Britons who want to move abroad may benefit from better security if they rent out their UK property as opposed to selling it. Doing so will provide a steady, continuous income and give you a valuable safety net if you ever need to return in a hurry.
According to the Overseas Guides company’s editor Richard Way, "Conditions in 2014 mean investing in a UK buy-to-let could be the safest way for Brits retiring abroad to keep hold of a sterling-based asset and boost their monthly income."
Way went on to point out that a sudden increase in demand for rental properties is forecast to imminently hit the UK, after changes to the way mortgages are governed take effect. The Mortgage Market Review, set to be implemented in late April, will toughen up the conditions that are required in order to secure a mortgage. This is likely to result in more people renting for longer before being able to meet the new conditions.
Extensive changes to the rules surrounding pensions, which were unveiled in this year's budget, may also facilitate investment in rental properties from older people. Using a pension pot for this purpose before leaving the country could is now a viable and even attractive alternative to buying an annuity.
Still owning a property in the UK will also be a great asset if you ever need to return in a hurry. This will be particularly valuable to older expatriates looking to retire abroad, but could be invaluable for almost anybody if they experience a sudden change in circumstances. Healthcare and illness, for example, are common reason for returning to the UK in a hurry, and having a property in the country will make this process far less difficult.
Many older expatriates also value a UK asset that can be passed on to their families. In the meantime, the property will provide rent to boost your monthly income and facilitate your new life overseas.
However, it is important to consider the effect that changing exchange rates may have on such an investment. Emigrating abroad is often a way to enjoy a higher quality of life at a lower cost. Thanks in part to exchange rates there are some countries where emigration is more of a luxury option than a way to live affordably.
For example, Australia is a popular destination for Britons, but has a high cost of living compared to most other places in the world. With the Australian dollar recently hitting a higher level against the pound than has been seen for nearly three decades, funds brought over from the UK may not go as far as many emigrants expect.