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Guiding the Growing Demand for Foreign Investment in UK Property 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

Guiding the Growing Demand for Foreign Investment in UK Property

By Surrenden Invest | November 6, 2018
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Guiding the Growing Demand for Foreign Investment in UK Property

Overseas buyers’ appetite for UK property helps to keep the UK property market buoyant, particularly when it comes to new build properties designed with renters in mind.

The latest research from JLL shows that the UK is still a long way from meeting its target of building 300,000 new homes by 2020. However, with foreign money pouring into the UK property market, the delivery of new homes is at least speeding up.

“Foreign investors are looking for long-term, stable property investment opportunities in the UK. By purchasing from developers around the country, they are contributing to the capital available to build more new homes, which the country so desperately needs.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Foreign Buyers Buying Property in the UK

As a general rule, foreign buyers account for around 50% of those buying property in the UK through Surrenden Invest. However, when the pound drops, the number of overseas buyers can suddenly rocket, meaning that Surrenden’s property experts have to be ready to meet sharp increases in demand at a moment’s notice.
Buyers from the Middle East, China and Hong Kong top the list of those looking to add UK properties to their portfolio through Surrenden Invest, including a not insignificant number of expats. They are often looking for homes at the higher end of the market; luxury apartments in top locations fit the bill perfectly, such as Ancoats Gardens, which offers accommodation that is a cut above the rest and has the wow factor that foreign buyers are seeking.

“Fluctuations in the value of the pound can have an almost immediate impact on where demand for UK investment properties is coming from. When sterling’s value drops, foreign buyers are keen to pick up bargain homes – and with Brexit causing the pound to fluctuate fairly regularly, savvy investors are waiting for the right moment to proceed at very short notice.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Finding Opportunities for Investors

Foreign investment in the UK – across all asset classes, not just property – is worth some £11 trillion, according to the Office for National Statistics. That amount increased by £796 billion in 2016. The top investors in the UK are the US, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg.
Meeting the needs of this diverse group of investors means taking the time to understand their needs and guiding them into the right opportunities. So far as property investment is concerned, that means offering a range of products in a variety of locations, all with the emphasis on high quality accommodation for which there is sustained tenant demand. In the words of Surrenden Invest’s Jonathan Stephens, it’s about “adding value and finding the opportunities that the investors can’t source for themselves.”

Ensuring the UK Property Market Continues to Flourish

With UK house prices expected to rise by an average of 14.8% between 2019 and 2023, according to Savills, demand for foreign investors doesn’t seem likely to diminish any time soon. Not even the prospect of paying more stamp duty seems likely to make a difference. An investor purchasing a home at the average price nationally could reasonably expect it to go up in value by £32,000 by 2023. An investor playing currency fluctuations correctly could make even more.
Since the pound’s value plummeted in 2016, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Surrenden Invest team have been supporting investors from around the world. From showing them around the UK’s leading regional cities to advising on which properties have been designed with future-proof elements that will appeal to the next generation of renters, the Surrenden property experts are working hard to ensure that the UK property market continues to flourish.

For regular updates on UK property investment matters, you can follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

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Rising values and rents spell good news for regional property investors 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

Rising values and rents spell good news for regional property investors

By Surrenden Invest | November 5, 2018
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Rising values and rents spell good news for regional property investors

Two reports published in the last week have highlighted how strong the UK’s regional property investment market is. First up was Rightmove’s Rental Trends Tracker, which published its Q3 2018 update. Rightmove reported a sharp increase in rents, of 0.8% – the largest jump at this time of year for three years. The company also flagged up an 8.7% decline in the number of rental properties available.

Next up was Hometrack’s monthly UK Cities House Price Index. The September 2018 figures showed an average increase of 3.2% in urban house prices, but much higher rises in some of the UK’s most popular regional cities. Of the 20 largest cities, Liverpool led the growth, with a 6.9% year on year increase in prices, followed by Birmingham, at 6.5%. Manchester came fourth, at 6.2%.

