The new Silicon State: Florida boosted by medical cash injection

The new Silicon State: Florida boosted by medical cash injection

United States
  • Visit Florida bringing new $2.5 million grant to state’s medical tourism industry
  • Set to dramatically grow demand for local housing stock for both visitors and workers
  • Brookes & Co’s The Club at Sunset Lake offers chance to capitalise on investment opportunity

Tourism has long-since been Florida’s economic mainstay, with the state – and it’s vacation-epicentre of Orlando – becoming synonymous with Micky Mouse, theme parks, year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and family holidays. Yet, the Sunshine State is not resting on its laurels, not content just to be the world’s entertainment forerunner, a new money-maker is in town and it is set to shake the region’s tourist industry up.

In an unparalleled move by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism body, a brand new $2.5 million grant programme has been announced to support the growth of the state’s medical tourism industry, setting Florida up as the go-to US destination for medical procedures, including cosmetic surgery. The new grant will be used to greater promote the medical tourism services on offer in Florida, as well as to encourage more medical professionals to make the state the location of choice for their industry meetings, conferences and training courses, in turn boosting the sector considerably in a move that is the first of its kind.

This boost is set to see a dramatic effect on the local economy, bolstering the state’s finances directly through spending but also by expanding the need for housing stock, be it for those visiting or for the increasing number of workers being employed in the medical industry in the vicinity.

Not only looking to attract domestic US medical tourists, the new approach for the Florida tourism industry is also aiming to attract worldwide visitors looking to marry their medical procedures with the confidence of being treated in the US and the relaxed atmosphere and warm climate of the ever-popular Sunshine State. And cosmetic surgery in the US is increasingly big business. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the number of such procedures grew by 6.5% from 2012 to 2013, with Transparency Market Research (TMR) revealing that the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) is due to increase by a staggering 17.9% from 2013 to 2019 globally.

With the South Atlantic Region that includes Florida making up some 19% (310,441) of the country’s total cosmetic procedures in 2013, up 1% on 2012’s figure of 292,579 (according to ASAPS), and the injection of the new grant on the horizon, this is set to expand on a large scale for the new ‘Silicon State’. Philip Button, Managing Director of leading property investment company, Brookes & Co, who have been working in the Florida market for over a decade, explains,

“There is no denying that in today’s body-conscious society, cosmetic surgery is big business and with current estimates stating that $5.2billion is already being spent by 375,000 of the US population on medical tourism in Florida, it is clear that the Sunshine State has more to offer than just the traditional fun-in-the-sun image it has become world-renowned for. And with $2.5 million set to be injected into the market to further develop this potential, the opportunities for growth are immense.”

And Florida is already making inroads into this growth. The ground-breaking 650 acre Lake Nona Medical City, being developed in Orlando that is due to be completed in 2017, is not only on track to create 30,000 jobs but also to generate $7.6 billion wealth for the economy, an undeniable impact. The results of this are that not only are there increasingly ample opportunities for investment in the Florida property in market for renting to visiting medical tourists but also for savvy investors to buy into the domestic market set to boom as a result of the growing jobs in the sector.

One such project that illustrates this growth opportunity is Brookes & Co’s Orlando project, The Club at Sunset Lake, whose successful first phase that sold out in record time can in part be attributed to the close proximity to Lake Nona Medical City. Seeing the launch of a highly anticipated phase two of the development, now is the opportune time for buyers to secure their part of this investment project that offers a 5-year rental guarantee with a 6% return after all costs.

The Club at Sunset Lake has been designed to meet the needs of Florida residents who are seeking rental properties of a superior standard, whilst being close to all amenities and boasting facilities of the highest quality. The luxurious facilities, including an exclusive club house and swimming pool, fitness centre and spa, sports courts and cycle paths, as well as a lake-front park and picnic area, ensure that The Club at Sunset Lake makes the most of its beautiful setting. The spacious two, three or four bedroom properties are priced from £96,950, the larger also with garages.

For more information about The Club at Sunset Lake and buying in Florida, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk 

What a difference two years makes! Florida rises fast in the rankings as market flourishes

What a difference two years makes! Florida rises fast in the rankings as market flourishes

United States
  • Florida rises 15 places in ‘24/7 Wall St Best and Worst Run States in America’ rankings from 42nd in 2012 to 27th in 2014
  • Florida placed fifth in a ranking of the best business climates in the US (Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index)
  • Brookes & Co offering excellent opportunity to invest in growing market through The Club at Sunset Lake

Just two years ago, in 2012, prospects for the US’ ‘Sunshine State’ were less than bright, with skies having clouded over during the economic downturn and no real signs of a break in the grey. The state was placed at 42nd in the ‘24/7 Wall St Best and Worst Run States in America’ rankings, with economic recovery seeming little more than a glimmer of hope on the distant horizon. Yet just two years on, Florida has risen 15 places in the rankings to take its place at 27th. Having moved up ten places in the last year alone, the state has made confident strides in this important ranking that measures key financial ratios, as well as social and economic outcomes and in turn provides a thorough measure of the monetary health of America’s states, some would say ‘the state of the states’.

