Top of the Props: Foreign buyers go back to Greece

Top of the Props: Foreign buyers go back to Greece

Greece Italy United States World
  • Greece now 4th most popular country
  • Interest in Greek property at six-month high
  • Italy climbs to third place and Spain holds on to second
  • Investors return to Canada after recent dip in popularity

Foreign property buyers are going back to Greece at the start of 2017, reveals TheMoveChannel.com’s Top of the Props index. The country was the fourth most popular country on the international property portal in January 2017, its first time in the Top 10 in six months.

Greece stormed the charts at the start of the new year, rising 18 places to overtake Portugal in the monthly report. Greek real estate received 2.1 per cent of all enquiries on the international portal during January. This is the country’s highest share of enquiries since August 2013, when it accounted for 3.26 per cent of all enquiries. Greece’s last time in the Top 10 was in July 2016, when it was ranked ninth, with 1.39 per cent of enquiries.

Italy also enjoyed rising overseas interest, climbing five places in the Top of the props chart to be the third most sought-after destination. Italian real estate accounted for 5.97 per cent of January’s enquiries, up from 1.59 per cent in December 2016 and its highest share since August 2012 (6.12 per cent).

Spain held on to second place, confirming the country’s continuing appeal to foreign investors. Portugal rose one place into fifth, increasing its share of enquiries from 1.92 per cent to 2.02 per cent. France slipped into ninth, but remained in the Top 10 for the 17th month in a row, just above Thailand and just below Germany.

After a dip in popularity, following the introduction of Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax last August, Canada saw investors return, with the country climbing into sixth place.

The USA remained the most popular destination on TheMoveChannel.com for the seventh consecutive month, accounting for one in every six enquiries (14.65 per cent).

“After a brief rekindling of interest last summer, the start of 2017 showed signs of overseas demand for Greek property flickering back to life,” comments TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson.

“Interest was not just contained to one area, but across several regions, with enquiries soaring for property in the North Aegean, Crete, the South Aegean and Attica.

“After a year of political uncertainty elsewhere, talk of national debt and a potential ‘Grexit’ is back in the headlines in 2017, but Greece’s lifestyle appeal has not gone away. In fact, it is more affordable than ever, after house prices have dropped for the last eight years in a row. In 2016, however, they fell 2.2 per cent, the smallest decrease recorded since 2009. With the rate of decline slowing, and owning a holiday home now an attractive alternative to renting, foreign interest in Greek real estate may be showing the first signs of a gradual rebound.”

“US property remains one of the most appealing in the world,” adds Mr. Johnson. “The country’s economy, regardless of its political situation, is stable, with the Federal Reserve still on course to raise interest rates again this year. The country’s economic conditions may be the opposite of Greece, but their popularity shares one key factor: the low price of Greek real estate maximises the potential yield available from rental income, while in the US, investors are racing to find the best possible returns, before property values climb too high.”

Click here to see the full top 40 property destinations for January 2017.

 

— ENDS –

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and TheMoveChannel.com

Founded in 1999, www.TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 1.4 million listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

TheMoveChannel.com is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.

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Trumping the markets – what impact has the new US President had in his first month in office?

Trumping the markets – what impact has the new US President had in his first month in office?

United States
  • Gold trading at an impressive $1,235.60 OZ (easyMarkets)
  • SP500 trading at an all-time high
  • US Dollar Index performing strongly at 101.63

It may hard to believe, but the drama and turmoil circling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have not been around forever – Donald Trump has only officially been installed in the White House as 45th President of the United States for one month!

 

“The past month has been a carnival, with a parade of Trump’s statements and decisions, from the immigration ban to his latest talk of a fictional terrorist incident in Sweden. It wouldn’t be too shocking if the next big headline was ‘Trump has appointed a horse to a major role in his cabinet,’ after some of the announcements over the last month.”

James Trescothick, Reputation and Education Manager at forex and CFD broker easyMarkets

 

So, what impact has all of this had on the markets?

