Buy To Let: Our Top Tips For Your Next Property Investment

Whether you're new to buy to let or an experienced investor these top tips can help

Whether you are new to buying property for the purpose of letting it out, or are an old hand looking for your next investment, there are some universal things to bear in mind that can help you be more successful. We have put together some top tips to help you get the most out of your investment.

First Step: Set Out Your Goals

Before you even start looking at properties, it is important to think about what your ultimate goal is. Are you looking for high rent yields? Or is your goal to focus on Capital Growth? A high value property is likely to see you getting a lower rent yield whereas if a property is undervalued, your rental return is likely to be higher. Once you know what your goals are, this helps you decide what type of property is most suitable to help you achieve them.

Familiarise Yourself With Tax Legislation

Recent changes in tax legislation for investors in the UK have left many people unsure of where they stand. It is essential that you make yourself aware of these changes and ensure that you adhere to them. The main changes affect tax on rental income, Capital Gains Tax and Stamp duty.

  • Tax on rental income: Any income received from rent will be taxed in line with your other taxable earnings. Certain things will be tax deductible, such as maintenance, certain bills, fees and insurance. Since April 2016 you will no longer be able to claim 10% “wear and tear” costs on furnished properties. You will instead only be able to claim for for actual damage or repair. There has also been a cap introduced on mortgage interest for all landlords.
  • Capital Gains Tax: When you sell your property, you are liable to pay Capital Gains Tax. Currently you have 18 months to pay this but as of April 2019 this period will reduce to just one month.
  • As of April 2016 the tax paid by landlords has increased for any properties owned outside of their own residence.

Please ensure you seek the advice of a qualified tax advisor before you invest in any property so that you can be totally sure you are meeting all guidelines and paying any tax that is required.

Location, Location, Location

You don’t need to know anything about property to have heard this phrase emphasising the importance of location. Location dictates everything from purchase price, rent and desirability. It is important to remember that the most profitable location may not be the most attractive, or the one that you would consider for a personal residence. Consider a location with good transport links. Think about what type of tenant you want and choose a location that would be desirable to them. Locations with high property prices may not have great rental yields, so consider if that is suitable in achieving the goals you set out in step one.

Buy To Let: Our Top Tips For Your Next Property Investment Aspen Woolf

Know Your Role

Being the owner of a property which is being let out comes with certain responsibilities. You need to know what these are and also how “hands on” you are going to be. You will have legal responsibilities to your tenant and will need to make sure their rights are protected as well as your own. This is done using an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement. This will outline how much rent will be paid, when it is due, who is responsible for repairs and all the legalities of increases in rent and due process for eviction etc. It is also your responsibility to protect your tenant’s deposit. There are also many responsibilities that you will have when it comes to maintaining your property, such as safety checks, making sure the water and power systems are in working order and also ensuring the property is in a habitable condition.

All of these responsibilities need to be met, however it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to be in charge of them yourself or if you want to use an agent. Both of these courses of actions have pros and cons. Using an agent means you will free up a lot of time as you won’t need to sort out problems at the property yourself or arrange viewings. However by letting someone else deal with these, you are then liable to pay agent’s fees. If you don’t use an agent then you can personally vet any tenants yourself and you will generally have more control over how situations with your tenants are handled. If you do decide to go down the route of using an agency then make sure you choose one that is well established with a good track record.

Always discuss these choices with your solicitor. They will be able to make sure all contracts are sound and will also be able to fully advise you of the pros and cons of each situation.

Know Your Tenant

Once you have established your responsibilities as a landlord and decided what type of landlord you want to be, you need to put some thought into who your tenants will be. Do you want to rent to students? Couples? Singles? Each demographic has pros and cons you will need to consider. The type of tenant you want to rent to will also influence the type of property you are looking for and the location. For example students will want to rent properties close to their places of study, whereas professionals will want to live somewhere with good transport links and families may look for places closer to schools. Some types of tenants are more reliable than others, established professional couples or older tenants are usually the most reliable, while younger couples are more likely to separate or unemployed people more likely to have financial problems. Knowing your tenant is a hugely important thing to consider when deciding on your investment.


Everyone knows that any investment is not without its risks. It is always a good idea to prepare for the worst, so that you can achieve the best. The main things that can potentially negatively affect your investment will be interest rates, periods of vacancy and building work or repairs to the property. Rising interest rates could increase your mortgage payments which would affect your rental yields. However these increased mortgage rates may also discourage people from buying residential properties, meaning more people are looking to rent. If your property is empty for any length of time then obviously you are not receiving any income. This is why it is crucial to make sure you buy a property in an in demand area and make sure it is in great condition and attractive to prospective tenants. There are a few things you can do while a property is empty to help save some money such as turning off utilities and asking for a reduction in council tax. It is also a good idea to take advantage of any periods of vacancy and make sure any repairs are taken care of, or decorating that needs updating.

