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Can I Buy UK Property From the USA?

Investing From Overseas

Yes, it is possible to invest in UK property from the United States, and we have experience working with a number of investors from the USA here at RWinvest.

There are a few reasons why investing in UK property is often more favourable compared to investing in US real estate.

Why is Investing in UK Property Better than US Real Estate?

  • Property in the UK is cheaper than it is in the United States. According to industry experts, the average predicted price of a US property is around $385,000. At the moment, UK prices average at around £280,000 ($355,821).
  • With a low supply of properties and increasing demand, UK real estate is a hot commodity, and there is a vast pool of potential tenants to draw upon. 
  • The UK housing market is proven to be reliable and stable in the face of challenging economic conditions. For example, the height of the pandemic saw an almost three-year-long investment boom that led to skyrocketing prices and lucrative returns for investors. 
  • The majority of UK property hotspots have very affordable prices. Cities like Liverpool and Manchester — two of the best investment areas in the country — see average prices of around £193,436 and £250,809, respectively.
  • High rental yields are also rife in the majority of these areas, meaning that investors are likely to see higher returns on investment within a shorter timespan. Again, both Liverpool and Manchester see gross yields as high as 8% in certain areas. 

Any non-UK citizens and ex-pats can buy properties in the UK without restrictions, but there are additional taxes and charges to be aware of.

The process of buying property is different for foreign investors, so research and due diligence are crucial. 

The purchase process takes longer in the UK than in the US, and you may need a visa to live in the property. However, if you are buying solely for investment purposes, then this is likely not required.

There are two kinds of ownership in the UK, freeholds and leaseholds. Freeholds are when you own the land the property is built on, whereas a leasehold is when you sign a long-term lease for the land and actually own the property.

Borrowing a buy-to-let mortgage as an overseas buyer can often be tricky. Most high-street lenders avoid lending to non-UK residents, meaning it can be quite arduous to secure a mortgage for buy-to-let. There are some routes to take, however, so it’s best to utilise a specialist broker to find the best deals. 

Another way to avoid heavy expenses is to consider looking at off-plan properties. Investing in an off-plan property involves purchasing a development still in the construction phases. This can be an excellent way to get a good deal on a property, as the prices are typically lower than for completed properties. 

Look for properties in areas with high tenant demand and thriving regeneration. Places like these will likely see a steady, continuous flow of tenants and incur significant appreciation over the years.