Category Archives for "UK Property Investment"

Southall

10 best things to do for families in Southall

Indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages in Southall

If there is one thing that families need, it’s something to keep the kids amused. Parents in Southall never need to ask what to do with kids at the weekend. In and around Southall, there is plenty of family entertainment. You could visit a different attraction or park every weekend for a year, and still not have seen half of what this area of London has to offer to families.

In no particular order, here is our pick of the 10 best things to do for families within 30 minutes of Southall.

1.    Hanwell Zoo

This is a great day out for children from toddlers to twelve years old.

A day packed with wildlife fun, animal ‘meet and greets’, and plenty of educational programmes to help the kids learn about rare species, conservation, and more.

Marmosets, meerkats, and mara are just a few of the creatures that kids will marvel at. Children can run around freely at the zoo’s playground facilities. At Hanwell, youngsters arrive as kids and leave as mini zookeepers!

Where: Hanwell, only 16 minutes from Southall

2.    Airport Bowl

A firm favourite with Southall families on wet weekends, Airport Bowl in Harlington is home to an incredible 36 lanes of 10-pin bowls. There are also eight pool tables, a video arcade and a food court.

It’s a big winner with children for birthday parties, with medals for all, food, unlimited squash, photos and balloon modelling all available to add extra sparkle to the party fun.

Where: Harlington, only 22 minutes from Southall

3.    Dinosaur Escape

A mini golf adventure. Instead of windmills, near life-size moving dinosaurs try to stop you making a hole-in-one. This is crazy golf taken to another level, with 18 holes meandering through a Jurassic jungle. It’s like taking a step back in time, with the air filled with the noise of the prehistoric past. You’ll be wondering what lurks around the next corner.

It’s not all about hitting a ball with a club, though. There is plenty of dinosaur history and information to collect as you make your way around the course, ensuring that you and your children leave a little more enlightened. Another venue that is great for birthday parties, and exceptional fun for children of all ages – right up to 99!

Where: Northolt, only 10 minutes from Southall

4.    Ceramics Café

The Ceramics Café is the place to visit for a fun activity that will build great memories as the children create wonderful keepsakes. Simply select the piece you wish to paint, choose you colours, and paint your design on the item chosen. Return in a few days, and pick up your keepsake. They make perfect gifts for grandparents!

You aren’t left alone to hope your work comes out the way you planned. Experienced staff are on hand to offer all the help needed. A fun activity with a beautiful end result.

Where: Ealing, only 17 minutes from Southall

5.    Northala Fields Park

The award-winning Northala Fields Park has something for everyone, and for children of all ages.

With six fishing lakes, three wildlife ponds, a model boating lake, and two well-equipped playgrounds, it’s a fantastic place to spend many hours. Take the family for a ramble through the woods, and see if the kids can find the mosaic in the middle of the park.

Bring the bikes to make exploring a little easier, or, better still, a kite for a bit of flying on the fields – a very popular pastime here.

A visitor centre includes a café, toilets, a fishing office and classrooms.

Where: Northolt, only eight minutes from Southall

6.    Jungle Versatile Indoor Play

A fantastic indoor play centre for children up to the age of 12, with rope swings, crawl tunnels, ball pits and more. Fully air-conditioned, it’s the perfect place to bring children when you want them to have the kind of fun that ensures they are worn out by bedtime.

A five-star café sells a range of hot and cold food and drinks, but you don’t need to sit out the fun – parents can join in during the interactive parent and child sessions.

Birthday parties can also be booked here, and there is also a range of seasonal events throughout the year.

Where: Hounslow, only 21 minutes from Southall

7.    Oxygen Freejumping Acton

A trampoline park with 150 wall-to-wall trampolines that will get your kids bouncing. There’s a giant obstacle course to tackle, games of dodgeball to win, and basketball hoops to slam dunk from a bouncing start. As if this were not enough, there are fancy dress sessions with prizes for under-fives, and if your bounce isn’t quite up to the mark you can take trampoline lessons with a British gymnastics qualified instructor.

Where: Acton, only 22 minutes from Southall

8.    Brentford Leisure Centre

Brentford Leisure Centre is all you would expect it to be, and then some.

A multi-purpose centre, it includes a gym with more than 100 fitness stations, swimming pools for serious swimmers and waves and flumes for the funster, a children’s soft play area, squash courts, and a sports hall for racket sports and five-a-side football.

Activities here include swimming lessons, holiday activities and birthday parties. If you don’t fancy a high-energy afternoon, enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at the centre’s café while the children are learning to swim or with their team on the five-a-side pitch.

