Can International Investors Buy Property in the UK? (2024)
  • July 28th, 2023

Can International Investors Buy Property in the UK? (2024)

As an investor looking to diversify your portfolio, you may ask, “can international investors buy property in the UK?”

The short answer is yes; international investors are permitted to purchase property in the United Kingdom. However, there are a few regulations and processes you must follow, which this guide outlines in-depth.

Admittedly, buying a house in the UK for international investors may seem confusing, particularly to newbies. Nonetheless, with proper guidance from property investment specialists like Baron & Cabot, you can navigate the system efficiently and find a stable investment that provides solid returns for years.

UK Property: A Solid Investment Choice for International Investors

Investing in UK property from overseas offers a stable and secure opportunity for you to grow your wealth over the long term. Foreign investment in UK property has contributed to over 20% of house price increases in recent years, indicating the attractiveness and resilience of the market.

can international investors buy property in UK

Here are some reasons why UK properties have remained attractive for international investors:

  • Strong Capital Growth Potential: House prices in the UK have consistently outpaced inflation, with an average growth of 10.3% in the year to November 2022. Prime central London properties, in particular, have achieved high growth rates. There are also a lot of up-and-coming areas in the UK with promising rental yields and capital appreciation.
  • A “Haven” for Investors: The UK has a transparent property market with strong legal protections for property owners. It’s a politically and economically stable country and a member of the G7. Sterling is also a “haven” currency during global economic uncertainty, promoting investment in the country.
  • Growing Rental Demand and Income: There’s a chronic housing shortage in the UK, especially in major cities, fueling consistent demand for rentals and boosting off-plan property investment. Gross rental yields for UK property average around 4.75% annually, providing investors with a steady income stream.
  • No Restrictions on Foreign Buyers: Unlike some countries (like Austria and Canada), the UK has no legal restrictions on foreign property ownership, making getting into property relatively easy. The buying process is straightforward for international investors, especially when you partner with property investment experts like Baron & Cabot.

With a robust legal system, stable market, and openness to foreign investment, UK property should be at the top of your list as a secure and rewarding asset class for the long run. Baron & Cabot is here to guide you through the buying process to find an investment tailored to your needs. Have a look at Furness House to see one of our developments on the South Coast. 

Legal Requirements and Restrictions for Foreign Buyers

Considering the plethora of information on the internet—both verified and unverified—we can’t overemphasise the need to always consult a property investment expert with an established legal team before delving into real estate. As an international investor (e.g., a US citizen) buying property in the UK, there are several legal requirements and restrictions you must be aware of, including the following:

  • You’ll need to prove your identity and source of funds. This typically involves providing official government-issued photo identification, proof of your current address, and proof of funds.
  • You must pay the correct taxes on your property. As a non-UK resident landlord, you must pay income tax on any rental income generated from the property. You’re also liable for capital gains tax when you sell the property. We recommend consulting an expert to ensure you meet all tax requirements properly.
  • If you need financial assistance to complete the property purchase, you must make a minimum deposit and provide financial documents confirming that you can pay the rest of the mortgage. The rules are more stringent for foreign nationals; however, at Baron & Cabot, we only require a 20% down payment and a £5K reservation fee for most of our developments. And we can help you to obtain a mortgage without the hassle.

At Baron & Cabot, our team has years of experience helping foreign investors navigate the legal process of purchasing property in the UK. We handle all necessary paperwork and guide you through each step to ensure a smooth transaction and secure a stable investment. By partnering with us, you can confidently invest in the UK property market — get in touch with us now to get started.

international investor buying property in UK

Financing Your UK Property Investment

There are several financial opportunities when buying a property in the UK for non-residents, so you’re not limited by money. However, as we’ve mentioned earlier, you’ll find it more challenging to obtain a mortgage from most lenders if you’re not resident in the UK. So, you’ll want to pay in cash or take advantage of our service at Baron & Cabot.

That said, here’s a rundown of some of the ways you can finance your UK property investment as an international investor:

1. Bank Loans and Mortgages

A mortgage is typically the most common route for international investors to finance their UK property investment. At Baron & Cabot, you’re required to put down at least 20% as a deposit; the remaining amount can be financed through a mortgage. As an international investor buying property in the UK, you can secure mortgages from many central banks and lenders.

The requirements will include the following:

  • Proof of Income and Employment: You must provide evidence of overseas income and job stability as a foreign buyer.
  • Credit Check: UK lenders will evaluate your credit and payment history to determine your eligibility and interest rates. Establish a good credit record in your home country.
  • Property Evaluation: The property you want to purchase must be evaluated to ensure it meets the lender’s criteria for an acceptable investment.

2. Cash

If you have cash, you can purchase UK property outright without needing a mortgage. This allows for a faster and more straightforward transaction, and most sellers prefer cash buyers. However, it requires you to have the total purchase amount in a UK bank account before exchanging contracts.

buying house in uk for international investors

Here’s how to go about a cash purchase in just three steps:

  • Open a UK bank account: You’ll need a UK bank account into which you’ll transfer your funds. Central banks like Barclays, HSBC, and Santander offer accounts for non-residents.
  • Transfer and convert your funds: Work with your bank to transfer money from your home country account to your new UK account. Your funds may need to be converted to British Pounds.
  • Provide proof of funds: When agreeing to an offer on a property, the seller will likely request to see recent bank statements as proof that you have enough money to complete the purchase.

Whether choosing a mortgage or paying in cash, purchasing UK property as an international investor is an attractive opportunity. Once you have the finance, you can legally complete your transaction — making you a property owner in one of the world’s most stable real estate markets.

The Tax Implications of Buying Property in the UK

As an investor from overseas buying property in the UK, you must understand the tax implications of your purchase.

