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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.

Liverpool leads the way as regional cities buck the trend

Liverpool leads the way as regional cities buck the trend

The latest Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index has reconfirmed the strength of regional property markets, with Liverpool leading the pack. The March 2019 figures reveal a year-on-year price increase of 5.7% for the average Liverpool home, which is now priced at £122,100.

Regional cities are also leading the way when it comes to sales volumes, with Liverpool once more showing the rest how it’s done. While sales volumes in southern cities are languishing some 13% lower than in 2015, sales in Liverpool, conversely, are 19% higher than they were four years ago.

“Liverpool is the shining star when it comes to regional city performance right now. It’s enjoying a busy property market, which high sales volumes and rapidly rising prices – a great backdrop for investing in properties in sought-after locations.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Nestled in the L3 postcode district, The Tannery is just such a property. The striking building’s architecture was inspired by the former leatherworks that gave the site its name. Available from £85,000, the contemporary apartments have been designed to capitalise on their prime location, with stylish interiors and high quality specifications due to attract professional tenants looking to be at the heart of the action in Liverpool.
This resurgence of city centre living has seen many regional cities enjoy rapid growth in recent years. Both Manchester and Birmingham continue to perform well, according to the Hometrack data. Manchester’s property prices increased by 5.1% in the year to March 2019, while Birmingham’s went up by 4.2%.

“While we’re seeing a slowing down of the housing market in some southern areas, the Midlands and regions further north continue to enjoy healthy property price growth and sustained demand from both buyers and renters. Many of our property investment UK opportunities in recent years have focused on these key regional markets, which have consistently delivered excellent results for those who have invested in them.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

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

Liverpool to London in just 85 minutes

Liverpool to London in just 85 minutes

The omission of Liverpool from the original plans for the HS2 high speed rail network was a major blow to the city. However, Liverpudlians didn’t give up on the potential for their home to benefit from the new network. Instead, they focused on ways to turn it to their advantage.

The Linking Liverpool campaign called for a high speed rail link between Liverpool and Manchester, effectively allowing Liverpudlians to tap into the HS2 network via the link. Transport for the North, whose remit includes the improvement of transport across the North of England, has backed the plan as part of its £70 billion, 30-year northern transport plan.

“It makes absolute sense that as many northern cities as possible should benefit from HS2, so the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail link between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds is a key project for the area. It’s also one that has the potential to impact on property prices and yields, for those looking for buy to let property UK opportunities in the right locations.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
The L3 postcode district is one such location. A sought after area of central Liverpool, it provides easy access to the best that the city has to offer, both in employment terms and for entertainment purposes. The area is home to The Tannery – a collection of elegant new homes in a striking building that reflects the city’s industrial past, paying homage to the leather works that formerly occupied the site and from which the new building takes its name. The buy to let apartments already hold strong appeal to local professionals, boasting a communal courtyard, roof garden and concierge service.
Adding a reduced Liverpool to London journey time of around 85 minutes into the mix will certainly give the development a boost – along with the wider economic prospects of Liverpool city centre. The Liverpool to Manchester leg of the journey will take approximately 22 minutes if the Northern Powerhouse Rail link goes ahead as planned. The onward journey from Manchester to London would then take around one hour and 25 minutes on the HS2 network.

“Keeping abreast of local transport and regeneration initiatives is an important part of identifying current and future buy to let opportunities that have the potential to positively impact investors. Coupled with the fact that northern cities are outstripping the UK average when it comes to property price growth, Liverpool has an incredibly strong investment case right now.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

To keep track of the latest developments impacting the buy to let sector in Liverpool and other UK regional cities, follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

Northern cities stand out from the crowd

Northern cities stand out from the crowd

Property investment companies with a nose for good opportunities have been focusing on the potential of the North England for some time. Cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle have much to offer those looking to profit from property. Now, JLL’s latest Northern England Residential Forecasts report has confirmed the wisdom of looking to the North.

“In recent years Northern England’s major cities have established themselves as stand out performers in terms of residential investment and development.”

JLL Northern England Residential Forecasts, February 2019
The key to the success of property investments in these northern cities is the imbalance between the increased demand for centrally located homes and the supply thereof. The JLL report urges investors to ‘find the gap’ when it comes to these markets, which is precisely where property investment companies come in.

