Home Stock & SharesBanks Following Brexit, Singapore bank halts London mortgage lending

Following Brexit, Singapore bank halts London mortgage lending

by Jonathan Adams

London’s residential property market suffered a further blow overnight as a major Singaporean lender said it would temporarily halt lending against homes in the capital.

Singaporeans have in recent years been among the biggest buyers of London property, favouring new-build, luxury flats.

United Overseas Bank is Singapore’s third-largest lender and in recent years has been a major provider of mortgages against British properties.

Asian news agencies cited an email from a UOB member of staff saying: “We will temporarily stop receiving foreign property loan applications for London properties.

“As the aftermath of the UK referendum is still unfolding and given the uncertainties, we need to ensure our customers are cautious with their London property investments.

“We are monitoring the market environment closely and will assess regularly to determine when we will re-instate our London property loan offering.”

Another Singaporean Bank, DBS, was reported to warn clients that a fall in sterling could erase some of the gains London property investors had enjoyed to date.

The news will come as a blow to developers in central London, many of which are now battling to shift stock. Many large developments are still under construction.

Singaporeans were the biggest overseas buyers of British property between 2013 and 2015, according to property consultants Knight Frank.

In its 2016 Global Cities Report it said Singaporeans invested $6,443m (£4,781.16m) in the British housing during the 24 month period. Chinese investors were second, followed by those from Hong Kong.

Almost all of this investment was in London. Of a total $22m (£16.31m) invested by Asian buyers in the period, $20m (£14.84m) was in the capital.

This article is for information purposes only.
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