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London

Lets talk about London

 

Video Transcription:

Hey guys, so welcome to Brett’s Property Rants. So, I want to talk about London today. London’s really actually starting to impress me, I have to say. Most people are talking it down. Most people are actually still saying… It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so two or three years behind

I’m in Singapore now, right now on the beach so you can see this lovely view of all the shipping, and I’ll tell you what, Singapore is not slowing down, that’s for sure. The number of boats that are out there.

So London. So it’s amazing, I find consistently how people quote what was two to three to four to five years ago, the market. So people are saying, oh yeah, house prices are dropping a lot in London, it’s like, no, they’re not, actually. They were, and it’s amazing, when they were dropping, people were telling me, oh, I want to get into London, house prices, growing. It’s like, no, they’ve gone down. But that’s the reality here, is that most people are behind the market by about two or three years. And the problem is when there is a massive change in the market, all of a sudden they’re shocked by it. Now, look, for the last sort of six months, probably even longer than that, nine months.

I’ve been talking about that there will be a downturn. Make no mistake, there’s going to be a downturn. America with what it’s doing, China with what it’s doing, the world with what it’s doing, and whether it be Brexit triggers it, whether it be Trump triggers it, whether it be Trump invading who knows where to keep the war machine going, who knows what the trigger is going to be.

Go into YouTube, and have a look at all the videos that predict prices going down in 2013. And in 2014. And in 2016. 17, 18, 19. Every single year there’s, house prices are dropping. People are quite happy to try and predict the moment that it’s going to happen. But you know what? Most the time, they’re wrong.

And it’s ridiculous. So, what do I see with London? London is going to do well. Make no mistake, it is still a world city, I don’t care what happens with Brexit, at the end of the day, Brexit hasn’t been the downfall of London. If anything, the business has been moving from London up to Manchester and Birmingham. So actually, they’re being the real beneficiaries. But nobody’s really talking about that, are they? Understand, London is still growing.

London is still expanding. So you’re not gonna get rid of London any time soon. But what I will say is this. Right now there’s roughly one million… There are seven million people in the world, okay… One million people live in North America, one million people live in Europe. Sorry, what am I saying? There are seven billion people. One billion in America, one billion in Europe, one billion in Africa, and then there’s effectively four billion in Asia. So, those four billion in Asia, that is starting now to really show, and we’re talking India, and Asia, and China, effectively, and southeast Asia and that. So that’s where the population is.

So what you’re starting to find are historical things where… The UK used to rule the world. And then it lost its place to the US. And the US is losing its place to China. Now, is it China, or is it Asia? That’s interesting, that’s a topic for another discussion. But the reality is what we’re finding is the population now, is going to continue rising, it is going to level out because not as many babies are being born now. So what does that mean? Well, what that means is in about two generations, we’re actually gonna see a lot of our towns, our suburbs, places outside the fundamentals, are gonna start to drop off. In other words, people aren’t gonna live there anymore. They’re gonna become the ghost towns. Look in some of the American… I can’t think of the route name. In the deserts of like, Nevada and California and that sort of stuff. You know, when you get out and there’s an old place and there’s like one petrol station, and there’s no one for kilometres. That sort of thing. The Hollywood movie type scene. That, potentially, is what’s gonna happen with a lot of the suburbs far out, because people are moving to the cities.

Because they move to the cities, what’s one of the best cities in the world, still to this day, what’s still seen as a safe haven is London. And that’s not going to change any time soon. London is a fantastic place. If you can’t afford London, okay fine, Manchester, Birmingham, long term, fantastic. Now that’s not to mean that they’re not gonna still go up and down. With the market, that is gonna happen. But if you buy for the long term, which my suggestion is you are and you should be, and you should be buying to hold, as opposed to trading, then this is a great way and a great place to buy. The thing I like about London right now is that we’ve got developers that are having problems selling. In fact, no stock is moving. So they’re willing to do deals.

So actually, London is the cheapest it’s ever been. Two years ago, house prices were dropping. They’d stopped dropping and they were sort of evening out, but what was happening is a steady rate of sales. So what actually happened, developers and agents that, they weren’t negotiating. But now what’s happened, things have dropped off. Now, prices aren’t really moving that much. They’re still staying. Actually, in fact, they went up this month, and down last month, and the reality is what happens now is vendors and developers and that are willing to do even more deals. So you’re getting that extra push, but the fundamentals are still there. I mean, Brexit isn’t that much of a drum as people are making out. A lot of the damage is already been done. It’s been slow, ripping off the Band-Aid rather than the quick get rid of it and date it done.

So look, London is back. Make no mistake. We’re looking at stuff that… Now, I’m not talking central London now, we’re not really looking central London, but some places like Southwell, which you may not have heard, out of Eling, that sort of places. Moving out of the centre now places that… We were very much in the southeast, southwest, that sort of area, the last boom if you like, but now we might be moving east. Sorry. West. But further west. So what you’re finding now is rather than being in the centre, you’re sort of moving that out and following that ripple effect out where the fundamentals are changing. So there are some major, major things happening.

