Leeds Property

Regeneration, infrastructure and enterprise is the fuel behind Leeds property investment

It’s all positive for property investors in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse

Leeds has a mind-blowing growth potential for economic growth. In the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, the Leeds city centre region is primed for an explosive future fuelled by a thriving economy that is set to create thousands of new jobs. The investment being made into infrastructure in the region could be the key that unlocks this potential. Billions of pounds are being poured into the transformation of Leeds. We believe that property investors should follow the money.

Transformative transport will propel Leeds to new heights

Leeds is already a well-connected city, with more than 7 million people within an hour of the city centre by road. Its railway station at New Station Street is one of the busiest railway stations in the UK. More than 60 European cities are a flight away from Leeds Bradford Airport. This connectivity is about to get even better.

Currently, Leeds offers rail commuters direct services to Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Manchester, Liverpool and London. HS2 will slash journey times to London, from two hours 11 minutes to 1 hour 21 minutes. The first phase of HS2 is due to open in 2026. Commuters and businesses will find Leeds even more attractive than it is today. It will be easier for people and goods to travel in and out of Leeds, and local authorities and businesses are already gearing up for exciting new dawn for Leeds as an economic centre:

  • The Strategic Economic Plan focuses on transforming the Leeds City Region
  • The aim is to create more than 35,000 new jobs

Regeneration is widespread and largescale

Billions are being invested in the regeneration of Leeds, across the city. Plans in the pipeline and already currently underway include:

The Grand Quarter – transforming the old to develop a modern city

The Grand Quarter is packed with heritage and historic buildings but has been in decline as under-investment led to neglect. Leeds Council is now planning to create a conservation area in the Grand Quarter, protecting local assets, redesigning road layouts, and helping to conserve the qualities of the local area and integrate with future development.

Fewer than two in 10 of the old buildings here are in good condition. The regeneration scheme will help to provide funds to owners to enable them to update and renew, helping to transform this historic heart to a place fit for modern living, but with its character preserved and enhanced.

Mixed-use at Quarry Hill

Hundreds of millions are being invested into the Quarry Hill site, where more than two hectares will sustain a mixed-use development to include two 16-storey residential blocks, bars, restaurants, a new hotel, and open spaces.

At the heart of this project sits City College, West Yorkshire Playhouse, and Leeds College of Music. The West Yorkshire Playhouse has been transformed by a £14 million refurbishment and renamed the Leeds Playhouse. The College of Music is spending £57 million on transforming its campus.

Rebrewing Tetley on the South Bank

The old Tetley brewery site on the South Bank is being redeveloped to provide office, retail and leisure space, and new homes. Two hotels are included in the scheme, which, when completed, will deliver 850 new homes. But this is only the tip of the iceberg on the South Bank, where tens of thousands of jobs will be created along with as many as 4,000 new homes, and a new park.

Enterprise placed front and centre

In 2012, an area at the heart of the Leeds City Region was designated as an Enterprise Zone (EZ). Covering a total of 142 hectares across four sites (Newmarket Lane, Thornes Farm, Logic Leeds, and Gateway 45 (Temple Green). The EZ is located along the East Leeds Link Road linking the city centre to the M1 motorway.

Planning is in place to provide a range of employment uses, including manufacturing, distribution and offices. Hundreds of construction jobs are already supported by the developments. It is envisaged that the EZ will kickstart the regeneration of the wider Aire Valley, which is expected to deliver more than 9,000 jobs by 2025.

Regeneration Leeds – the pure potential for property investors

Leeds is a lifestyle city, ideally located for businesses and its residents. Regeneration spending of billions is planned here, adding to the more than £3 billion already invested in the last 10 years.

The transformation will encourage businesses into the city, and the new jobs created combined with the great lifestyle offering and cheaper cost of living than other cities will encourage more people to move here. The population in Leeds is projected to grow by 123,000 by 2036 (Government Office for Science).

