Brexit leads to 50 per cent spike in mortgage enquiries

Mortgage enquiries from expats and overseas buyers are up almost 50 per cent since the UK voted to leave the European Union, according to figures from mortgage provider deVere Mortgages.

These new enquiries have mainly come from Europe, the Middle East and Asia; deVere Mortgages says it can confirm the activity is a direct result of the Brexit outcome.

UK property has long been a desirable asset for foreign owners, says managing director Mike Coady, 'because of the ongoing fundamental strengths of British residential property investments'.

He adds: 'Many potential purchasers had been putting off enquiring about mortgages and waiting for the referendum result to see how the land lies. Now we have the outcome, a high proportion of these have swung into action.'

CURRENCY BOON FOR OVERSEAS BUYERS

Although the long-term implications of Brexit will not be known for some time, with lengthy exit negotiations still yet to begin, there have been short-term winners and losers already.

The currency has been one of the big losers, with sterling at one point hitting a 31-year low relative to the dollar. As at midday on Wednesday (20 July), the pound had fallen by 12 per cent to 1.3081.

Coady gives this as a main reason for the spike in mortgage enquiries, with the pound also down 9 per cent against the euro.

'As such,' he explains, 'those buying in the UK with their local foreign currency are finding more value than before. Similarly, those raising a deposit in their local foreign currency are finding it easier to do so, due to the Brexit-battered pound.'

Lower house prices have also contributed to the rise, according to Coady, as UK sellers become more nervous and willing to take lower offers from potential buyers.

'There are some signs that the rate of underlying house price growth continues to cool off in many parts of the country. This began before the referendum. Clearly, this is an attractive trend for buyers.'

Yesterday, property website Rightmove released its latest data on house prices, noting that the average asking price in the UK in July was £307,824, down 0.9 per cent on June's figure.

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