All Posts by Brett Alegre-Wood

Property Investment Manchester

For property investment, Manchester is hard to beat

Six reasons you will want to invest in Manchester

Manchester is a highly desirable place to work, live and play. It is being developed at a faster pace than most cities in the UK and is attracting high numbers of businesses and young professionals. For those considering property investment, Manchester should be high on your list of UK locations.

Here are six factors that underpin the potential of investing in Manchester property.

1.    Manchester is a mecca for retail and leisure enthusiasts

Manchester has some of the best retail and leisure facilities in the UK. These range from the world-renowned intu Trafford Centre, to the Arndale, Exchange Square and Market Street, and fantastic boutique shopping districts around the city.

For the culturally minded, there are more than 30 museums and galleries to visit. For fresh air enthusiasts, Manchester is a stone’s throw from several of the UK’s most beautiful rural areas.

Manchester is also the home of two of Europe’s best football teams (Manchester United and Manchester City), and Old Trafford is the home ground of Lancashire Cricket Club.

2.    Manchester is the place for exceptional education

With hundreds of schools in the city region, and 25 primary and secondary schools rated as outstanding within three miles of the city centre, parents are spoiled for choice for their children.

There are also 20 higher and further education establishments. The total student population is one of the largest in the UK – presenting an exceptional opportunity for investors in student accommodation.

3.    Manchester’s tremendous transport

Manchester benefits from road and rail networks that connect the city to all corners of the UK. When HS2 services start running, London will be only an hour away.

The Manchester region is served by regular bus services, and rail and Metrolink services.

Manchester Airport is the North’s only major international gateway. It serves more than 22 million passengers each year – a number that is expected to rise to 50 million by 2030.

4.    Manchester is a city open for business

The city region houses a population of 2.8 million in its 10 metropolitan boroughs – the largest UK city region outside of London.

With a GVA of £63 billion, Manchester’s economy is extremely diverse with major employment sectors including:

  • Financial
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Life science and healthcare
  • Energy and environment
  • Creative, digital and technology

Many major companies are located here (including names such as Barclays, BNY Mellon, Cargill, Heinz, BAE Systems, the BBC, Google, and IBM) attracted by the city and its stock of well-educated workers. The rate of start-ups here is also strong.

Consequently, the growth of more than 2% per year in employment that Manchester has experienced in recent years is expected to continue.

5.    Regeneration and development are booming in Manchester

Manchester is the beating heart of the Northern Powerhouse, and billions have been spent and are being spent on regeneration and development. Key projects include:

  • The Manchester Enterprise Zone (business and office space, manufacturing, health, and bioscience facilities)
  • The Corridor (now the UK’s largest academic campus)
  • Manchester Science Park (a world-class science and technology hub)
  • Spinningfields (mixed-use development in the heart of the city centre, providing space for mostly financial and professional services firms)

Regeneration projects include:

  • NOMA (an £800 million project)
  • St John’s Quarter (a mixed-use development including 2,500 new homes)
  • Ancoats (developed with £1 billion from the owners of Manchester City FC)
  • Greengate (2,000 apartments to be completed in the next 15 years)
  • Middlewood Locks (A £700 million mixed-use development)
  • Kampus (200 new apartments, and independent bars and restaurants)

The latest Deloitte Crane Survey forecasts more residential units will be delivered in the next three years than in the previous 10 combined.

6.    Manchester – where the population just keeps growing

Manchester’s city population has grown by 6% in the last three years – three times the national average. With more businesses moving to the region, HS2 soon to run services here, and a young, diverse and well-educated population, this rate of growth is set to continue.

Summing up

World-class retail, leisure and education make Manchester a good place to live and learn. The incredible transport links and young and vibrant population make it a good place to do business. Add it all together, and Manchester is a great place for property investment.

You can learn more about the best property investment opportunities in Manchester by contacting the team at Gladfish.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

making money from property

5 Ways for making money from property in the UK

Profitable property investment strategies for all investors

Making money from property is one of the most satisfying ways of investing. And there are many strategies that you could use to do so. In this article, we describe five of the most popular.

1.    Long-term buy-to-let property investment

When you purchase buy-to-let property, you are investing for the long-term potential in a growing private rented sector in the UK. By investing wisely and getting good tenants, you should profit from inflation-proofed rental income and long-term capital gains from rising property prices.

You can take advantage of the benefits of leveraging in property investment, which massively improves the returns on your invested capital.

You can pass on many of the duties and responsibilities of being a landlord by hiring an experienced and competent investment property manager. With effortless property management, you should benefit from perfect passive income.

