Overseas buyers drive housing market activity

Overseas buyers were the driving force behind the mortgage market in October, Legal & General Mortgage Club research shows.

L&G’s SmartrCriteria tool, which helps advisers determine which lenders would consider a particular mortgage applicant, shows that mortgages for applicants with visas was the highest searched term among advisers in October.

Searches for ‘expats not in UK’ remained on the list of top 10 search terms among advisers.

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Demand from consumers to buy property in the UK shows no signs of slowing and it’s clear that the Stamp Duty holiday continues to drive activity.

“Where previous Stamp Duty exemptions focused on first-time buyers, the most recent changes are also incentivising those looking to move to the UK, as well as older homeowners who want to downsize. Our SmartrCriteria data shows that both groups are clearly seeking to take advantage of the savings before it’s too late.”

“There is an opportunity for advisers to support both groups of buyers. Lending criteria is changing every day and borrowers face a longer mortgage journey as the market continues to adapt to unprecedented demand. Advisers will be key in helping these borrowers and others to cut through the noise and find the best product for their particular circumstances.”

Overseas buyers are looking to get their purchase in before the overseas stamp duty surcharge of 2% comes into force in April next year.

The stamp duty holiday is also due to end on March 31st 2020.