Aspen Woolf On Why Property Investment In The North-West Has Doubled

Manchester town hall

There has been a huge rise in commercial property investment in the north-west of England. Investors have increasingly come to realise the value of some of the key areas in the north, including Liverpool.

Thanks to this awareness and understanding, along with the benefits from the Northern Powerhouse initiative, investors have increased their interest to a record high.

Figures Increased

During Q1 2018, the volumes of investment in cities like Liverpool has leapt to £965 million according to figures released by UK Investment Transactions. This is more than twice the amount achieved in Q1 2017, which peaked at £440 million.

This is a phenomenal start to the year in terms of property investment and is thanks largely to two main deals. The first came when L&G bought Liverpool’s India Buildings for £125 million, and the second with Aviva’s acquisition of 2 New Bailey in the Salford area of Manchester. The latter deal was worth £113 million, and both Liverpool and Manchester have contributed to this huge boost in investment.

Office Space

The top investment in the north-west region’s commercial property sector was office space. This accounted for 41% of all transactions in the first quarter of 2018. The retail sector continues to fall slightly behind, which is something mirrored across the whole of the UK as customer attention continues to shift online.

While retail is likely to continue to be more subdued, there seems no stopping the rest of the commercial sector in Liverpool and Manchester, as well as surrounding areas.

Build-to-rent Investment

We’ve also seen a significant increase in build-to-rent investment deals in the north-west. This was again boosted by a major deal in Liverpool. This was to create 383 build-to-rent unites and the development has been financed by forward-funding by Invesco and Manchester arena.

Both Liverpool and Manchester have enjoyed major advances in their build-to-rent market over the last year or so, and industry experts expect this to continue as an investment trend.

Comparatively strong

Overall, the north-west continues to perform strongly and this is shown clearly when figures are compared with the rest of the country’s data. A broad rage of investors, from the UK and overseas, are continuing to show real interest in investing in the region.

As we head towards Brexit and the uncertainty it brings, more investors are turning away from London and looking around at other viable investment hotspots in the UK. Liverpool and Manchester are continually surprising the market with excellent figures and its’ likely that this strong start to the year will continue throughout the rest of 2018.

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property

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Spain – synonymous to all Brits with sun, sea and sangria – has, over recent years, had its reputation tarnished somewhat. Thanks to the global financial crisis of 2008, many Britons had their fingers burnt when investing in property abroad, and Spain was one of the biggest culprits.

However, listening to numerous tales of woe does not tell the full story. Many of those who were worst affected bought at the height of the Spanish property boom and left themselves with nowhere to go but down. Today, however, the situation is very different indeed.

Why invest in Spain today?

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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Things have slowly been improving across the country over the last year or so. The Spanish government brought in timely measures that, although painful for many at the time, seem to have helped turn this beautiful country around. Things are on the up in Spain.

2014 saw unemployment drop by a quarter of a million and the country’s GDP grew by 0.9% in just the first quarter of 2015 alone. This growth is 18 times that of the United States, and the country’s output for the same period rose at three times the rate of the UK. Spain has beaten all expectations to become an economy to watch over the coming months and years.

The Pound Vs. the Euro

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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Thanks to all that is currently happening in Greece, the Pound has gained strength against the Euro in recent months. Historically too, the Pound has been the dominant currency despite its 2008 low period. Many analysts are predicting strong times ahead for the Pound with further uncertainty across the eurozone.

International money transfers have never been easier either, thanks mainly to the increasing use of the World Wide Web. Here at Aspen Woolf, we have our own international money transfer service which enables our clients to obtain far better rates than those offered by the High Street banks – a choice that simply wasn’t available a decade or so ago.

Where to invest?

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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While Spain on the whole may be experiencing a move in the right direction, it’s essential to know exactly where to invest your money in order to see the best returns. One such area is often to referred to as Spain’s Golden Triangle; the three points of which are Estepona, Benahavis and Marbella.

