As Demand Continues to Outstrip Supply, Rental Prices Could Skyrocket

Increased Rental Demand Could Mean Rent Will Rise

According to the latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the number of active renters searching for properties continues to outstrip supply. With a predicted 15% increase in rental prices by 2023, RICS detail that rental supply has seen a consistent fall for nearly two years, even with the increase in demand for rental properties.

Last year saw changes to mortgage tax reliefs for landlords which, by 2020 will be restricted massively, impacting small-scale landlords heavily.  

RICS Policy Manager, Abdul Choudhry casts his opinion:

“Withdrawing tax breaks that small landlords relied on, placing an extra 3% on second home stamp duty, and failing to stimulate the corporate build-to-rent market, has understandably had an impact on supply. 

“Ultimately, the government must consider the impact of its policies, and if the wish is to move away from the private rented sector, it must provide a suitable alternative.” 

As Demand Continues to Outstrip Supply, Rental Prices Could Skyrocket Aspen Woolf

The survey goes on to mention that the South West of England, especially in areas such as Exeter, will see the highest increase in rents. Other regions experiencing ‘mini-booms’ are Edinburgh, Birmingham and commuter belt towns. 

Birmingham is a particularly interesting example; rental supply is down and there are presently 5% fewer homes to let than there were two years previously, according to the Countrywide rental index.

The change began in April 2016 when a stamp duty surcharge for additional properties was introduced. Although rental supply has continued to be strong in the North of England, the South has seen a decrease in supply, with the North seeing 19% more properties available to rent than 3 years ago, whereas the South saw a 16% decrease in available rental properties.

This decrease in available properties to rent in the South may, in part be due to the result of longer tenancies as more and more tenants decide to settle down and take advantage of their locality.  

Manchester and Birmingham are still seeing rental under supply as demand escalates rapidly.

Birmingham is to expect a population rise of 171,000 to a total 1.3 million people by 2039 while experts predict that the city will need a further 100,000 homes over the next two decades.

As cities such as Birmingham see their infrastructure improve and large commercial investment in the city, this equates to a large number of tenants scoping out rental opportunities to take advantage of. 

As Demand Continues to Outstrip Supply, Rental Prices Could Skyrocket Aspen Woolf

Another factor that is increasing tenant demand in the area is the arrival of HS2, the high-speed railway connecting areas such as the West Midlands to the capital in a fraction of previous journey times. What is now a one hour and 21-minute journey, once the HS2 is introduced, will be slashed to 49 minutes, making it a viable commute. This gives tenants the attractive option of the high salaries enjoyed in the South, coupled with the affordable rent of the Midlands.

The number of empty homes in the UK is also contributing to rental increase. Standing at an estimated property value of £50bn, empty properties make up a large proportion of the UK’s property market, with the number rising for the first time in 10 years.

The number of empty homes in the UK now stands at around 205,293, an increase of 2.6% compared to the previous year, according to a report by HouseSimple.

Locations include London with 20,237 empty properties, Birmingham with 4,280, Bradford comes in at 3,931 and Liverpool has 3,889 vacant homes.

There may be no particular reason for this trend, although the aptly named ‘buy-to-leave’ landlords are considered to be an influential element. It goes like this: a landlord buys a property, leaving it vacant while waiting for the value to go up before selling. Local councils are taking steps to curb these cases by levying higher rates of council tax on properties that sit empty for extended periods of time. 

Government plans to ease rules of making use of existing land that already has property on it, for example converting empty shops into flats should help relieve the issue with an aim of making better use of brownfield sites and building upwards instead of outwards. New planning rules are making this easier to happen, affording minimum densities around transport hubs and city centres so that a greater number of properties can be developed in places with the highest demand.

Kent Reliance, the private banking company, forecast that the rental market will carry on to professionalise as it connects the supply gap, developing the service between landlords and tenants as less experienced landlords exit the market. 

To date, 31% of landlords now make a full-time living from investing in properties, compared to three years ago when the figure was 26%. 

With a greater number of landlords now functioning as a business, purchasing properties as a limited company, there is greater opportunity for them to offset their mortgage interest costs against tax. 

The data from Kent Reliance demonstrates that 72% of mortgage applications came from a limited company, more than twice the rate seen a couple of years ago.