Where: Brentford, only 19 minutes from Southall

9.    Hounslow Urban Farm

Hounslow Urban Farm is a city jewel, and a fantastic day out for children who wouldn’t normally see farm animals. It is one of London’s largest urban farms, covering a huge 29 acres.

There is a farm café for lunch or tea, a bouncy castle and a souvenir shop. But, of course, these aren’t the main attractions.

The kids will love the animal encounters, which give them interactive time with the animals through the day. Parent the pigs, greet the goats, shake hands with the sheep. Wonder at the majesty of the owl. The fun doesn’t stop. The farm has a small group of Shetland ponies that give a fantastic introduction to pony riding.

Where: Hounslow, only 23 minutes from Southall

10. The Secret Railway

The Secret Railway – or, to give it the correct name, Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway – is the only operational narrow-gauge railway inside the M25. Once used to supply London with drinking water, it is now a visitor attraction that holds events throughout the year. These events include:

  • Superheroes Day
  • Dinosaur Day
  • Ghost Train
  • Santa Specials
  • And more

There are special museum days that include model railway exhibitions, stationary engines and model boats, classic car and bike shows, and a Christmas Fair.

Wow! So much to do here, and this is before you have even taken a ride on the little steam train.

Where: Hounslow, only 29 minutes from Southall

Southall – a great place for families to live

Southall is a great location for families. There is plenty to do here, so the kids should never get bored. The Taxi of Mum and Dad may get a little exhausted, though, with the weekends the perfect time for kids to let off steam from a hard week at school.

Now we’ve mentioned education, it’s worth noting that 13 of the 18 primary schools in Southall are rated as good by Ofsted. At the secondary school level, the most highly-rated schools are Dormers Wells High School, Villiers High School, and the outstanding-rated Featherstone High School.

Southall is a great place for families to live, and it’s getting even better. Berkeley Group is developing Southall Waterside. This development is ideal for families. Parks, trees, water and gardens. Shops, restaurants, cafés, art and entertainment. With Crossrail on its way here, Southall Waterside will be only 17 minutes from Bond Street. And, of course, within a few minutes of some of the best family entertainment and activities in London.

With the population here forecast to grow by 13% by 2030, the potential for profitable property investment is huge. For more information about Southall Waterside property, contact the team at Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Cashflow and Interest Rates

Cashflow and Interest Rates… where they’re likely to go?

Video Transcription:

Hey guys. So Bretts Property Rants. So what I wanna chat about, I guess, is cash flow, and in particular, interest rates, and where they’re likely to go.

I mean, we have had the lowest interest rates ever in the history of the world, I think, to be fair. Probably not the history of the world. That’s probably a, but certainly, in modern history, it’s been the lowest for the longest. And I don’t think they’re ever gonna go back up to where they were, because, you know, corporate debt in America is nine trillion. You know, their consumer debt is 22 trillion. You know, they’re huge numbers. And the problem is if interest rates go too high, then they can’t afford anything, and they’re gonna have massive defaults, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

And there’s a whole range of reasons why I don’t think it’s going up too high. But I do think the interest rates will go up, and they will need to go up, and I think the key is for you, personally, have you actually calculated all of your debts, put ’em all together, okay, and then worked out if interest rates rose, let’s say 1%, 2%, 4%, you know. I think at 4%, that’s really going to be a massive stress test, you know. And when we look at that, that’d be a massive jump for most people.

So I think if you can sustain a 4%, you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. I think 2% is about what, you know, what you really need to account for and you really need to calculate. If you’re gonna struggle, then what you might need to do is, right now, start to look at how you can start putting money aside, maybe paying off some debt or, you know, paying down that debt. If you have to, sell a house. If you have to, you know, don’t take on more debt. All these sorts of things. Don’t just include houses, ’cause this is not just about houses. This is all debt, okay.

The availability of your debt is gonna start decrease, and the money supply is decreasing right now. So, effectively, what that means is as the money supply decreases, you tend to find we go into a recessional downturn, okay. And so all these sorts of things are starting to kick in and start to move forward now. So, you know, you can sit there and say, oh, no, no, no. I’ve been watching the hundreds and hundreds of YouTube channels that say, no, house prices are gonna continue. You know, corporate debt’s gonna continue. Everything’s fine. But I would just say that lot of the indicators now are pointing towards a downward happening. And it could be in 2020, it could be in 2021, it could be in 2022 but somewhere around now. I mean, there are lots of things that countries could do to stimulate and to sort of, you know, stretch it out.