Buy To Let: Our Top Tips For Your Next Property Investment Aspen Woolf

Shop Around For Your Mortgage

Once you’ve found your property you may think all the hard decision are over right? Wrong. You need to secure a mortgage provider and it is well worth shopping around rather than just going to your bank or current mortgage lender. Different providers may have different terms, from deposit required, to interest rates to fees you need to pay. It is best to speak to a qualified financial advisor to help you make the right decision. Only they can look at your situation objectively and discuss all the different options available and how suitable they are for you.

Always Plan Your Exit Strategy

Before you jump in with both feet, it is always important to think about how you’re going to get out again. There could be a number of reasons why you make the decision to sell up, from retirement, freeing up capital to use elsewhere or consolidating your assets if they’re not performing as expected. There are many different options available dependant on your situation, so this is another talk you need to have with your financial advisor. A successful investor knows when it is time to buy and when it is time to sell, so make sure you have plans in place and contingencies in case they’re needed.

Buy-To-Let Hotspots: The Unlikely Cities Reaping The Cash

Sheffield is popular with students, meaning high rental demand

With the changes in the financial and property markets, buy-to-let is remaining a popular choice for investors. However with more and more people getting into the this area of investment, people are having to look further afield in order to find the best deals with the greatest returns. London was long considered the Holy Grail as far as owning investment properties was concerned, but a combination of decreasing availability and increasing costs means that savvy investors are looking outside of the capital.

You may have heard rumblings about the north of the country and how attractive it has become to people who are looking to expand their portfolio, or those who are just starting out. The Northern Powerhouse agenda is still a subject being talked about by government officials and investors. With this focus on the north promising redevelopment and investment in a number of northern cities, it is understandable how these cities are looking even more desirable to buy-to-let investors. The creation of jobs and a new more efficient infrastructure will only serve to increase that desirability in the coming months and years.

We are going to take a look at some of the cities that are really making a name for themselves as buy-to-let hotspots in 2018. Some of them you may know about, and some may surprise you.

Buy-To-Let Hotspots: The Unlikely Cities Reaping The Cash Aspen Woolf


Liverpool has been the centre of a boom in northern property investment over the last few years. Since the city was announced as Europe’s Centre For Culture in 2008, it has seen a lot of major redevelopments; investors have been attracted by the city and what it stands for in terms of culture and commerce. Due to this increase in investment, there have been many new jobs created. With increased jobs bringing more people looking for employment opportunities, rental demand is high.

Property prices are relatively low, which results in great rental yield. In fact in a recent study (source: Totally Money – some good graphs here) out of the top 25 highest rental yield postcodes, Liverpool took the top three spots. L7 was the number one spot with an average rental yield of 12.63%. This postcode area covers City Centre, Edge Hill, Fairfield and Kensington. It is also close to two of the city’s three universities, making it very attractive to students looking for rental properties. As has been shown time and time again, university cities are always a good bet for people looking to invest in property.

Co-founder of The Property Hub, Rob Bence, has been quoted as saying “I think we’ll see it (Liverpool) in the top three cities for capital growth in 2018” showing that it is not just a good location for rental yields, but also capital growth as well.

Liverpool’s thriving economy was worth £29.5 billion in 2015 and has continued to grow. This growth is expected to improve further with the news of Cunard Shipping bringing new opportunities into this city from this year onwards.

All of these factors can guarantee the population will continue to expand, further increasing the demand for rental properties. A city with strong economic credentials and a buoyant property market, make for an ideal environment of opportunity. Liverpool is certainly up there in the list of cities to watch most closely in the UK over the coming year.

View buy-to-let investment opportunities in Liverpool

Buy-To-Let Hotspots: The Unlikely Cities Reaping The Cash Aspen Woolf


Sheffield is the England’s third largest city. It is host to two very popular universities and another large further education establishment, making it incredibly popular with students. Lots of students obviously means high rental demand. It’s central location with great transport links means it is easily accessible no matter where you are in the country. Manchester is just under an hour away by train whereas London is only two hours away. It is also less than an hour’s drive for 4 major airports meaning it is perfectly located for access to overseas locations as well. This location and its transport links mean it is a major player in the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

Sheffield’s economy is thriving and the city was listed in the top 7% of 324 local authorities in England for inward investment, which is vital for economic growth (Source: Grant Thornton’s new Business Location Index – Sheffield Telegraph, October 2015). With so much development over the last decade, the opportunities are exciting as far as this northern city goes.

Sheffield is a beautiful place to live, a growing economy and has a fantastic quality of life. All of these factors mean that people are flocking to live there. The population is expected to grow by 633,000 by the year 2037. In anticipation of this growth, the government are already investing in improving the city’s infrastructure. £328 million has been provided by government authorities to help with redevelopment.

Another fantastic plus is the fact that Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe! In this age of environmentalism, this can only go in the city’s favour, especially amongst young people, students and the environmentally minded.

Long seen as a bastion of northern industry and manufacturing, many investors look to Sheffield with confidence, knowing that it is a vibrant and growing city, with a youthful population and stable investment opportunities. Rental properties are being bought up as quickly as they become available in many cases as the demand is so high so you need to make sure you are quick if you want to be able to take advantage of the opportunities here.

