Map of the UK and Ireland under a magnifying glass

Why overseas demand for UK buy-to-let has suddenly soared

According to buy-to-let lender Skipton International, overseas interest in UK buy-to-let opportunities has soared this year.

The lender reports that enquiry values through its online mortgage calculator have increased by 43% year-on-year to the end of August. It revealed that the enquiry value for 2019 so far is, in fact, more than for the whole of 2018.

London and the south-east appear to be the most popular locations, but demand across all regions, including Scotland, is strong. Roger Hughes, business development manager for Skipton International, said: “We believe many overseas residents are considering UK property good value at present, which is resulting in Skipton International receiving record levels of applications.”

Less risk for overseas investors

Skipton suggests that the driving force behind the increasing interest from overseas buy-to-let investors is the devaluation of the pound since the Brexit vote which means the upfront cost of purchasing a UK property has been reduced for those earning or with savings in a foreign currency. Right now, the UK buy-to-let property market presents good value for overseas investors.

Hughes explained: “On 10 June 2016 the exchange rate was $1.43 (USD) to the pound. Recently it touched $1.20 – a 16% reduction in the dollar amount required to fund a given amount of sterling.

“Once the property has been purchased, the rental income will be paid in sterling, which removes most of the currency risk in maintaining the UK mortgage.”

It was in February this year that Skipton extended its buy-to-let mortgage proposition to include applications from non-UK nationals resident overseas. Previously, the lender only offered UK buy-to-let mortgages to British expatriates.

Roger Hughes, said: “We have been continually refining our UK buy-to-let offering and will continue to search out ways in which we can make our products more readily available and inclusive.”

For more information on investing in UK property from abroad, read our guide.

Better value for money

Property developer Click Properties has also released figures showing that buyer enquiries from overseas have seen a marked increase over the past six months. Around 20% of all the developer’s leads came from the Far East, it was reported, while 10% came from the US.

Anthony Moubarak, head of sales at Click, said: “The current weakness of the pound means that global currencies, not least of all the dollar, go much further making an investment in the UK good value for money.  However, this isn’t simply a case of exchange rates.

“Whilst many domestic purchasers are adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ approach around the Brexit situation, savvy overseas investors view the political climate as an opportunity.”

“Among domestic interest, there is an ever-increasing number of renters moving out of central London in order to buy and achieve a lot more for their money.”

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT