Ethical property investment: Can your money do more?

Ethical property investment: Can your money do more?

United Kingdom
  • Green and ethical retail funds account for £15 billion of UK investment (EIRIS)
  • Ethical investment accounts for around 1.2% of all funds (Investment Management Association)
  • Ethical property investment set to go mainstream as investors no longer need to balance ethics with their bottom line (Properties of the World)

“Ethical investment is not a new concept in the UK, but it could well be on the brink of a revolution that will see a sharp and sudden rise in popularity.”

According to Jean Liggett, Founder and Managing Director of Properties of the World, ethical investment in the UK is long overdue a shakeup.

While investors have had access to ethical funds since 1984, uptake has remained low, at a fairly static rate of around 1.2% of all money invested in funds for the last decade or so, according to the Investment Management Association. Indeed, figures from sustainable investment research specialists EIRIS released in 2015 indicate that total investment in green and ethical retail funds in the UK was just over £15 billion: a drop in the ocean when one considers the overall investment picture.

But this formerly ‘niche’ form of investment could be about to hit the mainstream. Jean Liggett explains,

“A lot of ethical investment opportunities relate to particular causes or to the environment. That’s a great idea, but it relies on the investor being interested in those particular causes over and above the attractions of making money elsewhere.

“What we’re seeing now – and where Properties of the World is seeking to lead the way – is a new breed of ethical investment opportunity that appeals to a far broader pool of investors. We’re working with regular property investors looking to make their money do more – a stable, profitable investment with ethical benefits included.”

Bricks, mortar and ethics is not a new concept and there have been some notable successes, mainly in the form of companies providing office space for third sector and community organisations, but again the target market was restricted. The beauty of new ethical investment opportunities, according to Liggett, is that they don’t differ from those that are, well, less ethical.

A regular property investor, for example, looks for healthy yields. An investment offering circa 8% NET rental returns for 25 years holds instant appeal. A low price point (say, £58,500) and a developer with established credentials further add to the attractions. Indeed, many investors in the Wagon’s Way care home in northern England don’t even discover the ethical element of the investment until they’ve already been won over by the numbers.

At the same time, investors ‘with a conscience’ are pushing for property investments that stand out from the crowd based on their social or ethical credentials. At Wagon’s Way, the concept is simple: everybody wins. The 58 bed, high quality, nursing and dementia specific care home from Qualia Care Developments is raising the bar for standards of care for elderly individuals with dementia, regularly exceeding the requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC – the UK government regulatory body for care homes).

Qualia Care specializes in purchasing purpose-built, completed facilities in the North of England and using private funds to renovate and reinvigorate them. When an investor purchases a room, they buy a 125-year leasehold with a fixed rental. The money enables Qualia Care to renovate to an extremely high standard to make the home available to elderly residents who would otherwise be unlikely to be able to afford such a superb standard of care. The investor wins and so does the resident.

Incidentally, so does the local authority and the government, which is faced with an ageing population and the fact that a longer life doesn’t always mean a better standard of living.

In the area of northern England in which Wagon’s Way is based, one in four people will be aged 65+ by 2050, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics. That’s an increase of 56.3% since 2012. Meanwhile the Alzheimer’s Society has reported that the 850,000 UK residents with dementia in 2015 is on track to grow to more than 1 million by 2025 and to over 2 million by 2051.

Demand for high quality care is set to continue increasing and the government needs to find new ways to fund it in order to provide dignity for all in later life. The increasing engagement of property investors with the care sector has certainly come at the right time.

“It’s one of those rare moments when everything comes together at once to usher in the start of a new era,” concludes Properties of the World’s Jean Liggett. “We’ve seen the ethical property sector in Australia really flourish over the last few years and now it’s the UK’s time to shine. Let’s shake up the concept of mainstream property investment by showing that every investor can afford to have decent ethics, without it being at the expense of their bottom line.”

For further details visit www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk, email info@propertiesoftheworld.co.uk or call the team on +44 (0)20 7624 5555.

“Immediate lift” of Oxford property prices to result from new direct high speed rail connection with London

“Immediate lift” of Oxford property prices to result from new direct high speed rail connection with London

United Kingdom
  • Direct high speed London-Oxford connection to launch on 12 December (Chiltern Railways)
  • Journey time of 60 mins will “make Oxford an even better proposition for commuters” (Property Frontiers)
  • 100,000 new homes required across Oxfordshire by 2031 (Oxfordshire Growth Board)

Oxford-based property expert Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, has expressed anticipation of an immediate lift in house prices in the city, in light of the news that the new direct high speed rail line between Oxford and London Marylebone will be open and operational from 12 December.