View buy-to-let investment opportunities in Sheffield

Buy-To-Let Hotspots: The Unlikely Cities Reaping The Cash Aspen Woolf


Another promising city for investors is Leeds. With its central location in West Yorkshire, it is one of the most well connected cities in the UK. Transport links are exceptional including road, rail and even air travel.

It is a thriving hub of culture and commerce in The North and another significant city in the Northern Powerhouse agenda. The city’s economy is in fact the largest regional economy outside London and the South East, with a GVA of £60.5 billion. With a high rate of employment and new jobs being created all the time, it is easy to see why Leeds has become so popular.

The city of Leeds is second largest legal centre in Britain and the leading UK city for telephone banking and related financial Services, employing 20,000 people in around thirty call centres.

As with many other popular cities, Leeds plays host to three universities, meaning that it has a high population of students, all contributing to the local economy and looking for rental properties.

House Prices are considerably lower than a city like London but are rising nicely meaning that considerable returns from Capital Growth are very likely, adding to the desirability of the location for property investors. With low costs of living and great quality of life, Leeds has a happy and productive population, all of which adds to its appeal.

An important factor to consider is that while property prices are low, a shortage in rental properties creates a high demand. This demand pushes rents higher meaning that there is the potential for greater rental yields. Leeds in fact has the highest rental yields in the whole of Yorkshire. There are over 30,000 people on the council’s housing list waiting to be re-housed currently. This means that Leeds has an urgent requirement for all types of rental properties. High demand also means that you are less likely to have trouble finding suitable tenants and therefore less likely to have periods where your property is vacant.

Thanks to the Northern Powerhouse Agenda there are many upcoming developments planned in Leeds, and there has already been a great deal of government investment in the city. These projects will attract investors from all over the world and provide a huge boost to an already stable and successful economy. This combination of a growing city, with a shortage of properties creating a high demand for rental properties, means that Leeds is an excellent place to invest in a buy-to-let property.

View buy-to-let investment opportunities in Leeds


The cities listed here are some of the most interesting and desirable locations for property investors to consider. Whether you are looking for your first investment property, or you are an old hand wanting to expand your portfolio, these fantastic locations offer a wide range of properties to suit any type of investment plan. If you would like to find out more information about what opportunities are available or you would like advice on how to make property investment work for you, then please contact our team.

Property Investment Principles

When investing in property, stick to what you know

If you’re new to the world of property investment, it can be very difficult to know exactly where to start. The process can seem quite daunting, maybe even intimidating. Inevitably you are investing a large amount of hard earned capital or perhaps even your life savings, so you’re wanting to make sure your investment is sound.

Before undertaking such a big journey, especially if you don’t have much experience in buying or renting property, it is important to make yourself aware of the universal principles of property investment. Hopefully once you’ve taken the time to familiarise yourself with these important principles, you can move forward with much more confidence, knowing that your investments will be both sound and potentially profitable.

Property Investment Principles Aspen Woolf

Photo credit: Flickr

Always Buy At Discount

It may seem an obvious thing to say, but one of the first and most important things to take into account when deciding on a property to invest in is value for money in terms of the amount of capital you are looking to invest.  Never be afraid to negotiate for a discount. If you are buying a property that is not relying on you selling another, then you immediately have a huge advantage when it comes to negotiations. You are seen as a more secure buyer with less chance of the sale falling through. Pitch a lower offer and stand your ground. Be confident. Many property owners will bring their price down if it means securing a quick and reliable sale.

Another great way to secure a discount is to look at the possibility of purchasing a property off plan, when you purchase a property in advance of its completion. Off plan investments are often priced very competitively and give investors opportunities in exciting new areas. At Aspen Woolf our property experts and sales team can advise you on what is available in up and coming areas.

 Property Investment Principles Aspen Woolf

Don’t Spend Much On Your Buy To Let Property

Make sure that any further investment made, outside of the initial purchase cost, adds value to the property. Whether it is as simple as a new coat of paint or new carpets, to any major remodelling or construction work. As a rough guide, try to ensure that for every £1 spent you see a £3 increase in value. Also if you are ever looking to sell the property, don’t be afraid to invest a little back into it to increase the sale price.

Invest In Buy To Let For Rental Yield, Not Capital Growth

A mistake many new investors make when purchasing a property, is buying under the assumption that property prices will continue to rise. As has been made obvious in recent years, this is not always the case.  Make sure that your numbers add up for you to be seeing a decent return with the property at it’s current value. You want instant cash-flow. Don’t “buy-to-hope” that you’ll see dramatic increases just based on the market.

Always Have A Contingency Plan

What do you do if you have tenants and something goes wrong at the property that will need fixing?  How about if a tenant leaves and it takes a while before you are able to secure a new one? Making sure you have a bit of a cash buffer “just in case” is essential if you want to stay on top of any mortgage payments or other costs that you have when running your property.

Don’t Let Your Heart Rule Your Head

Any successful property investor will tell you that you should never invest your money based on emotion. Don’t be seduced by bright colourful brochures that are selling a dream. Don’t choose your property based on something you’d love to live in. Buying an investment property is a very different task than buying your dream home. Be sensible. Detach yourself from it as much as you can. Look at facts and figures and buy something you know will make you money. Also, make sure you are not rushed or pressured into a deal. If they do not accept what you are willing to pay then move on and find something else.

