9 Fascinating Facts About Huddersfield

huddersfield

Huddersfield is a quiet town in the Yorkshire countryside. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot going on there. Just how much do you know about one of Britain’s most historic market towns? Take a look at these 9 surprising facts about Huddersfield:

 

9 Fascinating Facts About Huddersfield Aspen Woolf

1. Literally the home of Rugby League

In 1895 the Northern Rugby Football Union, based in Huddersfield, split from England’s established Rugby Football Union following a payment dispute between the union and players from northern clubs. Through this new league, the sport evolved differently to the traditional Union version of the game, and thus Rugby League was born.

 

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2. Famous former inhabitants

Huddersfield has been the birthplace of many notable British figures. Actors including James Mason, Jodie Whitaker and Zoe Lucker emanate from the town, as well as writer Simon Armitage and Premier League footballer Fraizer Campbell. But most prominent of these noteworthy figures is former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who was born and grew up in Huddersfield.

 

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3. Britain’s largest nodding dog

Commissioned by a charity called the Dogs Trust, KD Decoratives from the Lockwood area of Huddersfield, created an 11-foot-tall yellow nodding dog. Impressive, right?! The mechanical doggy initially sat outside the charities west London site before moving to guard their Leeds office.

 

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4. Another Famous Dog…

The town can also lay claim to being the place that beloved dog breed, the Yorkshire Terrier, originates from. A pooch named Huddersfield Ben is considered to be the progenitor.

 

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5. Huddersfield, Rock City!

Top punk band the Sex Pistols played their last two British shows at Ivanhoe’s nightclub in Huddersfield, on Christmas Day 1977. This included a matinee for the children of striking firefighters. They then embarked on the fateful tour of the US that led to the bands break-up. Perhaps they should have stayed in Huddersfield!

 

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6. A third of the population are students

Huddersfield has a population of approximately 120,000, of which roughly 40,000 are students. This is due to the range of top class higher education institutions, including Kirklees College and the award-winning University of Huddersfield. It has also created a high demand for student accommodation within the town.

 

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7. Historic and Charming

The town has a strong Victorian history as a textile manufacturing centre and market town. Many of its most historic properties are still standing, with over 200 listed buildings in and around the town centre.

 

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8. Award Winning Railway Station

The railway station dates back to the 1850s and was described by Sir John Betjeman as ‘the most splendid station facade in England’. St Georges Square, in which the station sits, underwent a £4million restoration in 2009, winning an architectural award.

 

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9. They built the rarest car in Britain!

After World War One, factories in the town built the LSD 3-wheel car. It is now commonly known as the rarest car in Britain and resides in the Tolson Historical Museum.

Although it may be tucked away in the tranquil Yorkshire countryside, Huddersfield has cultivated a fascinating history and continues to develop its intriguing and thoroughly British personality.

 

If you have enjoyed this article and want to find out more about this fascinating town, try reading Why Invest in Huddersfield. And if you are interested in investing in property in the town, take a look at the Huddersfield projects we currently have available.

The Rise of Commercial Property Investments in The UK

The commercial property market has stablised

The UK commercial property market hit all-time highs in 2015, and while some are touting that the sector may have peaked, many others think that British property prices will remain high for some time yet.

London, especially, has seen growth in the commercial market sector over the last few years which has not been rivalled elsewhere across the globe. Many look to the UK’s capital city as the precursor to movement in other major European cities, as the cycle there always tends to be one step ahead of its rivals.

What they are seeing at present is high pricing, and with the large amount of capital that investors have to plunge into real estate seemingly never ending, analysts are predicting that more is still to come in future years. This is despite others claiming that the current cycle has hit its peak.

Lessons have been learnt

With the global financial crisis still fresh in the memory, the commercial property industry in the UK appears to have taken on board a number of lessons from the dark days of 2007 and 2008. The assets that are out there are currently a lot less leveraged and there is still plenty of encouraging activity with regard to new developments being announced, despite being so deep into the current cycle. All of this means that the current market is a lot more stable than it was back when the recession first hit.