Andy Golding, CEO of Kent Reliance states:

“A housing market with dwindling supply of rental accommodation yet growing demand would, without a significant rise in affordable housing, provide the worst of all worlds for tenants: higher rents, with less choice and security, hampering their ability to save to buy a home.”

A 15% rise in rents for tenants is pushing forward essential economic growth in areas across the UK plus a boost in regeneration to establish more desirable locations. With rising rental yields and steady capital growth, the market is in a strong position.

Aspen Woolf is an award-winning property investment company established in 2005 with offices in the UK and the UAE. Experts in wealth building opportunities for investors of all levels, we believe that through integrity, experience and quality of service we stand out from the crowd. Be it for buy-to-let investments, cash buying of property or rentals, we are here to guide you every step of the way.

 

House and Rental Prices on the Rise

As the latest figures from HM Land Registry reveal, the average UK house price now stands at £230,292 while the average monthly rent is £959. Let’s take a look at the history of the UK property buying and rental market, the areas with the highest increase and the reason why house and rental prices continue to be on the rise.

A brief history of house price fluctuation:

  • 2007 saw an increase of 11%
  • 2009 saw a decrease of 17.4%
  • 2011 showed prices dropping by 0.8%
  • 2015 showed a steady increase up to 8%
  • As of July 2019, property prices are showing an average increase of 2.3%

So, why do house prices go up?

When it comes to inflation of house prices, there are a few factors to consider:

Supply and demand

In simple terms, when demand for houses increase, prices follow suit. When demand falls, so do house prices. Several factors can influence supply and demand, these include a lack of available land, lower government investment or regulations against building on green belt areas.

Economic growth

An increase in employment and in turn, a growth in salary will enable more people to invest in housing and therefore increase the demand.

Demographics

Levels of migration to certain areas in the UK and an increase in population as more people flee the capital’s soaring and unattainable housing prices increase demand in lower-cost areas, forcing house prices up.

Location, location, location

Homes that are situated in a city with a solid infrastructure, including transport links and convenient geographical location within the UK play a strong part in pushing housing prices up.

Financialisation

Demand for housing is only limited by a bank’s decision on offering a mortgage. As long banks are still lending, demand will continue to rise, as will prices. This is what we call ‘Financialisation’ of the housing market.

The Midlands: A Case Study

The East Midlands – home to cities such as Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, Derby, Northampton, Mansfield and Chesterfield has seen the highest growth, with house prices increasing on average by 3.2% in 2019. Closely followed by the West Midlands, with cities including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent has seen an overall increase of 2.6% up until July 2019. Due to an employment boom in the Midlands, the area has seen a trend of more home buyers and an increase in average salary which have contributed to the increase in housing prices in the area. The growing population is seen as a key indicator for house price increase in the area. Birmingham is regarded as one of the youngest cities in Europe with 40% of the population being under 25. The five universities in Birmingham are also a contributing factor, having a high level of retention of graduates which is likely to further increase demand of the city’s housing market.

Rentals: Going, going…. going up

A 1% increase in rental prices across the UK was slightly below the prediction from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) who, in July 2018 anticipated a 2% increase. Rental prices are generally more stable than house prices, due to a few contributing factors; tenants taking out longer contracts, rent not being affected by interest rates plus more people are buying houses for investment. 

Rental Prices – a retrospective:

  • 2014 saw an increase of 1.5%
  • 2015 saw a further increase of 2.5%
  • 2016 saw a slight decrease of 2.2%
  • 2017 saw a decrease of 1.5%
  • 2018 rent prices stayed steady at 1.5%
  • As of July 2019, rental prices are showing an average increase of 1%

Factors Influencing Rental Increase:

Supply and demand

As with housing prices, when demand increases as does rent.

Local wage levels

Local wage levels determine the feasible maximum the average person can afford to pay in rent and still be able to cover household outgoings such as bills. An example: if the average salary in a city is £1,500 per month, you’re far less likely to be able to find someone willing to fork out £1,200 for a one bedroom flat. On the flipside, if the average wage is around £3,000 per month, the option is more viable.

Location

Geographic factors such as how close you are to a major town, restaurants, parks, schools and shopping malls can all influence the price of your rent.

Economic growth

Investment, employment opportunities and physical capital in an area you may be considering to rent in could also push up the price.