Property Investment Principles Aspen Woolf

Due Diligence

You can never be too thorough when “doing your homework” on a property.  It is a big investment so you need to make sure you don’t overlook something that could potentially affect your return. There are three things that need to be investigated fully. The property, the numbers and the deal.

The property: Make sure the property is fully surveyed and valued independently. Get all the reports done that you can, including getting builders to give you their evaluation. The physical structure of the house needs to be sound or you can end up losing a lot of money, either by needing to do unexpected building work, or by taking a loss if selling it on.
The numbers: You need to check the value you have been given matches up to other properties in the area. You must know how much rent you are going to be able to get and also any running costs which need to be paid on top of the mortgage. You cannot be too careful when checking this to ensure that your returns will be as predicted.
The deal: Make sure you have your goals in mind before you even start looking for a property. Then find a property that fits those parameters and will bring you the returns you want. Don’t tailor your deal to suit a property. Find a property that suits your deal.

Invest For The Long Term

Unless you’re a property developer then buying property is a long term investment. Your property (or properties) should be making you money just by having you own and maintain them. That is the type of property you are looking for. Something that will continue to make you money. Now of course if situations change, a property isn’t performing as well as predicted, or perhaps if it needs a lot more work than you originally thought and it is out of your capabilities, then know when to call it quits and sell. You will then be free to invest your reclaimed capital in something else that will be more successful for you.

Using an agent can be invaluable in this process. Not only can they help you with a potential resale of your property, but many of them will offer guaranteed returns as part of their package making them especially useful for new investors.

Buy Older Properties

Buying older properties, as opposed to new builds, has a number of advantages. Their value is established and has been for a number of years, which means that any valuations will be more stable and accurate. There is no immediate depreciation in value like you get with a new build. Because the property is established there are less things that can go wrong or be unpredictable so it makes for a much safer investment.

Property Investment Principles Aspen Woolf

Invest In What You Know

Many new investors can be tempted to invest in off-shore properties in exciting or exotic locations. Often this can be a risky, simply because you are not familiar with the area, the market or the type of property. It can be much harder for you to be able to work out numbers accurately if you’re not working with locations and types of property that are familiar to you. For first time investors it may be better to stick with what you know if you want a more stable return. That being said, if the idea of investing in foreign property is something that really interests you then always make sure you seek proper, professional advice. The right advice leading to the right location can be lucrative if you invest wisely. Aspen Woolf have a dedicated team of specialists on hand to advise you if you have dreams of off-shore investments, please feel free to check out the International Investment section of our website.

Know Your Target Audience

Think about who you are wanting to rent to and make sure you have those people in mind when deciding on a property. You’re not buying for yourself, you’re buying for them and you need to keep that in mind when choosing a suitable property.

No matter what type of property you are looking to invest in or what goals you have, these basic principles will always remain the same. If you keep your head and plan effectively, then you are much more likely to achieve those goals when looking for that perfect property.

Achieve High Yields By Investing In Youthful Cities

Liverpool waterfront

In the current property market it is important to consider how the changing economic climate has impacted on the buy to let market. When looking at where best to invest, the first thing you should always consider is who your market actually is. What demographic is more likely to be looking for rental property? With home-ownership being a distant dream for a great many young people and the fact that the majority of students are young people who are looking to rent, it’s a fairly safe bet to consider investing in those areas with high populations of young people and students.

Why are youthful cities a good option for investors?

Over the last two decades, home-ownership amongst young people has more than halved; whereas 46% of young people owned their own property twenty years ago, these figures have dropped to only 20% in 2017. The obvious knock on effect of this is that there are more and more young people looking to enter into the rental market. Many will be renting as students and then will continue to rent as they join the world of full time employment.

The UK’s workforce is becoming increasingly more mobile. Graduates and young people are now less inclined to stick to the traditional path of finding somewhere and settling down young. More and more of them are looking for opportunities further afield and embracing a more transient lifestyle. It is very probable that the increase in this type of lifestyle is a direct result of the increase in property prices.  

High prices essentially price the majority of young people who are starting out in their careers completely out of the market. The result of this, as has been said, is a vast increase in those looking for affordable rental properties. To best decide where to invest your money, we should look at what drives these people and what areas and types or properties they are most likely to be looking for.

London is losing popularity

London has long been considered the “Big Money” city as far as investment goes, but this has been changing. Recently there has been a mass exodus of people moving from London to other UK cities, adding up to approximately 350,000 leaving the city over the past five years. If we look into the reasons behind this we can start to see exactly how we can take advantage of this market and where best to look for investment properties in the future.

Two of the main reasons for people leaving London are rising living costs, and better opportunities for employment elsewhere. Running a business with a location in London is becoming increasingly expensive so many businesses are looking outside of the capital for cheaper locations for premises with much lower overheads as well as property values.

