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Manchester buy to let market to thrive as Brexit deadline draws closer

Manchester buy to let market to thrive as Brexit deadline draws closer

2018 was an outstanding year for Manchester’s commercial property market which retained the number one position of office take up across the Big Six Regional Cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester).

With the new office space take up predominantly from large companies relocating to the Manchester area, a trend which has continued to grow since 2018. Resultantly the city has seen a massive surge in job creation.
In 2018, 1.75 million sqft of office space was transacted in Manchester across 314 deals, up by 54% on the 10-year average. 2018 top deals included:
This trend continues throughout the 2019 with recent a recent deal (June) by The Hut Group, which took up 280,000sqft and British Telecommunication lined up for over 200,000sqft office space in Manchester centre in Q3 2019.
Since 2015, the city’s population has grown by nearly 6%, according to Manchester City Council. An impressive 65% of graduates of universities in Manchester stay in the city after graduating. Additionally, 36% of people from Manchester who studied elsewhere returned home after graduating. Also many young professionals choose Manchester to seek employment as the city offers rich and diverse opportunities across all sectors.
This has resulted in high demand for residential accommodation in Manchester. The city is undergoing rapid change and growing at a rate of around 2,000 homes per year. This is to house Manchester’s rapidly growing population, which is expected to increase from 530,300 in 2016 to 625,000 by 2025. As the demand for homes continues to rise house prices are expected to go up by 57% by the end of 2028.
This is creating an excellent opportunity for buy-to-let investors looking to address the city’s housing under-supply backlog, with some estimates showing the need for as many as 40,000 additional homes. Manchester’s growth and emerging status as a global city provides all the ingredients to ensure the city remains brexit-proof and continues to grow even through political and economic uncertainty. Brexit negotiations seem to make very little impact, on the property market as overseas investment, mainly from Asia and the Far East reaching the highest level this year.

“With a growing population of young professionals and students, we have identified the ever increasing need for accommodation in areas of Manchester with good transport links, relatively affordable rents and amenities on the doorstep. These areas offer potential for long term demand and continued growth in values. The city has so much to offer. Ideally located, continuously outperforming the wider UK property market, delivering healthy returns for investors and attracting more and more professionals, it is clear to see that Manchester is perfect for prime city centre living to live, work and invest.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Located just 10 minutes away from the city centre, the contemporary Middlewood Plaza development with pricing starting from £159,980 has been designed to suit the needs of urban professionals working in both Manchester and nearby Salford. Consisting of stylish apartments, townhouses and duplexes, and located in the popular Salford area, Middlewood Plaza is the ideal investment property for those looking to be a part of North West England’s bright future.

For regular updates on investing in Manchester buy to let hotspots such as Middlewood Plaza, follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

Growth location focus: Manchester

Growth location focus: Manchester

Manchester is the UK’s media hub, with MediaCityUK in the Salford area of the city acting as a magnet for creative talent, as well as the ideal incubator environment for new creative and digital start-ups.

As an eminently desirable urban location, Manchester is experiencing rapid population growth. The city’s 2018 population of 553,500 people is expected to grow to 631,500 by 2041 based on current trends – an increase of 14.1% according to the ONS.

“One reason that Manchester is such a key growth location is the city’s unique combination of economic opportunity and superb urban lifestyle. This blended offering led The Economist to crown Manchester as the UK’s most liveable city in its 2018 Global Liveability Index.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
The Greater Manchester urban area accounts for 40% of total GVA in the North West, making the city the focal point for the entire region. According to Savills, that region will lead the UK in terms of house price growth over the next five years, achieving compound growth of 21.6% by 2023. 2020 in particular looks to be an exciting year based on the Savills projections, with the North West tipped to enjoy house price growth of 6.0% over the course of the year.
Capitalising on this population growth is the Middlewood Corridor located in between Manchester and Salford, The Middlewood Corridor is the largest of three regeneration corridors (with over £1 bn of regeneration planned) that make up an ambitious renewal programme for Manchester and Salford. It is being built around existing retail parks, with regeneration work running from 2015 to 2030.
Middlewood Plaza is located in the heart of the Middlewood Corridor, marking the start of a new era for Manchester’s residential sector and those who invest in it. The development is set to capitalise on the enormous economic potential of the Middlewood Corridor Regeneration Zone, as well as benefit from the host of amenities that the completed district will provide. With prices starting from £157,281 and only 10% payable on exchange, this could be the development that gets you on the Manchester property market.

