Category Archives for "Investment Opportunities"


Get ready for a Brexit bounce in London property prices

Why London prices may rise, and where

Property investors should be preparing now for a bounce in London property prices when the UK leaves the EU. This is what several experts are now predicting for the London property market, with almost three years of experience of Brexit uncertainty behind us.

In this article we examine why the experts are so positive about the potential for property investment to produce great gains in the coming years, and we’ll also highlight a couple of locations where that potential could produce the best returns.

What is in store for London property in the next five years?

London’s property market has been the most sluggish of almost all UK locations since the EU referendum produced its surprise result in June 2016. Many experts predicted a crash in London prices, causing an exodus of financial firms from the City.

However, these predictions have proved wide of the mark. Additionally, the EU has altered its rules to allow European firms access to the London financial markets even in the case of a no-deal. But, without a doubt, those predictions and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit affected the London market, especially at the high end.

JLL is among those who now expect a post-Brexit bounce. It forecasts that, between Brexit day (29th March 2019) and 2023:

  • The average price of new build homes in Zones 1 and 2 will rise by almost 18%
  • Luxury property prices will rise by 15.3% in Central London
  • The average price will rise by 14.3% across Greater London

Why could property prices in London rise?

JLL expects a Brexit deal to be done, in which a transition period smooths the path to final exit from the EU. This, it says, will lead to a more stable and confident economy. This will encourage homebuyers and investors to return to the market. As job security returns, property values will rise faster, it says.

We’ve got to put this reasoning into context, though. There are currently no forecasts that the UK economy will crash post-Brexit. GDP is expected to grow by more than 1.5% in 2019, and rise to 2% and above in the two years after. Wages are expected to continue to grow faster than inflation.

But it is not only the economy that dictates house price direction. There is a chronic shortage of homes in London. The Mayor of London has a target of 66,000 new homes each year. Developers are currently delivering around 20,000 to 25,000 new starts each year. That’s a massive gap between supply and demand, and a lot of pent-up demand in a city whose population is forecast to grow by almost two million in the next 23 years.

Will there be a boom in London house prices?

As recently as 2014, London property prices increased by as much as 20% in a single year. It’s clear that those days are now gone. If the Brexit deal finally turns out better than expected, the cork could be released from the bottle of pent-up demand. But a rapid bounce in property prices is less likely today than in the past – the government’s property tax reforms and more regulation have dampened buy-to-let interest.

So, while we may not see a sudden boom in property prices in London, there is likely to be a more measured return to a rising market. The question is, where might it be best to invest for growth in London?

Look for growth potential in London property locations

Recent research from Dataloft and property developer Mount Anvil (and published in Homes and Property) suggests that the best locations to buy will be those that are benefitting from regeneration and offer apartment living. In such areas, average prices rose by around 17% between 2012 and 2016. Boroughs such as Tower Hamlets and Newham performed particularly well.

London property plays well for the greater investment emphasis on capital growth, as the tax advantages of rental income have been eroded. So, where might that capital growth be found in London?

Outer London is hot

Some of the hottest areas for investment in London property are found in Outer London right now. Boroughs such as Redbridge and Merton have bucked the trend of sluggish house prices in the capital. With 24-hour underground services, massive infrastructure investment and regeneration, these areas in Outer London are gaining in popularity with buyers and renters attracted by greater affordability.

A few ideas for your investment location research

London property investment benefits from a wonderful basket of strong fundamentals. The question is, where are the best locations to invest in the capital? Here are a few key locations which we believe could produce above-average returns in a market returning to growth:

  • In East London, our favoured locations include Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest
  • Locations that are likely to benefit most from infrastructure projects include those on the Crossrail 2 route, such as Haringey, Wood Green, and Battersea
  • We also think that Canary Wharf, Woolwich and Aldgate are attractive for investors

To find out where our research tells us are the best investment opportunities in London as we move through the final stages of Brexit, get in touch with Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Manchester Property

Manchester – an economy that is pumping property investment potential

Economic and residential growth is here to stay

Earlier this year, we published an article asking if Manchester property investment could be the story of 2018. In that article, we highlighted the following:

  • Expansion of development across the city
  • Delivery of property for all tenant types
  • The masterplan that promises premier league property development
  • Collaboration between the local authority and private investment to regenerate swathes of brownfield land

In this article, we update you on the rapid transformation of Manchester and how its city landscape is changing.

Manchester is growing up – literally!

Manchester is getting taller. The desire for city centre living is encouraging developers to build residential towers and deliver thousands of new homes. Deansgate Square Towers – not long ago little more than a hole in the ground – is growing at a fast pace. These will dominate the skyline to the west, eclipsing the Beetham Tower, which was once the tallest in Manchester.

The residential market in Manchester is flourishing, as the city’s economy is proving itself as a world-class city for foreign direct investment and property investors. Its economy has grown faster than London’s since 2014 and is expected to continue to grow rapidly.

