To invest or not to invest… that is the Brexit brainteaser

To invest or not to invest… that is the Brexit brainteaser

United Kingdom
  • Pound lingering at record lows
  • British property c. 20% cheaper than before the referendum for buyers with dollars
  • Demand up in September but average stocks on agents’ books close to historic lows (RICS)

With the pound lingering at record lows and UK politics changing by the day, British buyers and international investors alike are rightly wondering where the property market is heading.

While they don’t have a crystal ball, the experts at Property Frontiers are feeling increasingly confident in their answer to the question they’ve been hearing most lately: “Should I invest now, or wait and see?”

The answer of course depends on your individual circumstances, but the evidence is mounting in favour of moving now.

Property Frontiers CEO Ray Withers explains,

“Brexit is undoubtedly a game-changer, and when the playing field shifts like that, it creates opportunities to get ahead as well as potential pitfalls. Some investors thrive on situations like these, hunting uncertainty around the world, while others let themselves be paralysed into not investing at all. I wouldn’t particularly recommend either course, but there is a happy medium.”

The clearest reason the UK falls into this category at the moment is sterling’s recent plunge: the currency play represents a huge opportunity for international investors. Heated debate about whether the pound will climb, settle, or fall further is pure speculation. It is a fact, on the other hand, that British property is around 20% cheaper than it was before the referendum for buyers with dollars and/or many other currencies, especially those pegged to the dollar (e.g. BHD, HKD, QAR, SAR and AED). Savings of that magnitude may render further gambling – in the form of delaying an investment – unnecessarily risky.

Delaying in order to beat the pound could go either way. Delaying in order to beat the property market, however, is very wishful thinking. Every week, more and more statistics confirm the industry consensus that (barring a full-blown recession) house prices are not going to get any cheaper any time soon, and the fundamentals in most markets still point to chronic undersupply.

Last week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest house price index, which reports price increases in the year to August 2016 of 8.4%, up from 8% in July and never dropping below 7% this year. Even the Nationwide index, based on less optimistic survey data (rather than actual registered sales), reports that the worst monthly change since the referendum was a 0.2% increase (in July, just after the vote).

Property Frontiers’ Ray Withers continues,

“In my view, what we have seen in the past few months is a temporary slowdown in a long period of excellent growth underpinned by strong fundamentals. This plateau offers a vanishing window of opportunity before prices ramp up again, and even if we get more surprises next year they may not offer anything better.”

A new RICS survey reports that demand ticked up in September while average stocks on property agents’ books were close to historic lows. August’s drop in mortgage rates should also boost demand and support price levels. And whether values increase substantially or not, in a super-low interest world, British rental yields remain amongst the strongest across many markets. RICS has further identified a “critical rental shortage” in the UK, predicting 1.8m more households will be looking to rent rather than buy a home by 2025, while Countrywide forecasts a 4% increase in rents in 2017 and again in 2018.

As the best and brightest of the industry rubbed shoulders at MIPIM last week, congregating under the banner “extraordinary times, extraordinary returns?” investors will do well to remember that there are certainly profits to be had in the UK market and to be wary of dismissing making a move due to volatility. Property is still among the safest and most stable of many asset classes, and now remains a favourable time for those that have cash (especially in different currencies) and are seeking long term investment opportunities.

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

 

The North heads South to MIPIM en masse to corner new real estate business opportunities

The North heads South to MIPIM en masse to corner new real estate business opportunities

United Kingdom , ,
  • Manchester offering strong returns on stylish homes (Surrenden Invest)
  • Northern cities providing something ‘a cut above the average’ (Properties of the World)
  • Liverpool flagged as 2017 property investment hotspot (Property Frontiers)

The much celebrated MIPIM UK property industry extravaganza will take place at London’s Olympia from 19-21 October 2016.

Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, will be among those attending, along with a strong contingent of his peers from the North of England. The Northern team will be attending en masse in order to show that the North remains open for business, despite the ongoing distraction of Brexit. Bernstein comments,

“MIPIM is the first major real estate event since the EU referendum and I’m looking forward to reinforcing the importance of Manchester and the north to the UK economy. The event will be a great opportunity to discover the diverse investment and development opportunities the north has to offer.”