2.    Short-term flipping

Investors who want to profit from capital gain, without holding property for the long term, can do so by using a strategy commonly called ‘flipping’. Two ways you might flip property are:

  • Buying a property that needs refurbishing, doing the work, and selling for a profit
  • Buying off-plan property and selling before the property is complete (or shortly after completion)

If you choose the first method, making money from property this way takes discipline, a tight control of costs, and a systematic approach. You’ll need to consider that a short-term fall in property values could damage your forecast returns.

With the second method, you are somewhat protected against the potential for short-term price volatility – thanks to the discount when you invest in off-plan property. By the time you come to sell, this discount will act as a buffer against a fall in the market. If the market price has increased, this will be translated into a larger profit.

3.    High-yielding holiday lets

Investing in holiday let property is similar to investing in buy-to-let property, except that making money from property this way relies on a steady stream of short-term vacationers rather than the more stable income from longer tenancies.

There are some tax advantages over buy-to-let investment. For example, you can offset all your mortgage interest payments against your letting income, and the cost of furnishings can be deducted from your income before tax is calculated. Also, because this type of investment is classed as a business, profits become ‘relevant earnings’ for pension purposes – meaning you can increase your pension contributions.

Holiday lets pay higher yields, but you will need to market your property effectively to take full advantage. (Read our article “Is holiday let property a good investment?” for more information.)

4.    Fixed-term hotel room investments

For cash investors with a fixed timeline for their investment, and who want a guaranteed return, investing in hotel rooms may appeal. You gain exposure to a high-yielding property investment, without having to buy (and run) an entire hotel! In brief, this type of investment works as follows:

  1. Do your research and select a popular destination.
  2. Select a hotel that offers the benefit of location and good management.
  3. Buy the hotel room.
  4. Receive income from your investment (usually around 8%).
  5. Your capital is returned at the end of the fixed-term of your investment.

This could be a great way for making money from property if you have a cash pot that you don’t need now but will need in, say, five or seven years (for example, to pay school fees for your children).

5.    Diversify with developer loan notes

Have you ever wished you could make the profits that banks make when they loan money to others? Developer loan notes allow you to do just that. In effect, you lend a developer money over a fixed term to help them fund their project. In return you get:

  • A fixed (and high) rate of interest
  • A guarantee on your capital invested
  • The flexibility to take your capital back early

The amount needed to invest is smaller than for most other property investments, and you can build a portfolio of loan notes paying interest and maturing at different dates – allowing some exceptional budget planning.

Summing up

There are many ways for making money from property. The five described here are among the most common. Which is best for you depends upon your personal circumstances, investment objectives and other factors. For a confidential, no-obligation discussion of your options, contact one of the team at Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Property Investment UK

Why property investment in the UK is so attractive

Where else could you achieve these huge benefits?

Property investment in the UK is still attractive, despite the headwinds of higher stamp duties on investment properties, a tougher borrowing environment, and changes to the tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages and wear and tear costs. Here are a few of the major reasons to invest in UK property.

Demand for property outweighs supply

The law of supply and demand has impacted the UK property market for centuries. A continuously growing population fuels demand for new homes. This boosts the price of homes and is great news for property investment in the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK population is forecast to grow to:

  • 2 million in 2026
  • 70 million in 2029
  • 9 million in 2041

This is population growth of more than 11%. To put this in some perspective, the UK would need six cities the size of Birmingham to house it – or 13 Manchester, or 12 Liverpool. That’s a huge demand for extra housing.

UK property investment has continually proved itself as a solid investment

The average UK house price has doubled every eight to 10 years during the last 100 years. Even during financial crises, property investment in the UK has proved more resilient than other assets. When the stock market almost halved in 2008/9 because of the Global Financial Crisis, the average UK house price fell by just 14%.

Stock markets tend to have crashes every 10 years or so. The Oil Crisis was blamed for the slide in the mid-1970s. Then there was Black Monday in October 1987. The dotcom bubble burst in 2000. Throughout such stock market volatility, UK investment property has remained remarkably resilient and astoundingly stable. As ‘safe as houses’, as they say.

(Read our article “If you’re a long-term investor in stocks, you’re a long-term loser” to discover the truth your financial advisor would rather you not know.)

Inflation-proofed income – great for retirement

When you invest in buy-to-let property in the UK for the long term, you benefit from rental income that you control.

Generally, rental prices increase in line with inflation. Sometimes they rise slower, and sometimes faster.

If you are investing for retirement, the inflation-proofing quality of buy-to-let investment property in the UK will be very attractive to you – especially when measured against the cost of an annuity designed to protect your income against inflation.

You make money on other people’s money

In the UK, you can borrow to invest in property. This means you have the potential to make money on other people’s money, thus boosting your comparable return.

As an example, let’s consider an investment of £200,000, using £50,000 of your own money as a deposit and a £150,000 buy-to-let mortgage to fund your investment. Let’s say that the mortgage interest rate is 4.5%, and you achieve a gross rental yield of 7%.

