Buying real estate in the United Kingdom

Usually a deposit of 10% is paid to the seller's solicitor/lawyer at the time of exchanging on freehold contracts, which binds you to completing the purchase. Property is mostly freehold with some leasehold for apartments. Leaseholds vary between 99 and 999 years.

You will ordinarily make an offer to buy subject to survey and contracts. In Scotland neither the buyer nor seller can pull out of the sale once an offer has been accepted.

N.B: Recently, a Government trial to protect homebuyers by making sellers put together a "Home Condition Report" which is to be paid for by the seller and contain basic information including local searches and surveys has been held. Should this become national policy in England and Wales, the time taken to complete sale agreements could be reduced.

Solicitor / Lawyer

A solicitor/lawyer who specializes in UK conveyance work would carry out all the legal work on your behalf. A specific conveyance can also be used.


You would expect to pay around 4% of the buying price in the United Kingdom. This will comprise of your solicitor/lawyer fees and land registry. Other costs would include stamp duty which you would pay for properties costing over £60,000 / $87,500, charged at between 1-2% dependent on the properties selling price. Valuation fees and survey costs would normally be associated with mortgage applications.

Property Tax

Local council taxes are payable annually on a rating system between band A the lowest to H, the highest, and will be calculated by valuations of other similar homes in your area. Expect to pay from around £400 / £600 upwards per year for real estate in the United Kingdom.

Selling your real estate in the United Kingdom

For non residents there is no liability on Capital Gains Tax on disposal of your asset, unless the assets were used or held for the purposes of a trade, profession or vocation carried on in the UK through a branch or agency or by the branch or agency.