The cost of living in London is also higher than anywhere else in the UK and for many young people, it is just too expensive to live and work there comfortably. A lot young people are coming to the same conclusion, and that is that they need to look for cities with better opportunities, more jobs and lowers costs of living. They are however managing to find all of these things, and to find out where we need only look to the North of the country.


The rise of the North

The North is really coming into its own as a hot new place to “set up shop” with excellent commercial properties at much more affordable rates than similar ones that are available in London.  Add to that the close proximity to many of the country’s top universities, meaning that access to graduates is plentiful, and you can see just why Northern city locations are such an attractive prospect for businesses to invest in and therefore likely to have high demand for rental properties.

Two great examples of this are Liverpool and Manchester. Employment growth rates in these cities are far higher than those in London, with the cities boasting 19.9% growth rate and 12.8% growth rate respectively.

As expected, many of these booming Northern cities already boast populations with high percentages of youngsters, and these rates are continuing to rise. Take the example of Manchester; 32.9% of its population are aged between 21 and 35, which is the demographic that is most likely to rent. Because of the universities, there are also a lot of students, all looking for affordable accommodation to see them through their studies.

With the cost of living so much lower than cities further south, especially compared to London, it is no wonder that so many people are looking North when considering where to go next in their lives.

Three areas that are certainly worth taking a much closer look at are the great cities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Leeds. Each has their own unique charm; if we look at them individually we can get a greater insight into why they offer such fantastic investment opportunities.


Liverpool is a city rich in history and culture that has benefited from extensive regeneration projects in recent years.  Its thriving economy is second only to London, meaning that it is a great place for businesses to invest in. This increased business investment inevitably leads to more jobs, which in turn means more people are looking to move there to live and work.

After being named European Capital of Culture in 2008, it has continually enjoyed great investment and growth. It was named by The Independent as one of the top ten cities in which to invest, and it boasts a fantastic selection of tourist attractions such as museums, galleries and shopping centres.

It has been so popular for investors that in 2014 it broke into the top 20 of a national league table for business start-ups.

With its great quality of life and one of the lowest costs of living in the UK, it is especially attractive to young people looking for new employment opportunities as well as a great place to study.

The city is host to several extremely popular universities which collectively serve around 50,000 students, including many from outside the UK. This rich melting pot of youthful exuberance and culture only add to the city’s appeal.


With its central location and excellent transport links, Sheffield is another promising buy to let hotspot. It was recently declared not only the greenest city in Europe, but according to Home Office data it is also the safest city in the UK.

Sheffield is another city to greatly benefit from regeneration projects and its economy is thriving. Because of this, jobs are on the increase making it another excellent area for businesses to invest in.

The two world class universities have seen a 30% increase in international students coming into the city over the last 5 years, meaning that demand for rental properties is steadily increasing.

According to the Telegraph, Sheffield in fact offers the best returns for buy to let investors in the whole of the UK with gross yields reaching over 11%*.


Leeds is fast gaining a reputation as a leading hot-bed of culture and modernism in the North of England. As home to large music and film festivals, it is a thriving and busy city with many exciting prospects, especially for young people and students.

Tourism is big business in Leeds. Leeds festival is one of the largest music festivals on the UK, attracting many top Indie and rock acts over the years and of course, the fans who want to see them. It is widely seen as the main shopping location in the whole of West Yorkshire and surrounding areas. Great shops and successful music and cultural events are two huge reasons why Leeds remains a popular choice for young people to both visit and choose to live.

Transport links are great, enabling people to visit easily from all over the country. With the draw of the nearby Yorkshire Dales National Park, both local and international visitors keep Leeds at the forefront of vibrant and thriving economies in the North of England. This thriving economy makes the city a very interesting and popular choice with investors for both business and property.

Leeds University has recently been voted by students as the third best University in the UK. Having such a prestigious establishment of education in the city only adds to its appeal for young people and those who wish to invest in them.


As you can see, these three cities are among those which offer fantastic opportunities for investors. If you want to see great returns on your property portfolio then the North of the UK really does have it all. Youth, ambition and a very bright future.


Property Prices In Dubai Set To Rise In 2018

Dubai skyline at sunset - Aspen Woolf

It’s that time of year where predictions flood in for the worldwide property market for the next 12 months. This year has been economically uncertain for many regions, due to political and economic uncertainty, but it’s good news for the Dubai property scene, according to industry experts Knight Frank.

Modest Increase In Property Prices

Property Prices In Dubai Set To Rise In 2018 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Michael Theis via Flickr

While the predicted price increase is modest at 1%, it’s still positive news as Dubai should return to growth, after the recent market cycle showed a weaker performance than average.

Knight Frank say that prices of prime residential property in Dubai should rise in 2018, pointing to a return to growth. The consultants point towards government investment in the infrastructure and economy ahead of Expo2020 as the main reason demand is being driven higher.

Expo 2020 is bringing developments, building projects and more jobs, all of which is helping to strengthen the economy. In addition, it’s increasing demand for residential property in Dubai, as well as commercial, retail and luxury space.