“Fewer available homes to rent has led to rising rents and faster lets, both of which are good news for property investors. Add in price growth that is in some cases more than double the UK average and it’s clear why the UK’s regional cities are performing so strongly in terms of attracting property investors.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Comparing the cities’ performance with that of London only serves to strengthen the case for regional property investment. Property prices fell by 0.4% in London in the year to September 2018, according to Hometrack, while Rightmove reports a 0.4% decrease in rents in the capital between Q2 2018 and Q3.
In pure price terms, the regions are also extremely attractive compared to London. Birmingham is a prime example. Apartments at the stunning Westminster Works development are available from £168,000. The elegant homes come complete with an impressive rooftop terrace, concierge service and secure parking, all in a top location in the sought-after Digbeth area. Investors looking to spend a comparable amount in London would be hard-pushed to find anything other than shared ownership homes or properties for the over 60s available, based on a search of Rightmove’s listings.

“Hong Kong buyers’ interest in Birmingham started building around two years ago… Previously, it was pretty much just London, which has become much more expensive over the years… They just want to own a property and rental income, so they will consider Birmingham because the price bracket is affordable. In Birmingham, it costs HK$2 million (US$250,000) to HK$3 million an apartment, whereas in Hong Kong it costs HK$10 million to HK$13 million, and in London it is HK$7 million to HK$10 million.”

Gavin She, Hong Kong Director, Savills
The same is true of Liverpool and Manchester, where apartments in luxury developments such as The Tannery and Ancoats Gardens are available from £85,000 and £229,714 respectively. These regional success stories are pulling investors’ interest away from London, at the same time as the capital’s falling rents and lack of potential for capital growth are pushing them away.

“Based on the current market fundamentals, it looks like London could be in for something of a rough ride in terms of attracting property investors over the coming months. Regional cities just have so much more to offer – they are stealing the show and look set to continue to do so for quite some time.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on investing in property in top locations around the UK, follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

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The regional round-up – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be? 2> By | 2018, All, Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

The regional round-up – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be?

By Surrenden Invest | October 30, 2018
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The regional round-up – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be?

We hear a lot about how the UK is in the midst of a housing crisis, and how the country is falling further and further behind each year in terms of delivering the number of homes that our population needs. Combined with the rapid rise in popularity of city centre living, this is creating pockets of extreme demand in some of the UK’s regional metropolises. With 2019 just around the corner, the Surrenden Invest team has done some number crunching (with a little help from our friends at the Office for National Statistics and Zoopla) to see which hotspots are worth keeping a close eye on over the year ahead.

Birmingham

2018 population: 1,147,300
2041 projected population: 1,313,300
Property price growth over past five years: 29.46%
Housing development to watch: Westminster Works

With a 14.5% population increase on the cards between now and 2041, Birmingham tops the list of 2019 hotspots. The city has a young population compared to the country as a whole, with its five university campuses attracting young people with a thirst for knowledge. The city has the sixth highest graduate retention rate of any UK city, and the third largest inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city.
This 65,000-strong student talent pool provides Birmingham with a vast pipeline of future workers and entrepreneurs. It also means that stylish homes in city centre locations are, and will continue to be, in hot demand.

Manchester

2018 population: 553,500
2041 projected population: 631,500
Property price growth over past five years: 30.60%
Housing development to watch: Ancoats Gardens

Manchester is on track to experience a 14.1% population increase between 2018 and 2041, meaning it will be snapping at Birmingham’s heels in terms of growth. The city has already risen up the ranks in recent years, making it onto IBM’s list of top ten global destinations for foreign direct investment in 2017 (as part of the Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan region).
Manchester benefits from a steady influx of bright, enthusiastic young people. The city is second only to London in terms of its graduate returners (at 58%), as well as its inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city. Businesses are doing much to harness this talent; Amazon, for example, chose Manchester as the site of its first Amazon Academy, running a series of programmes and events designed to help hundreds of small, local businesses. Future residential developments in the city centre will need to serve these entrepreneurial young professionals.