As the economy grows and adds jobs, so, too, does the population. Many of Manchester’s 100,000 students studying in its universities stay on for the opportunities provided in its thriving knowledge economy. More people are choosing rented accommodation to suit their lifestyle – and this creates a wonderful opportunity for buy-to-let property investors.

The big boys are investing in Manchester property

Manchester is attracting the new breed of buy-to-let investors. Institutional investors are taking advantage of the potential here, and ploughing money into buy-to-rent opportunities. LaSalle Investment Management, M&G, and Invesco (among others) have recently been joined by Legal & General Investment Management on the roll call of institutional landlords in Manchester.

L&G has followed up its Slate Yard, Salford investment with a deal for Deansgate Square’s West Tower. The deal is good for both L&G’s investors (who want long-term income and capital appreciation) and Manchester City Council (who want to grow the residential offering across tenure types).

Manchester set for continued residential growth

Manchester City’s growth strategy envisages a rapid expansion of residential stock, and as development ripples out from the city centre new locations for development will be unlocked. Plans are for around 15,000 new homes to be delivered in the next 15 years – with property types ranging from apartments to penthouses and townhouses.

The land is expected to be freed up in all directions, with £4 billion of investment pouring into accommodate regeneration and new developments in the Northern Gateway, Eastern Gateway and beyond in towns across the breadth of Greater Manchester.

Manchester’s well-connected towns are thriving, too

Investment potential is not limited to the city centre and its fringes in Manchester. The Metrolink connects outer towns so well with the city centre that investors can discover some fabulous opportunities in nearby Rochdale, Bury, Altrincham, Didsbury, and all places between.

Indeed, The Sunday Times recently called out Altrincham as one of the best places to live in the UK, noting the quality of its schools, housing and transport links.

In summary

Manchester’s economy is growing and is likely to continue to do so as we near the delivery of HS2 services, which will reduce journey times to London to just a shade over one hour. This massive infrastructure project is the keystone to unlocking the potential of Manchester at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. As the local economy grows, Manchester’s housing shortage may become worse – and the long-term effects of this imbalance are likely to provide further impetus to property values and rental prices.

There are many opportunities for property investors to take advantage of Manchester’s fantastic property fundamentals, with different property types to suit. Your challenge to benefit from investment here is to find the best opportunities – to help you, download your free Hotspots Guide to Manchester. To benefit from an in-depth discussion of how investing in property in Manchester could boost your portfolio returns, contact Gladfish today to book a meeting.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Birmingham Property

How can you profit from property investment in Birmingham?

4 steps to take advantage of Birmingham’s potential

Birmingham is a city with huge appeal to its residents. It offers some amazing shopping, great restaurants and bars, and a fantastic nightlife. It’s a city with a rapidly growing and young population, and five universities supporting the education of 65,000 students. With a diverse and growing economy, home to many national and international businesses, and boasting one of the fastest rates of new business start-ups in the UK, the number and quality of jobs available here is encouraging many more people to make Birmingham their home. In 2017, more people migrated out of London to Birmingham than to any other UK city.

A city is a place where savvy investors are buying property, with regeneration pumping Birmingham property prices. If you are considering investing in property in Birmingham, we think you are about to make a good decision. But how good that decision will be depends on investing wisely. These four steps will help you take advantage of the very real potential for property investment in Birmingham.

1.    Do your research to pick the best location

Most locations in Birmingham are in high demand. However, we think four city centre locations are standout areas. These locations allow investors to take advantage of the growth in the population of young professionals who want to live on the doorstep of all Birmingham’s fantastic amenities. They are:

  • Digbeth, a trendy location with great transport connections and some exciting regeneration going on. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of bars, bistros and cafés. Young professionals are attracted by the modern contemporary apartment-style living being developed here.
  • Southgate & Highgate is home to the Chinese Quarter and Birmingham Gay Village. It’s a vibrant and diverse area of the city undergoing massive redevelopment of its wholesale market. Here, vacant land and derelict buildings are being transformed with open spaces and a fantastic residential offering which is ideal for young professionals and families.
  • The Jewellery Quarter is a well-connected and vibrant place to live, work and play. It is packed with character as a result of its more than 200 listed buildings, and could be described as the cultural heart of Birmingham; here is where you will find museums and galleries as well as some amazing eating and drinking options. Only a few minutes’ walk from the best of Birmingham, the Jewellery Quarter is uber trendy and offers younger residents a relaxed or lively nightlife, whichever the preference. Property investors here benefit from a good rental yield and affordable entry level.
  • Westwood and Ladywood is an area supporting more than 200,000 jobs. 130,000 people live here. This really is one of the most popular areas of Birmingham. It is where you will find The Cube and Brindleyplace, and the International Convention Centre. There is huge potential here, with more regeneration to come.