For regular updates on investing in Manchester buy to let hotspots such as Middlewood Plaza, follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

Buy-to-let Borrowing for an Ageing UK Population

Buy-to-let Borrowing for an Ageing UK Population

Traditionally borrowing gets harder as you get older, but it is now getting easier to secure a buy-to-let mortgage when you’re over 60. This doesn’t mean over 60s can’t get a mortgage. But lenders might impose an age limit for taking out the mortgage, plus a maximum age for when the mortgage term will need to end.

When it comes to buy-to-let, retired borrowers may have previously found it difficult to secure a mortgage to purchase a buy-to-let property. Lenders were reluctant to offer them finance, particularly if they were still in debt in their retirement.
With around 1,000 mortgage deals available for terms of up to 40 years, which means a buy to let borrower aged 45 years old can easily expect to have a mortgage on a private rented home for 45 years. This seems to be working as the latest buy to let mortgage data from lender trade body UK Finance reveals landlord remortgages are outnumbering loans to buy new homes to let by nearly three to one. Borrowing to buy a new property to rent dropped by 7.7 per cent to 4,800 for the 12 months to the end of February 2019. Remortgages were up 2.1 per cent with 14,400 loans agreed over the same term.

“While theoretically age should not be as big a concern for Buy to Let lenders as for a residential property, the reality is that it is still a factor and many borrowers do face upper age limits. When it comes to BTL mortgages, repayments aren’t usually covered by pension savings or work salary as with residentials. Instead, affordability will usually be determined by the expected rental income from tenants (alongside the usual factors such as loan to value and other individual circumstances).”

Online Mortgage Advisor
Buy-to-let lenders are encouraging borrowers to stay in the market well into retirement as they lift age limits on mortgages. Figures from consumer group Which? suggest two out of three of the 2,057 deals available to landlords have a maximum age limit of at least 85 years old. Some go farther – with 9 per cent offering mortgages to borrowers up to 90 years old and a fifth without any age limit at all.
Age limits might still be a factor, but when it comes to determining whether a buy-to-let investment is affordable or not, many lenders will focus more on the rental cover than the age of the borrower. As long as borrowers can demonstrate that the monthly rent payable on the property is enough to cover mortgage repayments by between 125% and 145%, the investment will be determined as affordable.
With the population living longer, people are still wanting or needing to borrow money for a multitude of reasons. Now lenders aren’t standing in the way as the number of buy-to-let products available on the market is at its highest level since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007, with many of these products will be available to landlords requiring finance, regardless of their age.

For regular updates on buy-to-let investment opportunities, be sure to follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

London House Prices increase as Boris Johnson moves forward with stamp duty tax reform

London House Prices increase as Boris Johnson moves forward with stamp duty tax reform

As we look towards the October Brexit dead line, what is the current state of the UK property market and what effect has Boris Johnson had in the small time he has been prime minster.

Before Boris Johnson became the new PM, he outlined his plans for an emergency budget which would significantly cut stamp duty and potentially reignite a stumbling property market. As Brexit, economic uncertainty and fulfilling policy pledges play heavily on his mind, overhauling SDLT will undoubtedly be the easiest part of Johnson’s role as PM. In his quest to revive the property market, Boris pledged to overhaul the current SDLT thresholds by scrapping SDLT on properties worth less than £500,000. Currently, only properties priced under £125,000 on all current property owners or a £300,000 threshold for first-time buyers (FTBs) are immune from SDLT. The aim to stimulate the more expensive sections of the property market by reversing duty increases on homes valued over £1.5 million by reducing the 12% duty to 7%.

The Current Market Conditions

  • Average house prices saw an annual rise of 1.2% (to April 2019 Gov.UK House Price Index)
  • Highest level of year-on-year growth in followed by Liverpool (4.9%), Manchester (4.1%) and Birmingham (4.0%).
  • According to the same dataset, London saw a 0% change in house prices. (Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index)
  • Despite the ongoing Brexit-induced pessimism, the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) report stated that there has been an increase in buyer enquiries after declines over the first half of 2019. 12-month expectations are indicating continued growth in sales volumes and prices.
Nevertheless, affluent home buyers pushed the number of deals in central London over £5 million up 12% compared to a year ago, while the number of deals under £2 million rose 16%, according to LonRes. With Boris Johnson beating rival, Jeremy Hunt by 92,153 votes to 46,656 last month, the question on everyone’s lips is whether he will deliver on his promise of cutting stamp duty land tax (SDLT) after October 31st 2019.

For regular updates on property investment in London and other UK regional cities, be sure to follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

How long will the London housing market pause for thought?