Manchester is certainly generating some interesting real estate investment opportunities at present. In a prime position in the heart of the city, Halo epitomises the kind of modern, luxury development that investors are keen to be profit from and tenants are keen to rent. The high profile development boasts 66 stylish apartments, with projected 6.2% NET yield through Surrenden Invest.

Manchester, along with Birmingham and London, sits among Europe’s 20 largest cities, according to Centre for Cities. Investment opportunities there are attracting both domestic and international interest. Jean Liggett, CEO of visionary property investment consultancy, Properties of the World, offers several opportunities to investors keen to pick up northern real estate. She agrees that contemporary developments with a luxurious feel are prime targets for investors, commenting,

“Northern UK cities offer rich pickings right now when it comes to real estate opportunities. Buyers are looking for something a cut above the average in excellent locations. Popular properties are those that are well located for both local employment opportunities and retail and leisure amenities. Salford Quays is precisely the kind of area that investors can’t get enough of.”

The popularity of design-led apartments such as those at The Element add weight to Liggett’s words. The stylish homes offer urban convenience at every turn, from their prime Salford Quays location to the availability of on-site parking – an important consideration that is often bypassed by such central city developments. Apartments at The Element start from £112,970 and offer 7% NET assured returns for two years.

But it’s not just Manchester’s real estate that has got investors so excited about opportunities in the North. Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, explains,

“We’re seeing a lot of interest in the property investment opportunities available in Liverpool right now. Liverpool is a growing city and centrally located accommodation that offers something unique is winning over a lot of interest from investors. Liverpool’s prices are still a little below their 2007 peak and a lot of those in the industry are flagging it up as an investment hotspot for 2017.”

Withers cites Parker Street Residences as an example of the kind of property that stands out from the crowd. Located within the central, L1 postcode area, the development has blended the exterior façade of the former Reece’s Ballroom with an ultra-contemporary interior. As well as a low entry point (studios are priced from £69,950 for cash buyers) and yields of 8% NET, investors can enjoy owning their own piece of Beatles history, as Reece’s was the location of John Lennon’s first wedding reception.

International and local investors flock to MIPIM UK every year for just these kind of investment opportunities and the message at the October show from the North of England will be clear: the real estate sector in the North is alive and well.

For more information, please contact:

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

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

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

“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.

The Midlands Engine meets the Northern Powerhouse

The Midlands Engine meets the Northern Powerhouse

United Kingdom
  • Birmingham investing in the future and maximising the potential of HS2 (PM Theresa May)
  • Midlands economy has expanded 30% since the recession (Midlands Engine)
  • Midlands’ devolution set to benefit residents and investors alike (Property Frontiers)

Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city economy, is going back to its roots and investing in a bright new future. Just as the Industrial Revolution saw the city reshape itself to meet changing times, the creation of the new Midlands Engine is combining with the Northern Powerhouse initiative to boost Birmingham’s credentials and push through a raft of exciting new projects.

Similar to the Northern Powerhouse initiative, the Midlands Engine has been created by the government to boost economic growth across the Midlands. Sir John Peace, the first Midlands Engine chairman, the region’s economy has expanded 30% since the recession and deserves Whitehall’s backing when it comes to shaping a new national industrial strategy as the Brexit process gets underway.

Still almost in incubator stage compared with the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine is already beginning to draw together the Midlands’ diverse local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and 11.5 million population in order to build a post-Brexit future that serves the region as a whole.

As the region’s leading city, Birmingham is set to enjoy a brighter future as a result of the Midlands Engine. An upgrade to improve the city’s tram system forms part of Sir John Peace’s plans, while foreign direct investment is also pouring in.

Birmingham has some significant regeneration projects planned, with the £900 million investment in the Curzon Street Station area topping the list. The scheme will prepare the area for the arrival of the new HS2 railway network, as part of the Curzon Investment Plan, which will see work take place over the coming three decades, including the creation of several new neighbourhoods.