Upgrades

Kitchens and bathrooms are the key factors in elevating rental price, as if these are not up to standard for potential renters, this could be a real deal breaker. On the other hand, if these rooms are of a high standard, this will raise the rental price of the property.

House and Rental Prices on the Rise Aspen Woolf

Preston: A Case Study

Preston – a city that can boast that its people built the first ever motorway, the Preston bypass which opened in 1958, is also home to the highest rental increase in the UK. In Preston, Lancashire rents have risen by 8%, raising the average rent to £378 per month, closely followed by York and Stockport which showed an increase of 7%. Preston has seen quite a turn around with it’s government grant slashed from £30m to £18m in 2013 but with Preston being an ideal commuter option for working in either Liverpool or Manchester, this also determines the inflation seen in the Preston rental market.

Most housing associations cite that rental prices that eat up more than 30% of an individual’s income as unaffordable. For example, an annual gross income of £24,800 would be required for the rental of an average one bedroom flat in England. In Scotland £20,700 is required and in Wales the figure stands at £17,600.  With rental prices being unaffordable in two-thirds of the UK for most young people, this has seen house shares becoming a more practical option.

Aspen Woolf is an award-winning property investment company established in 2005 with offices in the UK and the UAE. Experts in wealth building opportunities for investors of all levels, we believe that through integrity, experience and quality of service we stand out from the crowd. Be it for buy-to-let investments, cash buying of property or rentals, we are here to guide you every step of the way.

 

How is Leeds becoming a 21st century city?

A growing population and a focus on major industries has set aside Leeds as an unofficial capital city of the North. Regeneration is now propelling Leeds into the future with a number of projects designed to firmly establish the city as a major player in the UK’s economy.

Statistics published last year by the Centre for Cities shows how Leeds has the 3rd quickest growing city centre in the UK between 2002 and 2015. This is a clear mark of how the city is has improved as an urban centre in the last decade. It’s an encouraging statistic too, because it suggests the brain drain phenomenon – where local talent moves away – is not affecting this city. Leeds is a place for families and generations to grow.

Leeds also has one of the youngest populations in the UK, thanks in part to a large student population, but also as a hotbed of employment opportunities for ambitious young professionals. Financial and business services account for 38% of the total Leeds’ output and other key sectors include retail, leisure and the visitor economy, as well as construction, manufacturing and the creative and digital industries – this latter one being a big attraction for the younger generation of workers.

What is it that young professionals like In the 21st century,? A vibrant and stylish urban environment with plenty of opportunity to enjoy time outside of the 9-5. The Yorkshire Post recently published an article indicating Leeds’ ambition, and need, to become a “24-hour economy” in order to retain a thriving city centre. The key to this is a combination of ambitious city centre residential developments combined with high quality jobs in the service sector. This will drive further investment and regeneration into the area and help to cement Leeds as a prime example of urban living.

One of the best examples of regeneration in Leeds, in fact in Europe currently, is the South Bank project – worth over £350 million and introducing 8,000 new homes and 35,000 new jobs. We’ve written about this incredibly ambitious before – you can have a look at our article here – but the main takeaway is that this project is set to double the economic output to the city centre and will perhaps be the largest contribution to creating a modern urban lifestyle in Leeds.

Here are 5 of our top picks, demonstrating how Leeds is changing for modern times:

 

1. The Holbeck Urban Village

A site of former industrial buildings on the South Bank has undergone an impressive regeneration, modernizing the area yet retaining a sense of past by protecting Listed Buildings. Today, Holbeck hosts about 400 businesses, mainly in the creative and digital sector, and is home to a population of between 600 and 1,000 people in its 15 hectare area.

 
2. Leeds Bradford Airport Upgrades

A new £12 million terminal building is set to add more facilities, space, retail and food and beverage options to the airport. The changes to boost efficiency and cut delay times, while bringing the airport in line with the city’s broader regeneration, and supporting overall economic growth.

The plans are part of the ‘Route to 2030 Strategic Development Plan’, aiming to increase passenger numbers from four million to seven million by 2030.

 
3. Innovation at Leeds’ University

A new centre for innovation at Leeds University has opened at a cost of £40 million. Business, health, engineering, data and environmental disciplines are now brought together in the new 6,684 square metre Nexus building, including 60 spacious offices, 12 purpose-built laboratories, 11 meeting rooms and a 120-seat lecture theatre all spread across 6 floors. A £13.5 million fitness and wellbeing centre offers a welcome break from intense research and study.

