England, and London in particular, is one of the places in the world with the highest number of French people. Not surprisingly, many of them are looking to buy a house or an apartment. Although the British real estate market is attractive because of the low purchase costs, it remains relatively expensive, especially in London. In addition to the price of the property and its financing, the question of payment deserves to be raised. How to benefit from advantageous rates for a transfer to the United Kingdom? First piece of advice: avoid the traditional banking circuit. Today, online payment operators make it possible to send remittances to England at low cost, thanks in particular to the use of the real market exchange rate. Please note: the information in this article may change once the UK has left the European Union.

How much does it cost to buy in England?

Property prices in England

According to official statistics, the average cost of a property in England was £188,000 in 2014 whereas it is around £250,000 today! Prices have been falling slightly since July 2017. As far as the capital city is concerned, the trend is the same. The average cost of a property in January 2014 was around £355,000. Today it is just over £470,000. As in the rest of the country, prices have been falling since July 2017¹.

Prices for buying a flat in London

Currently, the average price of an apartment in London is just under £410,000. In 2014 it will be around £320,000. Prices obviously vary according to the area¹. In London's 'city centre' (which corresponds roughly to Underground Zones 1 and 2), it takes just over £520,000 to buy a flat (compared to £550,000 in September 2017). In the "Greater London", the price is around £317,000¹.

Fees to buy a property in London

In the United Kingdom, the fees to be paid when buying a property vary between 3% and 5% of the value of the property, if it costs less than £250,000. In London, of course, they will be in the high range, given the cost of living there². The costs are divided into several categories³ :
  • Stamp Duty: equivalent to notary fees. They are zero for purchases under £125,000. Above this amount, they range between 2% and 12%.
  • Land registration: fee to be paid to register the property in your name.
  • Solicitor's fee: the "Solicitor" will be responsible for monitoring the sale. He can be compared to the notary in France. His fees vary according to the Solicitor and the complexity of the sale.
  • Diagnosis: the cost varies according to the complexity of the study to be carried out. It ranges from £150 (for a "Condition Report") to over £1,300 (for a "Building Survey").
  • Mortgage broker: he will find the best rates based on your personal contribution and your credit history.

Financing the purchase of your home in England

Sources of funding

If you don't have enough cash to pay for your property, you will be obliged to apply for a credit. You can go directly to a bank or go through a broker. The latter will prospect all the credit institutions and will present you with the most interesting offers. To have access to a loan, you will need about 20% to 25% personal contribution. Before applying for a loan, try to build up a credit history: open an account at a local bank, make transfers to it and set up regular withdrawals.

Apply for credit at your bank

No British institution wants to lend you money? Then turn to your bank. The more you contribute, the better the rate will be. However, you can't borrow more than 33% of your total monthly income.