Yet these are not the only encouraging signs for Florida as it progresses in leaps and bounds. Debt per capita has dropped to $1,952 – the ninth lowest in the country – and the state has been awarded credit ratings of AAA by S&P and Aa1 by Moody’s. The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index has also recognised Florida’s progress of late, placing it fifth in a ranking of the best business climates in the US. Though the current unemployment rate, at 7.2%, remains a little above the national average, it has contracted massively over the past two years and Florida is today seen by many as an excellent place to do business.

Florida is not, however, merely a place in which to work, although many do commute to the region for business purposes, many others relocate to the state for employment reasons in a permanent move that in turn has a knock-on effect on the domestic property market. For according to the 24/7 Wall St report, 3.2% of Florida’s population had migrated to the state since mid-2010, as Philip Button, Managing Director of leading property investment company, Brookes & Co, explains,

“Some 600,000 people from other states and from overseas have moved to Florida within the last few years and this influx has put pressure on the region’s housing resource. Professionals moving into the area seek out accommodation that meets their standards and this in turn provides excellent opportunities, growing opportunities as the workforce grows, for investment in the domestic property market.”

Brookes & Co’s recently launched Florida project, The Club at Sunset Lake is situated in Orlando and offers exactly this kind of opportunity to invest in the flourishing domestic market. The project has been designed to meet the needs of Florida residents who are seeking rental properties of a superior standard, whilst being close to all amenities and boasting facilities of the highest quality.

The luxurious facilities, including an exclusive club house and swimming pool, fitness centre and spa, sports courts and cycle paths, as well as a lake-front park and picnic area, ensure that The Club at Sunset Lake makes the most of its beautiful setting. Properties are spacious, the larger properties also with garages, and range through two, three and four bedroom properties.

Supporting the development of Florida’s high spec housing offering, the opportunity speaks to the strength of Florida’s recovery, with investors looking to be part of the Sunshine State’s future thanks to the progress that it has made in recent years. The state does still have some way to go, however, with house prices remaining some 16% lower than they were in 2009, according to 24/7 Wall St. With prices are rising, from a property investor’s perspective, this is good news, as depressed prices are likely to rise back to (and beyond) their former peak, meaning that those putting their money into the project can grow their capital over a period of several years, enjoying strong yields while they do so.

Properties at The Club at Sunset Lake are priced from £96,950 and the project offers a 5-year rental guarantee with a 6% return after all costs.

For more information about The Club at Sunset Lake and buying in Florida, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk

Job growth propels Florida property investment market

Job growth propels Florida property investment market

United States
  • Florida unemployment figures at 6%, lowest rate since June 2008 (Department of Economic Opportunity)
  • Strong domestic demand for housing driven by four key factors: Leisure, Transport, Medical, and Agriculture (Philip Button, Brookes & Co)
  • Brookes & Co domestic investment project The Club at Sunset Lake 83% sold in under four weeks

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity has revealed that the state’s unemployment figures now stand at the lowest rate since June 2008, a figure of 6% in September. Not only this but the ADP Regional Employment Report also showed that Florida grew the private sector by 20,050 jobs in October, meaning that 2014 looks as though it will be closing on a positive note for the state’s employment industry.

When considering the fact that just a year ago, Florida’s jobless numbered on average 7.2% in 2013, and a less than giddy figure of 11.3% in 2010, the ‘Sunshine State’ has come a long way in recent times, making firm progress in this important indicator for the country’s wealth. The knock-on effect of the increasing stability in Florida’s job market is that the property market is also, not only stabilising, but growing with optimistic fervour.

This is especially true for the domestic market, an often un-thought-of sector in the shadow of the bright lights and Disney magic of the tourism sector, yet boasting excellent investment prospects, especially within the context of the bolstered regional employment. Launching a new investment project in Orlando on 1st November – The Club at Sunset Lake – the UK’s leading property investment company, Brookes & Co, recognised this opportunity and offered, through the new project, buyers the chance to capitalise on this.

The project presents a brand new gated development to the market, situated in the heart of central Florida and close to all major amenities. With the luxurious facilities, including an exclusive club house and swimming pool, fitness centre and spa, sports courts and cycle paths, as well as a lake-front park and picnic area, The Club at Sunset Lake certainly makes the most of its beautiful setting.

Offering a 5-year rental guarantee with a 6% return after all costs, from a range of spacious two, three and four bedroom properties priced from £96,950, it is clear to see why the project is the ideal investment opportunity, registering enviable success so far.

And what a success it has been. Within the period of under four weeks since the launch of The Club at Sunset Lake, Brookes & Co have sold 83% of the units available. Demand is high, but what, specifically, is driving the growing domestic market of Florida?

Philip Button, Managing Director of Brookes & Co gives his take,

“It can be said that the increasing levels of employment in the state are driven by four key factors: Leisure, Medical, Transport and Agriculture. Individually, each of these facets are key to the economic workings of Florida, but together these sectors influence not only the success of the Floridian economy but also contribute wholeheartedly to the coffers of the US in general terms.”