The position of Leeds in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, the upcoming HS2 services, massive regeneration initiatives, a flourishing local economy, and investment into providing the infrastructure to support business and new jobs, are just a handful of the reasons why we believe Leeds should be on every property investor’s radar.

To find out more and receive an in-depth appraisal of the best property investment opportunities in Leeds, get in touch with Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

London Property

Property fundamentals show it is time for investors to be bold in London

Savvy property investors ignore Brexit ‘expert’ forecasts

As the ‘will we, won’t we?’ Brexit juggernaut rumbles on, it’s time that property investors got back to examining what really underpins profit potential, by concentrating on the property fundamentals that drive supply and demand.

Why you need to ignore Brexit

We’re currently in the second round of ‘project fear’, with the Treasury and the Bank of England warning of an economy driving off a cliff if the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place. We heard exactly the same before the EU referendum in June 2016, when all the same economic ‘experts’ forecast that after a vote to leave the UK would immediately fall into a deep recession, interest rates and taxes would rise, and property prices would fall by up to 30%.

What these forecasts (now being relabelled as ‘scenarios’) don’t do is take into account policy decisions to manage the economy. The Bank of England (under the leadership of Mark Carney) was quick to claim that its 2016 forecasts of doom were avoided because of the action it took. You may remember that it cut interest rates and increased quantitative easing (QE) by £85 billion. It has since increased interest rates and stopped its QE.

If you pay heed to all the headlines, you would think that the UK’s economy is already on its knees. In fact, the UK is in a much stronger position now than it was before the EU referendum in 2016:

  • There are now almost 820,000 more people employed in the UK than there were in June 2016
  • The unemployment rate is at a 45-year low
  • Wages are rising faster than inflation
  • The UK average house price in September 2018 was £233,000 compared to £214,000 in June 2016 – a RISE of 8.9%

What about London?

So, the UK as a whole is still doing pretty well – and much better than those May/June 2016 forecasts. In fact, comparing the actual outturn to those experts’ forecasts, there are more than 1.3 million more people in work than was expected, and average house prices are as much as £80,000 higher than predicted.

In London, it was forecast that up to 100,000 jobs would be lost from the city as financial firms fled to set up European headquarters. That hasn’t happened – it is now forecast that less than 5,000 jobs ‘may’ be lost in the City after next March. Perhaps one reason is that the EU has changed some rules to enable financial firms to maintain access to European markets and financing from London post-Brexit.

Meanwhile, the collapse in London house prices that was predicted also hasn’t materialised. Sure, property prices in prime central London have eased – but don’t forget that they had risen very strongly just prior to the EU referendum as home buyers and investors rushed to beat the imposition of extra stamp duty from April 2016 (as The Guardian reported in March 2016). Elsewhere in London and Greater London, house prices have continued rising.

Including the weaker prime London market, the average house price in London has increased from £472,204 in June 2016 to £484,926 in September 2018. Yes, you read that correctly: average house prices in London have increased since the vote to leave the EU.

Could this be the opportunity of a lifetime to invest in London property?

Investors buy property in London for potential capital gains. In 1998, the average house price in London was around £115,000. In 2008, this had increased to around £350,000. Despite the Great Recession in 2008/9, the average house price in London has increased by a further £135,000 in the last 10 years. That’s an average of 7.5% per year for 20 years.

The property fundamentals in London have not changed:

  • The population is still forecast to grow strongly, with an increase of almost 9% between 2016 to 2026 – more than 800,000 higher than in 2016
  • There is no better place to go shopping in the UK than in London
  • It is a lifestyle city with amazing leisure facilities
  • It is undergoing huge regeneration, such as the regeneration at Elephant & Castle
  • Huge spending on infrastructure such as Crossrail is producing new property hotspots
  • It is home to some of the country’s best schools, colleges and universities
  • Its economy is growing, with a huge financial and professional services sector and tech and the digital economy

The land is scarce in London. It is a world city in every aspect. The London property market is sluggish at the moment, but the long-term attraction of investing in the capital remains. There is a lot of uncertainty in the market today, but when this is removed we believe that price growth will return. You may never have a better opportunity to invest in London property that exists today. However, not all areas of London are equal. Some locations are packed with potential, others not so much.