 
4. Refurbishment of the Leeds Playhouse

Who doesn’t like a play? The Leeds Playhouse, formerly known as the West Yorkshire Playhouse, has recently undergone a £15.8 million development. Many major changes have been made including redisgning the whole façade to orientate the theatre towards the city, providing better access to the 750 seat Quarry theatre. The new Playhouse also includes a third studio space – the Bramall Rock Void – as well as a new restaurant, café and bar, and improved public spaces.

 

5. A new icon on the skyline

As an example of prime real estate near the South Bank development, we’ve chosen the fantastic Springwell Gardens development, the next residential project to rival the likes of Candle House and become a part of the ever growing cityscape emerging in Leeds. With a sail like façade and terraced roof gardens, this development of luxury apartments is the renters dream. Strategically located on the important Whitehall Road, home to the new Government Hub, Yorkshire Post, NHS Digital and the HMRC, Springwell Gardens’ location makes it close to many amenities. Leeds Train Station, the city centre and the new £350 million CEG Holbeck urban village Southbank development are just 10 minutes’ walk away.

Spotlight On: The Loom at Vulcan Mill

The Loom Vulcan Mill Manchester Property Investment

As the redevelopment of Manchester continues, urban developments such as The Loom at Vulcan Mill play a crucial role. This architecturally pleasing building was once home to one of the most influential metalwork factories in Manchester. However, it has now been transformed into a contemporary residence that is set in a prime location.

This superb project has turned a prominent building in Manchester into a thriving investment opportunity. This new development seamlessly complements the work that is taking place in the city, transforming it from a dilapidated building and into one that graces Manchester’s skyline.

The location will put residents within reach of the vibrant city centre as well as a range of amenities, making it an ideal property investment in Manchester for those looking to take advantage of a growing area of the market.

The area for this development is New Islington and with it comes a unique and stylish design. Comprising of one and two-bedroom apartments, they are designed for a particular type of resident, especially young professionals and those who are seeking a high standard of living. From the high-end interiors to the stylish brickwork, this is a building that has been transformed in an impressive way, proving that Manchester still has a lot to offer. With it comes that perfect mixture of urban living with green areas and social living as well as the link to the city centre. As far as locations go, this is up there as one of the best.

What is on offer?

As mentioned, the development comprises of 89 one and two-bedroom apartments. All have been designed and furnished with a high spec look and finish in mind. Lavish, opulent and modern, the aim is to capture a sector of the market, and this is where the investment opportunity is one that should appeal to investors looking to take advantage of a great opportunity.

Prices for the 1-bedroom apartments start at £173,000 while the price of a 2-bedroom apartment starts at £250,000. The development also comes with 32 parking spaces which have been allocated to 32 specific units. The work was undertaken by a reputable and respected developer, ensuring an exceptional standard of work and attention to detail.

From an investment perspective, the development comes with a 250-year leasehold and has expected gross yields of up to 5.6%. There is also a very tempting payment plan in place where investors can pay 10% on exchange, 5% six weeks later and then 85% on completion.

Spotlight On: The Loom at Vulcan Mill Aspen Woolf

Location Details

With any development, location is everything and for investors, it is particularly important. Therefore, The Loom at Vulcan Mill will please investors because its location will appeal to those who want city centre living without being located in the city centre.

New Islington is an area that has already undergone extensive regeneration. It is also conveniently located just 15 minutes from the business areas as well as leisure facilities that are located within the city centre. This regeneration zone has seen significant improvements made, particularly within the Piccadilly Basin and Ancoats area. 

The great thing about the Loom at Vulcan Mill is that it is within 100m of the New Islington Metrolink Station. This makes it an ideal place to live for commuters and those who love the bright lights of the city centre. Therefore, they can find themselves in the city centre in just two minutes.

What’s more, they are also within easy reach of many top amenities. Within walking distance, residents will be able to reach Piccadilly Train Station, the Northern Quarter and the Manchester Arndale. They will also be within a number of Metrolink stations such as the Etihad Campus and Deansgate-Castlefield.