I think the UK’s in a reasonable position because it’s got a very strong economy. And actually, to be fair, we’ve had a pretty rough time over the last two years with Brexit. And that’s kept, the growth down. And that will play into, that’ll put us in a good position if the rest of the world does go into a downturn. That’s not to say that we’re not gonna, you know, see things changing and not have to do this. But I think for this, you know, what have you personally done? Have you done that calculation? If you haven’t, it’s probably time to do it, and then if you want to, you know, one of the big things we do is portfolio management.

So, if you’re not sure what to do, if you’re not sure how to do it, get all figures together, you know, book with a team, and, you know, sit down with them, and get them to run through the implications of that. ‘Cause when you run through the implications, you know, knowledge is power, and you can act on knowledge. You’re sticking your head in the sand and waiting for a kick up the ass, you know, that’s not the way to do it. That is not the way to do it. That’s gonna create stress. Maybe, right now, you can live blissfully, but that’ll create stress down the way, whereas you don’t need to.

Actually, what we find with most of our clients, they are fine. Once they do the numbers, they realize they’re fine, and they can then almost kick back and relax because they don’t need to worry. By far the majority of people are gonna be absolutely fine with that sort of 2% increase in interest rates, okay. So if you’re sitting out there, and you’re concerned about it, and you’re thinking your head in the sand, don’t, give the team a call, like go through the numbers and really get you a sense, you know, some certainty. That’s really what we want, is to give you a sense of certainty as you’re building a portfolio. Now it may be that there’s actually some leeway there if you take advantages and opportunities now. ‘Cause what we’re seeing is, you know, vendors and developers are starting now to give a bit more, you know, flexibility on their pricing, because things have slowed now You know, the numbers are slowing down.

Look, the price houses haven’t dropped off, but they will follow. And, you know, that will start to come, you know. But, right now, you know, things are still looking pretty good. But now’s the time to really make those adjustments if you need to make them.

Alright, guys, have a great day. Live with passion, see ya.

Property Investor

Look who’s actively looking for more UK Investments

A recent article from BBC News Business caught my attention.

It is very interesting that Warren Buffett, an 88-year-old Veteran Investor has said that he’s actively looking to make large investments into both the UK and the European economies, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the future relationship.

Buffett has built up a reputation over the years for being an extremely well-measured investor, not least because of the vast amount of information that he gathers on a company/ sector before actually investing in it.

His announcement at this years Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Event could, therefore, be seen as a positive sign for investor confidence, especially amongst the negative headlines we have grown used to seeing day-in-day-out.

Regards,

Manny Esezobor

Property Investment UK

Why property investment in the UK is so attractive

Where else could you achieve these huge benefits?

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

Demand for property outweighs supply

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

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

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

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

UK property investment has continually proved itself as a solid investment

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

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

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

Inflation-proofed income – great for retirement

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

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

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

You make money on other people’s money

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect passive income

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

Summing up

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

For more information about investing in UK property, contact the team Gladfish today, at  +44 207 923 6100.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Section 21

Section 21 Why You Can Keep Using It… For Now

So the government announced this reform, of itself it’s nothing dramatic as long as they do a much better job on the Court Reform and the Section 8 strengthening.

The problem we know is that the government is inept at reform so it’s likely to have further negative effects on the market.

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Video Transcription:

Hey, guys. Brett here, Brett’s Property Rants. What I want to do is, I want to just go through the Section 21, the end of Section 21, because the government’s come out and announced that, effectively, Section 21 is going to be no more. Now, importantly, that doesn’t mean now. They still have to go through a whole in processes and so it’s unlikely to happen before … certainly not in 2019, especially with Brexit. 2020 is more likely, but sort of back end, I imagine.

I just think that the government’s going to be so focused on the Brexit stuff that this will become a backdoor issue. But literally, they’ve hardly done any consultation. They’ve already made the decision, even though … It’s almost like to come out and say, “This is what we’re doing,” right after. And actually what they’ve said is that they want to do a further consultation on longer tenancies, and so this is one of the things that they want to do, is actually get the longer tenancies.

So basically, it’s still way long way off. Right now, I think the important thing is, as landlords, and what is going to start to hear more from me now, is we need to get together, and we need to become one voice as an industry, as a body, so we actually get heard. Because I think we’ve got to realize, the government is arrogant, and they think, “Well, there’s no way landlords are going to vote with Labor because Labor’s talking about all these rent controls and restrictions and things like that. So we’ve got them. We don’t need to worry about them. They’ll vote for us.” But I think what we need to start doing is saying, “Uh-uh, you’re not guaranteed. What we will do is disrupt you by voting for a third party or somebody else.”

