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Last Updated: November 22, 2011


Mortgages abroad for non-residents

The most common question to Global Property Guide is: 'In what countries can we get an overseas mortgage, and on what terms?

If you buy abroad, there are two ways of getting a mortgage abroad if you're non-resident, or have no local income:

  1. Ask a local bank or mortgage provider. See list of mortgages available in different countries below.

    But in cold practical fact, it may be difficult for a person with no current taxable income in the country to get mortgage. Mortgages abroad for non residents can be difficult!

  2. Use an overseas mortgage broker. We suggest that, rather than trying to approach a local mortgage company, perhaps in a country where you may not speak the language confidently or one in which you are not domiciled or familiar, you should use a specialist overseas mortgage broker.

    These companies are familiar with the local bureaucracy and language and will work to find you the best mortgage as well as look after all negotiation and paperwork. They have experience in providing mortgages abroad for non-residents, and have access to several local companies, so will give the borrower a broad choice when seeking the right overseas mortgage.

    We've looked at several companies which provide mortgages abroad. We recommend Connect Overseas as a good source of mortgages abroad for non-residents, partly because of their wide overseas mortgage country coverage (see list of countries at right).

    Two extra things:

    • If you know of other companies which offer overseas mortgages to non-resident foreigners in countries not yet covered (see table to right), please email us.

    • Also, we keep an eye on companies we recommend. So keep us informed!