Prime Minister Theresa May comments,

“I’m delighted that Greater Birmingham is making this investment in the future, working to maximise the potential of HS2 by investing in jobs and housing – and encouraging more business investment.”

At the same time, the chief executives of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Marketing Birmingham, Birmingham Airport, MPs and educational leaders have combined forces to petition the Prime Minister to focus on the expansion of Birmingham Airport rather than simply choosing between an extra runway at Gatwick or an extra runway at Heathrow.

Along with travel infrastructure development that is designed to revolutionise the city, Birmingham is focusing on redesigning its neighbourhoods. The vast Birmingham Smithfield project will see the creation of a fantastic, 21st century market area that will inspire a new generation of traders to honour the city’s ancient retail tradition.

Housing projects are also underway across the city, with investment blending government funds with those of domestic and overseas investors. As an important part of the Midlands Engine, Birmingham is set to benefit from the £1.1 billion promised by Whitehall for the West Midlands Combined Authority as part of the Midlands’ devolution process. The first £36.5 million has just been transferred.

Meanwhile overseas investors are also keen to take an interest. Developments like The Divine Collection, which offers standout buy-to-let apartments in a top location in Digbeth, one of Birmingham’s most popular areas, have attracted keen interest from foreign investors looking for a healthy investment prospect in the UK housing sector.

Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, which is presenting the Divine Collection to the market from £165,000, comments,

“The benefits of the Midlands Engine will be widespread. This is an exciting initiative that can both follow in the footsteps of the Northern Powerhouse and learn from that process in order to be even more effective. The devolution of the Midlands is creating excellent opportunities for those who live there and for those who invest there.”

For more information about investing in Birmingham’s Divine Collection, contact Property Frontiers or call +44 1865 202 700.

Birmingham lines up post-Brexit housing plan, with a little help from its friends in China

Birmingham lines up post-Brexit housing plan, with a little help from its friends in China

United Kingdom
  • Birmingham population grew 9.5% in past decade (Census data)
  • Country Garden to invest £2 billion in Birmingham projects
  • UK is most popular destination in Europe for FDI (Department for International Trade)
  • HS2 and Birmingham Smithfield redevelopment are key opportunities (Property Frontiers)

As the youngest city in Europe, with 50% of its population under the age of 30, Birmingham is a city full of drive, ambition and entrepreneurialism. This is already clear from the city’s booming life science, creative and tech industries. Now, Birmingham is lining up to show the rest of Britain’s cities how to future-proof against the coming economic uncertainty when the UK finally begins the formal process of leaving the EU.

Birmingham’s attractions as a place to live and work mean that its population is booming. According to Census data, the city’s population grew by nearly 100,000 in the decade to 2015, equating to a 9.5% increase. With people continuing to be drawn to the city, planners believe that 80,000 new housing units will be required by 2030. Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy has taken matters in hand and has just spent a week courting investors in China and Hong Kong.

The trade mission has yielded impressive results, with Chinese property developer Country Garden pledging to invest £2 billion in Birmingham’s economy over the coming years. Housing stock and projects related to the HS2 railway have been identified as top priorities.

Councillor Clancy sees Chinese interest in Birmingham as a key means by which the city will secure its economy (so far as possible) to weather the Brexit storm. He comments,

“There may be a downturn next year, or the year after, there might even be a recession and I want to ensure, like London did last time, that we come out of the recession ahead of the rest.

“For that, we need to have the capital ready to come in and projects ready to go.”

Britain’s uncoupling from the EU may be a painful process for the country’s economy, but investment from overseas can help to soften the blow. Pre-Brexit vote figures from the Department for International Trade have shown that the UK is the most popular destination in Europe for foreign direct investment, with the 2015/16 financial year seeing 2,213 inward investment projects secured, an 11% rise on 2014/15. It is Birmingham’s hope that the continuation of such investment will ease the Brexit process.