For many, location is everything and if investors are seeking a property that has mass appeal then this has it all. With so many developments taking place in the area, it is clear to see that there is a demand for property in the area. With young professionals and even foreign students seeking accommodation, there is potential in this part of Manchester.

The Purchase Process

The purchase process is one that will also be favourable to investors who are interested in purchasing at this development.

To begin with, they will need to complete the relevant paperwork and then pay an administration fee of £2,500. Once the exchange of contracts has taken place, 10% of the purchase price will have to be paid. Then, six weeks after exchange, a further 5% of the purchase price is due. Finally, the remaining balance will have to be paid upon completion.

From an investment perspective, this is a development that will certainly work for investors. As mentioned, the demand for this high standard of living is there. This means that investors can purchase and then begin seeing returns almost instantly. What is also interesting is that this development will also offer significant returns on their investment. Therefore, whether it is a one-bedroom apartment or a two-bedroom apartment, returns of between 5% and 6% are extremely favourable. 

For a development that offers an exclusive standard of living with a first-class finish and design, there is no doubt that this development provides a feasible investment opportunity. With exclusive parking offered and easy access to the hustle and bustle of central Manchester, there is a lot to love about this development.

 

Why Should Property Investors Consider Sheffield in 2019?

At first glance Sheffield is a fairly innocuous city, and perhaps doesn’t have the glamour of some other northern cities like Leeds or Manchester. However, a population of 518,090 places it 6th in the UK (measured by Primary Urban Area), and an economic output of £31 billion per year makes it an important part of northern England’s output. In this article we’re going to take a closer look at what draws investors to this unique city.

A Thriving Population, and a Focus on Students

While you may not be looking to invest in student housing, the fact that Sheffield is home to two of the country’s largest universities (Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University) is part of its draw. There is constant demand for student accommodation, but also a constant stream of young graduates making their way in the city – 70,000 per year to be precise. This leads to a huge demand for private residential rental property, both in the city centre and in the suburbs.

Even if you’re not investing in student property, the high number of students may well benefit you as 25% of students choose to remain in the city following their studies.

Aside from students, the Sheffield Economic Plan is aiming to grow the population by 70,000 between 2015 and 2025. That’s a huge number of people to house, and a sure point to catch the attention of investors looking at Sheffield’s investment potential.

Transport Links In Sheffield

There is far more to the property investment opportunities than students and graduates, however. The borough of Sheffield (that’s the Urban area plus it’s surrounding districts) is the third largest in the England, and as it’s relatively centrally located in the country, it’s naturally ideal in terms of travel and accessibility.

The city has four airports within less than half an hour’s drive, helping to make it an easy transport hub for overseas as well. Laying adjacent to the M1, Sheffield is also directly linked to many cities and towns all over the UK, especially thanks to speedy direct train links to London.

Big news for the city is the plan to have a Sheffield stop on the new High Speed Rail 2 line. This will create more services and reduce times when travelling to London and the South. Added to that, HS2 is expected to combine with the Northern Powerhouse Rail project – meaning that not only will travel from the southern regions to Sheffield be easier but huge swaths of Northern England will be better connected. Leeds and Manchester, for example, will be within 30 minutes travel time from Sheffield.

Buy-to-let Property In Sheffield

Regeneration and a buoyant job market combine to make Sheffield a very popular place for people to live, work and study. The corresponding demand for homes, rental property, retail space and commercial units is increasing faster than it can be provided.

All of which leaves a very attractive area for investment, particularly with buy-to-let property. We can attribute the resilience of the private rental market in Sheffield to the limited number of high-quality housing schemes that are available in central locations, particularly when compared to other cities.

Since 2016, house prices in Sheffield have risen 11% according to Zoopla, that’s the 6th highest in the country and 10% more than London.

Robust Economy In Sheffield

Sheffield’s fast-growing economy is now worth £7bn a year. Its GVA (Gross Value Added) performance has increased by almost £4 billion since 1997, and the economy is continuing to grow by an average of 5% every year.

Investment in the city is helping Sheffield to remain of England’s leading areas for manufacture and engineering. In recent years, there has also been a significant growth in the service industries, as well as financial services, digital and new media, environmental technology and energy. An international reputation as a centre for excellence and cutting-edge delivery is being enhanced all the time.