Withers explains,

“The new line will provide an enormous boost to both cities. Everyone in the Oxford area will benefit from improved connectivity and less congestion, and I expect property values in the centre to get an immediate lift as Oxford will be more accessible for those who work near Marylebone/West end.

“We’ve already seen a dramatic upswing in property prices in places like Kidlington near to Oxford Parkway, the most recent station to open on this line and although Oxford has been voted one of the most expensive places to live, I think this will bolster prices further.

“This project promises to make Oxford an even better proposition for commuters and businesses with close links to the capital, but it will also hugely open up central Oxford and the Cotswolds to Londoners to take advantage of the culture and natural beauty on offer here.”

The direct high speed connection between Oxford and London has been eagerly awaited. The railway line took some £320 million to complete and included the opening of Oxford Parkway station in October 2015. The final track installations needed to enable the direct connection to London sought to convert an old branch line into a 100 mph mainline. With the work complete, Chiltern Railway services has been able to timetable the first trains for 12 December, just in time for Oxford’s residents to pop into the capital for a spot of Christmas shopping.

With a journey time of just 60 minutes and two trains per hour, the newly opened line will certainly be an early Christmas present for those living in Oxford and working in London, providing them with an alternative to the oft-congested M40 and A40. The A40 stretch between London and Oxford topped Ultimate Directory’s list of the UK’s busiest roads, alongside the M25. By relieving some of the pressure on the road network, the new train line is tipped to provide a further boost to Oxford’s credentials as a commuter city for the capital (in addition to the city’s own countless charms).

Housing in Oxford is something of a contentious issue. Nobody seems to disagree with the fact that more houses are needed. Oxford City Council’s growth strategy states that 24,000-32,000 new homes are needed between 2011 and 2031, while the Oxfordshire Growth Board has stated that 100,000 new homes are required across the county as a whole in that timescale.

The controversy arises when it comes to planning precisely where to locate those new homes. 14,300 of the new homes needed in Oxford have been assigned to be built in the local authorities surrounding the city, as Oxford itself is struggling to find the space to meet demand thanks to its large swathes of protected land and the need to protect its internationally recognised skyline of ‘dreaming spires,’ as christened by the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold.

The new train line is set to create even more demand for homes in Oxford, with the city expected to return to property hotspot status as a result. House prices in the city have already risen by 27.5% in the past five years, according to Zoopla. With the new train line opening towards the end of this year, homeowners in the city can reasonably expect to look forward to another substantial boost.

For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting www.propertyfrontiers.com or calling the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Andalucian Open returns to ‘Costa del Golf’ as golfers go in search of the perfect pad close to the fairway

Andalucian Open returns to ‘Costa del Golf’ as golfers go in search of the perfect pad close to the fairway

Spain
  • 68% of golf courses in Spain directly or indirectly linked with a real estate development (Real Federación Española de Golf)
  • Time it takes to sell a property in the Costa del Sol has reduced by over half (Aguirre Newman)
  • Taylor Wimpey España open new show home at Horizon Golf development in Mijas

The prestigious Andalucian Open is returning to one of Europe’s most idyllic golfing destinations, the Costa del Sol, this September.

The event, held between 22nd and 25th September, is set to be broadcasted to over 100 countries and will see pro golfers Lydia Ko and Michele Wie go head to head. Having hosted over fifty tournaments in the last four decades, this region of Spain is more than prepared for the thousands of visitors due to attend this prestigious event.

As the Costa del Sol continues to host international events, the golfing prowess of the area is causing local property to become increasingly desirable to fans of the sport. The latest figures released by the Real Federación Española de Golf show that 68% of golf courses in Spain now have a direct or indirect link with a real estate development and it seems those situated on the Costa del Sol are firm favourites.

According to the most recent statistics from property consulting agency Aguirre Newman, the time it takes for a property to go on the market for sale in Spain and then be purchased by a buyer has been reduced by more than half this year. Further emphasising the growing demand is the number of new builds being introduced to the market which has increased by nearly 5% in comparison with 2015 figures. The first rise of this kind since 2007.

Seeking to provide the perfect property for golf lovers, leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España has recently announced that the highly anticipated show house within their Horizon Golf community is now available to view.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey España believes golf properties are favourable with holiday home buyers and investors alike. He explains,

“For fans of the sport, golf properties provide the idyllic base for any holiday or retirement plans with high quality facilities right on the doorstep. Buyers should consider properties near a golf course that is also considered a resort, offering an array of additional facilities to keep the non-golf players in the party equally as happy. Down on the Costa del Sol, also known as the ‘Costa del Golf’, the plentiful sunshine and dry, warm days allow for visits throughout every season or equally an exciting rental opportunity.”