Even before the Councillor’s visit to China and Hong Kong, Chinese interest in Birmingham investments was already high. Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, comments,

“Birmingham is a city packed with potential. It’s not just HS2 that’s drawing investors in. There are some fantastic regeneration projects underway, like the Birmingham Smithfield masterplan, which will see a vast area of the city centre brought up to date, creating a vibrant, modern area for Birmingham’s markets. Chinese investors are keen to be involved in the future of such a leading city and we’ve seen interest in everything from flats to football as part of this trend.”

Property Frontiers’ latest Birmingham development, The Divine Collection, has certainly piqued the interest of Chinese investors: so far 50% of Property Frontiers’ apartments in the building have been reserved by Chinese buyers. Priced from £165,000, the hand-picked selection of apartments offer buy-to-let investors the very best that the development has to offer. Residents will be able to enjoy the 483 sqm roof terrace with city views, as well as their beautifully finished individual apartments in the heart of Digbeth, Birmingham’s most on-trend location.

For more information about investing in Birmingham’s Divine Collection, contact Property Frontiers or call +44 1865 202 700.

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

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

Homes for music lovers

Homes for music lovers

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Music is known for its power to uplift, calm, excite and sadden. It has such a powerful effect that it is used therapeutically for everything from helping to control emotions to lowering blood pressure through stress reduction programs.

Fans of particular artists will travel for hours to hear their favourite music live, with some even crossing international borders in order to hear a specific band. There are also those whose connection to music is so strong that it is a core component of their home life. As such, we’ve rounded up some homes with musical connections that will be perfect for music lovers in the UK and overseas!

Beats in Barcelona

Music lovers will be delighted by this Barcelona rental apartment, available through Spanish property portal Kyero.com for €2,500 pcm. With exposed brickwork and designer furnishings, the home offers the ultimate in city chic, complemented by a generously sized home studio complete with piano, keyboard, drum kit and mics. Its location in the trendy Poble-Sec neighbourhood means it is also perfectly located for those wishing to enjoy Barcelona’s jazz scene and nightlife. 

Musical Mijas

Elsewhere in Spain, those looking to buy rather than rent will be drawn to this luxurious beachfront villa in Mijas Costa, available through Ideal Homes International. Stunning landscaped gardens, 180° ocean views, a sizeable pool and direct beach access make this one of the most exclusive villas on the Costa del Sol. The décor inside is almost palatial, which is fitting as the villa has been used by royalty, presidents, billionaires and sheiks. Music lovers will be delighted to know that the villa was the location of One Direction’s debut performance in the X factor “judges’ houses” screening in 2010. Such a music connection doesn’t come cheap though – Villa Moana is on the market for an eye-watering €40 million.

Praising in Portugal

Over in Portugal, music fans can pick up their very own superstar’s villa, with Christian crooner Cliff Richard’s home and winery on the market for €9.5 million at Ideal Homes Portugal. The estate includes a four bedroom farmhouse, three bedroom cottage, double office with studio, modern five bedroom villa, onsite shop and wine tasting bar. The property comes complete with the winery’s equipment, materials, shares and stock. It also offers stunning views from its position at the top of Quinta do Miradouro, three swimming pools, tennis court, landscaped gardens and a roof terrace with tower viewing point. This is unquestionably one of the more unique wineries in the Algarve and the only one to enjoy such an impressive musical connection.

Let it be Liverpool

Back in the UK, musical connections don’t get much better than owning a piece of Beatles history in Liverpool. That’s precisely what is being offered by Property Frontiers at Liverpool’s Parker Street Residences. The buy-to-let apartments are located in the former Reece’s Ballroom, where John Lennon and first wife Cynthia held their wedding reception. Available from £69,950 for cash buyers, the city centre apartments offer yields of 8% NET with the option of assurance for five years.

So whether you’re an investor looking for healthy yields, a buyer after a dream second home or simply looking to spend a few months based in Barcelona, you can satisfy your musical side when picking up your property.