With branches of some of the world’s most famous organisations located in the city (IBM, Rolls Royce and Boeing etc), Sheffield is well placed to attract international interest due to its accessible location, key industrial sites and large retail outlets including Meadow Hall, the largest shopping centre in Yorkshire.

The Sheffield City Region team is redeveloping the area’s economic strategy, which will be a route-map for the South Yorkshire economy. The strategy will also form the basis for Government investment over the short, medium and long term.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main goals of the strategy:

Sheffield Strategic Economic Plan 2015-2025

  • 70,000 more jobs

  • 6,000 more businesses

  • £3billion increase in GVA

  • 30,000 highly skilled occupations

Another interesting factor to note is that in the three months leading up to June 2019, Sheffield’s wages have increased 3.9%, thats a greater increase than any year since 2008. Also, the buoyancy of the local economy is represented by the fact that Sheffield’s unemployment rate has halved since 2014. The employment rate is actually the second strongest in the UK.

 

Why Should Property Investors Consider Sheffield in 2019? Aspen Woolf

Sheffield – A worthwhile proposition for investors

 

Massive Regeneration Projects

We’ve already seen the extent to which Sheffield is expected to expand. Expansion comes hand in hand with regeneration, in this case aimed at developing new high specification residential areas and the city centre area for commerce and entertainment. Regeneration-focused areas are dotted in and around the city. For example, the Heart of the City Project 2 is a £550 million planned investment in the city centre to meet the 21st century demand of small and large retailers. It’s a slightly too broad a task to go into details on every regeneration project here, but areas of focus are West Bar Square, Castlegate, Kelham Island, and the Cultural Industries Quarter.

The Outdoor City

One of Sheffield’s most important USPs is its commitment to the natural environment. In fact, Sheffield is widely recognised as one of the UK’s greenest cities and is the only major city to have a National Park within its boundary, as well as two million trees, 83 parks and 150 woodland areas. The city was voted the‘best city to live in for countryside lovers’ by BBC Countryfile in 2014.

Sheffield is so committed to its natural elements that it has developed its own economic strategy to grow the ‘The Outdoor City’ brand, by investing in places that appeal and attract people while supporting infrastructure that enables residents, businesses and visitors to have easy access to high quality outdoor recreation
experiences. Sustainability and nature is becoming a fundamental value of life in the 21st century; a city like Sheffield which is determined to realise its full potential as a location for sport, nature, health and well-being can only seek to generate more interest among visitors and residents looking to relocate.

Expanding Cultural Reputation

Sheffield employs 7.2% of its working population in work that contributes to the city’s cultural output; that’s well above the national average of 4%. The Cultural Industries quarter is an area of the city centre dedicated to creating a hub of music, film and science based businesses. Kelham Island is Sheffield’s answer to the need for independent business and culture. Once an exclusively industrial area, the area is now home to all manner of cafes, gastro pubs, bars and breweries as well as outlets for vintage clothes and handmade trinkets, and various artist studios and museums.

What does all this mean?

We started off by saying how Sheffield is a fairly unassuming city in among the northern cities. Hopefully it’s clear from this that the city has big plans to bring itself in line with the broader Northern Powerhouse project.

 

Which UK Towns Might be Worst Hit by Brexit

A no-deal Brexit could cause problems for towns in London’s commuter belt and beyond. The more polarised a town’s or city’s property market is, the harder it could be hit after a no-deal Brexit. The great thing is – it’s not all bad news. During the most volatile political times of the last 40 years, let’s delve deeper into the murky world of a no-deal Brexit and what it could mean for some of the country’s most at-risk property markets. 

Property Investment in Stevenage

Downside: There is what you might call “a bit of a gap” in property prices in our beloved Stevenage, with the property gap widening from 68% to 197% in the past five years. The average detached house in Stevenage comes in at around £553,697 compared to £186,422 for a one-bedroom flat.

Upside: There’s massive investment in start-ups and mature businesses happening in Stevenage, making it one of the greatest innovation/investment hubs in the UK. Not only is it close to London but its location near Cambridge also makes it an exciting investment opportunity. If you’ve ever been to Stevenage, you’ll know the greenery and numerous parks are just a part of this town’s charm and one of the reasons it makes it a very attractive buy-to-let opportunity.  

Property Investment in Milton Keynes

Downside: Fiona Baldwin of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton’s Milton Keynes office has already urged businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Also known as ‘Brexodus’, EU workers are fleeing Milton Keynes yet local workers are not filling the open positions, which could spell trouble for the local economy. 

