Category Archives for "Best Places To Invest"

Manchester Property

Which city has the fastest-growing property prices in the UK?

Manchester property investment looks set to continue its winning streak

According to Cushman & Wakefield, the global real estate agency, property price growth has been faster in Manchester than anywhere else in the UK in five out of the last six years. In 2017, average price growth of 11% was more than double the national average.

In this article, you’ll learn that Manchester is recognised as a property hotspot globally, and I’ll introduce you to an area which I think has great potential to outpace even the highest average property investment performance in Manchester.

Manchester is a city with high liveability

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently released its annual survey of the world’s most liveable cities. Manchester has soared through the rankings.

The Global Liveability Index rates 140 world cities across a range of lifestyle variables. These include 30 factors in five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Austria’s capital Vienna has taken the top spot. Of the UK’s cities, Manchester came top in 35th position: a whopping 13 places above London. However, Manchester’s position in the top quarter of global cities measured by the index doesn’t tell the whole picture. It is surely the standout performer, having risen an incredible 16 places in the league table compared to its position last year.

Manchester is a resilient city

The survey’s editor and Head of City Practices for the EIU, Roxana Slavcheva, noted how Manchester had swept aside the Manchester Arena terrorist attack of last year. Indeed, its improved security score was a factor in its meteoric rise, which now sees the city 2.2% ahead of London in the EIU scoring system.

She also noted that, “What is more, Manchester also represents a regional trend over the past year, where there have been notable improvements in security in several western European cities which have shown resilience in their recovery from terrorist attacks.

Manchester’s improved resilience has been reflected in the performance of property prices in the city.

Property prices still going strong in Manchester

Manchester’s property prices have continued to outpace those of other UK cities. Turning back to the Cushman & Wakefield analysis, Manchester property prices increased by 9% between July 2017 and July 2018. That’s a colossal performance in the face of so much negativity surrounding UK property as we move through the Brexit timeline.

Cushman & Wakefield are almost as bullish about the prospects for property in Manchester as I am. Their Associate Director Julian Cotton has said, “Greater Manchester is the UK’s largest and fastest-growing economy outside of London, having transformed itself into one of Europe’s most dynamic and exciting cities in which to live and work. Manchester city centre and Greater Manchester as a region has swiftly become a desirable and immensely lucrative location in which to invest.

For longer-term buy-to-let investors, the potential returns look particularly attractive. There is a high proportion of students compared to the population, the population is growing rapidly, as are the number of businesses, and the demand for rental property is following suit. Consequently, rental prices have been rising strongly: up by 10% in the year to April 2018.

Trafford could be the micro hotspot for your investment

At the edge of the city centre, Trafford is about to undergo largescale regeneration that will transform another swathe of the Manchester landscape. Trafford Council is working with developers on a number of schemes. The regeneration and redevelopment will provide a huge boost to the area’s offering of retail, leisure, education and housing. It will also take advantage of Trafford’s two ‘Old Trafford’ sporting arenas. Highlights include:

  • The White City Retail Park is set to be redeveloped, along with supporting infrastructure and improved pedestrian access
  • There will be a new tram station near to Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, providing improved transport options
  • New and improved public spaces
  • A new civic plaza linking Lancashire County Cricket’s Old Trafford home with the town hall
  • A new ‘Town Hall Quarter’
  • A new ‘Campus Quarter’, which will host the sports and media university backed by a conglomerate of Bruntwood (the property developer), Trafford Council, Microsoft, and former Manchester United captain Gary Neville
  • New housing to support a growing population as the quarter benefits from upgrade and regeneration

Trafford is one of our locations of choice in Manchester. Having already benefitted from huge investment into regeneration, this latest regenerative effort is the icing on the cake. It’s a prosperous area, with weekly wages above the national average, and home to the famous Trafford Centre (Intu), the largest shopping centre in the UK.

While the average house prices here are above the Manchester average, the dynamics of the local economy and the investment into it leads me to believe that an investment here could have serious potential to produce higher-than-average rental yields and long-term capital gains.

To learn more about Trafford, hop over to our Trafford Property Investment Guide for a more detailed snapshot of the factors that underpin our confidence. For a more particularised chat about the best current property opportunities, contact Gladfish today to book a meeting.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

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

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.

Leeds Property

Leeds is set to provide great post-Brexit property investment returns

A vibrant economy offers protection and growth potential in uncertain times

Leeds is one of the UK’s core cities, with a large regional economy, excellent education facilities (including three universities), and a vibrant city centre. Leeds is currently benefitting from massive investment and regeneration. Channel 4 has recently selected the city as the location for its new UK headquarters. It is a lifestyle city to achieve your lifestyle investment goals.

I’ve recently been asked how Leeds is likely to fare after Brexit. I think it’s going to do fine. But don’t take my word for it. In the UK Powerhouse Study, Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) expects Leeds to be the second fastest-growing local economy in the UK immediately after Brexit.

There is a jobs boom in Leeds

The report forecasts an economic slowdown after Brexit but also concludes that the Yorkshire region has the potential to produce long-term economic growth. This growth, it says, is likely to be concentrated in the major towns and cities in the region, particularly in Leeds.

Leeds has a diverse economy, with major sectors including:

  • Financial and business services
  • Retail
  • Leisure and the visitor economy
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Creative and digital industries

Its jobs growth has recently been concentrated in knowledge-intensive businesses, and, combined with digital tech business, this is expected to help it produce the second-fastest jobs growth in the UK in the three months after Brexit day (29th March 2019). In the 12 months to the second quarter of 2019, the UK Powerhouse Study forecasts that jobs growth in Leeds will be 2% and that the local economy will grow by 1%.

What does this mean for property investment in Leeds?

Whatever form Brexit takes, it is likely to create issues that will cause economic uncertainty for the UK. Many businesses are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. It’s clear that Brexit won’t be all bad, despite what various experts and doom merchants are predicting. There will be opportunities created, and, with its diverse and knowledge-based economy, Leeds is more protected against Brexit than many other cities in the UK.

The city is an attractive place to live and work, offering much to both businesses and residents. It is home to a huge local economy – the biggest regional economy outside of London – and is well connected by road and rail to the rest of the UK, and by Leeds Bradford Airport to international destinations.

Jobs growth is expected to continue in the next 10 years, with the local authority forecasting at least another 25,000 jobs in the private sector. The highest growth in jobs is expected in accommodation and food services, financial services, and manufacturing. These jobs will help to support a growing population, forecast to grow from 780,000 currently to more than 900,000 by 2036.

Fundamentals like these have led JLL to forecast that property prices in Leeds will rise by almost 20% by 2022, and rental prices will rise by around 19% during the same period.

When searching for the best property investment opportunities, it is vital that you ignore the noise and concentrate on the fundamentals that drive demand and long-term profitability. We believe that Leeds is one of the most exciting cities for property investment in the UK today. Its vibrant and diverse economy should sustain long-term income and capital gains, to produce above-average returns in post-Brexit Britain.

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

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