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What has driven the upsurge in pricing?

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that the current pricing levels are down to one thing – foreign investment. As with other major cities across the world such as New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo, outside investment has played a huge part in bringing the market to where it is today.

That being said, many analysts are now forecasting a spell of levelling out across the investment market as the foreign money begins to look further afield for opportunities. Across the capital, overseas investment has reached around 70 per cent since the crisis hit, and 32 per cent across the rest of the country. It is the second figure that is significant, however, as this shows a dramatic increase from 20 per cent whereas the London figure has somewhat plateaued.

The Rise of Commercial Property Investments in The UK Aspen Woolf

Asian investment set to remain strong, however

Concern may have been aired with regard to the current state of the Chinese economy, but few predict a significant drop off in UK real estate investment despite the turmoil that has been seen in markets there over the last six months or so. Companies such as Dalian Wanda will continue to plough money into the UK simply because it offers them a diversification that isn’t available at home. Yields in China are poor, so UK commercial property will remain the number one target for such companies.

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Rate rises are cause for some concern

One area that could affect the market’s current standing is a change in interest rates. Property sectors, both commercial and residential, can react adversely to rate rises, and word is that the US Federal Reserve is due to raise interest rates again in the not too distant future.

In the UK, however, the common belief is that there will be no real interest rate hikes until as late as 2017. Nevertheless, the nature of the rises will be the important factor to watch out for. While the rate rises will be closely monitored, it is worth bearing in mind that should the rise in interest rates be slow and steady as expected, there is likely to be little impact to pricing across the first couple of years.

The Rise of Commercial Property Investments in The UK Aspen Woolf

If you found this post interesting, you might also enjoy Why Sir Alan Sugar Encourages his Apprentices to Become Property Investors and 5 Key Points to Stress Free Property Investing.

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment

understanding commercial property investment

Although the media headlines often concentrate on the purchase of residential property for investment purposes, many canny investors are moving toward commercial properties to help diversify their portfolios. This makes a lot of sense, as having all of one’s eggs in one basket can lead to trouble.

Property values often move independently of other asset classes and are typically not associated with fluctuations in the stock market. This gives the investor a good opportunity to spread their risk and even out their investment strategy.

What does commercial property mean?

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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Commercial property generally covers all types of property that are purpose built with the intention of making an ongoing profit. Just some of these are:

  • Offices
  • Industrial units
  • Warehouses
  • Retail developments
  • Hotels
  • Eateries, such as restaurants and cafes

As you can see, the term covers a broad spectrum and it is this diversity that gives commercial property investment its appeal.

Why should I invest in commercial property?

Commercial property is attractive for a number of reasons, but it is the lease structure in the UK that often tips the balance for investors. Here we have a far longer length of lease for commercial properties than in either the US or Europe, and this can work in the investor’s favour.

London leases can be between 10 and 15 years while the rest of the UK still averages out at around 8 years. Compare this with a residential property lease of 6 months and it is easy to see why investors like the idea of putting their money into commercial property.

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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Diversification is obviously another reason why so many investors choose to enter into the property market. Dealing in physical assets can bring about a relatively stable income return when compared to other investments such as the stock market.

Property is currently performing well and it has recovered fantastically after the dark days of 2008. When looked at alongside the current rates of interest available from savings accounts, commercial property becomes all the more attractive for those with a long-term view of their investment strategy.

