Contrary to common belief, South Africans who don’t have residency in the UK or a British passport can buy property there and get a mortgage.
Sable International’s mortgage advisor Ian Henning says that there are a number of lenders who offer credit to South Africans even if they have a complex income structure, where they are using family trusts or are self-employed and rely on putting expenses through the business to keep their taxable income quite low.
“There are challenges, such as the fact that they’re not living in the UK already means that their choice of lenders becomes restricted. As a non-resident, you can’t look at using lenders based inside the UK, because only UK lenders who are offering buy-to-let mortgages, tend to want you to be a resident in the UK and have a UK taxable income.
South African residents need to use lenders that are either based in the Isle of Man, Jersey, or Guernsey, or at certain private banks who have a wider underwriter remit, which means they can look at clients on a global scale and they can take into account income that sits outside of the UK.”
According to Ian, if you are south African but also hold a British passport you have a larger choice of lenders.
He cautions buyers to consider the deposit they need to put down on a property: “Depending on where the property is based, its value, the potential rental yield, the lender and your financial standing, you could be able to obtain a 60 – 75% loan to value mortgage. This is still however a substantial deposit when the funds are coming from South Africa.
“It’s still a good investment option right now – the UK property market has come under recent pressure and prices have softened.”