London

2018 population: 8,965,600
2041 projected population: 10,346,000
Property price growth over past five years: 32.36%
Housing development to watch: Brook House

London leads the UK in many respects, as a world-renowned centre for finance, business, education, tourism and more. Over the next 25 years or so, its population is projected to increase by 15.4%, driving demand for housing across the capital. From sleek, centrally located apartments to sprawling houses in the suburbs, London offers every kind of property imaginable, providing homes for workers from across the UK and the globe.
More than 300 languages are currently spoken in London’s schools, highlighting the diversity of the capital’s future workforce. The city attracts some of the best and brightest as a result of its vast range of employment opportunities and is home to a huge rental population. According to PWC, 60% of Londoners will rent their homes by 2025, as the city’s young (and not so young) professionals rent in ever greater numbers.

Liverpool

2018 population: 495,300
2041 projected population: 554,500
Property price growth over past five years: 24.67%
Housing development to watch: The Tannery

Liverpool is on track to experience a population increase of 12.0% between now and 2041, as the city continues to attract talented young people as a result of its thriving service sector, healthcare sector and knowledge economy. The city’s extensive cultural offering is also a draw, from its plentiful museums and art galleries to its excellent restaurants and lively music scene.
42% of Liverpool’s population is below the age of 30, compared with 37% nationally. This youthful population is driving forward Liverpool’s reputation as an innovative, entrepreneurial city. It is also one of the main forces behind the extensive regeneration that the city is experiencing, while the growing trend for city centre living is creating new hotspots close to key attractions and amenities.

Newcastle upon Tyne

2018 population: 297,400
2041 projected population: 318,100
Property price growth over past five years: 23.70%
Housing development to watch: Hadrian’s Tower

Newcastle’s city centre population has grown rapidly since the turn of the century. According to Centre for Cities, Newcastle city centre enjoyed population growth of 112% between 2002 and 2015. The massive jump in demand for city centre living is creating a hotbed of innovation with-in the housing sector, as developments seek to woo the bright young things who have flocked to the city for work and want prime accommodation in the heart of Newcastle.
With a superb social scene and a thriving urban renaissance well underway, Newcastle’s attractions to ambitious young professionals are plenty. It also has a rapidly growing student body as a result of its superb universities. Student numbers at Newcastle University have shot up by over 70% since 2000, while Northumbria University has enjoyed a student body increase in excess of 114% over the same period. With nearly 50,000 students in total, a full sixth of the city’s population is engaged in study, creating a uniquely youthful atmosphere as Newcastle grows its own talent for the future.

“Each of these cities has its own distinctive culture, which is drawing in young people who will ultimately contribute to the future success of that city. Those working in the housing sector need to respond accordingly, delivering high quality homes in central areas, in order to meet the demand that these young people are driving.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

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Amazon Confirms Manchester Landmark Office to House 600 New Jobs 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

Amazon Confirms Manchester Landmark Office to House 600 New Jobs

By Surrenden Invest | October 25, 2018
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Amazon Confirms Manchester Landmark Office to House 600 New Jobs

Amazon have announced plans to open a landmark new office building in Manchester, with the capacity to house at least 600 new jobs. The Hanover Building, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, will add to Amazon’s stake in the city, which already includes two new fulfilment centres and the first Amazon Academy, supporting hundreds of small businesses in the area.

“Our new office will be home to more than 600 staff, many of whom will be focused on developing exciting new products and services used by Amazon customers around the world. The city offers an incredibly talented workforce and a budding tech scene with some of the most exciting, fast-growing tech companies in the UK situated here.”

Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon

Manchester Set to Become Thriving Business Environment

Manchester is the natural choice for Amazon’s first UK corporate office outside of London for a number of reasons. The city offers a thriving business environment with a dynamic young talent pool, and the property prices – for both commercial and residential premises – are significantly lower than those in London. Manchester also enjoys higher levels of returning students – those who have left the city to study elsewhere, then return – and a larger inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city than the UK’s other main regional contender, Birmingham. In fact, the city ranks second nationally for both of these categories.

