces the risk of overleveraging and promotes sustainable homeownership. For overseas buyers, these lending practices provide confidence in the market’s stability and ensure responsible borrowing decisions. 

Attractiveness to Overseas Buyers

Despite the recent increase in interest rates, the UK housing market continues to attract interest from overseas buyers, including British expats and foreign investors. The combination of a housing shortage, a robust legal system, and sensible lending practices make the UK an appealing long-term investment market. International buyers recognize the potential for capital appreciation and steady rental income, even in the face of economic challenges. As a result, International Mortgage Solutions (IMS) has observed sustained interest from overseas buyers, highlighting the market’s resilience and attractiveness. 


While the recent rise in interest rates sparks concerns about the stability of the UK housing market, various factors contribute to its resilience. The chronic housing shortage, a robust legal system, sensible lending practices, and lessons learned from past crises all contribute to the market’s stability and attractiveness to overseas buyers. Despite the higher interest rates, the UK housing market remains a valuable long-term investment option. At IMS, we continue to witness sustained interest from expats and foreign investors who recognize the inherent strengths of the market. For those seeking stable and promising investment opportunities, the UK housing market proves to be a worthy choice. 


Benefits of UK Property During Economic Uncertainty

In today’s volatile financial climate, investors and savers are searching for safe havens for their money. Amid news of bank failures and market instability, the UK property market is proving to be an attractive option. At IMS, we understand the concerns of international investors and the need for a stable investment. That’s why we are highlighting the benefits of purchasing UK property at this uncertain time.

Lower prices, increased rental returns to counter interest rate rises and the safety of a tangible asset are just a few of the reasons why property investment is an excellent option. With our expert guidance and extensive knowledge of the UK mortgage market, we can help international investors navigate the purchasing process and secure their ideal property.

At IMS, we pride ourselves on providing bespoke solutions tailored to individual needs, whether you’re an expat or foreign national looking to purchase a property in the UK. Our team of experienced mortgage brokers will guide you through the entire process, from finding the right property to securing a competitive mortgage rate.

At IMS, we understand the benefits of purchasing UK property in uncertain times. As experienced mortgage brokers, we can assist you in financing your investment in UK property. Contact us today at to discuss further and take advantage of the current market conditions.

Advice Mortgages

Mortgage rates cooling despite the latest BoE Base Rate increase

The Bank of England raised the base rate again in February, but this doesn’t seem to be affecting mortgage rates as much as in the past. In fact, mortgage rates are still falling, and the cheapest five-year fixed-rate deal is now below 4% for the first time since early October. 

This is good news for buyers who are looking for affordable ways to get on the property ladder. Additionally, inflation in the U.K. was down in January, with The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rising by 8.8% in the 12 months to January 2023, down from 9.2% in December 2022. 

This indicates that inflation may be starting to level off, which could help stabilize the property market. For those who are acting now and locking in longer rates, lower U.K. property prices may make this a good time to buy.


Expat Mortgages for Non-UK Residents: What You Need to Know

For many non-residents seeking to purchase property in the UK, securing a mortgage can be a complex and confusing process. However, with the help of an experienced mortgage broker, navigating the intricacies of the UK mortgage market can be made much simpler.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of expat mortgages for non-residents, including what you need to know about eligibility, income requirements, and the application process.

To be eligible for an expat mortgage in the UK, non-residents will typically need to have a strong credit history, a sizable deposit, and a regular income stream. Additionally, lenders may require proof of a minimum income level, which can vary depending on the lender and the type of mortgage being sought.

Income Requirements
When it comes to income requirements for expat mortgages, lenders will typically look for consistent income that can be verified through documents such as payslips or tax returns. This can be particularly challenging for self-employed applicants or those with irregular income streams, but there are lenders who specialize in working with these types of borrowers.

Application Process
The application process for an expat mortgage can be more time-consuming than for a standard mortgage, due to the additional documentation and verification required. It’s important to work with a broker who has experience in this area, as they can guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary documents are submitted in a timely and organized manner.

In addition, non-resident buyers should be aware that they may be subject to additional taxes and fees when purchasing property in the UK, such as stamp duty and non-resident capital gains tax. A broker can provide guidance on these costs and help ensure that they are factored into the overall budget for the purchase.

Overall, obtaining an expat mortgage for non-residents can be a complex process, but with the right guidance and support, it can be made much simpler. By working with an experienced mortgage broker, non-residents can navigate the UK mortgage market with confidence and secure the financing needed to purchase their dream property.

If you’d like to speak to a broker about an expat or foreign buyer mortgage, contact International Mortgage Solutions at