Situated in the beautiful valley of Mijas, Horizon Golf is Taylor Wimpey de España’s second development at La Cala Resort within the complex’s famous Campo Asia golf course. With prices starting from €267,000+VAT, the private gated development offers 55 terraced homes, all with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a cloakroom, as well as 48 2 or 3 bedroom apartments.

Residents will enjoy stunning panoramic views over the golf course and La Cala de Mijas with each property. Horizon Golf features luxury finishes including fully equipped kitchens, air conditioning, designer bathrooms, bedrooms with motorized blinds and secure, fully lined wardrobes.

All properties benefit from 24-hour security, communal gardens and swimming pool, as well as three 18-hole golf courses, a hydrotherapy centre and spa, La Cala Golf Academy school and an array of sports facilities all close by. Residents can reach the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol in just 10 minutes, with Malaga airport only 30 minutes away.

For more information, please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit http://taylorwimpeyspain.com for more information. If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

Viva el vino! Perfect Spanish homes for wine lovers as UNWTO raises a glass to wine tourism

Viva el vino! Perfect Spanish homes for wine lovers as UNWTO raises a glass to wine tourism

Spain
  • Inaugural UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism attracts delegates from nearly 50 countries
  • In Spain, well known La Rioja region is cheapest wine-producing area to buy in (Kyero.com)
  • Dominio de Pingus is Spain’s most expensive wine at $898 per bottle (Wine-Searcher)
  • Catalonian wine region will set oenophiles back the most when it comes to bricks & mortar (Kyero.com)

Wine tourism’s position as an important global element of gastronomic tourism has been cemented by the holding of the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in Georgia. The event attracted tourism experts, wine professionals and policy makers from nearly 50 countries, all looking to expand upon the considerable success of this global tourism sector.

Data compiled by leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com has revealed how wine tourism can play into other factors within a country, such as the property market. Kyero.com’s data reveals the ideal second home locations for all those with a love of Spanish wine.

The world’s third largest wine producer and its biggest wine exporter, Spain has earned a loyal following around the globe for its robust reds, crisp whites and delightfully drinkable rosé wines. Wine tourism in the country is popular among those who want to explore Iberia’s culinary delights. Now, Spanish wine lovers can take their passion one step further and pick up the perfect property as well as the perfect plonk, thanks to Kyero.com, the main source of trusted information on buying a home in Spain.

Martin Dell, Director of Kyero.com, comments,

“Many of those who visit Spain regularly delight in the country’s cuisine and particularly in the wines that are produced here. We wanted to take this one step further and look at how much it would cost to purchase a home in each of Spain’s main wine-producing regions. I think many people will be surprised to find out just how affordable it is to live in the perfect location for enjoying local Spanish wines within easy reach of the vineyards they came from.”

According to the Cámara de Valencia, La Rioja is “considered to be the foremost wine tourism destination in Spain and a world leader in the field.” The area is known for its vibrant and fruity and rosé wines and its distinctive, oak aged reds.

Yet according to the Kyero.com data, La Rioja is the joint cheapest wine region when it comes to purchasing property, coming in at an average of just €1,300 per square metre. Those on a budget can pick up a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment in the pretty city of Logroño – the autonomous community of La Rioja’s capital – for a mere €29,200. That’s the same price as just 70 bottles of the region’s priciest vintage, Contador.

Equally affordable, at €1,300 per square metre, is Cadiz province, in the Andalusia wine-producing region. Prices in the Andalusian city of Jerez de la Frontera – a name which fans of sherry will be familiar with – are even more affordable, at just €1,100 per square metre. But it’s not just bargain basement properties that can be picked up in Jerez. This six bedroom, three bathroom country house estate with swimming pool is priced at €768,750. The accommodation is split across two houses, with excellent equine facilities including stables, tack storage and a barn for hay and raising foals, as well as extensive meadowland and farmland.

Ourense province is the next cheapest wine region when it comes to property purchase prices, coming in at €1,400 per square metre. Home to the Ribeiro Wine Route and part of the autonomous community of Galicia, Ourense is known for its young, light wines full of fruity and floral notes. The whites are particularly good and make the perfect accompaniment to shellfish, cured meats and light cheeses – so perfect for an al fresco lunch in the Spanish sunshine.

Wine lovers looking for a base in Ourense will be delighted by this impressive, seven bedroom 19th century manor house, which comes with swimming pool, three car garage and plenty of land, including mature walnut, hazelnut, palm, oak, chestnut, magnolia, fig and cherry trees complete with automated irrigation system. The property is on the market for €450,000.

At the other end of the price scale in Ourense comes this two storey house with 70m2 vineyard for just €16,000. Needless to say the property could do with some work, but it does have running water and comes with five pieces of land that cover more than an acre, so would make an ideal project for someone looking to take their love of Spanish wine to the next level by owning their own vineyard.