How long will the London housing market pause for thought?

There are a number of indicators that the pre-Brexit, pent up buyer demand for London property is shortly to be unleashed. Chestertons’ Winter 2018/19 London Residential Property Market Report asserts that the “bottom of the market may be in sight,” while the rate of decline in the capital’s sales prices have slowed. Indeed, demand at the prime end of the market bounced back during the latter half of 2018.

“We’ve seen many buyers – both owner-occupiers and investors – taking a ‘wait and see’ approach in London as the Brexit deadline of 29 March approached. However, the delaying of that date to 12 April – and the 31 October – is testing purchasers’ patience. Add in the prospect of prices in London bottoming out and we could see a swift and decisive rise in transactions over the coming weeks and months.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Prices in London fell during 2017 and again during 2018. Given the ongoing political impact of Brexit on sterling, this has made for some interesting opportunities for overseas investors. With indications that the market is bottoming out, many investors will now be looking to snap up properties at bargain (for London) prices while they have the chance.
At the same time, it’s likely that many of those waiting to buy property for their own use will also act in the coming weeks and months. As Brexit looks increasingly likely to drag on, many would-be purchasers may be prompted to act before London’s prices begin to rise too steeply again. As such, 2019 – or at least the latter half of it – could turn out to be a good year for property in and around the capital.

“Many property investment companies are looking closely at London again right now, as the market correction that has taken place over the past couple of years makes property ownership in the capital more attractive, particularly given the recent upward movement in rents and therefore yields. As such, London and the commuter belt certainly bear watching over the rest of this year.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
London’s property market is, of course, vast, as is the commuter belt that surrounds the city. Two areas likely to be of particular interest in the near future are Gerrards Cross and Reading, both of which offer a fast, direct commute into central London, as well as a good quality of life for the whole family. If the predictions of the market bottoming out and pent-up demand being unleased play out, it is likely that interest in both of these areas will spike significantly.

For regular updates on investing in London and other key UK cities, be sure to follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

New data reveals opportunity for first time buyers to outperform housing market

New data reveals opportunity for first time buyers to outperform housing market

Recent data has revealed that First-time buyers in the UK need an average income of £54,000 in order to buy a property, marking a 9% rise from 2016 when Britain decided it would leave the European Union.

Looking at the data released from property website Zoopla this month, it’s fair to say that Millennials have had something of a raw deal when it comes to their finances. From soaring house prices, inflation exceeding earnings, through to political and economic uncertainty with Brexit – getting onto the property ladder has never been more difficult.
Those wanting a start on the housing ladder will often face a never-ending stream of negativity, with many believing it’s near impossible to buy their first home as they cannot raise enough money. This has created a new opportunity for first time buyers to act more savvy and  to selectively invest in Buy to Let property in national growth locations.
Data released by Zoopla found that the average household income required to buy in London was £84,000. In Liverpool, which had the lowest required household income before tax of the 30 cities surveyed, it was just £26,000.
Current house prices are encouraging huge rental demand in the UK’s busiest cities with young professionals flocking to areas like Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool. Purchasing a one or two bedroom apartments as a Buy to Let in these locations is a shrewd investment for those priced out of their home town or city.

“The world as we knew it has changed when it comes to property ownership. We’re seeing more people renting and for longer periods, but that doesn’t mean that they need be denied the opportunity to profit from property. It’s just that doing so may look different in the future. Property investment companies need to work with Millennials to encourage that to happen.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
While Liverpool was named the most affordable market for first-time buyers, it was also the city with the highest house price growth, with values rising 5% over the 12 months April to April.
The Tannery is one of Liverpool’s most iconic residences. The elegant exterior sets the tone for the graceful, stylish homes inside, bringing capital-quality residences to Liverpool’s renters. The low entry price of just £85,000, coupled with 6% NET yields and long term capital growth projections make The Tannery highly appealing to investors looking to either bolster or begin their portfolios with one of the most exciting new opportunities of 2019.

For regular updates on investing in Liverpool and other key UK regional cities, follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

The investment case for Luton

The investment case for Luton

Luton is a growing town that is known for being one of London’s most sought-after commuter locations. Indeed, Jackson-Stops has just flagged it up as the top commuter hotspot for 2019 and the town is fast becoming a favourite with property investment companies. Here’s why.