Property prices are low in this region, despite its solid reputation. Developments such as Hoyo 19 Los Flamingos – part of the Los Flamingos Golf Resort – which sits almost centrally within the three points of the triangle, offer investors a fantastic opportunity to purchase property at a price that should allow for growth in the future. It’s provision of specialist golfing experience, easy access to beaches and restaurants, and it’s vast range of incredible, awe-inspiring views make this resort the envy of almost any location in the world.

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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La Manga Club in Murcia (among those nominated as “the most attractive” area in 2012,) also offers absolutely breathtaking scenery alongside beautiful interior designs and comforts. This sports and leisure club currently boasts 40/50% below peak selling prices, so there’s really not much to wait for at all if you’re considering your first or next move in international property investment.

It is not just us who are predicting good things for the Spanish property market. Global billionaires such as George Soros, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and John Paulson have all been investing heavily in the country’s real estate too. When you look at the track record of renowned businessmen such as these, very few mistakes are made.

While riding on other people’s coattails may not seem like the most intuitive reason to make an investment, if you’re going to follow anybody, these guys are the ones to fall in behind.

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What To Look Out For When Investing In Student Property

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Investment in student property is potentially very profitable, but not all properties are suitable. It is important to know what to look out for with regard to location, market value, type of student accommodation, property management and rental guarantee.

Demand for student property is always highest when it’s in close proximity to a high-ranking university and in cities where there is more than one seat of learning available.

The Best Location

What To Look Out For When Investing In Student Property Aspen Woolf

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The location within such a university town or city is also an important consideration, and the best area will always be one that is the most convenient for students. This will generally be an area that provides good local amenities as well as being within easy reach of the main campus.

Most students prefer living in a central location where there is plenty of nightlife and good public transport connections to other parts of town – as well as to other parts of the country. Student properties on the outskirts of town can be harder to rent out and are generally not worth the investment.

Low or High Market Value

What To Look Out For When Investing In Student Property Aspen Woolf

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A student property with a low market value has less potential and will provide lower rental income. It is worth remembering that it is not possible for anyone to get a mortgage on any individual unit that is not self-contained, such as a bedsit or studio with a shared bathroom or kitchen, and you have to consider the impact this will have on your exit strategy.

Also, students today expect a higher standard of accommodation than they might have done in the past, so bigger and higher-quality properties are more in demand.

Family Home or Purpose-Built Accommodation

What To Look Out For When Investing In Student Property Aspen Woolf

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A home with multiple occupants is known as an HMO (house in multiple occupation) and for some investors, a family house that can accommodate a number of students might be the most affordable prospect.

However, there are more benefits to be gained by owning a student property that has been purpose-built. The biggest benefit is that the return can be as much as 70% higher from a multiple-occupancy purpose built complex.

Investing in a purpose-built, multi-occupancy property makes it possible to get started as a property investor by purchasing one or more single self-contained units within a complex. The cost per unit will naturally be much lower than investing in a complete family home.

Many students prefer to be in purpose-built accommodation too. A typical modern-day student will not be prepared to accept low quality accommodation and they will want to be in a desirable location as mentioned previously.

Fully Managed Student Property

What To Look Out For When Investing In Student Property Aspen Woolf

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By purchasing a fully managed student property, you will reduce the amount of money and time spent in the future on repairs. A reputable management company will never take on a poor quality property. So, when you purchase one that is fully managed, you will need to check out the reputation of the management company before committing. If it is known to be reliable, you can generally consider it to be a good overall investment. Remember to weigh up the risks verses the rewards of investing in student property.

If the property management company is also responsible for other student properties and the property developer also has relevant experience in student accommodation, there is a better chance of having a stronger return on investment over the long-term.

Rental Guarantee Period

Some student housing developments come with a longer rental guarantee period than others. The length of a guaranteed return will be reflected in purchase price and the best deals will often offer two years or longer.

Taking these points into account while you are searching for the best investment option will stand you in good stead. Simple background checks and a little research will put you in a far better position than you would be to make a solid decision; one that will see you reaping the rewards from your investment for many years to come.

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

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