Following Trump’s surprise election win in November, the US dollar (USD) and the markets soared. The SP500 reportedly had the strongest run from a president’s first-term win since John F Kennedy. But now that Trump is actually sitting in the Oval Office, how has the market been reacting?

US dollar

Looking at the US Dollar Index (USDX), we may get a better idea of how the USD has fared. The US Dollar Index measures the value of the USD against a basket of six other major currencies (EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD, SEK, CHF). The index moves higher when the USD gains strength against these other currencies, and vice versa.

The USDX closed at around 100.55 on 20 January 2017, when Trump was sworn in. Since that date it has dropped to 99.20, before rebounding to around 101.75. At the time of writing, it is trading around 101.63.

Was it the Trump effect?

He would most certainly love to say he is the reason behind the strength of the currency, but the fact is that on the same day, a bout of positive US economic data was released. Also on that day, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified on monetary policy and raised expectations for an interest-rate hike in March, which may have had a positive effect on the USD.

Gold

Any trader worth their weight in gold would tell you that the yellow metal is a safe haven and a hedge against inflation. A safe haven is an asset which investors flock to for safety when there is uncertainty in the markets. Trump’s win in November pushed gold prices higher before collapsing to around $1,123.36 OZ. Since the beginning of the year, however, it has managed to bounce back and is currently trading at around $1,235.60 OZ.

Was it the Trump effect?

 

“It is a consensus of opinion that political risk, which has risen considerably since Trump’s election, has made gold shine to many investors, and talk of uncertainty is keeping the yellow metal in demand. Some could argue that this is simply a repeat of 2016, when gold also started on a bull run, however it seems more likely that Trump has played a role in this one.”

James Trescothick, Reputation and Education Manager, easyMarkets

The stock market

The stock market, unlike gold, tends to rise when there is risk appetite and opportunism. Since the November election results, the stock market has seen gains, and the momentum has continued, with the SP500 trading at an all-time high.

Was it the Trump effect?

Well, Wall Street has actually referred to these recent highs as “the Trump rally,” which started in November. You may also credit a healthy labour market and expectations of an upcoming rate hike in the US for this move. However, it does seem that the market is also pricing in that Trump will push through corporate tax reforms and cut regulations, which in turn will boost US business.

He may or may not go through with the reforms. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say he has played a role in market movements over the past 30 days, and wherever you stand on the new POTUS, these past 31 days have not been without their fair share of action!

For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.

 

Risk Warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Please refer to our full risk disclaimer. Easy Forex Trading Ltd (CySEC – License Number 079/07).

Bargain-hunting comes to the fore as investors brace for Brexit

Bargain-hunting comes to the fore as investors brace for Brexit

United Kingdom
  • Brexit bill could total £45.5bn (Sir Ivan Rogers)
  • Investors opting for ‘business as usual’ but with a discounted price tag (Properties of the World)
  • Liverpool’s Victoria House highlighted as one of best value UK investments (Properties of the World)

It’s become part and parcel of the whole Brexit debate to see enormous figures bandied about by both those who support the UK’s departure from the EU and those who oppose it.

Most recently, Sir Ivan Rogers, the former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union, warned that the EU will demand a £45.5bn Brexit bill. In response, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, is believed to be preparing a £51 billion list of liabilities in order to offset the cost.

For many families in the UK, such discussion of such vast sums does little to reassure them as to what the economy may hold in store as a result of the triggering of Article 50 and the formal start of the Brexit process.

 

“We’re finding that a lot of families are taking a ‘business as normal’ approach at the moment, but with a much more careful eye on costs than before the Brexit referendum. In terms of their investment decisions, this means a focus on exceptional value for money. Bargain-hunting is most definitely back in fashion!”

Jean Liggett, CEO of visionary property investment consultancy Properties of the World

So what makes a good bargain, when it comes to investment property?

According to the experts at Properties of the World, several factors can create the perfect storm for a bargain buy-to-let investment.

As with anything property related, location comes first and foremost. An upward trend in prices, but averages that are below comparable cities should capture investors’ attention initially.