Over in Burgos, one of just four provinces where Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero wines are produced, property prices reach an average of €1,450 per square metre, according to Kyero.com. The area has more than 170 wineries and 18,000 hectares of vineyards, according to Berry Bros & Rudd. The reds rival those produced in La Rioja, with no whites permitted.

The Ribera del Duero region is famed for being home to Spain’s most expensive wine: Dominio de Pingus, which has an average Wine-Searcher listing price of $898. Not only is the wine produced from a tiny plot of extremely low-yielding tempranillo grapes, but the loss of 75 cases of the already-rare vintage in a shipwreck in 1997 saw the price nearly double.

For less than the price of just 37 bottles of Pingus, oenophiles can pick up an 18th century country home surrounded by forest and rolling countryside in Burgos province. The €29,000 property includes three bedrooms and one bathroom. It is in need of total refurbishment. Two further houses on the same plot are for sale for €50,000, with the owners happy to negotiate for a quick sale, meaning a buyer with the right vision could bag an incredible bargain in this stunning region.

Vastly more expensive than the other regions is Spain’s priciest winemaking area: Barcelona province. Prices in the province as a whole are distorted by the high costs of real estate in the Catalonian capital city, meaning that the average price is €2,250 per square metre.

Catalonia’s wines are as fiercely independent as its people, according to Wine Enthusiast, with full-bodied reds coming from vines that soak up not just the sunshine but also the minerals of the granite, fractured slate and chalk soils in which they are grown.

Wine lovers looking to live close to the region’s vineyards will be delighted by this four bedroom country house with summer porch and pool at Vilafranca del Penedes, which is on the market for €450,000. The spectacular views extend for miles around – perfect for enjoying some of Spain’s best wines in the peace and fresh air of the countryside.

Buyers wanting their own vineyard, rather than a view of someone else’s, have plenty of choice in Spain. Commercial opportunities include this working Chantada vineyard registered on the Board of the Qualified Denomination of Origin Ribeira Sacra, complete with two storey property, for €120,000. An operational wine cooperative near Chantada is also for sale, priced at €450,000. The property comes complete with a hectare of vines and a vast array of modern equipment with a production capacity of 200,000 kg.

Those looking for a slightly smaller scale venture will be delighted by this two bedroom farmhouse with vineyard near Asco and the River Ebro, on the market for €169,000. A tasteful renovation has modernized the property while retaining the original features and there’s even a wine store outbuilding for storing wine produced from the vineyard. What oenophile could ask for more?

For further details on the perfect homes to buy in order to enjoy the wines of Spain, visit www.kyero.com.  

Investors jump through hoops for Hoola in the world’s greatest city for opportunity

Investors jump through hoops for Hoola in the world’s greatest city for opportunity

United Kingdom
  • London retains status as world’s greatest city for opportunity (PriceWaterhouseCoopers)
  • Royal Docks transformation will deliver 24,000 new homes and 60,000 jobs (Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London)
  • New Hoola residential development provides sustainable living in the heart of a vibrant metropolis (Properties of the World)

A recent global ranking compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers has named London as the world’s greatest city for opportunity for the second year running. According to the report, the city’s innovation, economic clout and ease of doing business were just a handful of reasons why London remains on top.

The UK’s Brexit decision, far from being Armageddon has become one of many opportunities London can seize with PwC partner David Snell stating that the vote has created a “major opportunity” for the number one city to “work with regulators, investors and clients in order to shape a new rulebook to fit the new climate”.

London has forever been a city of innovation and the current multi-billion-pound regeneration of the Royal Docks in the east of the city is yet another opportunity for the UK capital to flourish.

The transformation, complete with Crossrail connections and Chinese company ABP London’s Asian Business District, is set to deliver 24,000 new homes and 60,000 jobs according to London’s former Mayor, Boris Johnson, who announced the proposals in March this year.

Jean Liggett, CEO of London-based visionary property consultancy Properties of the World comments,

“A lot has changed in the 161 years since the first of the Royal Docks was built. Today, the area is undergoing extensive regeneration that will transform it into a vibrant metropolis thanks to the upcoming Crossrail and Asian Business District drawing new developments and private investment in.

“Some may feel that the London market has peaked and this indeed might be true in prime central areas (zone 1) however, the Royal Docks is witnessing similar regeneration to that of the Canary Wharf which was transformed into the thriving financial district it is today. Rest assured that during and after the Royal Docks regeneration, property prices will inevitably shoot up making today the best time to invest in an opportunity.”