Luton is located 30 miles north west of central London. Direct trains run into London St Pancras International in as little as 22 minutes. 167 trains per day provide an almost round-the-clock service. Rents, meanwhile are around 1/3 of the cost that they are in London. For renters, it is the ideal combination.
Not only that, but London Luton Airport (the fifth largest in the UK and the fastest-growing major London airport) provides the town with easy, fast access to a wide range of European destinations, as well as select locations in Africa and the Middle East.

“Life in Luton means easy access to the best that London has to offer but without the capital’s extortionate housing costs. The town has excellent amenities with a lively local culture that appeals to those looking to balance access to London with a realistic lifestyle. This is one of the reasons that Luton exhibits such excellent growth potential.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Luton’s population is increasingly rapidly. Between 2018 and 2041, the Office for National Statistics projects that the town’s population will grow by 12.9%, to 248,500. At the same time, it is in the grips of a serious housing shortage, as is the case with many towns and cities in the UK. However, Luton’s housing shortage is worse than most, with Project Etopia projecting that it will be 22.1 years behind where it needs to be in terms of housebuilding by 2026, if the current rate of development continues. At present, Luton is building 430 new homes per year – it needs to be building 1,417 to meet demand.
This housing shortage spells good news for buy to let investors, as it points to a long-term, sustained level of demand for private rented accommodation in Luton, as tenants seek to snap up those homes that are available. It also has the potential to drive up house prices (as well as rents and yields). Luton is already bucking the trend in terms of house price rises. While many southern locations are seeing a market correction at present, with falling prices or nil growth, Luton’s prices rose by 1.6% in the year to April 2019. Savills, meanwhile, projects growth of 9.3% in the five years to 2023 for the South East region.
In terms of its rental market, Luton enjoys an average rent of £632 pcm for a one-bedroom apartment and £828 pcm for a two-bedroom one, according to Zoopla – significantly less than equivalent homes in London.

“It is Luton’s combination of capital growth potential and pent-up demand for private rented sector homes that has caused the town to top LendInvest’s UK buy to let index for so much of the past three- or four-year period. This is a town with outstanding growth potential. Watch this town and watch this space to take full advantage of what Luton has to offer in the very near future!”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on investing in UK buy to let hotspots such as Luton, follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

Is property investment the key to retirement for Millennials?

Is property investment the key to retirement for Millennials?

It’s fair to say that Millennials have had something of a raw deal when it comes to their finances. According to Brookings, median household wealth for Millennials in 2016 was 25% below that of those who were a similar age back in 2007. The global financial crisis has held them back in terms of salary growth, but it’s far from the only factor. Growing levels of student debt have played a large role, as has an inability to climb onto the housing ladder.

The result is that Millennials are facing a number of issues, both in terms of current wealth creation and future prospects. Not owning property means no capital growth. The increasing prevalence of self-employment more often than not means a lack of savings for retirement. Interestingly, though, this doesn’t mean that Millennials are unable to use the property market to their advantage.

“Millennials face a number of economic hurdles, but property investment doesn’t have to be one of them. The average UK property costs eight times the average salary, according to the ONS, but the right buy to let home in the right area can cost considerably less. It can also generate a healthy income, as well as the potential for capital growth.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
The Tannery, in Liverpool, is a key example of the potential that property investment holds for Millennials. The apartments are available from just £85,000 – far below the UK average property price of £226,798 (Land Registry figures, March 2019). With a turnkey management solution in place, there is no burden placed on investors in terms of time, meaning that Millennials looking for an alternative to traditional pension arrangements would do well to consider such a property’s potential.
Buy to let mortgages are subject to affordability checks, just as mortgages for first time buyers are. They also consider the potential rental income of the property in question. Surrenden Invest’s mortgage calculator is a great place to start for those just looking into this (whether Millennials or not).

“The world as we knew it has changed when it comes to property ownership. We’re seeing more people renting and for longer periods, but that doesn’t mean that they need be denied the opportunity to profit from property. It’s just that doing so may look different in the future. Property investment companies need to work with Millennials to encourage that to happen.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on investing in property UK regional cities, be sure to follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

Luton’s dynamic business environment and what it means for investors

Luton’s dynamic business environment and what it means for investors

Luton is a large town in Bedfordshire, some 29 miles northwest of London. It has a diverse economy that has built on the town’s industrial past while embracing new sectors and technologies. This exciting business environment, combined with the town’s affordability and proximity to London, is causing investors to look closely at Luton right now – so that’s precisely what we’ve done!