Development plans are another key indicator. If government initiatives and large-scale infrastructure projects are on the cards, prices have the potential to rise swiftly and significantly.

 

“Think Northern Powerhouse and Crossrail, then combine those with average current prices that are below other cities in the area. The answer has to be Liverpool when it comes to bargain-hunting right now.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World

 

Liverpool’s Victoria House is an excellent example. Stunning penthouse apartments offer central living in a city where employment is set to receive a massive boost as a result of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. Completion is due later this year, with studios, one and two bedroom apartments available to investors looking for rental returns of 7% NET. For cautious, pre-Brexit investors, the bargain price holds serious charm – apartments are available from just £66,250.

Nor is it just national initiatives that can boost a city’s fortunes. Sticking with the example of Liverpool, the city is about to receive €400,000 of Horizon 2020 funding through the Renewable Heritage in Creative and Knowledge Economies programme. The fund recognises ten ‘heritage role model’ locations within Europe. A key consideration is how heritage can be used as a significant tool for economic growth.

 

“One final tip is to seek out developments that have nearly sold out. The last few units are almost always discounted, so be prepared to spring into action at the last moment in order to snap up a serious bargain.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World

 

For more information, visit www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 7624 5555.

Town vs country – the investment dilemma

Town vs country – the investment dilemma

United Kingdom , ,
  • Risk-averse investors drawn to city centre buy-to-let developments (Aspen Woolf)
  • Interior design giving landlords the edge (Alexander James Interior Design)
  • Strong returns tempting investors to newer asset classes in the countryside (Properties of the World)

There’s an age-old debate about whether city living trumps country living, or vice versa.

UN figures show that our world is gradually becoming more urban, with 54% of the global population currently residing in urban areas. The figure is projected to rise to 66% by 2050, emphasising the pull of the city on those seeking economic opportunities and a wealth of cultural and entertainment options.

Just as city and country living appeal differently to different folks, so too do the prospects of investing in such diverse locations.

“Investors looking for city centre properties tend to be those who are keen for long-term returns with lower risk. They’re seeking an established asset class – buy-to-let – which has been around long enough to be proven as a model that generates consistent yields. The solidity of the asset class is paramount, even over and above considerations like the tax relief reductions for landlords, which the government is phasing in from 2017 onwards.”

Oliver Ramsden, Founder and Director, Aspen Woolf

 

As well as buy-to-let investors looking for brand new developments, cities tend to attract those investors who want to take an active role in their property investment. Buying a house and refurbishing it can result in capital gains as well as healthy rental yields and many investors enjoy the buzz of managing their own properties. It can be a competitive occupation, and those at the forefront of the industry are continually seeking new ways to ensure that their properties stand out from the crowd. Engaging professional interior design consultants is the hottest new trend.

“We are working with a growing number of individuals who never imagined they would be employing interior designers to create a beautiful interior for their home. Interior design used to be the preserve of the very wealthy. Now, there’s a growing trend for people at every level of the property ladder to use expert services of this nature.”

Robert Walker, Managing Director, Alexander James Interior Design

 

Those investors who favour properties in the countryside tend to have a different focus than their city investor counterparts. They’re prepared to take on newer and more innovative asset classes in the pursuit of higher returns and lower taxes.

“Hotel investment can generate excellent yields, and buyers are free from the concerns of Stamp Duty Land Tax and the hit to income that void periods can cause. Strong returns and fewer taxes to worry about is an attractive combination. Many countryside investments also come with a personal usage element, meaning that investors essentially get two weeks of free holiday accommodation thrown into the deal each year.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World

The restrictions on tax relief for residential landlords has the potential to mark a step-change in investor preferences. From 2017 to 2018, only 75% of finance costs will be deductible from rental income. The figure will reduce annually, until it reaches 0% for the 2020 to 2021 financial year.

As city centre buy-to-let developments become gradually less profitable for all those other than cash buyers, will former city investors head for the hills? Only time will tell.

