There is a fascinating article in today’s Daily Telegraph which asks whether investing in property in London is the nearest you can get to safe bet. Drawing on research from estate agents Savills, the article examines the fact that the gap between property values in the capital and the rest of the country is wider than ever.
In the past five years, house prices in London have risen by 6 per cent, while elsewhere in the country they have fallen by 11 per cent, according to estate agents Knight Frank. In prime central London boroughs such as Kensington & Chelsea, the price differentials are even greater, with prices rising by 37 per cent in the past five years.
The Telegraph suggests that overseas buyers are boosting property values in prime central London, which is something we are seeing a lot of. Many of our clients are from overseas, looking for a safe haven for their money in London. Many of these buyers don’t wish to bring all their money into the country, particularly if they are planning on returning ‘home’ at some point, or only want to own property in the UK for a few years while their offspring are at university.
Private bank mortgages
Many of these overseas clients are prime candidates for private bank mortgages. The private banks are better able to understand overseas borrowers’ particular requirements and are often able to accommodate them when it comes to large mortgages. Walking into the local branch of a high-street lender is unlikely to get you very far.
Some of our overseas clients will utilise offshore trusts in a lower tax jurisdiction such as Guernsey, Jersey, the British Virgin Islands or Gibraltar. An offshore mortgage is a more tax-efficient way of buying property for many overseas clients.