“Manchester has a talented, youthful population that is hungry to be part of the new wave of digital, media and tech companies that are pouring into the city. This is driving growth in a number of areas of city life, with housing being a key priority. These young professionals are looking for stylish accommodation with superior services in top locations, and they’re not prepared to compromise.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

The Ancoats Gardens Development in Manchester

Ancoats Gardens, just a five-minute walk from the newly announced Amazon office, provides the kind of accommodation that these young professionals are seeking. As well as its superb central location, the development boasts spacious, light-filled homes with floor to ceiling windows and ceilings some 0.5 metres higher than the average city centre new build. Pegged as the future of urban living in Manchester, Ancoats Gardens also offers an exceptional rooftop garden, an on-site coffee lounge and a 1,715 square foot gym that’s so extensive the developers have created a dual-level space just to fit it in.
Alongside being ideally located for Amazon’s new office, Ancoats Gardens is on the doorstep of the vast NOMA regeneration site, which will be a central component of Manchester’s future business and tech environment. The £800 million development is the largest in any area of the UK other than the South East. Altogether, it will create four million square feet of office, residential, retail, hotel and leisure space, in the 10-15 years it will take for the works to be complete.

“Manchester has everything in place to make it one of the cornerstones of the UK’s economic success over the coming years. As the UK enters the brave new world of independence from Europe, it is cities such as Manchester that people will look to as the blueprint for the future.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

To keep up to date with progress in the UK’s regional cities, as well as exclusive residential investment opportunities, connect with the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

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Surrenden Invest Announce New Stamp Duty Calculator as Part of Major Website Overhaul 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

Surrenden Invest Announce New Stamp Duty Calculator as Part of Major Website Overhaul

By Surrenden Invest | October 22, 2018
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Leading Property Portfolio Management Consultancy Introduce New Stamp Duty Calculator

Hot off the heels of announcing the creation of a new mortgage calculator tool, the innovative Surrenden Invest team have revealed that a new stamp duty calculator is also in the pipeline. The calculator will be revealed as part of a major overhaul to the Surrenden Invest website, which will be revealed later this year.

“Stamp duty rates and applicability have changed significantly in the UK over the past few years, with the result that many investors no longer have the clarity that they used to on what rate will apply to their property purchase. The new Surrenden Invest stamp duty calculator will provide potential investors with a quick, simple way to see how much stamp duty land tax they will pay when purchasing a particular property.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Significant Changes to The Stamp Duty

The Government first started toying with stamp duty significantly back in 2014. Then-Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, overhauled the way the tax was applied. Previously, stamp duty jumped when it reached certain levels. The Government changed it to be more in line with the way that income tax works, with graduated rates of tax increasing along with the value of the property.
The 2014 stamp duty rules meant that no tax would be paid on the first £125,000 of a property, 2% would be paid on the portion between £125,000 and £250,000 and 5% would be paid on the portion between £250,000 and £925,000. A rate of 10% would apply to the portion between £925,000 and £1.5 million, while anything over that upper value would be taxed at 12%.
Less than 18 months later, the Government made another significant change to stamp duty, announcing that owners of more than one property would pay a higher rate on their second (and any subsequent homes). The bandings would remain the same, but with an additional 3% charged at every tier. Thus a property valued at up to £125,000 would incur stamp duty of 3%, while 5% would be paid on the portion between £125,000 and £250,000, and so on.
Fast forward to 2018 and Prime Minister Theresa May has announced yet another stamp duty hike. This time, foreign buyers of UK property are the target, with an additional 1% stamp duty land tax applied to any property that they purchase.

“We’re seeing a picture of stamp duty land tax becoming increasingly complicated to calculate, as the government continues to introduce new elements to it. With a change made to the rates every couple of years recently, it’s likely that further complications will follow. In any case, those using the Surrenden Invest website will soon have our new stamp duty calculator at their disposal, bringing some much-needed clarity to the situation.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

New Stamp Duty Calculator Available

The Surrenden Invest stamp duty calculator will be available towards the end of 2018, when the company’s new website launches. Website users will also have access to the new mortgage calculator tool.