 

On the market:

The perfect city investment: Set on the edge of the vibrant Liverpool city centre, the New Eldon Grove offers the perfect balance of past and present comprised of 45 apartments including 1,2 and 3 bedroom units. Carefully designed to preserve the heritage of the site while serving the needs of a new generation, from just £94,950, New Eldon Grove provides investors with an assured 2-year NET rental of 7%. Available through Aspen Woolf.

Escape to the country: In the Valleys of South Wales, lodges and land plots at Afan Valley Adventure Resort allow investors to be part of a thrilling new adventure experience. Lodges are priced from £149,000 and offer 8% NET returns for seven years, with two weeks’ personal usage. Land plots offer a mark-up of 10% per annum for three years, from just £25,000. Both available through Properties of the World.

 

For more information, please contact:

Aspen Woolf: +44 203 176 0060 or www.aspenwoolf.co.uk

Alexander James Interior Design: 020 7887 7604 or www.aji.co.uk

Properties of the World: +44 (0)20 7624 5555 or www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk

Spain rivals UK for property price growth

Spain rivals UK for property price growth

Spain
  • 5 Spanish provinces beating UK for property price growth (Kyero.com)
  • Ibiza property prices up 27.2% in past year
  • Visits to Kyero.com up 42.3% in 12 months

Newly published data from Spanish property portal Kyero.com, has revealed that Spain is giving the UK a run for its money when it comes to property price growth.

Annual asking price growth reached 27.2% on Ibiza in the year to January 2017, with five other Spanish provinces comfortably outpacing price growth in the UK over the past year (which stood at 4.5% year-on year, as at December 2016, according to Nationwide).

 

 “The past year has seen 6.9% price growth across Spain as a whole, with a median asking price of €245,000. The market is returning to strength and we’ve seen a number of provinces rivalling the UK when it comes to price growth. That’s great news for those investing in property in Spain, as well as second home owners and retirees who are looking for a good opportunity for capital gain.”

Richard Speigal, Head of Research at Kyero.com

The five provinces enjoying higher annual price growth than the UK over the past year are Tenerife, Mallorca, Cadiz, Gran Canaria and Ibiza, with growth ranging from 8.0% in Tenerife to 27.2% in Ibiza.

That four of the top five destinations are island-based, while Cadiz enjoys a stunning coastal position on the mainland, shows that it’s not just financial benefits that buyers can enjoy.

The cheapest of the five provinces, in terms of average price, is Gran Canaria. Prices there have risen by 12.8% in the past 12 months, with an average price of €227,000. That’s enough for a light and spacious three-bed triplex in San Fernando, or a two-bedroom Playa De Cura apartment with pool and sea, mountain and golf views.

The most expensive of the provinces by far is Ibiza, with an average price of €1.15 million. That’s enough for a large, secluded villa with pool, chill-out area and fishpond. For those looking at Ibiza through entrepreneurial eyes, it’s also just the right amount for a three storey bar and restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the castle.

With annual price growth of 8.7%, Mallorca is the second most expensive of the five provinces. The average property price there is €491,000 – enough for an exclusive Santa Ponsa Nova apartment with an extensive terrace overlooking the pool and lush gardens.

As the only non-island province to enjoy UK-beating growth, Cadiz is generating excitement among buyers on the mainland. Prices there shot up by 8.9% in the last year, while the average price of €269,000 makes it much more affordable than some of its island counterparts. That’s enough an apartment with four bedrooms, an outdoor terrace and ocean views in an excellent location within this lively city.

 

“The competition’s really hotting up now, with the impact of Article 50 on the UK’s property market to be felt over the coming year, we expect to see more and more Spanish provinces outpacing the UK’s property price rises.”

Richard Speigal, Head of Research at Kyero.com

 

That fact is reflected in the huge growth in buyer demand that Kyero.com is experiencing. Property enquiries made through the site have risen by 36.07% in the past year, while overall visitor numbers are up by 42.32%.

Does this mean that UK buyers plan to abandon their own property market in favour of an Iberian one? Only time will tell.

For further details, visit www.kyero.com.