2.    Run your numbers

Always project your cash flow before investing in property. Take a deeper look at the locations in Birmingham in which you are considering an investment, and do your research to find out actual rents that are being achieved in the location. Speak to letting agents and ask about average void periods and length of tenancy. If all the numbers stack up, then move to the next step.

3.    Consider future value

Like most other cities in the UK, Birmingham is short of property. Demand for homes outstrips supply, and unless and until this equation balances out, the pressure on prices will be up. Another consideration is that when High-Speed Rail services start operating, London will be less than 50 minutes away. Birmingham may become a commuter town!

Hometrack has forecast that property prices in Birmingham are likely to rise between 20% and 30% in the next three years. That’s some real growth potential.

4.    Should you buy off-plan property in Birmingham?

When you buy off-plan property, you should be able to negotiate a discount to the current market price (we do this for our investors, and because we negotiate in bulk, we tend to get the best discounts). You’ll be able to pay down a lower initial deposit, and stage payments as the build progress. By the time the property is completed in, let’s say, two or three years, you could be sitting on a property that is worth 20% to 30% more than you paid (perhaps even more) if Hometrack’s assessment and forecast prove to be correct.

How do you buy off-plan property in Birmingham?

If you have never invested in off-plan property previously, it can be a daunting prospect. We’ve helped hundreds of beginner investors take those first steps, ensuring that they pass the sleep test – which says don’t do anything that makes you sleep poorly.

If you’re considering investing in off-plan property in Birmingham but aren’t sure if it’s for you, download your free copy of our eBook ‘Profiting from Off-Plan Apartments’. This is the definitive guide for property investors buying off-plan apartments and will help you to maximise your profits while minimising risks.

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

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Liverpool Property

Low prices, high yields, and a bright future for property investment in Liverpool

It’s green for ‘go’ in this Premier League city

Think of Liverpool and you may likely think of The Beatles and the Merseybeat that reshaped the music world in the early 1960s. You may think of Liverpool FC, one of the world’s most famous football clubs and winner of five European Cups/Champions’ Leagues. You may know that the city is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe and the oldest African community in the UK. Horse lovers and occasional gamblers will know that at Aintree, arguably the world’s best-known horse race is run each year. Yes, Liverpool is famous for many things, but did you know that the city:

  • Was Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2008?
  • Is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites?
  • Has the best house price rises in the UK, according to Hometrack?
  • Has five of the top 20 UK postcodes when measured by rental yield?
  • Is undergoing a £14 billion programme of regeneration?

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the current growth and yield dynamics of Liverpool property investment, and the regeneration that is not only transforming the city but also underpinning the potential for stunning future returns when you invest in property in Liverpool – making it one of the best places to invest in property UK.

Liverpool, the affordable UK city where house prices are rising fastest

Liverpool headed the Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index in September with an annual rise of 6.9%, ahead of Birmingham in second place with a rise of 6.5%. Not only are house prices rising fastest here, they are also the cheapest of all UK cities, with an average price of £120,500 according to the Index.

Liverpool, where property investors win with high rental yields

For many property investors, rental yield is the Holy Grail. While there are many strategies to maximise buy-to-let yield and cut the tax on rental income, you’ll get a head start by investing in property in an area producing great rental yields.

Liverpool certainly delivers for yield investors. According to the latest rental yield research by Totally Money (December 2018), some of the highest yielding postcodes in the country are in Liverpool. It boasts five of the top 20 postcode locations for buy-to-let income, with yields ranging from 7.44% to 9.79%. According to, the average rent in Liverpool is £904 per month.

Regeneration points to future potential for investors

Affordable property, with prices rising at more than double the national average pace, producing fantastic rental yields. But what does the future hold?

While I don’t have a crystal ball, the amount of regeneration taking place in Liverpool is evidence of a very bright future for the city and those who invest in property here. As part of its £14 billion programmes of development and regeneration, there will be 10,000 new homes delivered in the next five years, a new TV and film hub, around 2 million square feet of new commercial office space created, and the road infrastructure will undergo a £250 million upgrade. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Major regeneration projects include:

·      The Anfield Project

Began in 2012, this project is transforming the area around Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium. It will deliver a total of 1,000 new homes, a new public square and new shops.

·      The Baltic Triangle

This area, to the south of the city centre, has so far received £190 million of investment to regenerate. This location is home to some of Liverpool’s most creative companies, and developments here include upwards of 800 rooms designed for student accommodation and hundreds of new apartments that will appeal to young professionals. There are also more than 2,500 units currently proposed (with or seeking planning permission).

·      Paddington Village

£1 billion has been earmarked to expand the eastern gateway to the Knowledge Quarter. It is expected that more than 10,000 new jobs will be created here, in the fields of science, technology, education and health. The vision is for a sense of community to be created, in a place where it is great to live, work and play – with new workspaces, cafés and restaurants, shops and accommodation.