How Dubai Compares To Other Regions

The annual Property Forecast report for 2018 covered 13 cities. According to its analysis, Paris should lead the global price growth for 2018. That’s an increase of 9% in a market that has really struggled to increase prices over the last few years. The expected improvement is due to the benefits from the encouraging economic outlook for the Eurozone.

France’s capital is very much set to be back in the game for global investors, particularly those from Europe and the Middle East.

It looks likely that Singapore (at 5% increase) and Geneva (3% increase) could become next year’s most improved property markets. Market sentiment surrounding Singapore’s luxury residential market is improving. Geneva’s privacy, safety and impressive schools make it a popular spot for wealthy families who want to relocate.

Other Global Regional Forecasts

Property Prices In Dubai Set To Rise In 2018 Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Estatesgazette via Flickr

It looks like Hong Kong will enjoy the strongest growth of the major urban markets in Asia with a 7% increase by the end of 2018. This is due to the continuing demand from mainland China.

Here in the UK, prime prices in London look set to rise by an extremely modest 0.5%, but with a cumulative growth in prices over the next five years reaching 13.1%.

Good News For Dubai

While the growth predicted for Dubai is modest, it’s still extremely encouraging news for investors. With Expo 2020 ever closer, there are more reasons than ever to get involved in property investment in Dubai.

Why Leeds is The Shining Star of Investment Opportunity

Leeds City Centre Birds Eye View

When you think about contemporary, forward-thinking centres of British culture and promise, which city springs to mind?

While most people hone in on London for business, commerce and future-proof investments, those in the know have their sights set on somewhere further up north.

A Contemporary Powerhouse

Leeds is used to shining bright when it comes to moving with the times. It was the centre of the 19th century industrial revolution, the remnants of which can be seen today in the architectural landscape of the city.

The blending of the old and the architecturally advanced is the new shape of Leeds, and the future is bright.


Why Leeds is The Shining Star of Investment Opportunity Aspen Woolf

The Fastest Growing City in The UK

By 2027, the economy of Leeds is set to grow by 25%, continuing its trend as the fastest growing city in the UK.

In 2017, its economy is worth £62.5 billion with a population of 3 million. With four universities, various colleges and other higher education establishments, Leeds is young, trendy, vibrant and buzzing. Far from faceless, the city melds its unique heritage with a forward-thinking future plan to produce a melting pot of opportunity.

Key City Then and Now

Historically, Leeds had important transport links, joining the north and the south of a quickly growing new world. Today, its transport links provide easy access for business travellers and visitors to the city.

The council is particularly supportive of the changing face of the city centre landscape, with its weight behind multiple development opportunities. This ability to see the burgeoning opportunity for a developing, sophisticated and cosmopolitan city centre will further propel Leeds into a Europe-leading hub.


Why Leeds is The Shining Star of Investment Opportunity Aspen Woolf

Higher Education Investment

Leeds boasts the fourth largest student population in the UK with around 200,000. This population, combined with the young professionals who flood to the city to take advantage of the diverse economy and wide-ranging job market present a huge opportunity for property investment across the board.

Currently there are 16 new developments in progress, which highlights the city as a major hub for investment. The average house price in Leeds has increased by 105% since 2007, and proposals for the South Bank area will signal the largest regeneration the city has seen in more than a hundred years, creating 35,000 financial jobs and over 4,000 homes. It will be one of the largest city centre regeneration initiatives in Europe.

Development and Investment

Almost £4 billion has been invested in these large-scale development projects during the last 10 years. There is £7.3 billion worth of development in the pipeline, including the ambitious South Bank project.

A number of high profile and impressive developments were completed in 2016, which has boosted the commercial space available. The retail completion (596,500 sq ft) is well above the UK average and hotel construction has also increased by 72%.

The high rental growth of the city, along with the wealth of jobs on offer, combines to ensure a promising hub of development investment opportunities now and in the future.


If you liked this post, then maybe you would also enjoy Key UK Cities See the Highest Quarterly Price Rise Since 2014 and if you’re ready to start looking, then head over to our property investments in Leeds.

Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester

Manchester town hall

Last year we brought you some Impressive Facts About Manchester, one of the key cities in the UK’s Northern Powerhouse. Once known as the Cottonopolis, this historic centre for trade and manufacturing was an engine during the industrial revolution, driving the country forward, and now Manchester is playing a vital part in Britain’s modern economy. But what other curious facts are there to learn about this bustling, Northern metropolis?


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

1. First Steam-Powered Mill

In 1783, the first mill using steam power was set up by Richard Arkwright on Miller Street in the city centre. This innovation paved the way for mass production techniques, pushing the industrial revolution forward significantly.


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

2. Where’s the Beef?

Manchester is the birthplace of Vegetarianism! The Reverend William Cowherd of the Bible Christian Church in Salford drove the movement, often giving sermons on the virtues of a meat-free diet during the early 1800s.


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

3. Scientific Breakthroughs

Not only was the first atom split in the city, but Manchester was also the place where the first law in thermodynamics was discovered by James Prescott Joule in 1850! And in 2010, scientists at the University of Manchester created the world’s thinnest material, graphene, earning themselves the Nobel Prize for Physics!