To stay up to date with the latest property industry developments, follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

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New calculators help investors consider the true cost of buy to let 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

New calculators help investors consider the true cost of buy to let

By Surrenden Invest | October 17, 2018
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Discovering the True Cost of Buy to Let

The Surrenden Invest team have just announced the addition of mortgage and stamp duty calculators to their website. The new functionality will be available in the next few weeks, as the company seeks to provide investors with the right tools to aid their understanding of the true cost of buy to let.

“Investing in buy to let homes in the UK is a fantastic opportunity. We want to ensure that investors have the time to consider the financial implications of doing so at their leisure. The stamp duty and mortgage cost calculators on the Surrenden Invest website are one way in which we are enabling that.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Over the past five years, the number of landlords in the UK has increased by 27%. Not only are there more landlords, by they are buying more properties – an average of 1.8 properties each, according to Ludlow Thompson. For the last tax year, when the government’s 3% Stamp Duty levy for second home owners was in full force, and mortgage interest tax relief was on its way out, landlord numbers rose to a record high of 2.5 million.

“The UK property market represents such an outstanding investment opportunity that domestic and overseas investors have been undeterred by tax hikes and Brexit alike. Landlord numbers continue to rise, and the latest addition of 1% more Stamp Duty for foreign investors is unlikely to make much difference. The market fundamentals are strong enough to withstand it – ultimately, the UK property market remains a place where investors can make healthy returns in both the medium and the long term.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Given the continuing keen interest in UK property, particularly in regional cities, specialist property investment agency Surrenden Invest are encouraging potential investors to consider the true cost of buy to let property. Their aim is to ensure that potential investors have clarity on all of the costs involved – not just the cost of having a buy to let mortgage.

Calculators Giving Investors Financial Clarity

Buy to let mortgages are just one of the costs involved in investing in buy to let – there are also legal fees, the cost of furnishing the property, service charges and ground rent for new build developments, management fees and, of course, Stamp Duty Land Tax. It’s only after investors have taken all of these into account that they can work out their returns.
While the long list of fees might seem off-putting, investors with a keen eye for a good deal can cut costs while still investing in high end homes. At The Tannery in Liverpool, for example, apartments are available from £85,000. That means that investors pay only the lowest rate of Stamp Duty, as the cost of the home is well below the £125,000 threshold of the first band. Investors at Westminster Works in Birmingham, meanwhile, have the option of selecting stylish David Phillips furniture packs. Doing so can offer a significant cost saving compared with choosing comparable furnishings from high street suppliers, and also cuts out the cost in the investor’s time of having to furnish the apartment.
Other costs are simply part and parcel of the investment, such as service charges and ground rent. Management fees can potentially be avoided, though for many new build investment opportunities, the management company arrangements are a core part of the deal. And even when they are not, those looking for hands off investment opportunities often find that the drag on their time as a result of managing the property directly soon means that they are happy to bear the small cost of using a professional management company!

For regular updates on all things property investment-related, be sure to follow the expert Surrenden Invest team on social media.

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Surrenden Invest website to feature new mortgage calculator tool 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | One Comment

Surrenden Invest website to feature new mortgage calculator tool

By Surrenden Invest | October 15, 2018
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Here at Surrenden Invest we believe that investing in property should be an enjoyable experience. We pour time and effort into ultra-robust due diligence procedures so that our clients can relax, knowing that the opportunities that we present are sound, with solid long-term prospects and healthy yields. We also strive to make the investment experience pleasurable in other ways too. Most recently, this has led to the development of our free mortgage calculator.

Using the mortgage calculator is simplicity itself. Investors simply enter the total mortgage amount, the repayment period and their interest rate. The dynamic calculator will then display the likely monthly repayment amount for both an interest only mortgage and a repayment mortgage.

“Many of our clients here at Surrenden Invest fund their property purchase at least in part through a mortgage. As such, we’ve made it quicker and easier for those considering investing in our developments to weigh up the financial implications of doing so. It’s all about providing clarity and supporting our clients to make informed choices.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
The mortgage calculator will be available for anyone browsing the Surrenden Invest website to use. It affords potential investors the opportunity to consider the financial implications of their investment in their own time and without any pressure to move forward with an investment. For those who do decide they would like to find out more, Surrenden Invest is happy to put them in touch with an independent mortgage broker.
The case for investing in the UK residential property sector is a strong one. The country is desperately short of homes and has a growing population. On top of that, urbanisation is drawing people into regional city centres, where they want to live, work and play all in the same convenient location.
The economic opportunities of city centre living are rich indeed. CBRE has hailed the UK’s regional cities as the country’s “powerhouses for economic growth” over the next few years.

