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Buying UK Property From Saudi Arabia

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    Buying UK Property From Saudi Arabia

    As the UK housing market stabilises after a hectic second half of 2022, many overseas buyers are turning back to UK real estate, particularly buy-to-let property as a form of investment.

    The UK offers a great combination of a stable market, high rental yields and affordable prices, making it an investor’s dream.

    Many international investors are coming from Saudi Arabia, hoping to make the most of the UK’s favourable market conditions. Similar to other countries in the Middle East like the UAE, Saudi investors are investing in the UK property market and reaping the rewards of a weaker Pound.

    With that in mind, we’ve put together this blog post to explain why you should consider investing in the UK from Saudi Arabia, what to expect when investing in UK property from Saudi Arabia and how you will be taxed when buying UK property from Saudi Arabia.

    Let’s get into it.

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    Why Invest in the UK From Saudi Arabia?

    There are many fantastic reasons to consider UK property investment as an overseas buyer, so here is a summary of some of the main points you should be aware of:

    • UK house prices reached record highs in 2022, with the Land Registry recording an all-time average high of £296,000 in October. Further growth is expected in the future, with areas like the North-West expected to rise by 11.7% by 2027 according to Savill’s forecasts.
    • The UK rental market is also booming, with high tenant demand and a lack of quality rental properties contributing towards rising rents. Homelet’s Rental Index reports that rents grew by 10.2% over 2022.
    • The Pound has lost much of its value due to the cost of living crisis, Brexit and political turmoil, so overseas investors can get more for their money thanks to the cheaper conversion rate.
    • The UK housing market has a proven ability to stand firm in tough times. Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, house prices rose to their highest-ever values!
    • Some of the best areas to invest in the UK have very affordable prices. Liverpool, for example, has an average property price that’s over £100k below the national average! This is unlike major Saudi Arabian cities like Riyadh, where you will probably have to pay top dollar.
    • You can find high rental yields in top UK cities, meaning you have the incentive of a better return on your investment. North-West hotspots like Liverpool and Manchester regularly have properties with yields of up to 8%. London is not always the best place for investors, as London property has lower yields.

    As you can see, there are many reasons to consider buying UK property from Saudi Arabia that will benefit investors.

    If you want to learn more about property investment, try reading our free guide where we break down why it is such a good investment strategy for 2023.

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    How to Invest in the UK From Saudi Arabia

    Investing in UK property from Saudi Arabia is a straightforward process, and is not too dissimilar from buying property as a UK resident.

    You will need to be rigorous in your research and due diligence and be prepared for some additional charges, but do not let this alarm you.

    The first thing to know is that there are no restrictions on foreigners and non-UK residents buying property in the UK for investment purposes. If you want to live in the property, you will likely need a visa unless you have British citizenship. Therefore ex-pats living abroad have it slightly easier.

    The second is that there are two kinds of ownership in the UK, freeholds and leaseholds. Freeholds mean you own the land upon which the property is built, while with leaseholds you only own the property and sign a long-term lease for the land.

    The next thing you should be aware of is that you may struggle to borrow a buy-to-let mortgage, as many high street lenders will not accept applications from international buyers. Be prepared for higher-than-normal interest rates from specialist lenders.

    Alternatively, look at off-plan properties. These normally have below-market-value price ranges so are more affordable, and flexible payment plans mean you likely won’t need a mortgage to invest.

    Off-plan properties are normally new build properties in city centres or regeneration hotspots where rental yields are high, so you can get a better return on your investment.

    Once you have decided if you need a BTL mortgage or not, the next step is finding the right investment property for you. Aim for a combination of an affordable price, high rental yields, and a location with high tenant demand.

    Research properties using portals like Zoopla or Rightmove, or contact estate agents or property investment companies directly to see what properties are for sale in your price range.

    After you have found an investment property that fits your criteria, the next step is to hire a solicitor and make an offer. Both buyer and seller will need solicitors for the sale process, to ensure everything is legal and watertight.

    Part of the process is identity checks, to make sure you are who you say you are. If you are investing in the UK from Saudi Arabia, you will likely go through more rigorous checks which require you to travel to the UK, so you can prove your identity in person.

    House prices are often negotiable, especially with private sales, so do not be daunted by the initial price tag you see.

    Once an offer is made and a price agreed upon, the solicitors for both parties will exchange contracts and go over them to make sure their clients are being taken care of. The next step is to pay a deposit on the property, usually around 25% of the agreed price.

    After this, a completion date will be set so the buyer can pay the remaining amount of the money after solicitors once again ensure everything is above water.

    Once the money is handed over and the contracts are signed, then you will finally be able to say you own the property, and you can begin finding tenants to live in it so you can collect rental income.

    As you can see, UK investing from Saudi Arabia is a straightforward process, just one that requires a little more effort than if you were to buy property as a UK resident.

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    How Will I Be Taxed When UK Investing From Saudi Arabia?

    There are several taxes you will be required to pay when investing in UK property from Saudi Arabia.

    When buying an investment property, you will be required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax in addition to the price of the property. SDLT is a tax which is calculated as a portion of the property’s value, and because you are an overseas investor, there are some added fees to take into account.

    Those who already own property, UK resident or not, are required to pay a surcharge of 3% on any additional property they buy as compared to first-time buyers. Those buying property who are not UK residents also have to pay a 2% surcharge, so on top of the base SDLT you will pay, there will be a 5% surcharge.

    Once you begin collecting rental income from your tenants, you will also have to pay income tax on what you collect, a major difference from Saudi Arabia. This is a fraction of your income, based on your overall earnings, which you pay to the government.

    If you are looking to pass on your investment property to your next of kin, they will need to pay an inheritance tax to the government, which is calculated using the value of your estate that you are handing down.

    While there are several taxes to pay, you can be assured that you take home the vast majority of the income you make through UK investing from Saudi Arabia.


    Yes, there are no restrictions for those looking to buy UK property from abroad.

    You will only need a visa if you are looking to live in the UK property you are buying. If you want to buy property for investment purposes, then you do not need a visa.

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      Invest in the UK from Saudi Arabia With RWInvest

      As one of the UK’s leading property investment companies, RWInvest has a rich history of providing consultancy and expertise to overseas investors.

      With over 18 years of experience, we have some of the best investment opportunities available on the market and help our clients with every step of their property purchases.

      Thanks to the below-market-value property price on many of our properties, our investors have the best chances of getting a strong return on their investment.

      Contact us today, and one of our agents will be in touch at a time of your choice. For the latest news on the UK property market, keep an eye on our property news blogs.

      If you’re looking to buy property in the UK from another location, the below guides may help you:

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      Reece Pape

      Reece Pape is a property writer at RWinvest. Reece is passionate about keeping property investors updated on must-have information and housing market news, utilising the latest property market statistics and data.