Leisure:

The leisure market is the go-to market when thinking of Florida, the abundance of theme parks, Disney World, Universal Studios and the like, have become synonymous with Florida’s Orlando, making the state the country’s top tourist hotspot. Disney are building several new parks over the upcoming year including Avatar Land, with Universal Studios’ ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ already a huge success and visitors soon able to ride the new Hogwarts Express! At Legoland, an expansion at Miniland and a new hotel being built to cater for demand, demonstrates how this market is booming. And with this boom comes expanded job prospects for those developing and building the projects, as well as those staffing them to cater for the record tourist numbers.

Transport:

Transportation is central to the state’s success, with rail expansion a major arena that is impacting heavily on Florida’s domestic property market. The landmark SunRail project that will revolutionise commuter travel is expected to be finalised by 2017 and is doing wonders for the local and national economy. The project is creating more employment (an independent financial study found Sunrail has the potential to create nearly 260,000 jobs) but it is growing the state’s wealth too, with a predicted impact on theUS economy of $8.8billion.With airport growth also in the pipeline, and SunRail predicted to link up to the newly expanded airport, Florida’s transport links are going from strength to strength, helping the domestic market flourish in turn.

Medical:

In the medical sector, the Lake Nona Medical City is being developed in Orlando, a groundbreaking project of such magnitude that it is set to create 30,000 jobs – an impressive impact by all accounts. In turn, this project is on track to also create $7.6 billion wealth for the economy, leading to more people working locally and therefore more people looking for rental properties. Due to complete in 2017, this makes now the ideal time to purchase a property for the purpose of renting it to the domestic market.

Agriculture:

In their latest ‘Fresh from Florida: The Journal of Florida Agriculture’, Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services revealed that the industry was worth a staggering $108 billion to the Sunshine State, with Florida the US top producer of not only oranges but also sugarcane, sweetcorn, watermelon and squash. Florida Naturals, a leading fruit juice producer, who own over 50,000 acres of fine citrus groves in the heart of Central Florida, continue to grow, creating many new jobs in the area too.

All of this collectively has huge economic impact on the Orlando area and, in fact, Forbes recently ranked the city as number one in their report on ‘The Top 10 Cities and States for Job Growth’. In turn, this growth gives rise to significant demand for high- quality rental properties in the area for the workers and their families to live in, as has been proved by Brookes & Co’s The Club at Sunset Lake. The Sun has certainly returned to the Sunshine State!

For more information about The Club at Sunset Lake and buying in Florida, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk 

Fashionable Florida: Sunshine State rated the ‘desirable location’ this winter

Fashionable Florida: Sunshine State rated the ‘desirable location’ this winter

United States
  • Orlando most popular holiday location for domestic travellers this winter (ASTA)
  • International buyers in Florida property market up 1% in 2014 (NAR)
  • Florida as ‘desirable location’ top reason for buying, with 59% in 2014 claiming so (NAR)

Faux fur. Long boots. Over-sized scarves. Roll-neck jumpers. All key style trends for Autumn/Winter 2014/15. But when it comes to this season’s must-visit destination, where’s hot this wintertime, even as the weather turns cold?

According to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Florida’s Orlando is top choice for those looking to the US over the 2014-15 winter season, with more US residents booking to visit the Sunshine State’s most popular hotspots than anywhere else in the country.

Receiving 41% of the recorded bookings, Orlando ranks far ahead of the key tourist destinations of Las Vegas (receiving 13% of bookings) and New York City (with just 6%), and as a state overall, Florida charges ahead of the pack, with 58% of ASTA-recorded bookings, far outweighing second-place Hawaii’s 20%, thus marking Florida, and Orlando specifically, out as the ‘in vogue’ locations for A/W 14/15.

This season Florida, with its much-loved winter sun, is being seen as ‘the’ place to visit, rounding off an outstanding year for the state in which it welcomed 11.2 million overseas visitors in the 2013-14 period, compared to 10.4 million for the previous year. The 7.7% increase year-on-year is substantially contributing to Florida’s economy, adding an additional $4.3 billion to the state’s coffers, an extra 6% according to Visit Florida, taking the 2013-2014 figure to $76.1 billion.

And with more tourists comes more employment. As a tourist destination grows to match demand, more staff are required to construct and staff these new developments, growing the need for additional rental housing within the local market. For this reason Florida is also solidifying its place as a much sought-after location for purchasing property. Whether it is to use as an income stream by renting the property to others, as a long-term investment to capitalise on the state’s expanding property prices, or as a combination of these factors, more and more people are seeing the Sunshine State as a hot property prospect this winter and onwards into 2015 and beyond.

In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has revealed in their ‘Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida 2014’ report that 10% of Florida’s residential market was made up of international sales this year, up 1% on the 2013 figure, and up an estimated $1.54 billion, or 24%, in terms of how much these foreign real estate purchases in Florida were worth in the year up to June 2014.