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

4. Exhibitionist!

Manchester played host to the very first international art exhibition, the Art Treasures of Great Britain exhibition in 1857. It was, and remains, the largest art exhibition to be held in the UK, if not the world!


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

5. You’ve Got To Fight For Your Rights

In 1903, in her Nelson Street home, Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, with the aim of recruiting working class women into the suffragette movement to aid the struggle for the vote. The home still stands and has become the Pankhurst Centre, a heritage and community centre.


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

6. Drama Queen

Manchester is the setting and filming location for the world’s longest running TV soap opera, Coronation Street, which was launched in 1960 by Granada Television.


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

7. Money Maker

Outside of London, Greater Manchester is the UK’s main centre for the Business, Financial & Professional Services industries. This sector employs 324,000 people and generates £16.2 billion of the region’s GVA annually.


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

8. The Home of Football

Manchester not only boasts two of the biggest, most successful football teams in the world – Manchester City and Manchester United – it is also the birthplace of the world’s first professional football league. In 1888, The Football League was created in a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Piccadilly. No wonder the city is also home to the National Football Museum!


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

9. Most Liveable UK City

Once again, Manchester is the highest ranking British city in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking for 2017. The city has come top in the UK for the past six years running, quite the achievement!


Another 10 Amazing Facts About Manchester Aspen Woolf

10. Fastest Growing House Prices

Perhaps it’s the city’s high liveability rating that explains the growth in property prices! According to Hometrack’s average house price index, Manchester prices rose by 8.8% in the year up to March 2017, a greater increase than any other city across the country.


If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about Manchester’s investment potential, try Why Invest in Manchester and Invest in Oxygen: Manchester’s First Vertical Village.

And if you’re ready to begin your investment journey, take a look the properties we currently have available in Manchester.

The UK Private Rental Sector Has Doubled Since the 1990s

There are lots of aspects to making a buy-to-let investment successful.

The UK private rented sector (PRS) has been on an upward trajectory since the 1990s. The number of people relying on rented accommodation has doubled in this time, resulting in one-fifth of all households being owned by private landlords.

These are the findings from the latest English Housing Survey, published on 2 March in relation to the 2015/16 financial year. Overall, it shows there are now 2.5 million more households renting privately than there were at the turn of the century.

There are no signs of this trend slowing down either. A report by Knight Frank anticipates the sector will continue this growth over the next five years, meaning a quarter of all homes are set to be privately rented by 2021.

For investors, this is promising news and shows demand remains strong, especially in buy-to-let hotspots across the UK. If you can source property in a location with high tenancy demand, you’re assured of high occupancy levels and rental income each month.

Contributing Factors

The UK Private Rental Sector Has Doubled Since the 1990s Aspen Woolf

The underlying factor behind the surge in rental reliance is a lack of affordability in the property market, itself augmented by a chronic housing shortage. Combine this with an ageing population and large net migration figures and you’re left with many traditional first-timer buyers stuck for options.

In relation to the younger generation, stagnating wages and rising prices has put home ownership out of reach. Renting is their only viable choice, and not just for the short-term. Knight Frank found that 68% of renters expect to be in the same position in three years’ time, predominantly for financial reasons.


The UK Private Rental Sector Has Doubled Since the 1990s Aspen Woolf

The English Housing Survey confirmed these observations. It found younger households are more likely to be renting than owning, not just numerically but proportionally as well. The share of those aged between 25-34 in the PRS has increased from 24% in 2005/06 to 46% now. The same period also witnessed a drop in home ownership by the same age group, falling from 56% to 38%.

Families with dependent children in rented housing has also risen by 6% in this same period. This should encourage prospective landlords as families usually make for consistent, long-term tenants. Also of note is that 787,000 households moved from one privately rented home into another, confirming the notion that many people are unable to break out of the rental cycle.

Buying Considerations

The UK Private Rental Sector Has Doubled Since the 1990s Aspen Woolf

Of course, these positive figures alone won’t make for a successful buy-to-let investment. Location is still key, especially in relation to the thriving student sector, along with expected tenancy demand.

Tenants are also expecting a higher quality standard of accommodation, something the private sector has lagged behind in. Acquiring furnished, energy-efficient properties in a buy-to-let hotspot can therefore be the key to a successful purchase.

One such hotspot is Liverpool. These are the top five postcodes for property investment in Liverpool.
You can take a look at all of our investment opportunities here.

House Prices are Set to Grow by 7% This Year

There is a regional variation in price growth with the north seeing the most growth.

Average UK house prices have remained strong in the first part of 2017 and look set to grow by up to 7% over the course of the year. The market has shrugged off the potential repercussions of Brexit and is performing better than was expected a few months ago.

The findings come from the latest Hometrack survey, who themselves predicted average rises of just 4% back in December 2016. What this shows is a sustained confidence in the sector, fuelled by an undersupply of homes and robust house price growth in large regional cities.

House Prices are Set to Grow by 7% This Year Aspen Woolf

Hometrack Survey

Hometrack are a property analytics service that examines the performance of 20 cities across the UK. They gather data from numerous sources and explore various trends relating to expected price. The latest June survey showed an annual growth rate of 5.1% to June 2017, with encouraging signs for the rest of 2017 and beyond.