The opportunities that Jean alludes to include new developments such as Hoola, a sustainable residential complex in the heart of London’s Royal Docks. Available for a time-limited discounted price of £463,000, the 360 apartments will have as little environmental impact on the area as possible through the building’s insulation, as well as the use of surplus heat from the ExCel exhibition centre to provide Hoola’s heating and hot water.

The two vertically identical 23 and 24 storey towers boast stunning rippling glass balconies that surround the apartments as well as floor-to-ceiling windows providing breathtaking skyline views. Offering a range of studio, two, and three-bedroom apartments, each home will benefit from a range of facilities including a gym, resident’s business lounge and concierge services for added peace of mind. A spectacular garden is available to all residents; with soft and hard landscaping that includes semi-miniature trees and dramatic water features. Jean comments,

“Hoola is a stunning building – far superior to other high rise apartments that are being built in London. I was extremely impressed with the generous sizes of the apartments and their large balconies, tiled floors and under-floor heating. As one client said, ‘these are luxurious and spacious apartments that differ from the ‘boxes’ being sold in London.’ No surprises, he is buying. It is also only a 2 minute walk from the DLR.”

Situated within walking distance of London’s upcoming Crossrail, due to be running in 2018, and just minutes from London City Airport and the DLR, Hoola’s transport links are perfect for commuters, tourists and frequent travellers. The apartments are also a just few minutes’ walk away from the Royal Victoria Docks as well as exciting future proposals such as a floating shopping village.

For more information, please visit http://propertiesoftheworld.co.uk/ or call +44 (0)20 7624 5555

 

 

 

Half-term Holiday Hotspot – Tenerife

Half-term Holiday Hotspot – Tenerife

Spain United Kingdom
  • Half-term holiday enquiries already on the rise (Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com)
  • Spain voted most popular family holiday destination (IPK International)
  • Hard Rock Hotel with Roxity Kids Club opens on Tenerife this October (hardrockhotels.com)

Summer may sadly be coming to a close but British families are already thinking about their next chance to escape to the sun.

For most. the autumn half-term will fall week commencing 24th October with families up and down the land looking to book their breaks sooner rather than later according to holiday planning specialists Cheap Holidays Tenerife.

Jodi Beard, Marketing Director of Cheap Holidays Tenerife comments,

“No one wants this summer to end and to avoid thinking about the imminent dreary grey skies that come with the UK winter, families are planning ahead to ensure they can soak up some autumn sun. Booking a family holiday in advance is less stressful, less costly and travelers can enjoy greater choice of accommodation options. We have already had a surge of enquiries since the school summer holidays ended from families looking to book a half-term getaway to Tenerife before accommodation starts to sells out.”

Spain and the Canary Islands have forever been a popular family holiday destination boasting wonderful weather year round, warm waters and beautiful landscapes. Spain was recently named the most popular holiday destination for families according to statistics released by IPK International. IPK stated around 15% of families spend their holidays in Spain with France following as the second most popular destination.

The popularity of the Iberian nation has been echoed by industry analyst GfK with data showing family bookings up 14% on July 2015 with the Canaries and mainland Spain seeing the biggest growth.

The most popular accommodation for families on holiday are hotels. According to IPK more than 50% of families are choosing to stay in hotels during their getaway. IPK also reported steady growth in the hotel market over the last ten years with around a quarter of overnights spent in 4-star hotels.

One popular hotel franchise for families on holiday is the famous Hard Rock Hotel. With Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club offering exclusive kids only, adult-free zones, this string of groovy hotels are perfect for family fun. There are 22 different Hard Rock Hotel destinations globally including the newest addition of the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife that will open its doors this October.

A week’s half-term Hard Rock Tenerife getaway will cost a family of four £1,952.99 through Cheap Holidays Tenerife for flights, accommodation and bed & breakfast in a silver studio suite. Exciting features include a furnished outdoor terrace or balcony, whirlpool bath, rain-effect sensory shower and the much loved “sound of your stay” program which allows holidaymakers to choose tracks and playlists, have a Fender guitar delivered to their room for their own jam session, or learn how to mix with new wave DJ tools and Traktor software.

Other half-term family friendly hotels in Tenerife include the lovely four-star Grand Hotel Callao in Costa Adeje. An all-inclusive one-week holiday (flights, accommodation and meals) for a family of four staying in a double or twin family room with a balcony can be booked for just £2,315 through Cheap Holidays Tenerife. Perfect for families, Grand Hotel Callao boasts a children’s area, two swimming pools and a sun terrace with free sunbeds as well as a range of sporting facilities including 33 tennis courts, a golf pitch and a multi-sport gym.

For more information, please visit http://www.cheap-holidays-tenerife.com/ or call Cheap Holidays Tenerife today on 0800 0124 300.