And the most important factor for influencing someone’s decision to purchase real estate in Florida? According to the NAR report, viewing the state as a ‘desirable location’ and increasingly so.

Philip Button, Managing Director of specialist property investment firm Brookes & Co, who have been working in the Florida market bringing US properties to UK buyers for over a decade, explains more,

“Florida is certainly a stand-out location for those looking to invest in property, offering much potential and opportunity, and it is becoming more and more so. The NAR has shown that 54% of buyers in the state in 2013 saw Florida as a ‘desirable location’ in which to purchase and a year later, in 2014, this had increased to 59% putting this as their top reason to invest.

“Florida’s place as this year’s fashionable Autumn/Winter location for both holidaying and purchasing real estate, has also been backed publically by Floridian Governor Rick Scott who has increased public funding for Visit Florida, the state’s tourism body, by $10.5 million (according to the 2013-2014 Annual Report), taking public funding to a record $74 million for financial year 2014-2015. For this, and a whole host of reasons, buying in Florida is certainly ‘à la mode’ in 2014 and a wise choice looking forwards.”

Always ‘on trend’ with the projects they bring to market, property investment specialists Brookes & Co have just launched a new project in Florida that allows buyers to capitalise on the location as a hot destination this winter and beyond.

Offering a 5-year rental guarantee with a 6% return after all costs, The Club at Sunset Lake makes the ideal investment opportunity. This brand new gated development in the heart of central Florida, close to all major amenities, boasts luxurious facilities including an exclusive club house and swimming pool, fitness centre and spa, sports courts and cycle paths, and a lake front park and picnic area, making the most of the beautiful location. The two, three and four bedroom properties are spacious, the larger properties also with garages, and priced from £96,950.

With the fashion world already looking ahead to A/W 15/16, it is clear that some things in fact never go out of fashion – and Florida may well be one of those.

For more information about The Club at Sunset Lake and buying in Florida, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk

Best of the bunch – Top 5 countries for enjoying some winter sun

Best of the bunch – Top 5 countries for enjoying some winter sun

Grenada Italy Portugal Spain United States , , , ,
  • Costa del Sol offers cheapest European winter sun breaks (Post Office)
  • Mallorca bookings up 68% in a single year (ABTA)
  • Euro approaching best rate since 2012 (Currency Index)

It’s that time of year when the novelty of cold mornings and rainy afternoons has worn off and families turn their attention to which country would be the best place for them to soak up some winter sun. This year the number of those leaving the UK in search of winter sun between October and December is expected to rise, as many families delayed their summer holidays overseas due to Britain’s fantastic summer weather.

The Post Office has provided some handy hints this year for travellers looking for good value from their breaks. Both Portugal (specifically the Algarve) and Spain (the Costa del Sol) have been recognised as providing excellent value for money in the Post Office’s Winter Sunshine Report. The barometer report examines eight tourist staples, including sun-cream, drinks and an evening meal, to judge which destinations offer the cheapest break. The Costa del Sol came in at just £44 for the list of items and the Algarve at £48. As the weather in Spain and Portugal can take a turn for the worse over the winter months, the report also highlighted the value of Tenerife, where the winter sunshine is a little more reliable. The island came in at £58 for the eight items.

Italy is another popular choice for those seeking a winter sun break and if the over-priced cities are avoided it can offer excellent value. In fact, the UK travel organisation ABTA observed at its recent travel convention in Slovenia that Italian bookings were up this summer due to “some great-value hotel deals.” ABTA also highlighted Mallorca as a recent success story, with summer 2014 bookings up 68% on summer 2013. The island’s increased tourism figures are expected to carry through over the winter season.

When it comes to long-haul winter sun destinations, Florida offers excellent value and families can enjoy Orlando’s theme parks without the extensive queues of the summer months. The Caribbean is another popular place for winter sun seekers, especially for couples looking for a relaxed, romantic escape. The luxury appeal of the island of Grenada is proving particularly attractive this year, thanks to its high-end spas and pristine beaches.

For those looking for more than just a holiday, each of these destinations offers a wide variety of options when it comes to property investment. From second homes to pure investment properties, the choice is endless. Those looking to buy in Europe are able to enjoy the cheaper Euro at present, with Currency Index observing that the US Dollar’s recent gains have had a particularly beneficial effect on Euro rates, which are approaching their best levels since 2012.

For those looking to profit from property in the top winter sun destinations, here’s a quick round up of the best opportunities on offer.

Spain – Costa del Sol

Modern 2 and 3 bed apartments and penthouses in Avalon – Los Arqueros Golf, the best golf resort near Puerto Banus, are available from just €290,000 from Taylor Wimpey España. Large terraces, spectacular views, a communal pool and beautiful gardens make this the perfect family resort.

Balearic Islands – Mallorca

Taylor Wimpey España is offering just 24 luxury two bedroom/two bathroom apartments from €242,000 at Cala Anguila II.