“Growth rates in many of our regional cities are expected to be a lot higher than the growth rates that have been forecast for the UK as a whole, and this general trend continues in the data collected for the next five years as well, on average.”

Andrew Marston, National Research Director, CBRE
With so much attention on the economic potential of our regional metropolises, investors are keen to be part of their bright future. Developments such as The Tannery in Liverpool offer a low entry point (£85,000), healthy yields (6.0% net) and a superior standard of accommodation and services that is perfectly aligned to the demands of modern, urban renters.

“Regional cities offer so many opportunities to property investors. It’s a really exciting time to be involved in the new developments that are springing up. We are working hard to support our investors to be part of the regional city scene, and our soon-to-be-released mortgage calculator is the next step in that process.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

The Surrenden Invest mortgage calculator will be available towards the turn of the year. For further updates on it – and on all other aspects of investing in residential property in the UK – follow Surrenden Invest on social media.

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PM’s stamp duty hike “unlikely to deter foreign investors” in UK property 2> By | 2018, All, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, News, October | No Comments

PM’s stamp duty hike “unlikely to deter foreign investors” in UK property

By Surrenden Invest | October 10, 2018
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Prime Minister Theresa May announced at an otherwise rather uninspiring Conservative party conference last week that foreign investors will have to pay an additional 1% stamp duty when they purchase properties in the UK. At present, they pay the same stamp duty rates as UK-based investors. Given the strength of the UK property market’s appeal to international investors, however, the additional 1% tax is not likely to ruffle too many feathers, outside of prime central London.

“The UK’s regional property markets offer such exceptional value for money, particularly since sterling’s dip in value following the Brexit referendum, that an additional 1% tax is unlikely to deter foreign investors. Those buying with dollars or euros, or indeed any currency pegged to those, can pick up some real bargains in regional cities around the UK, particularly in the Mid-lands and further north.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
While London’s over-valued property market may suffer slightly, cities in the Northern Power-house are likely to continue attracting high numbers of foreign investors thanks to their stable property markets and low entry points. Newcastle, for example, has an average property price of just £129,600, according to Hometrack’s UK Cities House Price Index. In Liverpool, which is currently enjoying the fastest year on year property price inflation in the UK, the average is £120,100, meaning that foreign investors will have to pay just 1% stamp duty if it is their first UK property purchase. With prices rising by 7.5% in the past year in Liverpool, it would take a little under two months of ownership before the additional stamp duty tax had been covered by the increase in the property’s value.
The Northern Powerhouse cities are flourishing in areas other than their property markets, too. The Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area has just been awarded a top ten spot on IBM’s list of global investment destinations. Meanwhile, visitor numbers across the Northern Power-house region have shot up by around 5% over the past year. Visitor numbers in the North East have jumped the most, up by 17% as cities such as Newcastle draw in travellers from within the UK and overseas.

“What we’re seeing is a significant uptick in interest in cities outside of London and Birmingham (though the latter also has plenty of its own success stories to tell of late). Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle are increasingly coming to the fore, whether as locations for tourists to visit or as places for foreign investors to pick up great value properties. A 1% hike in stamp duty is not going to do much to change that.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

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Liverpool leads the UK for house price growth 2> By | 2018, Birmingham, News, October | No Comments

Liverpool leads the UK for house price growth

By Surrenden Invest | October 8, 2018
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Liverpool has just hit the headlines for leading the UK’s cities in terms of its house price growth. The Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index reported 7.5% inflation in Liverpool during the year to August 2018. For those working in the Liverpool property sector, the news comes as no surprise.