Can’t buy me love? Plummeting cocoa prices make chocolate cheaper this Valentine’s Day

Can’t buy me love? Plummeting cocoa prices make chocolate cheaper this Valentine’s Day

United Kingdom
  • Cocoa prices down by nearly $1,000 per ton in last 12 months (easyMarkets)
  • 94% of people celebrating Valentine’s Day want chocolate (wallethub)
  • Over-supply and decreased demand combining to drive down prices (easyMarkets)

As men and women around the world rush to buy that last minute gift for their loved one, to cover up the fact that they forgot that Valentine’s Day was approaching, many of them won’t be paying attention to the price they are paying. However, there’s good news for all those last minute shoppers this year.

The most popular gift bought to show affection to one’s Valentine is chocolate. According to wallethub, 94% of people celebrating Valentines in the US want to receive chocolate, and it is estimated that $1.7 billion will be spent on sugary treats alone.

The good news for all the Romeos and Juliets out there is that cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, has been in a downfall since August 2016. In fact, New York cocoa futures fell by 33% in 2016, the biggest drop since 1999.

If you turn the clock back a year, cocoa was soaring due to a rise in demand in China and other Asian markets, combined with the poor weather that swept across major cocoa producing countries in West Africa in December 2015.

Back in February 2016, cocoa was trading around $2,988 per ton. Now it’s trading around $1,993 per ton.

So what happened?

“It’s a simple case of supply and demand. Production from the Ivory Coast, which is West Africa’s top producer of cocoa, has a median forecast of 1.90 million tonnes. This is an increase of 20% from the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) estimate of 1.58 million for 2015/16.

“Ghana, which is the second most productive grower, has also seen a rise in production, up 9% from the ICCO estimate for 2015/16 to a median forecast of 850,000 tonnes. Quite simply, there’s far more cocoa available than there was in advance of last Valentine’s Day, which has driven down the price.”

James Trescothick, Reputation and Education Manager at forex and CFD broker easyMarkets

Not only has the impressive crop from West Africa created a surplus, but demand has also impacted on prices this year. A recent industry report is indicating a lower than anticipated demand in North America in the fourth quarter. Nor is it just North America showing a slowdown in demand – Europe is also eating less chocolate. Health-conscious westerners are finally ditching their much-loved sweet treats in favour of more nutritious choices.

It is only Asia that is keeping its appetite for cocoa, but even with demand increasing in that region, it is still not enough to stop the decline.

The International Cocoa Organization is set to release its first forecast for 2016/17 later this month, so only time will tell if the fear of over-supply is real and how prolonged the price decline might last.

For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.

Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Please refer to our full risk disclaimer. Easy Forex Trading Ltd (CySEC – License Number 079/07). Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).

Purpose-built student accommodation welcomed by Exeter Council as universities become reliant on accommodation providers for expansion

Purpose-built student accommodation welcomed by Exeter Council as universities become reliant on accommodation providers for expansion

United Kingdom

Growing student population

During the last academic year, 2015/16, Exeter University had 17,425 students at an undergraduate level. A 7% increase from the year before and a significant 24% increase just 5 years previous. With the student population rising at such speed, the city has had to adapt in order to house its newest residents.


PBSA welcomed by local councils

Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has become an integral part of this process. Karime Hassan, the chief executive of Exeter City Council, recently explained how PBSA is an area which is defining the city. He explained that,

“The council currently has a policy of encouraging PBSA for a variety of reasons. It means more money for the community, frees up more alternative accommodation for families, helps manage the need for student parking and often turn properties that have little chance of alternative regeneration see new life.”


University expansion reliant on PBSA

Exeter University has now joined forces with nearby Falmouth University which is applying to raise the student cap from its present 5,000 enrolled students – a condition attached when the Penryn campus was developed in 2009 – to 7,500 students by 2025.

Peter Cox of Falmouth University described the plan as a “stepped approach” which would only allow more students once accommodation was available for them.

However, having met to discuss the proposal just last week, Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee have deferred a decision until additional details are provided. Councillor Webber confirmed that “further information on purpose built accommodation figures to improve the situation in Falmouth” would be required before anything is finalised, highlighting its importance in today’s student accommodation sector.