Canary Islands – Tenerife

From land plots costing €95,000 for those with imagination and time on their hands, to key-ready, ultra luxe apartments for €483,000, property portal Kyero.com has something to suit every buyer.

Portugal – Algarve

Ideal Homes Portugal has properties ranging from Central Algarve studio apartments in Alvor, costing just €57,419, to a four bedroom villa in the prestigious Vale do Lobo golf community, available to anyone with a spare €11,000,000 to hand. This plot of land with delightful timber house, coming in at just €69,000, is particularly interesting.

Italy – Le Marche

Italy’s stunning Le Marche region offers a good value alternative to the cities and has everything from beaches to mountains with excellent skiing facilities. A one tenth share in the luxury fractional ownership holiday home, Casa Tre Archi from Appassionata, costs from as little as £65,000.

Florida – Orlando

Beautiful two, three and four bedroom investment homes are available from Brookes & Co at The Club at Sunset Lake, from just £96,950. The fully managed properties are close to Orlando’s major attractions and perfect for those looking for a rental property that provides long-term income.

The Caribbean – Grenada

High-end hotel suites for investment in Grenada are available from Property Frontiers and include four weeks’ personal usage, allowing investors to enjoy Grenada for themselves, as well as making money from average projected yields of 10.5%.

 

For more information on the properties detailed above, please contact:

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 8000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Ideal Homes Portugal: on +44 800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434 or www.idealhomesportugal.com.

Appassionata: +39 33154 13225 or www.appassionata.com.

Brookes & Co: +44 1621 875 925 or www.brookesandco.co.uk.

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

 

Easier for Brits to obtain US mortgages than UK ones, as foreign-national mortgage products boom

Easier for Brits to obtain US mortgages than UK ones, as foreign-national mortgage products boom

United States
  • Increasing numbers of those wanting to climb property ladder looking overseas for mortgages
  • Foreign investors spent $35 billion on US mortgages from March 2013-2014 – a 46% increase year-on-year
  • Brookes & Co launch exciting new Florida project: The Club at Sunset Lake, with US mortgages available

With the introduction of the MMR (Mortgage Market Review) earlier this year and finance seemingly ever harder to obtain in the UK, many individuals are beginning to think creatively about how best to climb the property ladder. Despite fluctuations in the market, a wisely chosen property portfolio is a steady, long-term way for individuals to increase their investment income.

Rental properties in popular holiday destinations around the world are a highly desirable element of any property portfolio, as they allow for receipt of monthly yields at the same time as providing the potential for capital growth. Now, with the UK system tightening up, many investors are looking overseas for just such opportunities in order to make their money work harder for them and the US is one market that is benefiting from this evolution.

Across the pond, foreign-national mortgages is one such product encouraging Brits to invest, with banks offering access to credit for non-residents wishing to invest in holiday homes. Anthony B. Sanders, economics professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, explains,

“The American pool of borrowers is drying up. Middle-class borrowers have flatlined due to low income growth, and domestic investors are finding it less appetizing because the foreclosure inventory has dried up. So who do you go to? Foreign investors.”

The banks’ new appeal to foreign investors is certainly working. According to the National Association of Realtors, foreign property investors spent approximately $35 billion on mortgages for US homes during the year to March 2014 – a 46% increase on the previous year’s figure.

Philip Button, Managing Director of specialist property investment firm Brookes & Co, who have been working in the Florida market bringing US properties to UK buyers for over a decade, comments,

“It’s fantastic to see investment in US property through foreign-national mortgages opening the sector up to growing numbers of buyers in the UK. US mortgages are straightforward to obtain and don’t require those applying to travel to the country, thus making international property investment achievable for a greater number of UK residents.”

US banks typically ask for 30% or more as a down payment for foreigners taking out mortgages, while others have set deposit limits, such as HSBC Holdings Plc’s $15,000 minimum requirement. However, with a favourable exchange rate and increasing restrictions on mortgages in the UK, many are finding that it is both easier and more cost effective to take out a mortgage in the US.

Launching on 1st November, the new US investment opportunity by Brookes & Co, The Club at Sunset Lake, times perfectly with this move providing the ideal opportunity for UK buyers looking to capitalise on the growing market.

A brand new gated development in the heart of central Florida, The Club at Sunset Lake is situated close to all major amenities and boasts luxurious facilities including an exclusive clubhouse and swimming pool, fitness centre and spa, sports courts and cycle paths, and a lake front park and picnic area, making the most of the beautiful location in which it is situated.

The two, three and four bedroom properties are spacious, exceptionally built and luxurious with the larger properties also boasting garages. All properties at The Club at Sunset Lake offer a 5-year rental guarantee with a 6% net return after all costs, making this a fantastic investment opportunity.

Two bed properties are priced from £96,950, three bed properties from £118,700 and four bed properties are priced from £137,450, with both residential and buy-to-let US mortgages available.

