Hong Kong Residents Looking to Buy in the UK: What You Need to Know

London Expat Mortgage Specialists

The UK is becoming an increasingly popular destination for investment for both Hong Kong nationals and British expats living and working in Hong Kong. It’s no surprise given the incredible investment opportunities the UK presents.

Market Trends.

An increasing trend is that buyers from Hong Kong are investing outside of London. Hong Kong is well linked to many investment hotspots in the UK, running direct flights to Manchester and Birmingham as well as key Scottish cities. When cities like Nottingham average rental yields of 12% (the highest in the UK), it’s easy to see why investors are looking outside of London where yields are only around 2%.

Student cities like Manchester and Nottingham have seen incredibly strong rental yields for property owners and there’s no sign that this will slow down with more and more people deciding to pursue a university education.

Difficulties for Hong Kong Investors Looking to Buy in the UK.

It can be hard to get a UK mortgage from Hong Kong. One sticking point will likely be difficulties with a UK credit score. If you’re a UK expat living and working in Hong Kong, it’s likely that you’ve not been using your British credit card or that you have outstanding bills that could cause issues when your mortgage application is being assessed.

Another common stumbling block is that if you are paid in Hong Kong Dollars, then your application needs to be protected by the Mortgage Credit Directive. In short, this means that the mortgage holder is able to convert their mortgage into a foreign currency whenever they choose and also that contingencies are put in place to protect against drastically falling exchange rates. This amounts to increased reluctance from lenders to deal with customers from Hong Kong since they take a great deal more risk.

Using a Mortgage Broker.

Though it can be difficult to get a UK mortgage whilst living in Hong Kong – either as a Hong Kong national or a UK expat – the rewards from doing so can be huge. A great way to make the process easier and overcome some of the barriers we have outlined is to use a mortgage broker.

‘We’re seeing a lot more customers come to us from Hong Kong’ says Stuart Marshall, CEO of Liquid Expat Mortgages. ‘As a result, we’re very accustomed to the difficulties involved in getting a UK mortgage while living in Hong Kong. But, because of our experience, we’re able to offer a range of great options for those living in Hong Kong and looking to buy in the UK. A lot of customers initially look to high street banks, but they really aren’t able to offer satisfactory options to investors overseas. Our team at Liquid Expat Mortgages have pre-existing relationships and lines of contact with specialist lenders who are specifically geared toward serving overseas customers.’

‘We can help to find ways around a subpar or non-existent UK credit score or find niche lenders who will work around outstanding bills and debts that expats might have left in the UK after moving to Hong Kong. We can take the time to talk about your aims, potential future plans and talk through options that you might not have considered. With the UK announcing special visas for BNO passport holders in Hong Kong, coupled with market uncertainty because of COVID-19, it’s a great time for Hong Kong-based investors to make forays into the UK housing market’.

Contact Us.

Liquid Expat Mortgages

Unit F2, Waterfold Business Park,

Bury BL9 7BR

Phone: 0161 871 1216


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