Commercial property investment options

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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The options that you have available to you as a commercial property investor differ somewhat from those who want to invest in the residential market. The three main ways to invest are:

  • Direct investment – If you are looking to have full control over the property that you invest in then direct investment is the way to go. However, for most private investors this simply isn’t an option due to the amount of cost involved. Direct investment means that you would be buying the whole property, either by yourself or in a group, so the outlay can be vast. It is for this reason that the majority of investors choose a different route into the commercial property market.
  • Direct commercial property funds – Often referred to as ‘bricks and mortar funds’ this option is a far more common way to get a foot in the commercial property door. These collective investment schemes invest on your behalf into a wide-ranging portfolio of commercial properties that would commonly be out of reach for most individual investors. Examples of which can include warehouses, supermarkets and office space.
  • Indirect property funds – Another form of collective investment scheme, indirect property funds invest in property companies by buying shares that are listed on the stock market. This can sometimes fly in the face of the diversification process as this type of investment is closely tied to the rise and fall of the stock market itself.

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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Funds such as unit trusts, investment trusts and OEICs give the smaller investor the opportunity to be part of multi-million pound building projects that they would otherwise be unable to invest in. These funds normally operate in one of two ways: direct property ownership or by owning shares in property related companies.

Profits are paid to investors either by way of rental income and capital growth in the case of property ownership, or by the payment of dividends and growth in market value for shares in selected property related companies.

Many funds cater for very small investment amounts, some of which only require a lump sum of just £500 or monthly payments of £50 for those who wish to invest on a regular basis. This is what makes bricks and mortar funds ideal for those who are thinking of entering the commercial property market for the first time.

What drives profits?

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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As mentioned above, dealing in commercial property generally gives the investors two potential revenue streams: capital returns (a change in asset value) and income returns (money generated by the asset). Capital returns are determined by how well the overall property market is performing, whereas income returns depend upon the lease structure that has been signed off between the tenant and the owner.

Supply and demand naturally comes into play when investing in the property market. Strong demand from businesses that wish to rent property that you have invested in will obviously push prices upward and increase the overall rental yield. Strong demand will also mean that the owner will not have to incentivise businesses with offers such as rent-free periods, further strengthening the returns for the investor.

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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Good asset management will also help to push profits in the right direction. Rent reviews are typically made every five years where they are set to market level if that level has gone past what the tenant is already paying at the time of the review. Upward only reviews are common throughout the UK although there are other options available to the management team. These include:

  • Turnover related rents – This is where the rent is set as a percentage of the occupying tenant’s business turnover made from the space they are renting. This type of rent is more volatile than the upward-only model, but it is a popular way of setting rent for the retail sector.
  • Fixed uplift rents – As the name suggests, this type of rental agreement sees a fixed increase made to the rental amounts charged to the tenants after a certain period of time has elapsed, normally every three to five years.
  • Index-linked rents – A somewhat new way of managing rental increases in the UK is the index-linked model. These agreements are linked in to indexes such as RPI inflation and increases to rental charges are made in line with the movement of said index.

What are the risks?

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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Dealing in commercial property does come with a certain amount of risk, much like any other investment. However, narrowing down the different risks associated with this sector is difficult as there are so many ways for an investor to enter the market.

For instance, the risk associated with direct investment will be entirely different to the risk you will have if you choose to put your money into an indirect property fund. The individual investors appetite for risk is also a factor, as some funds will offer greater risk for higher returns and vice versa.

Due diligence is key here. If you decide to enter into the commercial property market it is vitally important that you research each individual fund or property yourself so that you are fully aware of the risk involved with that particular investment.

Final thoughts

A Guide To Commercial Property Investment Aspen Woolf

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2014 saw gains of 19% in the commercial property sector so it is little wonder that this form of investing is receiving greater attention of late. The UK economy is doing well and this naturally leads to more businesses looking for property to rent. The increased demand for commercial space means higher rental yields are easier to command.

If you are looking for a way to spread the risk of your investment portfolio, commercial property certainly offers up a viable way of doing so. However, research into your investment vehicle of choice is vital and it is advisable that you use commercial property as part of a wider investment strategy.

Commercial property investment may not be suitable for inexperienced investors, but for those with a little knowledge of the investment market it can prove to be a valuable addition to a well-managed portfolio.

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If you enjoyed this blog post then perhaps you’d like to read “5 Mistakes Property Investors Make“?