You will make a gross income of 2.5% on the £150,000 you borrowed, after allowing for the interest payment. Put another way, your gross rental income is £7,250 (7% x £50,000 + 2.5% x £150,000), or 14.5% of the capital you invested.

It gets even better. Should the property value increase by, say, 30%, it would now be worth £260,000. Before costs and tax, this is a profit of £60,000. That’s 110% on your original £50,000 investment.

Such incredible potential returns are all thanks to the benefits of leveraging in property investment.

Perfect passive income

Finally, here is the one that will really make a difference to your life. Who wants to work for their money, when you could be sitting at home (or on a beach) enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labour? Hire an investment property manager to manage your property, and benefit from perfect passive income that could give you the lifestyle you deserve.

Summing up

For its potential to produce incredible passive income and capital growth over the long term, property investment in the UK is a highly attractive option. Projected population growth should help it to produce the kind of returns it has historically, as you benefit from using other people’s money to maximise the return on your own investment capital.

For more information about investing in UK property, contact the team Gladfish today,

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Developer Loan Notes

How do loan notes work in property development?

Your five-minute guide to developer loan notes

When a property developer wishes to develop a property – say, for example, to create a new residential estate – it has various options to finance the development. One of these options is to issue developer loan notes.

In this article, you’ll learn how loan notes are used and some of the key elements that make them attractive as investment instruments.

What is a developer loan note?

The simplest way to explain a developer loan note is as an IOU. The investor lends the developer money, and the developer agrees to pay it back. The developer will pay a fixed rate of interest while it retains the investor’s capital.

Loan notes can be ‘secured’ or ‘unsecured’. A secured loan note is secured against the property or other assets of the developer, while an unsecured loan note offers no such protection. Therefore, a secured loan note carries lower risk than an unsecured loan note: if the developer defaults on the terms of the loan note, the assets on which a secured loan note is secured act as insurance against some or all of the capital the investor has loaned to the developer.

How loan notes work for the property developer and investor

Breaking down loan notes into a step-by-step process, the following is a simplified guide to how they work:

  1. The developer takes the decision to offer a loan note, and decides the details of the loan note (e.g. the maximum amount, duration, and interest rate). The developer may need approval from its shareholders to issue the loan.
  2. The developer instructs lawyers to produce loan note documentation and create the loan note.
  3. The developer offers the loan note to investors.
  4. Investors lend money to the developer in exchange for the loan note.
  5. Investors receive the fixed interest (also known as the ‘coupon’) while they hold the loan note.
  6. At the end of the loan note term, the developer repays the investor the capital that they loaned to the developer.

First and second charge loan notes

While secured developer loan notes are less risky than unsecured loan notes, not all secured loan notes are created equally: some are riskier than others. One way in which the risk differs between loan notes is if they are ‘first charge’ or ‘second charge’.

A secured developer loan note with first legal charge holds less risk than one with a second legal charge, because if the issuer does default, the first charge investor is first in line to receive repayments. An investor in a second charge loan note only receives their repayment after the first charge investors have received theirs.

Key developer loan note terms

Here are a few key terms used in the world of loan notes:

Issuer: The company that issues the loan note – the borrower

Loan note instrument: The documentation that sets out the terms and conditions relating to the loan note.

Coupon: The interest paid by the issuer to the holder of the loan note. Often, the interest rate is fixed, though it may also be paid as variable. Some loan notes roll up their coupon, and pay the interest when the loan note matures.

Coupon terms: The terms on which the coupon is paid. This will detail whether the coupon is calculated daily, monthly, quarterly, etc. and when it will be paid (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.).

Loan note certificate: Like a share certificate, the loan note certificate is evidence of ownership of the loan note. It contains details of the holder and issuer, date of issue, maturity date and interest rate.

Redemption: When the issuer has repaid all interest outstanding and repays the capital loaned to it, the loan note is cancelled.

Convertible: A convertible loan note is one that can be exchanged for shares in the capital of the issuer. The loan note instrument will set out when this exchange is triggered (for example, at the option of the note holder or the issuer), what kind of shares are to be issued, and how the number of shares to be issued are calculated.

Understanding these terms is important: if you invest in a secured convertible loan note, secured with a first legal charge, you will want to know exactly what it is you are investing in.

Should you invest in developer loan notes?

Investing in developer loan notes could help you diversify your portfolio, and benefit from high fixed-interest payments. They can be structured to provide a regular flow of income from a lower cost of entry (some loan notes allow investment from as little as £5,000).

To learn whether you can take advantage of the benefits of investing in developer loan notes, contact one of the team at Gladfish at +44 (0) 207 923 6100. We’re looking forward to speaking to you, and think you’ll be as excited about the loan note market as we are.