“The vast size of cities such as Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester means that no two investment opportunities are equal. A few hundred metres can make all the difference when it comes to the yield that a property can deliver. That’s why it’s so important for investors to work with a property company with local knowledge when they’re seeking buy to let property UK opportunities.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
The North is outstripping the national average considerably when it comes to house prices. UK house prices rose by an average of 2.7% in the year to Q3 2018, according to JLL, while in the North West that figure stood at 4.9%. Yorkshire and The Humber saw growth of 4.4%.
Both the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber offer an excellent entry point for investors, thanks to their average home values being below the national average. In the North West, the average home costs £165,000, while in Yorkshire it costs £164,000. The average UK home price is £231,000 (all figures as at Q3 2018).
The Tannery in Liverpool is as shining example of why investment in the right northern hotspots is so attractive. The stylish homes enjoy a superb central location, while investment starts from just £85,000, with net yields of 6%. Premium specifications and a concierge service mean that the homes hold strong appeal to professional tenants, while the provision of luxury furniture packs makes life easier for tenants and investors alike.
JLL’s forecasts for Liverpool project a continuation of the city’s success over the year ahead. The firm believes the city will achieve 2.4% growth in new development prices, against a UK average of 2.2%, and an increase of 3.0% in city centre rents (UK average: 2.4%). All at a time when buy to let landlords are enjoying greater returns.

“By delivering specialist, localised knowledge about the cities in which it offers investments, Surrenden Invest will remain at the forefront of the UK buy to let sector over the years ahead, finding the gaps that deliver the best results for all those interested in investing in UK buy to let opportunities.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on investing in northern cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, 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 likely beyond – 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.

Housing market latest – wage growth enhances buyer affordability

Housing market latest – wage growth enhances buyer affordability

Wage growth in the UK is outstripping house price growth at its fastest rate since 2011, enhancing buyer affordability. This is contributing to both mortgage approvals and housing transactions holding up well, despite the ongoing political uncertainty related to Brexit. Indeed, the February 2019 Zoopla/Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index states that, “Data on transactions remains resilient with no obvious Brexit impact at a national level.”

According to the report, there was no material drop in mortgage approval activity or transaction volumes during the latter half of 2018, when compared with the five-year average. Furthermore, HMRC figures show that transaction volumes actually increased slightly during the first two months of 2019.

“The latest figures are further evidence of the UK housing market’s resilience in the face of the Brexit debacle. Improving buyer affordability enhances that resilience even more, with strong transaction levels supporting a buoyant market for both owner occupiers and investors.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Annual wage growth stands at 3.4% according to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index. That compares to an average annual rate of house price growth of 2.0%.
Annual wage growth stands at 3.4% according to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index. That compares to an average annual rate of house price growth of 2.0%. Not only that, but the National Living Wage in the UK has just risen by 4.9%. As of 1 April 2019, the national minimum wage rose from £7.83 per hour to £8.21 for those aged 25+. Workers aged 21-24 also saw an increase, from £7.38 per hour to £7.70, while those aged 18-20 saw a rise from £5.90 to £6.15.
The impact of this can best be seen at a local level. In three out of four southern regions, for example, Rightmove reports that new sellers’ asking prices are cheaper than they were a year ago, giving buyers a distinct advantage when considered in light of their increased purchasing power.
Further north, many regional cities have been outstripping the price growth of their southern counterparts over the past three years, thanks to rising employment levels, as well as enhanced affordability. Two cities – Leicester and Manchester – have even achieved price growth of 17% since the Brexit vote, creating fantastic capital growth for those who timed their purchases right around the time of the referendum.
Manchester remains high on many investors’ priority list – and for good reason. The city is home to an impressive array of redevelopment projects, the largest of which is the NOMA development. The 20-acre, mixed use site is being regenerated at a cost of £800 million, making it the largest development project in North West England, eclipsing even MediaCityUK (also in Manchester). Such vast developments bring a wealth of opportunities, both for those who live in the city and for those looking to invest there.
Just 300 metres from NOMA, Ancoats Gardens provides an exciting residential property investment UK opportunity, offering net yields of 6.0%. Available from £229,714 and already under construction, the one, two and three-bedroom apartments offer bright, spacious homes backed by cutting edge facilities in a top location. Residents will benefit from an on-site coffee lounge for relaxing or working from home, a large, private gym that’s spread across two levels and a truly stunning rooftop garden providing views across the city.

To find out more about investing in one of England’s best-performing regional cities, follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.