PBSA to become the primary accommodation choice

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO of luxury student accommodation provider Collegiate AC, which already operates PBSA sites in Exeter, comments,

“2017 will see PBSA continue to flourish, becoming the primary accommodation choice in a growing number of UK university towns and cities. And the city of Exeter is leading the way by embracing this change and answering the growing demand from both the student population and local councils.

“With three premier sites in the city already, and another new residence to be announced imminently, Collegiate AC are proud to lead the way in such a transformation and look forward to welcoming Exeter’s undergrads to the superior student lifestyle our properties provide.”


What PBSA is available in Exeter?

Hot off the press is Collegiate AC’s newest addition to its PBSA offerings in Exeter, Clifton Place. A community comprised of six bedroom townhouses, two and three bedroom apartments and individual studios. With prices starting from £153 a week, residents will have access to a communal gym, private cinema room, and a student lounge and games room. Bookings will be available soon for September 2017.

An existing, and extremely popular, residence in Exeter is Picturehouse Apartments. Just a five-minute walk from Exeter city centre, Picturehouse Apartments are ideal for both individuals and friends. With CCTV, secure electronic entry, on-site concierge and 24-hour on-call support, these secure properties are both beautiful and fully functional.

From £122 a week, and with a range of contemporary studio, two, three and five bed apartments, Picturehouse also offers additional facilities that include a private on-site gym, games and reading rooms, in-house cinema and free high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi.

For more information, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit www.collegiate-ac.com.

2017’s ultimate kitchen trends

2017’s ultimate kitchen trends

United Kingdom ,
  • Zoning being used to create cutting edge kitchens
  • Metallic finishes featuring strongly this year
  • Kitchen tech providing everything from hidden hobs to vanishing taps

The kitchen is the heart of the home. The epicentre of a family’s nourishment, a space for informal socialising with family members and close friends, and the place from which all manner of delicious scents and flavours emanate.

An outstanding kitchen should also be a feast for the eyes, as well as the other senses, explains John Harvey, Managing Director at Lida Cucina. He comments,

“We’re seeing some amazing innovations in terms of kitchen design and dressing at the moment. 2017 is going to be an exciting year from new tech to exciting materials, there has never been more choice when it comes to kitchen interior design.”

The kitchen designers at Lida Cucina are experts at creating kitchens that both serve a practical purpose and look superb. Based on their knowledge, MD John Harvey has put together his list of top kitchen interior design trends for creating the ultimate 2017 kitchen.

Lida Cucina’s 2017 ultimate kitchen interior design trends

  1. Zoning

“The concept of the traditional working triangle has gone,” comments John Harvey. “It’s all about zoning in 2017 – the ultimate kitchen this year will have a prep zone, a cooking zone, a wet zone and a refrigeration zone.”

The type and number of appliances in the kitchen has changed dramatically in recent years. Oven types now include single, combi, steam, sous-vide, microwave, and those complemented by warming drawers. The cooking zone needs to accommodate these and a wide range of other appliances.

The prep zone is also gadget-heavy, with everything from juicers to spiralizers needing to be accounted for, along with a prep sink. The main sink is obviously in the wet zone, along with the dishwasher.  Meanwhile the refrigeration zone is home to the fridge, freezer and wine chiller.

  1. Islands

Islands remain a hugely popular trend, and 2017 sees them combined with the zoning concept to create a kitchen that is at once practical and beautiful.

The ultimate kitchen this year has islands linked by bridge-style counters and a breakfast bar. A formal, built-in table connecting the islands is also on trend.

  1. Kitchen tech

Kitchen tech is certainly not limited to portable appliances. Hidden features and opening functions are allowing kitchens to appear incredibly sleek and stylish, with only a wave of the hand or the push of a button needed to make taps, sinks, hobs and more miraculously appear.

Under-worktop induction hobs will be a key trend in 2017, according to the Lida Cucina team, with just a small panel used to control an essentially invisible hob.