Philip Button concludes,

“We are very excited about the launch of our brand new Florida project and are sure it will make an excellent investment option for anyone looking to capitalise on Florida’s buoyant market. It will be interesting to see how many of those who invest opt to do so through foreign-national mortgages from US banks. Of course, individuals who do take out foreign-national mortgages have the added advantage of being able to begin building a credit history in the US, which is something that is always advantageous to have too.”

For more information about The Club at Sunset Lake and buying in Florida, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk

Florida flying high! New airport expansion set to welcome 45 million travellers and boost rental opportunities

Florida flying high! New airport expansion set to welcome 45 million travellers and boost rental opportunities

United States
  • $1.1 billion Orlando International Airport expansion will welcome up to 45 million visitors
  • State of Florida on track to see record-breaking tourist figures of 100 million by end of 2014
  • Brookes & Co launching new Orlando project for investors looking to capitalise on growth

A major new expansion plan will see Orlando International Airport welcome up to 45 million travellers by 2020, spelling great news for those investing in the growing destination. The $1.1 billion scheme has just been approved by airport officials, in light of the airport having welcomed an additional 4.2% travellers this August, and within the context of the state of Florida aiming for record-breaking visitor numbers of 100 million by the end of 2014.

The announcement of this newly confirmed expansion, is no surprise given Orlando’s reputation as a perennially popular destination for families looking to make the most of all the Sunshine State has to offer, as well as those looking for the ideal leisure break. A place of action-packed days and fun-filled nights, from beautiful beaches to world-famous theme parks, the excitement of the water parks to the plentiful shopping facilities on offer along with world class golf courses, Florida’s magic inspires all who visit from both the US and overseas.

Philip Button, Managing Director of specialist property investment company Brookes & Co, which has been working in the Florida property market for over a decade, gives his reaction to the airport expansion announcement,

“The Orlando International Airport expansion plan is excellent news. Florida’s tourism sector is an important part of the state’s economy and a significant proportion of those tourists access Florida via Orlando. The expansion scheme will ensure that those visiting Florida find the process of getting here a pleasant one, as the airport’s capacity grows in line with demand.”

Due to the nature and size of the airport expansion plan, the project has been divided into manageable sub-projects which include $470 million that will be spent to expand the airport’s people mover system and provide a 3,500-space parking garage, easing movement between flights; $120 million towards a new south terminal; and $114 million to improve the flow of international traffic at Airside 4.

Such ambitious growth plans are appropriate given the fact that at present the airport handles far more passengers than was originally intended, as Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director Phil Brown observed,

“Orlando International Airport, designed to handle 24 million passengers a year, witnessed a passenger count of 35 million in 2012” making the airport expansion long overdue and a very welcome addition for those travelling regularly through its doors.

Such a development scheme will not only increase visitor numbers and their experience, it is also likely to have an impact on local property prices. This has positive implications for those who have already bought in Florida, such as those previously purchasing at The Fountains at ChampionsGate with Brookes and Co, taking advantage of the healthy rental returns on offer as well as top class golfing facilities, and for those considering buying in the region.

For those interested in taking advantage of the growing opportunities in Florida, Brookes and Co are set to launch a new Florida project to UK investors very soon, enabling them too to benefit from the Orlando International Airport expansion.

For more information about buying in Florida and the new investment opportunities soon to be launched, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk 

‘The American Crossrail’: Florida’s Sunrail on track to boost Orlando property market

‘The American Crossrail’: Florida’s Sunrail on track to boost Orlando property market

United States

The revolutionary SunRail project in Florida – the rail line launched this year to greatly improve the state’s accessibility, for both commuters and tourists alike – is on track to go from strength to strength following the announcement of a proposed major expansion.

The Florida Transportation Department has revealed that they are looking into a potential move to increase the reach of the landmark project with a link to Orlando International Airport. Currently in the research phase, this expansion of 5.5 miles of additional track, from Orange County’s Meadow Wood station, if given the go ahead, would complete for an opening in 2020.

Already having an impressive impact in the region, the Sunrail commuter rail system is positively affecting the areas along its path, cutting commuting time, creating jobs and opening up transportation possibilities for the numerous businesses in the region.

Phillip Button, Managing Director of leading property investment specialists Brookes & Co, experts in the Florida property market, explains why this is good news for those buying in the region,

“Florida has been going from strength to strength, with the Orlando area in particular registering impressive growth in terms of both the economy and house prices in recent times. Now, with the impact of the new Sunrail, and its proposed major expansion in the pipeline, this is looking set to flourish further still.

“As has been seen in the UK with the much-anticipated Crossrail link that is expected to add an impressive £42billion to the UK’s economy, impacting positively on property prices even ahead of its opening in 2018, the Sunrail project is sure to further strengthen the Florida market. Reflecting Crossrail’s creation of thousands of jobs and opportunities for business, and with a predicted impact on the US economy of $8.8billion and the creation of 261,000 jobs in the coming 30 years, Sunrail will not only make travel easier, it will make doing business and making money easier, excellent news for the recovering US economy.”