The Research and Insight Director at Hometrack, Richard Donnell, has noted:

“… the headline rate of city house price inflation is holding up, despite the squeeze on real incomes and uncertainty around Brexit. The Brexit impact was greatest over the second half of 2016 but house price growth has picked up over the last six months. This is consistent with an 11% increase in the number of home purchase mortgages, which is also 5% higher than the five-year average.”

House Prices are Set to Grow by 7% This Year Aspen Woolf

Regional Variation

The expected growth was driven by the strong display of particular regions, notably those outside of the capital. Birmingham experienced the highest growth from a year ago (7.8%), with Edinburgh (6.5%) and Manchester (6.4%) also performing well.

House price growth in London declined by 2.6% – its lowest level for more than five years. Oxford, Bristol and Cambridge have also gone through a notable slowdown, whilst Aberdeen is the only city in the Hometrack survey to experience a decline from 12 months previous (-2.7%).

However, in the past 3 months alone, all but one of the 20 cities experienced positive growth. As Donnell pointed out, Brexit fears have been brushed aside and on current trends, 2017 growth is set to hit 6-7% on average.

House Prices are Set to Grow by 7% This Year Aspen Woolf

In parts of the Midlands and the North-West, positive trends are expected to continue into 2018 as prices are rising from a lower base. Low interest rates and falling unemployment are further indications of this sustainability.

Here is some selected data from the June survey:

City Av. House Price Yearly Rise
Birmingham £154,900 7.8%
Bristol £270,900 5.6%
Edinburgh £211,100 6.5%
Leeds £161,400 5.4%
Liverpool £118,300 4.8%
London £492,700 2.6%
Manchester £155,700 6.4%
Nottingham £146,000 6%
Oxford £424,800 2.1%
Sheffield £133,700 4.7%

The Hometrack report comes ahead of expected gains in UK property over the next five years. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), house prices are set to jump by over £50,000 by 2021, accelerating especially from 2019 onwards.

Now is a great time to invest in property, whatever your age. We’ve put together everything Millennials need to know about investing in property.
Whether you’re a Millennial or not, if you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch for a chat.

Commuter Town Luton To See Vast Improvements to Rail and Air Travel Access

Luton is a popular commuter town just outside the London bubble.

A £200 million rail link between Luton Parkway train station and Luton Airport has received planning permission from the local council. Set to open by mid-2021, the 1.4 mile line will reduce journey times and save travellers from relying on the existing bus shuttle service.

The move comes as part of a major redevelopment to the airport hub, including renovation of the terminal layout and surrounding roads. It comes ahead of an expected 3.5 million passenger increase over the next four years.

Commuter Town Luton To See Vast Improvements to Rail and Air Travel Access Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Matt Buck via Flickr


Although at an early planning stage, details of the new railway link have already been revealed:

  • The system will be fully automated and driverless.
  • It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The new Airport station will be located at Bartlett Square.
  • The route will be elevated and will run south, parallel to the existing rail line, until it reaches the A1081 where it will cross the A1081 (Airport Way) via a new ‘Gateway Bridge’.
  • The onward route is proposed to run alongside the A1081 Airport Parkway.
  • It will use a Mass Passenger Transit (MPT) system.
  • Journey times from London could be reduced to 30 minutes, with Parkway/Airport transfers to around 5 minutes.

A contractor has not yet been appointed, although the Airport has put out invitations for bids up to £115 million. A decision is set to be made by October. Engineering firm Arup have already been commissioned to design the MPT link and oversee initial construction contracts.

Commuter Town Luton To See Vast Improvements to Rail and Air Travel Access Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr

Council Decision

Luton Borough Council made the final decision in June, voting unanimously to give the green light. Chair of planning at Luton Borough Council, Dave Taylor, has said of project:

“It’s an exciting development which will enhance the passenger experience at Luton. It was approved by all three parties on the council, unanimously, because the airport is a success story for the town and this improves the accessibility to it.”

Commuter Town Luton To See Vast Improvements to Rail and Air Travel Access Aspen Woolf

Image credit: Steintec via Flickr

The Airport believes its expected growth will raise economic output from £1.3 billion to £2.3 billion and create over 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years. Chair of London Luton Airport, Andy Malcolm, noted:

“Luton is the fastest growing airport in the UK and enjoys excellent road links to London and the North while Luton Airport Parkway also gives excellent rail connectivity to the capital and the Midlands.

“The scheme we are announcing today will provide a seamless five-minute transfer time between Parkway station and the airport terminal. A total journey time of less than 30 minutes from St Pancras to the airport will beat the time from Liverpool Street to Stansted by 20 minutes and better the time from Victoria to Gatwick too.”

Increased regeneration of Luton’s renowned transport links is great news for the commuter town, boosting the local economy, creating jobs and enhancing the property market. It comes after Lendinvest recently named Luton the most profitable destination in the UK for buy-to-let investment.

If you’re interested in investing in Luton, check out our opportunities here.