There are several types of taxes to keep in mind, including the following:

  • Stamp duty land tax
  • Capital gains tax
  • Inheritance tax

1. Stamp Duty Land Tax

When purchasing a property in the UK, you must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). This is a tax levied on the purchase price of the property. The total SDLT you’re required to pay is determined by the property’s value.

For example:

  • Up to £250,000: 0%
  • £250,001 to £925,000: 5% of the purchase price
  • £925,001 to £1.5 million: 10% of the purchase price
  • Over £1.5 million: 12% of the property purchase price

SDLT is paid upon completion of the property purchase. As a foreign buyer, you’re subject to the same SDLT rates as UK residents. However, in addition to the 3% surcharge paid if you’re obtaining an additional residential property, non-residents are taxed an extra 2% surcharge if purchasing a residential property in Northern Ireland or England 

2. Capital Gains Tax

If you sell a UK property, you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any profits from the sale. The current CGT rate in the UK is 18–28% for residential property.

As a foreign owner, you’re subject to CGT on the sale of UK property, though there are certain tax reliefs and exemptions you may be eligible for. It’s best to seek advice from a tax professional on your situation.

3. Inheritance Tax

If you pass away while owning property in the UK, your beneficiaries may be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) on the property’s value. The current IHT threshold in the UK is £325,000 — any value above this amount is taxed at 40%.

There are specific reliefs that may apply to non-UK domiciled individuals. However, it’s best to do estate planning and take appropriate measures to avoid IHT when possible legally.

can non residents buy property in UK

Understanding these essential taxes will help ensure you go into your UK property purchase with realistic expectations about costs and are able to maximise the financial benefits of your investment. The team at Baron & Cabot can provide more details and guidance on property taxes for foreign investors. We’re committed to providing a simplified and transparent service so you can invest confidently.

How to Invest in the UK Property Market in 6 Steps

UK property investment presents a lucrative opportunity for international investors seeking stable, long-term investments. At Baron & Cabot, we strive to simplify the entire process of buying a house in the UK for international investors by providing comprehensive assistance and access to meticulously vetted investment properties. Our expert team handles all tax obligations and legal requirements, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience for our valued investors.

Generally, you should follow the steps outlined below to kickstart your property investment journey:

  1. Define your investment goals and budget.
  2. Contact Baron & Cabot for expert guidance.
  3. Make a deposit and reservation fee.
  4. Secure financing options.
  5. Complete the sale.
  6. Partner with Redstone for property management.

Step #1: Define your investment goals and budget.

Begin by understanding your investment goals and the amount you wish to invest. You should aim for high rental yields and long-term capital appreciation. Our team at Baron & Cabot is here to assist you every step of the way.

Step #2: Contact Baron & Cabot for expert guidance.

Reach out to Baron & Cabot to initiate the investment process. Our knowledgeable team specialises in assisting overseas clients and has a proven track record in facilitating foreign property purchases. We provide personalised guidance tailored to your specific requirements.

Step #3: Make a deposit and reservation fee.

To proceed with your UK property investment, a 20% deposit is required. An additional £5,000 reservation fee will secure the property exclusively for you during the purchase process. Rest assured that your investment is in safe hands with Baron & Cabot.

Step #4: Secure financing options.

If you require financing for your investment, we can help you secure a suitable mortgage. Our team will work closely with you to find the best financing options, ensuring you make informed decisions aligned with your investment strategy.

Step #5: Complete the sale.

Once you’ve selected your desired property, our team will handle the necessary paperwork and negotiations. We work diligently to ensure a seamless transaction process. A solicitor will conduct thorough due diligence, draft the sales contract, and oversee the official transfer of ownership.

Step #6: Partner with Redstone for property management.

If you require professional property management services, we have partnered with Redstone, a trusted and reputable property management company. With Redstone’s expertise, your investment will be efficiently managed, ensuring optimal returns. Redstone charges only 10% of the rental income while providing excellent value for their services.

overseas buying property in UK

At Baron & Cabot, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional service and expertise to foreign investors. Contact us today to begin your UK property investment journey and benefit from our comprehensive assistance. Take a look at Pavilion Wharf, one of our developments in Manchester, to see if it fits your strategy. Together, we can build a solid foundation for your long-term investment success.

FAQ: Can International Investors Buy Property in the UK

Can non-residents buy property in the UK?

Yes, non-residents can buy property in the UK. There are no legal restrictions on foreign property ownership in the country.

Does buying a house in the UK give you residency?

No, buying a house in the UK doesn’t automatically accord residency or immigration status. Property ownership doesn’t provide legal rights or entitlements to reside in the country. Separate visa and immigration processes are required to obtain residency in the UK.

Can you buy property in the UK without a visa?

Yes, buying property in the UK without a visa is possible. There are no visa requirements specifically related to property ownership. Non-residents can purchase property in the UK if they comply with the legal requirements and processes for property transactions.

Can I stay in the UK if I buy a property?

No, purchasing property in the UK doesn’t grant you the right to stay or reside there. Property ownership alone doesn’t provide any immigration or residency privileges. Separate visa and immigration processes must be followed to legally stay in the UK for an extended period.


So, can international investors buy property in the UK?

Yes, buying property in the UK as an international investor is possible, with a straightforward process and no legal restrictions on foreign ownership.

Partnering with experts like Baron & Cabot can simplify the buying process, ensure regulation compliance, and provide financing and property management guidance. With our assistance, you can confidently navigate the UK property market and achieve long-term investment success. Contact us now to get started.

Disclaimer: Any information provided by Baron & Cabot does not constitute financial advice and is for educational purposes only.