Category Archives for "Investment Research"

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

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

Birmingham Property Investment

Why Brexit doesn’t matter for property investors in Birmingham

Forget Brexit, follow the fundamentals

I know you’re probably all fed up of Brexit by now (I know I am), but I have to say that one thing that I’ve found so ridiculous about the whole conversation around the subject is the forecasts of doom when (or should that be if?) Brexit finally does happen: These forecasts have been taken as fact; The economy WILL drop by X billion pounds; X number of jobs WILL disappear; House prices WILL fall by X percent.

No matter which side of the Brexit fence you sit, unless you have a crystal ball there is no way to say what WILL happen in the future. It is all conjecture, supposition, and guesswork. But, let’s say you do believe that Brexit isn’t going to do the UK any good in the short to medium term. Do you want to sit on your cash as it loses value? No, of course you don’t. Doing so is going to damage your future.

What you need is a Brexit-proof investment. With the demand for properties still growing and forecast to do so irrespective of Brexit (this is one thing one which both Brexiteers and Remainers do agree), investment in UK property is the asset that is likely to give you upside whatever happens.

The only question to answer is, where are the best places to invest in property UK?

Brexit-proofing your property investment

Brexit-proofing your property investment is really no different to choosing the best location to invest in other more certain times. You want to buy property in an area with the strongest property fundamentals: shops, schools, transport links, major employers and major investment.

If the location also benefits from a growing and young population, this will help grow and sustain the demand for rental properties into the future. And growing demand is good for rental prices and property values.

So, let’s make a list of these fundamentals:

  • Good retail and leisure amenities
  • Great education facilities
  • Good transport connections to the rest of the UK
  • Plenty of jobs, in an area that does not rely on a single industry or employer
  • Plenty of investment and regeneration
  • A young, well educated population that is growing

This spells Birmingham. Here are a few of these fundamentals and how they add up in the UK’s second city.

A growing and young population

The population of Birmingham is forecast for growth of around 15% by 2041, to more than 1.3 million. Its five universities attract tens of thousands of new students, and many of these stay on in the city after graduating. This gives employers a pool of more than 60,000 highly educated young professionals to fill vacancies.

These young professionals want to live in or near the city centre, where they are close to work and nightlife entertainment.

Birmingham’s economy is growing rapidly

Birmingham has one of the fastest-growing local economies in the UK. It is diverse, future-proofed, and attracting large numbers of start-ups. It is home to a large innovation hub, a very big financial and professional services sector, and supports a range of businesses in food manufacturing, digital and creatives, renewable energies, and advanced manufacturing.

The city has attracted enormous investment from overseas. Many major organisations have selected the city as the place for their UK and European headquarters – including Lloyds, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. Small business growth is something else in Birmingham, too, with the number of businesses growing by a whopping 13% in the last year alone.

Birmingham property prices are expected to continue to grow

The average property price in Birmingham is almost 30% higher than it was five years ago. Urban regeneration has helped to push prices higher, while also helping to make Birmingham a more attractive place to live.

Birmingham’s Big City Plan is hugely ambitious, and will see great swathes of the city further developed. Investment is pouring into projects in the Southside, Highgate, Ladywood, Westside, and the Jewellery Quarter. Along with this investment, it is forecast that tens of thousands of new jobs will be created to support the rapidly growing population. Of course, all these new people will need to live somewhere, and the regeneration plans to deliver city living of the highest standards to meet demand.

Hometrack expects property prices in Birmingham to rise by between 20% and 30% in the next three years. As reported in BirminghamLive, Insight Director at Hometrack, Richard Donnell, said:

We expect to see average house prices rise by 20% to 30% in cities like Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester in the next three to four years. The income to buy a home in regional cities is well below the London average so in the near term we expect to see rising house prices stimulating additional buying and market activity in those areas. House prices have some way to increase before there is a material constraint on demand.

In summary

Forget Brexit. Look for locations that have great property fundamentals underpinning people’s desire to live there. Look for population growth, supported by a forward-looking local authority that is encouraging inward investment. Look for regeneration and development, and a thriving and diverse local economy. Where will you find all of this? In a word: Birmingham.

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

Stevenage Property Investment Guide Blog

Stevenage Property Investment Guide

At just 25 minutes from London by train, Stevenage is the perfect commuter town

Stevenage is thriving right now. Set in the stunning Hertfordshire countryside the town has all the fundamentals buy-to-let investors are looking for. GlaxoSmithKline and MDBA are big employers in the area, so there’s plenty of demand for quality rentals from professional tenants who work in the well-paid research and development sector. Read More

Hayes Property Investment Guide

Urban regeneration is making Greater London truly great - and Hayes is buzzing with growth potential

Millions of pounds of investment

As Crossrail prepares to bring fast and convenient connections between London and surrounding areas, many towns are benefiting from huge investment in urban regeneration. Hayes is one town that will undergo a massive transformation into a highly desirable location, giving commuters and investors plenty of reasons to go West. Read More
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