Communal towns. They’re all doing really well. As long as you get the fundamentals. Even with things like Airbnb, if you get within five minutes of a train station in London, and potentially, if you get an Airbnb through your lease, then that’s another option as well. So there are more options now to make more money on some of our properties. We’re starting to get into the service apartment side of things, which is really exciting. It’s hard because on one hand you’ve got the developers that are saying no to it, and so they’re prohibiting it in the leases, but then, on the other hand, it’s actually where the market is heading. London is back.

Make no mistake. Research it, look at it, and you will start to see things starting to move in the right direction. It may be a year or two before, even three years, four years before you see booming growth again. But it is worthwhile and now I think is the cheapest time that you’re ever gonna find. I don’t see it going down further, because developers are willing to do that extra development, that extra discounting, that extra bargaining, because they need to get the volume of sales. It’s as simple as that. And people are starting to realize if they need to get rid of it, they need to get rid of it now. They don’t wanna be waiting til the Brexit happens or doesn’t happen, or referendum second who knows with Brexit. It’s all up in the air. Anyone that says they know, they don’t know.

I’ve been actually predicting it quite accurately so far, but really, it’s a, if you wanna, it’s just an amazing thing to view. I mean, I don’t think we’ll ever have this happen again in our life. But maybe it will, maybe this is a sign of all politics to come. You know, in the future. Anyway guys, have a great day. Live with passion. And make sure you subscribe, comment, anything you wanna say. If you wanna argue with me, you wanna prove me wrong, do it. I’m looking forward to it. Looking forward to a healthy discussion.

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

Birmingham Property

Birmingham – where big businesses and SMEs are driving property investment opportunity

Economic energy is energising property investment opportunity in Birmingham

When investing in property, one factor that is fundamental to success is its local economy. Professional property investors know that the strength, depth and breadth of an area’s economy is a powerful determinant to the strength of its property market. More jobs attract more people into an area, and that increases demand for housing. When we conduct our research and due diligence in our search for the best places to invest in property UK, local economic factors are high on our list.

Its local economy is one of the reasons we love Birmingham. And we’re not the only ones – big businesses, SMEs and start-ups love Birmingham, too.

Global businesses love Birmingham

Global businesses are choosing Birmingham for many reasons, including its young, well-educated population and a local authority ‘Big City Plan’ that puts economic growth at the heart of its long-term strategy (and creating more than 50,000 new city centre jobs over the next 20 years).

Big companies including HSBC, Deutsche Bank and PwC have located or relocated here, bringing thousands of jobs into the city. They are unlikely to be the last. Increasingly, companies based in London are casting their eyes over to the UK’s second city. The exodus of companies from London may gather pace the nearer we come to HS2 services running (with the journey time between the two cities slashed to less than 50 minutes). The advance in technology and online speed is also a factor in making regional cities like Birmingham more attractive than London, where costs are much higher.

Birmingham’s central location, linked to the rest of the UK by an extensive road and rail network and to the rest of the world via Birmingham Airport, is a further attraction for big businesses that have extensive branch networks, or that supply goods across the UK.

Small businesses flourish in Birmingham

It may not surprise you to learn that London is the UK’s number one city for business start-ups. It is, after all, the UK’s largest city. It may not surprise you that Birmingham is second to London in the number of companies starting. What may surprise you is that Birmingham is the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, with a far higher start-up to population ratio than any other UK city in 2017, including London.

This level of growth in start-ups is likely to be a very important factor in Birmingham’s economic growth in the future. Big businesses may grab all the headlines – creating 1,000 new jobs or more in one hit is big news, after all – but SMEs are the driver of new jobs in the UK. According to a repost from Santander, published in November 2018, SMEs create three times the number of new jobs created by big businesses. Their research showed that between 2013 and 2017:

  • Big businesses added 650,000 jobs to the UK economy
  • SMEs (companies employing fewer than 250 people) added 1.7 million

Managing director of Santander Business commented, “While there are many great roles available working for large companies across the UK, SMEs remain the life blood of the UK economy.

The reasons Birmingham is so entrepreneurial and attracts so many SMEs and start-ups mirror the reasons why big businesses love the city: great transport links, a supportive local authority, access to a large, well-educated and young workforce, and investment in infrastructure.

Big and small businesses provide the energy behind investment potential

For big businesses, the pull of Birmingham is difficult to dispute. It’s more affordable than London, has fantastic facilities, and offers residents an amazing lifestyle – the shopping and leisure options in Birmingham here are incredible.

It is the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games – won at least in part because of its strength of infrastructure and transport connections, and its appeal as a modern city.

The population is young and diverse, well-educated and entrepreneurial – an ideal demographic to support the UK’s largest business, financial and professional services sector outside of London. With HS2 approaching, it is possible that Birmingham could become London’s next commuter town, too.

It’s time to invest in Birmingham property

There is a real feeling of positivity around Birmingham. Inward investment is flowing, and new business start-ups are flourishing. The strength and diversity of Birmingham’s local economy is just one of the eight reasons investors are snapping up Birmingham property, but it is extremely compelling. The opportunity to benefit from a strong and growing economy, and the young professionals who will be looking for rental property, is one that property investors should not miss.

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

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

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 Home.co.uk, 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

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