·      Festival Park

The masterplan for Festival Park includes a high-quality public realm, new retail facilities, bars and restaurants, a new primary school, and 2,500 new homes to create a ‘living community’. It envisages Festival Park as a ‘major cultural and leisure destination’, benefitting also from open space and opportunities for sport and recreation.

It is impossible to detail all the regeneration happening in Liverpool in a single blog. Why not get in touch with Gladfish today to discover more about the incredible property fundamentals that underpin property investment in Liverpool, and why we think investment here should produce incredible returns in the coming years?

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Leeds Property Investment

Channel 4 invests in Leeds: should investors do the same?

Another confidence booster for property investors in the Northern Powerhouse

Channel 4 has chosen Leeds as the location for its national headquarters, beating strong competition from as many as 30 other UK cities. The move promises to bring more than 300 new jobs to Leeds and support up to 3,000 production jobs in the region.

There are already calls in Parliament for further investment in infrastructure in Leeds to support the move, which Channel 4 believes will “capitalize on a strong and fast-growing independent production sector across the North of England”.

But what does Leeds offer its employees who will be relocating here? And what does it mean to property investors?

Leeds is affordable and exciting

According to Channel 4’s CEO Alex Mahon, when she announced the move to Leeds there was a real buzz in the room. More than 200 of its staff will move to the city next year, and a further 100 roles will be created by 2023, and many of these will be excited by living in Leeds.

Relocating employees will get a lot more property for their money in Leeds. Compare the average house price of around £183,000 in Leeds to around £485,000 in London (Land Registry) and you understand just how much more. More staff will be able to afford their own home at last, and those who already own could unlock a lifestyle they can only dream of right now.

Where will Channel 4 employees decide to live?

Of course, many of the relocating employees will currently be commuters, with round trips of two hours or more each day to work in London. Younger members of staff are likely to take advantage of city centre living in Leeds. Apartments start at around £100,000, and for those who want to try before they buy, rent is far cheaper than in the centre of London.

However, they may have a battle to find the best properties – Leeds is a city in which demand for homes outstrips supply.

Leeds is a lifestyle city

Leeds is a lifestyle city. The fantastic rural landscapes of Yorkshire are a stone’s throw away. The city centre is a nightlife lover’s dream. By road and rail, other cities and locations around the UK are easily accessible. It’s a fantastic place to live, work and play – factors that would not have been lost on Channel 4 executives when making their decision.

(Download your free Leeds Property Investment Guide to learn more about what makes Leeds a great place to invest in property.)

Where might investors buy in Leeds?

Whether investing for capital gain, rental income, or both, Leeds offers great potential for property investors:

  • JLL forecasts that property prices in Leeds will grow by an average of more than 20% over the next five years
  • Rental yields currently average more than 5%
  • Add the two together, and the forecast average return could be around 9% to 10% per year over the next five years

To take advantage of this potential, there are many opportunities in and around Leeds. For example, young professionals seeking a vibrant and lively location may choose to live in a location such as Chapel Allerton. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and shops. This used to be one of the most popular areas for student accommodation, but the regeneration that has (and is) taking place here has prompted a different demographic to locate here.

At Kirkstall, house prices are among the most affordable in Leeds. It is here that you will find some of the best regeneration projects in Leeds, with new, mixed-use riverside communities providing a range of contemporary housing. Better still, the local railway station provides a 10-minute commute into the city centre.

Families may prefer areas such as Headingly or Roundhay, or perhaps some of the nearby towns such as Harrogate. Commuting into Leeds is easy from these areas, and children benefit from some of the country’s highest-ranked schools.

The Channel 4 effect in Leeds

While 300 new jobs directly created by Channel 4’s HQ decision isn’t going to put an immediate rocket under the Leeds property market, it does underline the growing confidence that businesses have in Leeds – at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse. It should give property investors a boost, too. With expectations of strong price growth and better-than-average rental yields, Leeds is a city that should be seriously considered for your next 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

Employers could boost off-plan property investment profits in Leeds

Employers could boost off-plan property investment profits in Leeds

New build property in Leeds should be in high demand like workers are

There are many great reasons to invest in off plan property in Leeds. You’ll find some of the UK’s best property investments here. It is home to some of the best retail in the UK. The Leeds City Region secured a £1 billion Growth Deal with the central government in 2014. It provides the finance to deliver ambitious growth and the West Yorkshire Transport Fund. Additionally, more than £350 million of public and private investment will help to boost regeneration, growth, and jobs. Billions more of investment money has already been committed to Leeds. Leeds hosts a higher education population of more than 200,000. Its residents benefit from some of the best schools in the UK, and a large percentage of schools that are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Read More
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