How to Invest in UK Property from Hong Kong
The lack of restrictions on buying UK property for Hong Kong residents means it has long been a popular investment option. The reform in January this year of UK residency rights associated with holding British National Overseas status has led to more and more Hong Kongers looking to acquire property in the UK. Here we offer some straightforward advice on investing in UK property.
Consider a wide choice of property.
London is the traditional location of choice for overseas investors, but given the high price of London property, it is wise to also look at regional cities such as Birmingham, Manchester or Liverpool which can offer better value for money.
Whilst apartments are popular in city centres, in suburban and rural areas, most people opt to live in single-family houses. Semi-detached or detached houses with a garden are the most in demand as rental properties.
Research the costs
Prices for UK property vary enormously depending on the type of property and location. According to government figures, the average price of a UK home is £265,000, but in London this rises to over £648,000.
When working out budgets, remember to factor in Stamp Duty, which is a tax paid on property purchases in the UK. Details can be found on the UK governments website .
If required, you can get a UK mortgage even if you are not UK resident. However, the choice is limited so it’s best to use a specialist broker.
Familiarise yourself with the buying process
To find a UK property, most people register with UK estate agents, who market properties on behalf of sellers. You can also deal directly with developers for new-build properties.
Properties have an advertised asking price, which potential purchasers use as a guide when making their offer. Estate agents can advise on suitable offers.
Once an offer has been accepted, most purchasers of second-hand homes will arrange for a property survey to be carried out to ensure there are no hidden problems which may affect their decision to buy or the price they wish to pay.
A solicitor or licenced conveyancer is needed to deal with the legal process of purchasing a property. Once the necessary legal checks and all documentation are complete, a legally binding exchange of contracts with the seller takes place. A non-returnable deposit of 10% is paid and a date for legal completion of the sale is set. On this date the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price and becomes the legal owner.
For Hong Kong residents looking to invest into UK property, Head over to our Investment Strategies page where you will find more information about the various property investment strategies possible.