And Button is right to highlight the property prospects of Sunrail. Through its similar expansion, the UK’s Crossrail project has already caused a surge in house price growth along its route, with a 30% growth in the average price of houses within a 10-minute walk of the central Crossrail stations since 2008, according to Knight Frank, with an average rise of 40% expected by 2018. It is revitalising areas, reinvigorating local economies and expanding interest in specific regions that will be touched by the new rail line.

Prior to the proposed airport expansion, the next phase of the Sunrail system will be a further 4 southward stations added to the existing 12, along with a new northern terminus, with a completion date of 2017 anticipated. As alluded to by Button, for those looking to invest in property in Orlando, the second phase of Sunrail is excellent news. As well as area-specific price increases around the proposed new station sites, the development is expected to contribute to a general uplift in property prices as the city expands.

With several successful property investment opportunities already sold out in Florida and an exciting new development about to be launched close to one of the new Sunrail stops, Philip Button certainly sees the true value of transportation upgrade when it comes to property prices. He explains,

“Adding a new commuter transportation system such as Sunrail to a city is about so much more than just moving workers from A to B. It is about ensuring that the city operates as efficiently as possible, making it an attractive destination for families to live and for tourists to visit.

“Orlando has some wonderful attractions for those looking to visit the area, but without being backed by a decent, modern infrastructure their charms would certainly begin to fade, with visitors spending their time queuing on crowded train platforms or sitting in traffic on congested roads when they should already be through the theme park gates and having fun.”

For more information about buying in Florida and the new investment opportunities soon to be launched, contact Brookes & Co on +44 1621 875 925, email info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk 

‘Byte Night’ event to tackle homelessness in the UK with a helping hand from Brookes & Co

‘Byte Night’ event to tackle homelessness in the UK with a helping hand from Brookes & Co

United Kingdom

It was 2009 when Prince William famously ‘slept rough’ overnight in central London, bringing the cause of homelessness in the UK sharply into focus and raising vital awareness for the case of those who spend night after night on Britain’s streets.

And sadly, the situation is still as desperate five years on. Today there are 2,414 people sleeping rough on the streets of the UK, according to government statistics from autumn 2013, up a shocking 37% on the 2010 figure of 1,768.

As a response to this growing problem, on Friday 3rd October, thousands of people will show their support for the cause and take to the streets themselves, sleeping rough for the night and raising money as part of Action for Children’s national event, ‘Byte Night’.

Having launched 16 years ago when 30 individuals from the IT industry slept out, raising £35,000, this year’s event, taking place all around the UK, is expected to see over 1,500 sleepers from the technology and business sectors take part across eight locations, making it the biggest event of its kind, raising over £1 million.

Helping Action for Children’s Byte Night tackle the root causes of homelessness, keeping vulnerable young people off the streets and assisting them to build better lives, are this year’s participants Mike Bell and Chris Pardoe, taking part in the St Paul’s Square, Birmingham event.

Mike Bell, a SVP Strategic Engagement SAP working in the IT industry, was inspired to take part in Byte Night after learning of the growing numbers of people having to take the last resort of sleeping on the streets. He explains,

“I have been involved in supporting this cause as a sponsor for around five years now, but this is the first year I have decided to actively take part. Giving up my own bed for one night is nothing in comparison to the day in, day out, all too real experiences of life on the street, faced by many people. No one individual should be forced to live without safety or shelter, yet since the recession the number of those doing so has risen sharply. I hope that by playing my small part in this year’s Byte Night, I can raise awareness of this growing, desperate situation as well as vital money to support those vulnerable young people at risk of becoming homeless themselves.”

Managing Director of specialist IT company The Know List, Chris Pardoe, places social responsibility high on the list of his company’s objectives. He is proud to be supporting young people through a number of company initiatives, from the creation of a free school in Milton Keynes to provide meaningful work experience for young people, to the upcoming launch of a talent and acquisition division for the company, a recruitment service that will give 20% of its fees to Action for Children, the charity behind Byte Night, as well as an outsourced service that aims to find roles for underprivileged young people.

Sleeping rough himself on 3rd October, Chris explains why he felt compelled to get so personally involved,

“It may sound clichéd, but young people really are our future and I believe that far more needs to be done to support their growth and development, both practically and emotionally, within the vast reaches of our society. The Byte Night event is a tremendous one. Not only is it excellent for raising awareness, all the monies raised will go towards preventative measures to help stop young people having to take to the streets as a way of dealing with their troubled lives. I am very much looking forward to doing my bit.”

Both men are being supported in their Byte Night participation by Essex-based property investment company, Brookes & Co, with Mike having previously purchased property through the company. Providing clients with opportunities to invest wisely in property developments, both in the UK and overseas, Brookes & Co are keen to uphold their ethos of giving back to local communities and have supported both Mike and Chris with sponsorship for this year’s charity sleep-out.