Continue Reading Other Articles in the Series:

benefits of investing in developer loan notes  Risks when you invest in developers loan notes  Why stock market investors are turning to property developer loan notes  Investing in Property vs Investing in Loan Notes  How loan notes work in property development

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Developer Loan Notes

Investing in property vs. investing in loan notes

Key differences and similarities between property and loan note investing

Many professional investors are finding that the benefits of investing in developer loan notes are too attractive to ignore. The high rate of fixed interest paid gives them a huge advantage over the lower and fluctuating yields paid by way of dividends in the stock market. With investment capital guaranteed, investors don’t suffer the volatility suffered by stock market investors.

The question is, should you invest directly in property, or invest in developer loan notes? This article examines the key similarities and differences between investing in property and investing in developer loan notes.

Location vs. collateral

When you invest in property, it is important to assess the property fundamentals that underpin a development or property investment. You’ll be concerned about fundamentals that include shops, schools, transport links, major employers and major investment. The stronger the fundamentals, the better the potential for long-term profits from rental income and value growth.

When investing in loan notes, you should also be concerned that the property fundamentals underpin the development’s potential. This will be the foundation of the fixed income and capital guarantees. However, you should also examine the collateral that guarantees your capital – the property itself, the track record of the developer, and the corporate guarantee on the capital invested.

Ownership vs. rights to possess

This is probably the most obvious difference between direct investment in property and investing in developer loan notes:

  • When you invest directly, you become the named owner of the property.
  • When investing in developer loan notes, you may have a right to possess (known as a lien). If the developer (borrower) defaults on promised payments, the investors can make a claim against the collateral (property) and may take possession of the property itself.

Developer vs. tenant

When you invest in buy-to-let property, you become a landlord and will need to manage tenants. While you may decide to hand this work to a professional investment property manager, the responsibilities include finding and vetting tenants, undertaking property maintenance, chasing and collecting rental payments, staying up to date with landlord laws, and handling complaints from tenants.

As an investor in developer loan notes, you manage the borrower. The workload is lighter, though you will need to maintain an eye on the development’s progress and the wider market to ensure that your investment performs as you expect.

Credit vs. tenant

As part of your responsibilities as a buy-to-let investor, you will need to vet the tenant and ensure that they have a suitable credit score and a regular income. You’ll want to know that they can afford the rent and that they are likely to pay it when it is due each month.

When investing in developer loan notes, you should undertake similar credit checks – though on the developer (borrower), rather than the tenant. This isn’t done by a credit score, but instead by analysing and understanding the underwriting behind the loan note and the developer, their accounts and balance sheet, and the standards that act as the foundations of the loan note agreement.

Property deeds vs. loan note instruments

A property investor will sign a contract of sale and receive the property deeds when the investment is completed. The deed is public notice that the investor is the new owner of the property.

When investing in a developer loan note, a ‘loan note instrument’ is signed by the issuer. This sets out the terms and conditions under which the loan note is issued, including schedules, terms and procedures for holding meetings of note holders.


The benefits of leveraging in property investment can boost returns because you are making money on other people’s money. You leverage by investing using a mortgage and making a profit on the borrowed funds.

For example, you might invest in a £200,000 property by paying a deposit of £50,000 and borrowing £150,000. If the value of the property increases by 20% and you then sell the property, you will have sold it for £240,000. After paying off the mortgage of £150,000, you will be left with £90,000, including a profit of £40,000 – or 80% on the capital you invested.

While not impossible, it is unusual, difficult and often expensive to invest in a developer loan note using leverage. Therefore, you won’t be able to benefit from leveraging in the same way (if at all) when investing in developer loan notes.

Who can invest in property vs. loan notes?

Anyone can invest directly in property, providing they can raise the funds to do so. The ability to invest in developer loan notes is restricted. There are detailed rules and regulations governing who they may be offered to, as well as who can promote them, advise on them, and arrange investments in them.

The rules also dictate who must be involved in the offering of loan notes and the operation of structures involving loan notes.

In summary

Developer loan notes are a good way to invest in property, diversify your portfolio, and benefit from high fixed-interest payments. However, while there are similarities between direct property investment and investing in developer loan notes, there are also some key differences. Because of certain complexities of loan note structures, not everyone will be eligible to invest in them.

To learn whether you can take advantage of the benefits of investing in developer loan notes, contact one of the team at Gladfish at +44 (0) 207 923 6100. We’re looking forward to speaking to you, and think you’ll be as excited about the loan note market as we are.

Continue Reading Other Articles in the Series:

benefits of investing in developer loan notes  Risks when you invest in developers loan notes  Why stock market investors are turning to property developer loan notes  Investing in Property vs Investing in Loan Notes  How loan notes work in property development

Financial Promotion Disclaimer and Notice

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