In terms of its business environment, Luton’s principal employers, after the borough council and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, are those whose businesses relate to aviation: Aircraft Service International Group, EasyJet, Menzies Aviation, TUI and more all employ between 1,000 and 2,000 people. The University of Bedfordshire is also one of the town’s notable employers, with a similar number of staff.
As well as the aviation industry, Luton has a thriving new enterprise scene. So much so, in fact, that the town ranked fourth in the Lambert Smith Hampton UK Vitality Index in 2018 – the first time it had been included in the report. Lambert Smith Hampton analysed 66 towns outside of London in order to identify those that provide the greatest opportunities for businesses expansion and are best positioned for growth.

“It’s great news to see Luton ranking in The Vitality Index’s Most Entrepreneurial list for the first time and it’s testament to the inward investment that it is attracting, as well as the commitment to improving the local economy.”

Lloyd Spencer, Head of Office for LSH Milton Keynes and Luton
Luton ranked highly due to its supportive business environment and high number of new enterprises per capita (it had the highest number out of all 66 locations). London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone – one of only a couple of dozen enterprise zones in the UK – played a key part in the ranking. The enterprise zone, which was announced in late 2015, has attracted more than £1.5 billion in private sector investment, creating thousands of jobs and driving forward a programme of local infrastructure enhancements.

“What we’re seeing in Luton is a town that already has a busy economy thanks to the presence of London Luton Airport, but one where entrepreneurial spirit is flourishing as well. For buy to let property UK investors, this is excellent news, as Luton has all the right elements to draw in bright, talented young professionals and thus fuel demand for centrally located rental homes.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Those founding their own companies are benefitting from Luton’s enterprise zone effect. The June 2018 Luton Gross Disposable Household Income report, from Luton Business Intelligence, reveals that earnings from self-employment have risen in relation to the national average in recent years, as the town’s entrepreneurs play their part in its economic success.
Not only is Luton well regarded for its entrepreneurial credentials, the town also ranks highly when it comes to environmental issues. The UK Vitality Index placed it fourth in its top ten greenest locations ranking, with Luton performing well in areas such as CO2 emissions per capita, energy consumption and household recycling.
Those looking to capitalise on Luton’s superb market fundamentals are invited to consider The Orion. Just minutes from Luton station and town centre, the development is ideally positioned for those commuting into London, as well as those working in Luton itself. The one- and two-bedroom apartments have been designed with luxury firmly in mind, with high specifications that will appeal to tenants looking for contemporary homes in a great location. Prices start from £172,900, which is 10% below the value of comparable homes on the market.

To find out more about investing in Luton and other UK regional locations, be sure to follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

New Rental Market Snapshot keeps investors up to speed

New Rental Market Snapshot keeps investors up to speed

Here at Surrenden Invest we do all we can to make our property investment company stand out from the crowd. Part of that includes sharing the knowledge and market insights that we have with our community of investors. We believe that knowledge is a powerful thing and is essential in choosing the right investment opportunities at the right time. That’s why we’ve launched our Rental Market Snapshot Guide

“Whether you want an overview of the UK rental market as a whole or a concise, detailed look at some of the country’s leading cities, the Rental Market Snapshot is the ideal investment companion. Making money from buy to let property UK opportunities is all about achieving strong yields as well as the potential for healthy capital growth. Surrenden Invest delivers a range of resources to support this.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
The data-driven Rental Market Snapshot considers not just current rental prices in each of the major cities it covers (Birmingham, Manchester, London, Liverpool and Newcastle) but also a range of other market performance metrics. These include average tenancy lengths and void periods, as well as factors such as what proportion of renters end their tenancies early. All of these can impact on the rate of yield that buy to let investors can expect.
Wider market drivers such as the kind of properties that renters are seeking are also considered, as well as the growing relevance of the private rented sector as a whole.

“The UK rental market is a huge topic. What we’ve done with the Rental Market Snapshot is to capture the essence of the market as it stands today, while also exploring the historical factors that have led us to that point. We’ve looked forward was well as back, which is particularly important for investors who are currently looking at a range of cities for their next investment.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Birmingham is one of the most exciting cities in the UK right now when it comes to buy to let investment. Surrenden Invest has been highly active there in recent years. Its latest – and most impressive – Birmingham development is No. 76 Holloway Head. The 34 luxurious apartments enjoy an outstanding B1 location, just two minutes from the Bullring, Grand Central and New Street Station. The swanky Mailbox retail destination, meanwhile, is almost on the doorstep. This ultra-prime location has been chosen in order to capitalise on the demand for true inner city living that’s at the heart of the action – one of the trends noted in the Rental Market Snapshot.

For regular updates on investing in the UK buy to let market, be sure to follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.