Upside: Milton Keynes Businesses have been told to “Keep calm, carry on, and be ready for change”. And that’s what we Brits do. Brutalist architecture (which Milton Keynes has a lot of) has become pretty chic these days with high-rise developments being greatly sought after, which points towards buy-to-let in this area being something well worth considering.

Property Investment in Northampton

Downside: A report from East Northants Council states in the situation of a no-deal Brexit: “The main difficulty is knowing what we are planning for, with little or no direction coming from the Government and its ministries. With this lack of clarity, the council and all relevant agencies in Northamptonshire have considered the possible risks to be: public disorder, workforce shortages, food/fuel/medicine supply chain issues, transport issues.”

Upside: 18.4% of Northampton’s population are in rented accommodation, with that figure to rise over the next 10 years, now seems to be the time to strike if you’re going for a buy-to-let in this large market town that dates back to the Bronze Age. Boasting buildings and facilities such as the Grade II listed Northamptonshire Central Library, Northampton holds its own when it comes to pleasing architecture including the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery plus a thriving café culture.

Property Investment in Luton 

Downside: Carlos Tavares, owner of Vauxhall, based in Luton, warned the BBC of “dramatic consequences” of a no-deal Brexit. Citing free trade as an overriding factor for the plant, employing 1,225 personnel at its Luton plant, a no-deal would be a punch in the gut, affecting both the local economy and endangering employment.

Which UK Towns Might be Worst Hit by Brexit Aspen Woolf

Credit: Flickr

Upside: With a skilled workforce, fantastic infrastructure and lively social scene, it’s not all doom and gloom for Luton. At just 30 miles to the capital, it really has superb access, Luton is one of the most desirable commuter belt locations and ideal for a buy-to-let investment. An accelerated housing development scheme, investment in the airport facilities and increasing leisure investment in the area means the opening of job opportunities for residents which all contribute to the appeal of the town.

Property Investment in Maidstone

Downside: Operation Yellowhammer, the government’s codename for its contingency plan in the face of a no-deal Brexit has predicted congestion in the greater Kent area with lorries facing delays of up to two and a half days. Projected losses for Maidstone in the scenario of a no-deal Brexit could reach £86.5 million.

Upside: Maidstone buy-to-let properties can yield anything from between 2.3% to 7.2% per year, making it a lucrative option for buy-to-let investors. Known as the ‘Business capital of Kent’, Maidstone Borough Council is intent on increasing the borough’s local economy. By 2031 their vision for Maidstone is “A model 21st century county town, a distinctive place, known for its blend of sustainable rural and urban living, dynamic service sector-based economy, excellence in public services, and above all, quality of life”.

Property Investment in Hastings

Downside: When you think of 184.7% from 63.1% over the past 5 years, that’s a fair bit of polarisation. Also, Hastings Council internal Brexit risk document suggests the town may even be flung back to the good ol’ days of rationing depending on the length of any supply shortages.

Upside: Hastings has a bustling culture and arts scene. Hotspots include the Creative Media Centre, The Jeerwood Gallery and a newly renovated University of Brighton in Hastings campus, which makes the town a viable option for attracting young talent. £500m of public funds are currently being invested in East Sussex, being channeled towards the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road, plus a brand-new 50,000 square meter Business Park is also being developed nearby.

Property Investment in Watford

Downside: Instead of moving closer to their place of work, a no-deal Brexit could mean that Watford residents will need to commute longer distances which in turn will increase pollution and also add stress to family life. 

Upside: Over the next 10 years, £1.5Bn is being invested in Watford to improve infrastructure, build new developments and improve leisure facilities. A mainstay of Watford life – the Old Charter Place Shopping Centre has received a £150m cash injection which will include restaurants, shops and a 9-screen IMAX cinema with live performance spaces. It’s clear to see why this would make Watford an ideal buy-to-let investment.

 

In these uncertain times, there are still plenty of opportunities for property investors to take advantage of. With over 14 years’ experience, Aspen Woolf are experts in the area of buy-to-let. With increasing UK rents, now is the time to act and here at Aspen Woolf, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Get in touch today by calling 0203 176 0060 or sending an email to info@aspenwoolf.co.uk.