Managing Director Phillip Button expresses how keen the company were to be involved,

“I think what Mike and Chris are doing to support the Byte Night cause is fantastic and we at Brookes & Co are proud to be able to support them in turn. It is truly shocking that in the modern age there are so many people living rough on Britain’s streets, whether it is through job loss, family breakdown, abuse, violence, neglect, or a whole host of other factors, it is something that needs to be addressed and vital support given to change what, all too often, becomes a downward spiral for many.

“Byte Night, and the work being done by Action for Children, is making a real difference to the lives of vulnerable young people, at risk of ending up resorting to a life on the street; providing accommodation, education, training and care to those most at risk individuals and helping to give them the strength to work towards positive futures. What an amazing cause, and one we are honoured to support.”

To learn more about Byte Night and to support the cause, visit www.bytenight.org.uk

For more information about property investment specialists Brookes & Co, contact 01621 875 925 or info@brookesandco.co.uk or visit www.brookesandco.co.uk

Don’t lose your brain on the plane – 5 steps to buying your second home overseas safely

Don’t lose your brain on the plane – 5 steps to buying your second home overseas safely

Italy Portugal Spain United States , , ,
  • Foreign property purchases up 50% in 1 year
  • Pound at 22 month high against Euro
  • Brits buying in Spain up 84% (Currencies Direct)

Yahoo Travel has revealed that France has taken the top spot as the world’s most visited destination, followed by the US, Spain, China and Italy. However, when it comes to UK residents, it seems that a holiday just isn’t enough anymore, with Currencies Direct reporting an upsurge in Brits buying overseas. The figures show an increase of more than 50% in foreign property purchases in the last year alone, with Spain registering the greatest growth at 84%.

Such an increase is a sure sign that Brits are keen to buy fast once the time is right. The favourable exchange rate (the pound is at a 22 month high against the euro), coupled with markets such as Spain and Portugal bottoming out, creates significant opportunity for those looking to profit from their second home overseas.

Panic buying, though, can be a risky business, so don’t lose your brain on the plane – instead follow these five simple steps to buying overseas with confidence.

  1. Buy through an established company

It may sound obvious, but if a deal from a little-known company sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Buying a villa from an unscrupulous developer who has built on protected land could see your life savings vanish fast, so always buy through a reputable company with a long and pristine track record. Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, advises,

“Do your research and find out how long the developer you are considering buying with has been in business. Find reviews on the internet from customers who have bought previously through them and grill them on any details where you require clarification. A reputable company will be happy to answer your questions, no matter how many you many have.”

  1. Make use of inspection trip offers but don’t feel obliged to purchase

Many companies offer inspection trips to allow you to view a range of their properties and get a feel for the areas in which you are considering buying.  Chris White, Founding Director of boutique real estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, comments,

“A reputable company should be happy to assist your property search by arranging an inspection trip. At Ideal Homes Portugal, for example, we offer inspection trips from just £149, which include return flights for two adults, airport transfers, luxury hotel accommodation, free legal advice from an independent property lawyer, free financial advice from an independent mortgage brokerage, a rental and property management presentation and exclusive advice and guidance from one of our experienced property consultants.

“Those on our inspection trips certainly get excellent value for their money, but we at no point pressure them to buy – and any company that does should be treated with extreme caution.”

  1. Think outside the box

If you’re nervous about sinking your savings into overseas property, consider some alternative options. Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs of Appassionata recommends fractional ownership for those looking to buy overseas with less risk. She explains,

“Fractional ownership allows buyers to pick up their dream holiday home for just a snippet of the usual price. Here at Appassionata our owners get five weeks’ usage of their Italian property per year, without having to worry about the hassle of maintenance and upkeep in between times. They still own a share in a property overseas that they can pass down to their children or sell at a later date, but with less risk then buying outright.”

  1. Be sure to get value for money

Do your own research on property prices in the area/country you are looking at, but make use of the experts’ research too. As Philip Button, Managing Director of specialist property investment firm Brookes & Co, comments,

“Any company worth their salt will be able to offer you extensive information on price trends in the area where you are looking to buy, with figures from reliable sources that you can check out yourself. From historical data to the latest market predictions, they should have everything to hand to enable you to make a fully informed decision. If they don’t, beware!”

  1. Get to know the people you’re buying from

Key to buying with confidence is getting to know the individuals that you are dealing with and who will be responsible for assisting in the purchase of your property. An ideal way to go about this is to start your search at a local event, such as the Overseas Property Show, which is due to tour the UK between September and November. Professionals will be on hand to answer questions from potential buyers and to demonstrate just what their money can buy them in a range of overseas locations, from Portugal to the US.

With so many more buyers looking to second homes overseas to meet their lifestyle and investment requirements, these top tips to buying safely have never been more timely.

For more information on buying safely overseas with the companies detailed above, please contact:

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 (0) 8000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call +34 971 70 69 72.

Ideal Homes Portugal: +44 (0) 800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434 or www.idealhomesportugal.com.

Appassionata: +39 073 465 8775 or www.appassionata.com.

Brookes & Co: +44 (0) 1621 875 925 or www.brookesandco.co.uk.

Overseas Property Show: for free tickets, visit www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com.