To find out where our research tells us are the best investment opportunities in London pre-Brexit, get in touch with Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Woodtime fo

Section 21 Ban

What landlords need to do about Section 21 ban

Not very often do I get mad about things but this has set me off.

Theresa May has gone too far with this. As landlords, we need to band together and become one voice.

Anyway watch the video and I will update you about how we can fight back.

Video Transcription:

Hey guys, Brett’s Property Rants. Today, yeah pissed off. You may have seen the live one that I just did, the video I just did. The Government is just losing it. They’re just a bunch of idiots. They’re talking about removing the Section 21, or the no-fault eviction. Anyway, you could watch the live one about my thoughts on that, which is just that it’s ridiculous.

I think one of the points is I’m just reading through the newspapers here. Of course, now, one of the papers, I won’t say who but is talking about them being short evictions. What a load of crap. Do you know why they’re calling them short evictions? It’s because the bloody courts are so frigging useless, yeah, that you cannot get a tenant out for at least three or four months. It takes so long to go through the whole process from the time they stop paying, or the time they do something majorly wrong where you want to evict them, where they should be evicted, rightfully should be evicted, yeah, it takes so long.

Yes, in that relation, it’s a short eviction. Basically, you got to give them frigging two months then, yeah, it’s a short eviction. You know what? This is absolutely ridiculous. It’s just another layer of ridiculousness by a Government that clearly… I mean I’m amazed they even, well, number one, I’m amazed they had even time to think about this. They’re spending so much time on this ridiculous Brexit and how they’re coping with that, or not coping with that. Anyway, it’s not about Brexit today. It’s about this Section 21.

I mean, really, this is the methodology that you have to use now in a lot of cases to get people out or get to the point where you can instruct people to get rid of them. It’s a lot quicker to do it that way than it is to go through all the other rubbish and the ways they do it. I mean the whole Section 8 process just takes so much time. Now, so many tenants can abuse the system.

I mean we’ve got one tenant, I mentioned before in my other video, 18 months they’ve not been paying, $1800 a month for a place. They’re not even a tenant. They claim to be a tenant, they’re a frigging permitted occupier. Yet, they’ve been allowed to go from one court to the next to the next that has been passing it all the way up to the High Court.

So far, I imagine there’s 40 or £50,000 out of that landlord’s pocket in loss of rent, legal costs, in all these sorts of things. I mean because it’s one of our things, I’ve had to instruct our insurers because of the sheer costs that are involved. It’s ridiculous. This woman even had the audacity to try and get an injunction against us, so that we couldn’t do our jobs. In the end, she got advice, basically got told to pull her head in. Meanwhile, I’m 7,500 out of pocket. That’s the appalling state of the market right now.

Now, Shelter and all these other idiots won’t talk about that side of it, which is what landlords are copping and what agents are copping. I mean to add to it, 170 bits of legislation. You know what? This is appalling, appalling what they’re doing. There is no consideration really for what is rational or what is right. It’s a total knee-jerk. They’re not really asking for opinions. They’re not really interested in that opinion when they’re given. I mean it is just appalling.

My take on it is we need to, as landlords, start banding together and having a voice. Otherwise, people like these Shelter bloody idiots are just going to continue to go on and on and on with all this rubbish. I mean we’re talking about small percentages of landlords that abuse it but, yet, they’re applying it across the whole board. I mean we have over 1200 properties we manage. In that 1200 properties, very rarely… And, in fact, I couldn’t even think of one, and neither the guys from the team, think of one instance where landlords are abusing their situation.

You know what? They want tenants in there. They want to keep tenants in there. Yes, they want to raise the rent because their costs are going up. Yes, they want to do all sort of things they have to do that. We have to raise the rent. I can tell you, I will be the biggest one to raise rents on these tenants. Yeah? Because we need to with all the additional costs, with regulations plus with Section 21’s gone, that means more stuff is going to go to court which is going to take longer. Rent and legal insurance are absolutely going to be needed now, which is another cost. All these things are just adding to it.