According to Hometrack, Liverpool’s average property price stood at £120,100 as at August 2018, against a UK average of £217,300. For those buying a main residence, that means 0% stamp duty. For those buying a second home (including investment properties) it means the lowest stamp duty rate, of 3%.
Factor in a 10-15% discount for off plan properties, and Liverpool really does have some exceptional investment deals available. Apartments at The Tannery, for example, are available for as little as £85,000, with anticipated yields of 6% net.
Despite the low entry price, the homes have been designed to offer outstanding quality, synonymous with the world’s greatest capital cities – those with which Liverpool has been rubbing shoulders on the IBM Global Location Trends report. Bright contemporary interiors are complemented by on-site facilities including a 24/7 concierge, secure underground parking, a spacious communal courtyard and a roof garden, all in the sought-after L3 postcode area.

“Liverpool has exceptionally strong credentials as a property investment destination. It has a booming city centre population, a thriving business community and a superb cultural offering. This combines to produce a high and sustained level of demand for decent, well-located rental homes, which in turn means that property investors can earn healthy yields, as well as enjoying the potential for impressive capital growth.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
As part of the Liverpool-Manchester metropolitan area, Liverpool was recently flagged up by IBM’s annual Global Location Trends report as being among the top ten cities in the world for foreign direct investment (FDI). The area pulled in the tenth highest number of FDI projects in 2017, according to the report, resulting in the creation of some 7,000 jobs.
Earlier this year, TripAdvisor also highlighted Liverpool as one of the best places in the world to visit. The city’s cultural offering was key to that decision. This year, it is offering a year-long programme of events, exhibitions, seasons and performances to mark the ten-year anniversary of Liverpool being crowned European Capital of Culture. One of the most impressive offerings is the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, which is drawing in visitors from around the UK and beyond.

“Liverpool is one of those rare cities that has it all. It’s a delightful blend of economic opportunities, cultural pursuits, a superb gastronomic scene, a lively sporting offering and a thriving property market. The city also enjoys property prices that are well below the average for the UK, which is another reason that it is such an exciting prospect for property investors.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

For regular updates on Liverpool and its property market, as well as other UK regional cities, you can follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

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Birmingham property investment analysis – ask the experts 2> By | 2018, Birmingham, News, October | No Comments

Birmingham property investment analysis – ask the experts

By Surrenden Invest | October 4, 2018
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Investors from around the world are flocking to pick up property in Birmingham, with developments such as Westminster Works seeing a strong, sustained level of interest. In September, Birmingham was highlighted by PropCast’s England & Wales House Selling Weather Report, with four of the city’s postcode areas making it into the top ten best areas to sell a property. National property expert John Parker, Surrenden Invest’s Business Development Director, explains what it is that makes Birmingham so alluring, and why now is the right time to give full attention to this dynamic city.

Why is now the right time to invest in property in Birmingham?

Birmingham was named as the sixth best city in Europe for investment prospects in 2017 by PwC. 2017 also saw it crowned as the most improved city in the UK in which to live and work. With a youthful population (the youngest of any major city in Europe, with 45% of the population under 30) and an impressive cultural offering, England’s ‘second city’ has much to offer aspiring entrepreneurs and those looking to climb the corporate career ladder.
The city also has a bright future. At present, it is growing faster than 31 of London’s 33 boroughs, while HS2 looks set to cement its future as one of the UK’s leading economic power-houses. The high speed rail network will connect London Euston to Birmingham by 2026. This has driven a wave of investment in areas such as Digbeth and Curzon Street, as station works inspired by HS2 create a ripple effect that benefits the surrounding location. With £1 billion of investment behind the development work, several new neighbourhoods will result.
At the same time, a low supply of properties and extremely high property prices in London are driving buy to let investors out of the capital and straight into the open arms of markets such as Birmingham. Average property values have increased there by 31% over the last five years, while a further 20-30% hike in prices is expected over the next three to four years, off the back of the Big City Plan’s ambitious 20-year vision.

What should buyers look for in a Birmingham investment property?