Because I think they have to understand that what they’re doing is they’re trying to appease tenants, because Labor, they feel Labor’s been taking the tenants away, so, therefore, they’re doing these things to try and get the tenants back on side. Meanwhile, they’re saying, “Stick it to you, landlords.” They’re so arrogant about everything they’ve done, and that’s the thing that really peeves me off. In most businesses, you have a business and this is your income, you can deduct your expenses. If something goes wrong, you’re given a chance to put it right.

All the legislation that’s coming out now, it’s not a question of putting it right. It’s a question of, “Here’s the fine.” And the local councils are going to do it, and here’s … Effectively, what we’ve become is we’ve become the punching bag for the local councils to extort money out of. And make no mistake, most of this stuff is extortion. I mean, the very fact that one of their proposals is that with the tenant fee ban if a tenant is late 14 days, you can’t charge them interest. So basically, tenants can have an interest free loan. It’s ridiculous. Nowhere else are you able to get an interest free loan for 14 days. But, hey, punching bag landlords, that’s what they’re doing.

Anyway, back onto the Section 21. So it’s unlikely to happen straight away. There’ll be some further consultations, and that’s why I’m saying we need to come together as one voice. Really, what this all about … And look, to be fair, the whole Section 21 thing, how this affects us will depend on, number one is, how they strengthen the Section 8 and how they solve the court problems. Because make no mistake, this whole issue is not about Section 21. Section 21 has been one the most effective ways to get a tenant out, because you don’t want to rely on Section 8, as much as you would like to. There are so many times I’ve seen in court now where the judge rules with the tenant and gives them so much leeway at the expense of the landlord.

It’s like there’s no chance of getting that money back, and this is the problem. It’s almost like, “Oh, yeah. Oh, it’s a tenant. Oh, okay. I know you did the wrong thing but have another chance. Go away. Come back in two weeks time or three weeks time or six weeks time.” And then what a tenant starts to do, it starts then, “Oh, I’m sick today, and here’s my doctor’s note. So I can’t turn up. Let’s put it off.” So it’s another time. This is the sort of stuff that’s going on in the courts. Not only that, it takes so long to get. So they need to strengthen this.

One of the things that I’m now looking at is not using the court bailiffs, but actually using the High Court bailiffs. In other words, private institutions to go and get that debt. So when you’re in court, you actually ask to say, “Can you give it to the High Court?” It costs you money. So the other way’s free, there’s an admin fee. This way costs you money, but actually, you get it quicker, because with a High Court bailiff there’s no 14 days warning. It’s, “Right, get out now. We can go round there and execute that possession warrant.” There’s all these sorts of things, the questions around that.

The major thing is, okay, Section 21 goes, fine. Actually, it doesn’t matter. What we need is a way to end the tenancy when there are issues, which is Section 8. The problem with Section 8 is, most people will tell you how things go in court, which is that the tenants get lots of leeways. The problem is, it takes so long to get to court that it costs so much money. This is all about court reform and what they’re going to do there. The problem is, there’s no money in the courts. There’s no money. It’s ridiculous. I mean, it’s so underfunded. One of my best mates, he used to be a barrister in the criminal prosecution service, and it’s amazing how his income went from this down to where he actually got out of the industry voluntarily early, become a university lecturer because there was no money in it. Because the governments were austerity and austerity for like 10 years.

Look, the problem for me is what’s going to happen and what’s going to happen with Section 8. They’re the two keys issues that you need to consider and you need to continue to watch out for. But it’s not happening straight away, so you hear [inaudible 00:05:45] for it. So don’t expect definitive answers right now. Nothing changes. You can still use your Section 21s in the appropriate way. And look, for me, this is another landlord bashing thing is, most landlords don’t misuse it. Most landlords use it correctly and properly and do the right thing. But unfortunately, a small percentage do, and that’s what the shelters and the governments and that are jumping on and using, “Oh, look, this is happening all the time. We need to fix this.” It’s like, rubbish. You’re a bunch of idiots. Anyway. All right, guys, have a great day and live with passion. See you later.

Property Investment Manchester

For property investment, Manchester is hard to beat

Six reasons you will want to invest in Manchester

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

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

1.    Manchester is a mecca for retail and leisure enthusiasts

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

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

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

2.    Manchester is the place for exceptional education

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

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

3.    Manchester’s tremendous transport

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

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

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

4.    Manchester is a city open for business

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

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

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

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

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

5.    Regeneration and development are booming in Manchester

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

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

Regeneration projects include:

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

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

6.    Manchester – where the population just keeps growing

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

Summing up

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

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

Best Regards,

Neelam Springer

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