It’s appalling, absolutely appalling for what is a small minority. Government isn’t interested. It’s no use even talking to them. What we need to do, as landlords, is band together and have one voice and really stick it to them and tell them that this not appropriate. Anyway, guys, have a great day. Live with passion, and we’ll chat soon. Bye.


Buying UK Property

Should You Buy Even If You Know The Price Is Going Down?

The question really comes down to what is your long term goal and what are you looking for?

It all depends on you. Do your research, look at the fundamentals.

Talk to our team, know the right strategy and we can help you make the right decision.


Video Transcription:

Hey guys, Brett’s Property Rants. Should you be buying property now even if you know the price may be going down soon or should you wait? Now, the reality is if you’re talking mathematics you would think that yes, wait until it gets to the bottom and buy exactly at the bottom, exactly that precise moment and just do it. Now, the challenge of that is, in the property you can’t predict that. I’ve seen people predict consistently year after year for eight years straight, this is one of my mates who knows everything about the property and actually still doesn’t own one, consistently that price is going to drop and he’s going to wait until they drop and he’s never bought.

Still hasn’t bought eight years later and every single year those prices have gone up and up and up. Now he’s at a point where he’s not looked any more, he’s mentioned that he’s missed the boat and therefore he can’t get in. It’s ridiculous, but anyway, should you buy now or should you wait? The question really comes down to what’s your long term goal and what are you looking for? Now, I’ve got friends right now and they’re looking to buy their own home. Now so I’ve talked to them about potential prices dropping, Brexit, blah, blah, blah, all these sorts of things and you know what?

What we come to the conclusion was they don’t really care, they’re not buying, they’re buying it to live in, they’re buying it as a home. Obviously, I always tell them, if they buy the best there is then it becomes an investment that will help them get onto the investment. The interesting thing is, for them they’re going to move forward but what I’ve said is, try and go in with a ridiculous offer. The problem is they’ve got all the emotional sort of stuff so the ridiculous offer is going to be hard when they find the right property but I have spoken to them about how best to do that and getting me along to do viewings, things like that.

This is in Australia by the way, so slightly different because their house prices are dropping right now and potentially could be dropping a lot more, but the reality is they’re approaching their home in a very methodical and logical manner. For them it’s not so much about getting the best price, it’s about finding the right property. The first thing it comes down to is their motivation. The second thing is do you really think they’re going to drop, do you think they’re going to continue to grow, you can’t be right. The third thing is, what I find a lot is that people that buy in the market and what actually happens is the market then drops.

What happens then, the market comes back and within two or three years they’re back where they were and even above that. A lot of times it doesn’t matter. You’ve probably got a year to 18 months to ride out where the prices come off. Normally if you can lead into it, you can negotiate a decent thing so you can actually buy some buffer and that’s great but the reality is it depends on you. It’s not a case of don’t buy and for me, I’d much rather see someone get involved than not get involved. My mate, who eight years now he’s been saying it’s going to drop, it’s going to drop, going to drop, at the end of the day unfortunately for him it’s continued to go up and up and up and up.

Okay, it’s come off a little bit I think, in the sort of London area where he’s looking to buy but other guys, they own their own home in Australia, prices are dropping. They’re in Melbourne, prices have dropped about 20 percent, 10/20 percent-ish, but for them will they drop another 10/20 percent? I don’t know but they’re a different motivation. It’s all about motivation but it’s also about your long term view. If you’re looking to get in and get out then certainly don’t buy. If you’re looking for the long term, which I suggest you all do, buy and hold because I can tell you the number of guys I know that buy and sell, buy and sell, buy and sell, yes they’re cashed up and they can have a great lifestyle, but long term buying and holding pays massive dividends.