Information on the terms typically offered by local mortgage providers


GLOBAL PROPERTY GUIDE MORTGAGE MARKET INDICATORS

COUNTRY MORTGAGE MARKET STRUCTURE1 LTV OF NEW LOANS (%)2 TYPICAL LOAN TERM (YEARS)3 MORTGAGE DEBT (% OF GDP)4 HOME OWNERSHIP RATE (YEAR OF CENSUS)5
Algeria .. 90 30 (max) 1.5 63 (1985)
Argentina Variable 80 - 90 (avg.) 12 - 20; 20 (max) 1.7 68 (1990)
Australia Variable 90 - 100 25 71.0 69 (2004)
Austria Fixed 60 (avg.) 25 26.1 57 (2001)
Bangladesh .. 50-70 (avg.) <15 2.5 86(2001)
Belgium Fixed 100 20 28.3 68 (2001)
Bolivia .. 70 (avg.) 15 - 20 9.5 60 (1997)
Brazil Variable 75 - 100 20 (max) 5.0 75 (2000)
Bulgaria .. 90 30 4.7 97 (2002)
Canada Fixed 75 or 95 25 43.0 66 (2004)
Chile Variable 75 8 - 20 16.0 73 (2002)
China Variable 80 10 - 15; 30 (max) 12.0 80 (2006)
Colombia Variable 70 30 (max) 12.0 61 (1997)
Croatia Fixed/ Variable 50 20 or 30 10.0 61 (1999)
Czech Rep Fixed (Mixed) 100 20 5.5 47 (2001)
Denmark Fixed 80 30 87.9 53 (2004)
Egypt Variable 60 10 - 15 3.0 69 (1996)
Estonia Variable 90 30 22.0 85 (2002)
Finland Variable 75 - 80 (avg.) 15 - 20 35.7 64 (2005)
France Fixed 100 15 - 20 29.0 56 (2002)
Germany Fixed 80 20 - 30 54.0 43 (2002)
Ghana .. 80 20 - 25 (max) 0.5 57 (2000)
Greece Variable 55 (avg.) 15 17.6 74 (2004
Honduras Variable 70 20; 30 (max) .. 72 (2001)
Hong Kong Variable 90 15 44.0 57 (2004)
Hungary Variable (Mixed) 70 5 - 35 11.0 92(2003)
India Mixed 85 20 (max) 2.0 87 (2001)
Indonesia Variable 90 8, 10, or 15; 20 (max) 5.8 96 (2001)
Iran 70 - 80 18 (max) 3.0 73(1996)
Ireland Variable 100 20 59.2 77 (2004)
Israel Variable 70 - 95;
80 (avg.)
15, 30 (max) 22.0 74 (2002)
Italy Variable (Mixed) 80 5 - 20 15.0 80 (2002)
Japan Fixed (Mixed) 70 - 80 (avg.) 20 - 30 36.4 61 (2003)
Jordan Variable 80 - 90 (avg.) 20 (max) 11 66 (2004)
Korea Variable 70 3; 20 (max) 2.1 54 (2000)
Latvia Variable 100 30 14.0 60 (2000)
Lithuania .. 100 25 12.6 87 (2002)
Luxembourg Variable 80 (avg.) 20 - 25 33.5 67 (2002)
Malaysia Variable 80 30 (max) 31.5 85 (1998)
Mexico Variable 100 10 - 15 11.0 79 (2000)
Morocco .. 70-100 25 (max) 7.0 69 (1985)
Netherlands Fixed 125 30 100 55 (2005)
New Zealand Variable 60 - 80 30 78.2 68 (2001)
Norway Variable 70 15 - 20 45.0 77 (2001)
Pakistan 80 20 (max) 0.7 81 (1998)
Peru Variable 90 25 2.5 79 (2001)
Philippines Variable 70 - 80 (avg.) 20 - 30 (max) 12 71 (2000)
Poland Variable 100 5 - 32.5 5.2 75 (2004)
Portugal Variable 90 25 - 30 50.7 75 (2001)
Romania Variable 75 10 - 20 1.8 97 (2002)
Russia Fixed/ Variable 90; 64 (avg.) 15 - 20 0.6 64 (2003)
Saudi Arabia .. .. .. 1.0 45 (2000)
Singapore Variable 80 30 - 35 61.3 92 (2005)
Slovakia Variable 75 5 - 15 5.9 76 (2001)
Slovenia Variable 50 (avg.) 10 3.5 82(2002
South Africa Variable 80 10 - 20 26.1 56 (2001)
Spain Variable 100 15 - 20 40.2 83 (2004)
Sweden Variable 80 - 95 (avg.) 30 - 45 50.3 49 (2003)
Switzerland Fixed 80 15 - 20 130 31 (2003)
Taiwan Variable 70 25 26.0 87 (2004)
Thailand Variable 80; 90 - 100 10 - 20; 30 (max) 16.0 82 (2000)
Tunisia Variable 80 .. 6.0 80 (1989)
Turkey Variable 75 - 80 10 2.5 64 (2000)
UAE (Dubai) Variable 90; 60 (avg.) 15 - 25 .. ..
UK Variable 110 25 64.0 71 (2004)
Uruguay Variable 70 25 (max) 9.8 81 (2004)
US Fixed 76 (avg.) 30 69.4 69 (2004)
Venezuela Fixed 70 - 75 25 (max) 0.7 76 (1990)
1 Mortgage Market Structure shows the predominant type of mortgage loans. Mortgages with interest rates fixed for more than five years are regarded as Fixed rate mortgages. Variable rate mortgages are mortgages with interest rates fixed for less than five years. In several countries, mortgages interest rates are fixed for 1 to 3 years before adjusted (these mortgages are still considered variable rate mortgage). In Chile, Colombia and Mexico, most mortgages are indexed to inflation (i.e. nominal interest rate plus inflation). Since the actual amount of amortization is subject to fluctuations due to inflation, these mortgages are also considered variable rate mortgages.
2 Loan to Value (LTV) Ratio is the amount of the loan that can be taken as a percent of property value. A higher LTV ratio implies a lower down payment or equity to be produced by the borrower.
3 Loan Term is the number of years before the loan is paid. A longer loan term implies a smaller amount of periodic amortization.
4 Mortgage Debt as percent of GDP is a measure of the depth of the housing market. Higher ratios are correlated with 1) faster and deeper financial innovations in the mortgage market; and 2) more liberal financial markets. Latest data available.
5 Home Ownership Rate shows the number of households which own their dwelling units as a percent of total number of households. In some cases, the figure represents the number of owner occupied housing units as a percentage of total occupied units.

Sources: EMF, BIS, OECD, UNECE, ECLAC, IADB, IUHF, IUT, national statistics, and central bank statistics



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