Boiler taps are also coming of age, with more manufacturers joining the marketplace and driving both innovations in design and reductions in price. Top brand ZIP’s latest tap, for example, now supplies not just boiling water, but also hot, cold, chilled and sparkling filtered water.

  1. Metallics

Kitchens are all about metallics when it comes to appearance in 2017. Warm metal finishes, achieved either through multi tonal lacquers or the use of actual metals, will be present for doors and cabinetry. For doors, a range of superb, ultra-thin metal doors is about to hit the market and will be an important trend this year.

“2017 kitchen design is all about sleek design that accommodates the latest advances in technology while also looking stunning,” concludes Lida Cucina’s John Harvey. “Taking a professional approach to designing or redesigning your kitchen can make it the true heart of your home, while also adding value to the property. It’s going to be a big year for kitchens!”

For more information, visit Lida Cucina at www.lidacucina.co.uk, email info@lidacucina.co.uk or call 0118 932 0828.

All you need is love to succeed in Liverpool’s lucrative property market

All you need is love to succeed in Liverpool’s lucrative property market

United Kingdom
  • “Parts of the city that never benefitted from the early 2000s property boom are starting to come to life” (Aspen Woolf)
  • “Everybody buys with some sort of emotion, even if you’re an investor” (Aspen Woolf)
  • New Eldon Grove carefully designed to preserve the site’s heritage while serving the needs of a new generation

“Liverpool has grown at an unprecedented rate in recent years and this is set to continue over the short to medium term. There are parts of the city which never really benefitted from the early 2000s property boom; so many areas were left behind compared to neighboring Leeds & Manchester. Now Liverpool’s certainly making up for lost time and we’re seeing run down areas of the city really start to come to life.”

Oliver Ramsden, Founder & Director, Aspen Woolf

 

Speaking with Oliver Ramsden, Founder & Director of Aspen Woolf, leaders in providing wealth building opportunities for investors through property, it’s clear that Liverpool’s housing market is definitely one to watch in 2017.

Sharing his expert insight into the city’s current property climate, he advises that savvy investors will start to use both heart and head when choosing the next addition to their portfolio.

“Whilst of course there’s a lot of new stock coming to market, we would advise investors to go for strategic locations and unique builds like historic Grade II listed Eldon Grove. With new builds sprouting up, it is the historical developments, the ones with a real story behind them that have the highest resale value.

“At the end of the day, everybody buys with some sort of emotion, even if you’re an investor. Eldon Grove is one of those buildings, it instantaneously invokes emotion. It’s a beautiful building and there’s nothing that compares on the market today.”

Eldon Grove provided some of the best pre-war social housing built by Liverpool city council. Forming part of a labourers’ village, it set a new standard for the whole country and was officially opened by the Countess of Derby in 1912. The layout, with its central square, well-maintained garden and bandstand, along with the chocolate-box look, helped create a vibrant community, lifting up some of Liverpool’s poorest residents. Eldon Grove was deemed an integral part of local history in 1993 when the building was granted Grade II-listed status.

Oliver continues,

“I think there is definitely room for more new-build homes within Liverpool but investors should start looking more selectively. Don’t just go for any new-build simply because there is a demand for housing. Even though there are about 11 people scrambling to buy any one property, an investor should really start paying stronger attention to the resale value of an investment. As mentioned, a building that has strong local roots will really go a long way as it offers the same benefits as any new build development would but with the added value of having a real ‘life’ behind it.”

Oliver goes on to explain how Eldon Grove, exclusively available through Aspen Woolf, is strongly supported by the council and that the local community is excited to see the building brought back to life.

We are excited to help revitalise such a beautiful and historic part of Liverpool. The New Eldon Grove is investing in the community and bringing new possibilities to this proud area.”

Set within peaceful surroundings, yet on the edge of the vibrant Liverpool city centre, the New Eldon Grove offers the perfect balance of past and present comprised of 45 apartments including 1,2 and 3 bedroom units.