That doesn’t mean you can’t work both strategies. You can have a property trading strategy and you can have a property, you can have a capital growth strategy and income strategy so you can work different strategies. Just don’t work them all at once. Start with one and then get to know the rules of the game, get to know everything about that, apply it, become successful in that, then look to add another. Then become really, really good at that and then bring another one in. Don’t try and do too much at once. Shotgun approach doesn’t work, get specific, get detailed and realistically read the warning signs in the market and insulate yourself against that with a really good cash flow that allows for losses, things like mortgage cost averaging.

If you don’t know what that is, grab my three plus one plan book. It’s free and get a copy and read it. It will explain exactly how to do a proper cash flow. I mean my company, we still have one of the best cashflows in the market. In fact, I’ve not seen another cashflow that even comes close to when it comes to purchasing and holding a property because it incorporates everything that you could possibly think of. You need to do that level of detail. If you don’t do that level of detail then you’ll suffer. Hopefully, that gives you a bit of an idea because a lot of people are thinking about should I hang back, should I get involved?

Brexit doesn’t seem to be as bad as they thought it was. Maybe house prices will start going up when we sort it out. Certainly, I’m robust on the market but I’m not stupid enough to think that it can’t go the other way as well. I think there’s been a lot of damage done in the market. I mean, it’s the largest ever, I think, thing of self-harm that I’ve ever seen and it’s continued self-harm. Even though we know it’s harming us, we still keep doing it but that’s our politicians without any leadership in that direction, vision and all those sorts of lovely words you use in management and leadership, which it seems none of our politicians has and has no interest in getting either.

Anyway, that’s my opinion and that’s separate of this video. All right guys, have a great day, live with passion. See you.

Leeds Property

South Bank regeneration sees prospects in Leeds heading north

Is this the key to unlock exceptional profit potential?

Leeds is one of the UK’s top economic performers. Its economy is diverse and forward-looking, with a rapidly expanding digital and tech sector. It is a university city, supplying local businesses with a steady and growing stream of highly qualified and knowledgeable graduates. The city is one of the nation’s top tourist destinations, with a fantastic retail offering. All this helps to make Leeds a great place to invest, but it gets even better…

HS2 is coming, and Leeds has a strategy to maximise its benefits to the city. The city’s ‘HS2 Growth Strategy’ may not be the most imaginative of titles, but it is an imaginative plan created to build an exciting future for the city. HS2 has the potential to generate £54 billion growth and 300,000 new jobs in the regional economy.

The key to unlocking this potential is creating the infrastructure needed to support growth. The HS2 Growth strategy delivers this and starts with the massive regeneration strategy on the River Aire.

The regeneration of the South Bank

The South Bank is undergoing huge regeneration. It will double the size of the city centre, with mixed-use developments that deliver 8,000 new homes. It is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, with an investment of billions of pounds. By the time the 253 hectares have been redeveloped, it should have created an extra 35,000 new jobs.

Everyone working together

Leeds City Council has worked hard to get all stakeholders on board. It is a full-scale, collaborative venture, focused on the objectives of delivering new businesses, new jobs, new homes and new communities. Partners include landowners, investors, businesses, educational partners, existing occupiers, government, and developers. A huge joint effort, with huge ambitions.

Delivering green space and waterfront living

Redevelopment of the waterfront is delivering an increasingly popular location sought after by residents and businesses. It’s a place where people now walk, jog and cycle. With a Waterfront Enhancement Fund in place, there is money available to fund further leisure activities.

A new city centre park will be developed at the old Tetley Brewery site – a prime location which will also provide almost 1,000 new homes, combined with office and commercial space in the midst of more than three hectares of public parkland.

New homes and infrastructure

In the last few months, redevelopment has started on several schemes that will enhance the South Bank further and speed up the growth of Leeds city centre. Homes under construction or with planning approved total around 2,500, with developments including Citu’s Climate Innovation District, Legal & General’s Mustard Wharf, and Dandara Living’s Leodis Square scheme. Combined, £210 million is already committed to these investments.