It sounds simple, but the three questions I ask myself are:
– Would I buy it myself to live in?
– Can you rent it out?
– Can you sell it?
Other than that, it’s a case of choosing the area wisely. Birmingham is home to many affluent and emerging areas, with the Jewellery Quarter, the Convention Quarter and Digbeth all making names for themselves. The type of property also needs careful thought, with consideration given to renter trends. Larger apartments are growing in popularity and there’s a big shortage of them in city centre locations.
Finally, think about unique features. Homes with high ceilings or a premium specification will stand out from the crowd and should attract a queue of would-be tenants, thus minimizing void periods.

Which areas of Birmingham are particularly attractive to investors?

Birmingham has plenty of areas that investors are keen to be a part of right now. New Street Station (England’s busiest railway station outside of London) is where it all began. By creating a massive, impressive gateway to the city, with a smorgasbord of restaurants, shopping and entertainment right on your doorstep, it opened investors’ eyes to the city’s potential, and residents’ eyes to the benefits of a new style of urban living. Birmingham is now attracting plenty of people who want to live in the centre, working, eating, sleeping and playing all in the same ultra-convenient location.
With waves of large-scale regeneration sweeping Birmingham, the city has a number of investment hotspots, with the city centre as the core. The massive residential and retail zone of Smithfield and the new cultural quarter in the east are two great examples. In addition, the central business and shopping district is booming in terms of price, scale and the influx of companies moving in. The presence of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, HM Revenue & Customs and their ilk is drawing workers to seek centrally located homes.
In a nutshell, the most exciting city centre locations at present are the area around Mailbox and Holloway Head, the Jewellery Quarter, Digbeth and the cultural district to the east. Further out, both Edgbaston and Ladywood are proving popular.
The Mailbox
Ladywood
Holloway Head
The Jewellery Quarter
Digbeth
Edgbaston
Westminster Works

What should buyers be wary of?

Due to Birmingham having been heralded as the new darling of overseas property, and investors looking to avoid the over-inflated values and dwindling yields of London, the former’s property market is highly competitive, which can at times lead to frustration. Much of the city’s pipeline of residential developments have already been purchased off plan, while its burgeoning ‘Build to Rent’ sector is also introducing a new element of competition.
That aside, and with standard due diligence checks taken into account, price is probably the most important aspect to be wary off. When you buy off plan, it’s important not to pay over inflated prices, especially in the more prime developments in the city.
It’s common to see developments that are selling out some 18 months before completion and being market at prices that would be more appropriate were they completing today. It means that developers are not passing on the speculative discount that one should expect to receive for buying off plan so far in advance. Discounts of 10-15% are reasonable; if an apartment would be worth £200,000 upon completion today, but won’t be complete for another 18 months, then a price of £180,000 would be more appropriate.

What kind of due diligence should investors carry out?

That aside, and with standard due diligence checks taken into account, price is probably the most important aspect to be wary off. When you buy off plan, it’s important not to pay over inflated prices, especially in the more prime developments in the city.
Other than that, put yourself in the rental market mindset. Rental demand is the number one factor that will drive capital growth, as well as being critically important to service any debt that you may have on the property. Look into location, local infrastructure, public transport links, nearby amenities, entertainment options, bars, restaurants and anything else that could contribute to the development being a solid rental investment moving forward.

What sets Birmingham apart from other UK cities?

Birmingham has a number of important selling points as a property investment location. Its extensive regeneration work means that pockets of potential and value are being unlocked across the city. Its youthful population and dynamic business environment are also key.
Then there is the London factor. Take Holloway Head as an example. It might not look like much now, but many are already labelling it the soon-to-be ‘Millionaires Row,’ meaning that they are hedging their bets on a new tide of London-centric commuters being brought in by HS2. When complete, HS2 will mean that people can travel from Birmingham to London in the same time it would take to get from Dulwich (in South East London) to the West End. That’s going to make a big difference and it’s something that other regional cities, which are further from the capital, simply can’t offer.

What is your top piece of advice for those considering investing in property in Birmingham?

Think carefully about the location you choose, particularly if it’s short term capital growth that is driving your investment.

For regular updates from John and his fellow national investment and property experts at Surrenden Invest, follow us on social media.

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