 

Notes to the Editors

 

Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com offers flights from UK airports, and accommodation in the popular tourist resorts of Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas in south Tenerife. Their team scours the web for the most competitive holiday prices on the market… and then beat them*!

The UK and Tenerife-based call centres are staffed by British advisors, all of whom are dedicated specialists in Tenerife holidays. What’s more, their Tenerife-based advisors have lived on the island itself for an average of ten years, which means they have the ultimate first-hand knowledge to offer great advice to travellers!

Now for the serious bit: The discounts available via Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com are subject to qualification criteria relating to the traveller(s). Please be sure to read this criteria, which can be found in point 4 of the Terms and Conditions. A holiday consultant will then contact you to arrange a Personal Orientation Meeting during your stay, which will involve showing you how to receive similar discounts on all future holidays (not just to Tenerife).

Of course, no customer travelling with Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com is under any obligation whatsoever to accept or to buy any holidays or offers during their Promotional Holiday to Tenerife with Cheap-Holidays-Tenerife.com. However, to qualify for the discounted prices, you’ll still have to meet the qualification criteria mentioned above.

All bookings are subject to availability, and are specific to hotels and/or apartments in these areas of Tenerife.
*subject to Terms and Conditions 

 


Has Brexit stopped Brits from buying?

Has Brexit stopped Brits from buying?

United Kingdom
  • Retail sales surge at fastest rate for 6 months (CBI)
  • Retail sales spiked 1.4% in July (ONS)
  • Brits expecting inflation of 2.2% over next 12 months (Bank of England)
  • Positive employment and GDP figures are giving Brits the confidence to keep buying (easyMarkets)

British shoppers defied Brexit fears over the summer, as retail sales surged at the fastest rate in six months, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI’s survey showed that 35% of retailers reported higher year-over-year sales volumes in August, compared to 26% who said sales were down.

The recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) report showed that retail sales spiked 1.4% in July after a 0.9% drop in June. That was the highest increase since the beginning of the year.

The pursuit of retail therapy may have contributed to slightly more upbeat inflation expectations over the short-term. UK consumer inflation expectations edged up in August but were unchanged over longer term horizons, according to the latest BOE/TNS Inflation Attitudes Survey. When asked about expected inflation one year from now, the median response from Britons was 2.2%, compared with 2% in May. Inflation expectations 12 months after that were also 2.2%, unchanged from the May survey.

There was a noticeable decline in five-year expectations to 3% from 3.4% in May. However, both estimates are well above the BOE’s target rate of 2%.

So why are British shoppers remaining so bold in the face of Brexit? Nikolas Xenofontos, Director of Risk Management at pioneering forex and CFD broker easyMarkets, explains,

“There are a number of reasons that the looming Brexit process has failed to stop Brits from shopping over the summer. We’ve seen a string of upbeat economic reports showing the UK has been absorbing the immediate shock of the Brexit vote and retail sales are the latest data to reinforce this positive message. Data on employment and gross domestic product have surprised to the upside in recent months, painting a picture of a sound economy with strong expectations. Consumers are feeling confident and as such see no reason to curb their spending, regardless of Brexit.”

Rising fuel prices helped push Britain’s inflation rate higher in July, which may have also provided a boost to short-term inflation expectations. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.6% in July, the ONS reported last month. The retail price index (RPI) measure of inflation strengthened to 1.9% from 1.6% in June.

The recent flow of positive economic reports has led some analysts to believe that the threat of Brexit was overhyped, but the Bank of England is not so certain. In August it slashed interest rates to a new record low of 0.25% and added £70 billion to its quantitative easing program in order to stabilize property prices and the overall economy. Clearly the bank is preparing for the worst and if their latest forecast is any indication, the post-Brexit blues are yet to come.

According to the CBI, the unexpected strength in retail sales over the summer stems from a weak British pound, which is making the UK a prime destination for tourists. However, the pound’s double-digit percentage drop since the referendum is also pushing up the price of imports, which will lead to higher inflation over the short-term. This partly explains the recent uptick in consumer inflation expectations. Time will tell whether it leads to an erosion of household purchasing power.

The UK has not yet formally withdrawn from the EU or even indicated its plans for doing so. World leaders have made it perfectly clear that they will not even consider negotiating a new trade deal with Downing Street until the UK and Brussels forge a new trade partnership. That’s precisely the message Prime Minister Theresa May received earlier this month at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. As the political wrangling over Brexit ensues, it remains to be seen whether British shoppers will continue to hit the high street with such a strong degree of optimism.

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

 

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Take your September sun to new heights with these terrific terraces

Take your September sun to new heights with these terrific terraces

Portugal Spain United Kingdom , , , , ,

Make the most of this late September sun with a glass of bubbly and stunning views from these terrific terraces.