The council is routing financing from several sources to make its ambitious plans become a reality. This includes bidding under the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. This will enable investment into new infrastructure to support and deliver improved connectivity to unlock the potential of the city centre, and accelerate growth.

Exciting times ahead

In the next couple of years, the transformation of this area of Leeds will really begin to take shape and become increasingly apparent. Infrastructure projects will enable the South Bank project to accelerate toward the final vision, which includes:

  • £500 million transformations of Leeds train station
  • The delivery of 8,000 new homes
  • A new city park
  • 35,000 new jobs

The agreed Masterplan for the South Bank builds on the development and regeneration that has taken place so far since the South Bank Planning Statement was published in 2011.

Of the Masterplan, the council’s executive member for planning Richard Lewis said, “The shared vision for the South Bank is for it to be a place not only for people to live, learn, work, create and spend time but also for it to be a leading economic driver for Leeds and beyond and a place of global significance for business and investors. This step is an important one to help ensure the vision is realised for the benefit of everyone in Leeds and the wider region.

Exciting times for Leeds are ahead. Massive investment in infrastructure and regeneration. Thousands of jobs created. Thousands of new homes delivered. Plenty of opportunity for profitable property investment.

To find out more and receive an in-depth appraisal of the best property investment opportunities in Leeds, get in touch with Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Property Deposit

Bullsh*t it takes 10.3 years to save a property deposit

I read an article saying it takes 10 years and 3 months to save a deposit as a first home buyer in the UK and I imagine there are the same stories running in other countries as well.

BS…besides the government schemes which help first home buyers the article ignores the power of goal setting. Once you set the goal you watch how quickly you can attract things to you.

So if you’re thinking of saving for a first home, ignore these type of articles probably written by a PR company to get printed.

Go out and get your home…

Video Transcription:

Hey guys, Brett’s Property Rants. Just reading an article about that it’s now going to take ten years and three months for the average first-time buyer to save for a deposit, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. Now let’s look at this. If you do a pure mathematical equation where you say right, this is the average deposit, this is the average wage, how long is it going to take on a straight line method to do that, that’s what it’s going to take. Ten years and three months, it’s like what a load of crap. Fine, mathematics I’m sure works very well, but in reality that’s rubbish.

There are government schemes, there’s help to buy, which means you only need to get five percent together plus some costs. Those costs are limited because of stamp duties and things like that so actually I don’t think it’s anywhere near that. What I mean by that is look yes, if you are just going to follow the mathematics then fine, but you know what? If you set a goal and you do what you need to do to get that goal you can do it a lot quicker than that, so don’t be disheartened by these crappy, stupid, freaking things coming out as if they’re trying to make out how hard it is. It is still relatively easy to get on the property ladder.

Yes you have to be disciplined, yes you have to do some savings and it’s not going to be a three-month thing, but you know what? Ten years, absolute crap, okay, so don’t believe that BS that’s written in the papers. So much is about advertising, it’s not about reality. If you want reality, set the freaking goal and go out and get that house that you want, but what I will say is it may not be the house that you ultimately want to live in, the one that social media says you have.

It’s probably going to be in an area where you’ve got to actually travel to work, where you’ve got to go a bit further out, where you can afford. What I would say is, it’s going to be a lot better for you to get on the ladder quicker and watch the capital grow than to sit around and wait for ten years and miss a whole cycle of the market. That’s ridiculous. Be careful reading this absolute bull crap. All right guys, have a great day, live with passion and get on the ladder as soon as you possibly can because it’s such an important step to everything.

You know, once you get your first property, whether it be an investment or whether it be your home, things settle down, you start to realize, you start to almost be an adult. It’s the biggest step in becoming an adult. So many of my mates, when they’ve got a house all the sudden they’re able to settle down because they’ve now got something of substance and they attract the mates. If you want dating advice, get a house. There are so many things that when you get a property under your name and you work for it, not be given to you. You’ve got to get some discipline, savings, which I totally agree with but ten years is rubbish.

All right guys have a great day. Live with passion. See you later.