Incorporating three original Grade II-listed blocks alongside three new blocks of stylish and contemporary apartments, New Eldon Grove has been carefully designed to preserve the heritage of the site while serving the needs of a new generation.

Apartments situated in the original blocks have been re-imagined for 21st century living, with fully modernised fitted kitchens and bathrooms, while benefiting from the character of the Victorian buildings, with mullioned bay windows and their own front doors leading from the external walkways.

New Eldon Grove residents will also benefit from a community garden and shared landscaping, as well as parking, bicycle storage and secured entrance hallways. From just £94,950, with ready to rent furniture packs available, New Eldon Grove provides investors with an assured 2-year NET rental of 7%.

For more information, visit www.aspenwoolf.co.uk or contact Aspen Woolf on +44 203 176 0060.

The high street is dead – long live online shopping!

The high street is dead – long live online shopping!

United Kingdom
  • Online retailing took highest share of retail spend on record in last quarter (BRC-KPMG)
  • £1 in every £4 of non-food spending now consistently online (BRC)
  • “Online will be the primary driver of like-for-like sales growth” (HSBC)
  • New Jive Hippo® online membership site saves £9,812 per year for the average member

New figures from the BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor have shown that online retailers captured the highest share of the total retail spend (excluding food) on record in the three months to January 2017.

A spokesperson for brand new online membership brand Jive Hippo® comments,

“Both on-and off-line retail is slowing at present, as money-conscious consumers recover from their Christmas spending and wait out the build-up to Article 50 being triggered. However, the shift to online retail presents a significant trend – one which traditional high street brands need to think very carefully about if they are to remain relevant in the UK marketplace.”

Online sales (excluding food products) grew by 8.6% year-on-year in the three months to January. That compares to total non-food sales growth of just 0.3% for the UK.

Almost a quarter (24.9%) of all retail spending on non-food products was conducted online in the three months January 2017, with online sales contributing 2.9% to year-on-year growth (compared with a contribution of -2.6% by in-store sales).

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, comments,

“As with total sales, online sales in January were set against a strong comparative period, as January 2016 recorded the highest growth of last year. However, with £1 in every £4 of non-food spending being spent online consistently over the last three months, this provided enough momentum to largely shield online growth from the slowdown of non-food sales overall. It was stores that bore the brunt of the slowdown; posting their deepest three-month decline on record as the demand during retailers’ clearance sales was predominantly online.”

For many traditional high street stores, demand simply failed to pick up after their seasonal clearance events ended. Consumers are too focused on battening down the hatches in advance of whatever storm the Brexit process may or may not bring.

With considerably lower overheads, online retailers are suffering far less. The ease with which consumers can shop online and the growing purchasing power of Millennials have led to a shift in the market that continues to be felt. Analysts at HSBC have confirmed,

“Online will be the primary driver of like-for-like sales growth… This confirms the structural shift away from high fixed cost bricks and mortar retailing.”

The new Jive Hippo® membership site, JiveHippo.club, blends the growing relevance of online retail with shoppers’ need to save money. It offers members significant savings on everyday products, from electronics to travel to household items. Jive Hippo’s® spokesperson confirms,

“The new Jive Hippo® site is certainly of the moment. It balances out consumers’ lifestyle requirements with the reality of living in a time of such political uncertainty. Member discounts mean that shoppers can still purchase the goods they desire, but make a saving at the same time. A typical customer using Jive Hippo® for their everyday purchases, as well as two holidays per year, can save £9,812 each year. That’s what consumers really need right now.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail, KPMG, echoes the comment,

“Online retail channels will continue to grow in popularity, and with increased pricing pinching the consumer purse, retailers will need to balance price, personalisation and customer experience seamlessly in order to grab the attention of their customers.”

With the high street struggling, it is the new generation of retailers such as Jive Hippo® that will become the cornerstone of the UK marketplace.

For more information, please visit JiveHippo.club, JiveHippo.travel, JiveHippo.net and JiveHippo.co.uk. You can also email Plans@JiveHippo.club or call 0800 0664 692.