Herculaneum Quay, Liverpool

Residents will never want to leave these stunning waterfront apartments. Boasting marvelous views over the River Mersey, all apartments feature floor to ceiling glass with outdoor terraces and balconies to relax and take in the exquisite skyline.

Prices start at £107,130

For more information, please visit http://propertiesoftheworld.co.uk/ or call +44 20 7624 5555

Water Lane Apartments, Bristol

Whether you’re relaxing with a book, having a drink with some friends or working on an assignment, Water Lane’s pretty garden terrace allows university students to make the most of the Bristol sunshine. Other wonderful facilities include a private gym, on-site cinema, dinner party room and a club lounge for residents.

Prices start from £160 per week

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

Santa Ponsa Villa, Mallorca

With sunshine all year round and idyllic sea views, this wonderful terrace plays the perfect host for any occasion. Situated in the stunning Santa Ponsa area of Mallorca, the villa boasts 4 large en-suite bedrooms, a living and dining area, fully equipped kitchen, private gardens and a pool.

Prices start at €1,395,000

For further details, visit www.kyero.com

Horizon Golf, Mijas, Costa del Sol

These beautiful homes afford spacious terraces perfect for al fresco dining where residents can enjoy breathtaking views of the prestigious Campo Asia golf course. All properties benefit from communal gardens and a swimming pool where you can enjoy bright Costa del Sol days and warm Mediterranean evenings.

Prices start at €267,000+VAT

For more information, please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit http://taylorwimpeyspain.com

The Divine Collection, Digbeth, Birmingham

Soak up the last of the summer sun on The Divine Collection’s private roof garden. The grassy garden is perfect for entertaining friends or taking in a breath of fresh air. Comprised of a selection of 30 hand-picked apartments, The Divine Collection offers sophisticated, elegant homes with a spacious design and luxurious fit out.

Prices start at £159,500

For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting http://www.propertyfrontiers.com/ or calling the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Luxury ocean view property, Salgados, Algarve

Prepare for stunning ocean views from this exquisite villa in the popular Salgados. The living areas of this luxurious villa lead out onto the terraces and gardens through floor to ceiling glass doors. On the second floor is a large south facing terrace offering wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean and pretty coastline for miles.

Prices start at €2,250,000

For more information, contact Ideal Homes Portugal on 0800 133 7644 or visit http://www.idealhomesportugal.com

It’s back to school for investors as UK student accommodation “less vulnerable to Brexit shock” reports JLL

It’s back to school for investors as UK student accommodation “less vulnerable to Brexit shock” reports JLL

United Kingdom
  • UK student property predicted to be “top of the asset class” for investors (JLL)
  • Enquiries for student property investments up 11% in H1 2016 (StudentProperty.Investments)
  • Salford PBSA student accommodation scene thrives offering 6.6% NET returns (Properties of the World)

With a record 493,100 individuals placed for the 2016/17 academic year (UCAS, 30/8/16), more students than ever are choosing the path of full-time higher education in the UK.

Since A-level results were announced, the experts at Jones Lang LaSallle (JLL) have released predictions that UK student property will be “top of the asset class” for investors with rental growth of up to 5% projected.

The JLL UK Student Housing Quarterly Bulletin (2016 Q2 Review) also stated that the Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) sector looks “less vulnerable to the Brexit shock in comparison to other property sectors” with the student housing team projecting strong occupier and investment demand as well as student occupancy and appealing income growth for the new academic year.

Jean Liggett, CEO of visionary property consultancy, Properties of the World, which has successfully sold numerous PBSA units across the UK, comments,

“The PBSA market has been rising exponentially for a number of years now with transaction volumes of £1 billion in 2011 growing to £5.7 billion in 2015 accordingly to the latest JLL data. Even with the uncertainty left by Brexit, the outlook for the UK student housing sector remains bright with JLL projecting transaction volumes of £3.5 billion this year. It’s time savvy UK property buyers got back to school and invested in PBSA.”

This positive outlook is echoed by Dan Johnson, Director of StudentProperty.Investments which has already seen a significant rise in student property investment enquiries this year. He comments,

“In H1 2016, we have seen a substantial 11% rise in overall enquiries for UK student property investments compared to the total number of enquiries received in 2015. Demand for student properties is not just from UK buyers but from all over the world as international investors seek to take advantage of a weak Pound and higher than average residential buy-to-let returns.”

One UK university city, named by Savills as offering “First Class” opportunities for student housing development, is Manchester. Home to one of the largest student populations in Europe, Greater Manchester ranked in StudentProperty.Investments’s top 10 most popular counties in England for student property investment in H1 2016 with enquiries in July rising 19% month-on-month along with the city of Salford.

