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Your All-In-One Guide to Buying Property in the UK as a Foreigner


UK housing

Day by day, the UK property market is gaining interest from investors due to its capacity to make huge investment returns through rental income and capital appreciation.

Let's find out about:

  1. Can foreigners buy a house in the UK?
  2. Property prices in the UK
  3. Buying property in the UK: Steps for expats to take

So, can foreigners buy a house in the UK?

The answer is, YES. Buying property from overseas is welcomed in the UK.

UK map

There are no legal restrictions on foreign nationals to buy property. As a foreigner, whether you live in the UK or not, you will be able to buy property in this country.

However, expats who do not have a job or hold less than two years of residency in the UK will have to pay a bigger deposit and deal with firmer requirements.

Property prices in the UK

The average house price across the UK has remained fairly stable in the past years. According to the UK House Price Index for February 2021—

  • Since January 2021, house prices have neither risen nor fallen on average.
  • There has been an annual price rise of 8.6%.
  • Due to the price rise, the average property in the UK valued at £250,341.

The latest statistics show that 52.8% of families in the UK own their own home. This may seem lower than Europe on average; however, it certainly is higher than some noteworthy countries. It simply proves the potentiality of the property market of the United Kingdom.

Take a look below at the percentage of households that own their own homes, by ethnicity and area.

Percentage of households that owned their own home, by ethnicity and age group

Source: GOV.UK

Buying property in the UK: Steps for expats to take

If you are a foreigner and willing to buy property in the UK, you need to have some ideas about these steps–

  • Understand the property market

UK brick house for sale

Before getting started, first and foremost, you need to understand the property market of the UK, the ‘due diligence’.

Due diligence belongs to one of the most important parts of the procedures to invest in the UK. It simply refers to the exploring and analysis needed before any investment proceeds.

This is to ensure the ride can undergo smoothly and to get you prepared for the whole process. This is necessary for both investors and the seller company.

An important part before purchasing a house is to have an understanding of the UK house price situation, which you can see below.

Annual house price rates of change for all dwellings, UK: January 2006 to February 2021

Source: HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, Land and Property Services Northern Ireland, and Office for National Statistics – UK House Price Index


  • Checking out the finance options and taxes involved

For the next step, you need to research deals with prices suitable for you. The best way to purchase property is to use cash in the UK because it will allow you to take full advantage of the deals you will be coming across.

UK tax

To enter the target market, you need to know about the mortgage options if you need support in financing.

Hence, having a general idea is a must before delving into this sector.

In this country, there are options of getting an investment loan from a bank or mortgage broker if an expat is in need of financial help. Most lenders offer various fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgages. You will be required to raise a deposit.

After this step, there are a number of taxes that foreign investors need to be aware of.


  • Finding a property

The main part of this property purchasing procedure is to find the appropriate property for you. Although you can try finding it yourself, real estate agents are strongly recommended to help you with this.

real estate agent

Estate agents have houses that are for sale, listed as documents in their offices and on their official websites. Your journey will be easier with their help. You just have to keep in mind what type of property you want and its location when clarifying it with your agent.

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  • Prepare documents and book unit

When you find a property you’re interested in, you will then need to reserve a unit within your development of choice. To do so, you have to prepare the required documents. Your agency will help you to prepare the documents if you hired them to do so.

Once you select a unit, you will be required to (1) complete a reservation form and (2) pay a fee to reserve to secure the investment. With this step, your procedure to purchase the property will be completed.

tenancy agreement

When you legally buy the property, another thing that you can consider is hiring a property management company or rental management company. These kinds of companies help investors to manage everyday duties, including finding tenants, responding to tenants’ queries and more, related to owning a rental property.

Buying an overseas property is easy, with the help of real estate agents.

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