Despite being home to 19,678 students (2015/16), university-operated accommodation at the University of Salford accounts for only 14% of rooms making new PBSA opportunities such as X1 The Campus, available to invest in through Properties of the World, more attractive than ever for both students and investors alike.

Situated right on the corner of the University of Salford Frederick Road Campus, X1 The Campus is within walking distance of an eclectic range of local pubs, bars, public transport (Salford Crescent station is just ten-minute’s walk away), green spaces and much more. Ideally located for Salford students, many of the department buildings where lectures are held are less than five minutes’ walk away from the stylish studios.

Attracting both UK and international students, X1 The Campus consists of 271 modern apartments across eight floors ranging from standard studios to stunning penthouse studios. All apartments are furnished to the highest of standards and boast a variety of exclusive facilities including a state-of-the-art private gymnasium, cinema room, laundry room and large common rooms, as well as secure bicycle storage and a management office for added peace of mind.

With prices starting at £89,995, X1 The Campus is offers a competitive, hassle-free buy-to-let opportunity, that is exempt from stamp duty, fully managed 24/7 with no additional costs and an estimated annual NET return of 6.6%. Completion is due in August, 2018 perfectly in time for the 2018/19 academic year.

For more information, please visit http://propertiesoftheworld.co.uk/ or call +44 (0)20 7624 5555

 

Where to buy in 2017? Follow May’s Metro Mayors!

Where to buy in 2017? Follow May’s Metro Mayors!

United Kingdom , ,
  • 7 UK regions seeking elected mayors in 2017 (Centre for Cities)
  • Watch the correlation between elected mayors and 2017 property hotspots (Property Frontiers)
  • Mayors’ power to make joined up decisions on housing, transport and skills will benefit cities (Surrenden Invest)
  • Stronger cities mean more choice for housing investment (Properties of the World)

2016 is a landmark year in terms of the UK’s devolution agenda. The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act received Royal Assent and came into force as law in the UK on 28 January 2016. The law allows for ‘combined authorities’ to take on greater powers than under previous legislation, provided they have an elected metro mayor in place. As a result, seven UK cities/areas are planning to elect mayors in May 2017, according to Centre for Cities.

Metro mayors will have the authority to manage their area with a far more localised approach than was previously possible. Their powers exceed those of regular councillors and they can thus have a wider impact. Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, offers investment properties such as The Divine Collection in cities like Birmingham, which will fall under the leadership of the West Midlands metro mayor when elected next year. He comments,

“The appointment of metro mayors could mean a significant boost to the property sectors in certain areas of the UK. The correlation between those areas electing mayors and the property hotspots of 2017 definitely bears watching.

“London is a prime example. We’ve seen mayors in the capital push through housing programmes that other cities could definitely benefit from. Sadiq Khan’s affordable housing programme is precisely the kind of move that can stimulate a local property market and it’s exciting that Birmingham and other large cities will soon be able to benefit from similar measures.”

As such, Birmingham is one property hotspot to watch in 2017. Liverpool, which will also be benefitting from an elected mayor, is another. Metro mayors will be able to set the strategic direction of their city/area in a way that knits together local housing, transport and skills.

Managing Director Jonathan Stephens, of Surrenden Invest, is excited about Liverpool’s potential under such an arrangement, with developments such as Strand Plaza looking to reap the benefits. He explains,

“The election of a metro mayor for the Liverpool City Region is excellent news. We’re anticipating a strong local impact, particularly as the mayor will be able to make joined up decisions about housing. Rather than relying solely on national decision makers or the whims of individual local authorities, Liverpool will be able to take a strategic approach to its own future. It will be a great time to be part of the property sector there – we’re definitely hoping for a mayor-inspired boom in this region.”

Stephens’ comments are echoed by those of Jean Liggett, CEO of visionary property investment consultancy, Properties of the World. With investment properties available in cities including Sunderland, Hartlepool and Manchester, all of which will fall under the remit of directly elected mayors come 2017, she is keen to see the impact that the new metro mayors will have. Liggett comments,

“The devolution of power to metro mayors could spell excellent news for local UK property markets. I’ll be watching all of the metro mayor regions closely during the latter half of 2017 to see what the mayors there can achieve in terms of creating local property hotspots. Ultimately, metro mayors should be able to make their cities more powerful and better cities are a good choice for housing investment. Smart investors will certainly be buying with metro mayor regions in mind as we head towards the elections in May.”

For more information, please contact:

Property Frontiers: +44 1865 202 700 or www.propertyfrontiers.com

Surrenden Invest: +44 203 3726 499 or www.surrendeninvest.com

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