For more information, please contact:

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Ideal Homes International: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434 or www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk

Ideal Homes Portugal: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434 or www.idealhomesportugal.com

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

UK second cities going for gold

UK second cities going for gold

United Kingdom
  • Liverpool and Birmingham among contenders to host Commonwealth Games in 2026
  • Commonwealth Games added £100m to Glasgow’s economy in 2012 (Scottish Government)
  • Second cities already winners in property investors’ eyes (Property Frontiers)

Now that the action-packed Rio 2016 Olympic Games has come to a close, thoughts are turning to the next major international sporting event – the Commonwealth Games. Gold Coast 2018, the 21st Commonwealth Games, will take place in Queensland, on Australia’s eastern coast. Four years, later, Durban in South Africa will host the 2022 Games.

Now the competition is hotting up between cities around the world to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games and the UK is going for gold!

Seven cities are currently considering bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Of those, four are located in the UK (a fifth UK city, Cardiff, was planning to bid but pulled out due to uncertainty around funding post-Brexit). Other than the UK, only Edmonton in Canada, Auckland in New Zealand and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea have stepped forward as potential contenders.

The UK’s hunger to host the 2026 Games follows London’s highly successful hosting of the Olympic Games in 2012 and Glasgow’s superb hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Indeed, London is one of the cities bidding, along with Belfast, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Having seen the boost that London and Glasgow received from hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games, the bids from second tier cities like Birmingham and Liverpool make complete sense. The latest legacy report from the Scottish Government shows that £100m was added to Glasgow’s economy as a result of the experience, while official figures reveal that Scotland as a whole benefited from £282m worth of tourism.

Host cities continue to reap benefits for years to come. London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has provided Londoners with a whole new way to enjoy their city, while the capital’s new and improved sporting venues have left a world-class sporting legacy for all to enjoy.

Meanwhile Manchester, which hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2002, continues to enjoy the long-term benefits of doing so. The Games left the city with a range of outstanding sporting venues and cemented its reputation as a leading global city for sport. The City of Manchester Stadium, which cost £112m to build and hosted athletics and rugby, now hosts major sporting events and pop and rock concerts. The £3.5m Regional Athletics Arena has become Manchester’s premier athletics facility. The £32m Manchester Aquatics Centre has given the general public access to Olympic standard pools, as well as hosting international swimming and diving competitions and being the home of British Paralympic Swimming.

Visitor numbers to Manchester were around 18 million people per year in 2002. By 2014 (the latest year for which figures are available) that number had risen to 115 million visitors, according to Marketing Manchester. It is no wonder, then, that both Birmingham and Liverpool are keen to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Ray Withers, CEO of specialist international property investment company Property Frontiers, offers buy-to-let apartments for sale in both cities – the stunning Parker Street Residences in Liverpool (investment from £69,950) and the hand-picked Divine Collection in Birmingham (investment from £23,925). He comments,

“Birmingham and Liverpool would both make excellent venues for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The cities are already known on the international stage and have the potential to deliver an outstanding sporting experience in 2026. The chosen host city will benefit from a lasting legacy, from the addition and expansion of world-class facilities to increased global exposure and rising tourism numbers.”

Hosting a sporting event of this nature also provides a city with the chance to breathe new life into entire areas. Both Liverpool and Birmingham have already enjoyed significant spending on regeneration in recent years. Liverpool city centre, where Parker Street Residences enjoys a prime location, has become an increasingly sought after residential area, with young professionals looking to enjoy the benefits of city centre life. In Birmingham, it is the area of Digbeth that has become home to the city’s hottest urban lifestyle, with tenants flocking to contemporary apartments like those in the Divine Collection.

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

Digbeth is simply Divine to young urbanites and investors alike

Digbeth is simply Divine to young urbanites and investors alike

United Kingdom
  • Birmingham house prices up 8.3% in past year (Hometrack)
  • Digbeth creating a name for itself as ‘Birmingham’s Shoreditch’
  • Brand new Divine Collection apartments available from £159,500 (Property Frontiers)

Digbeth, which is increasingly referred to as ‘Birmingham’s Shoreditch’, is an area on the up. Hip bars and arty coffee shops rub shoulders with independent stores and some of the funkiest clubs in the UK’s second city.

Young, creative professionals work in huge, converted warehouses where businesses ranging from performing arts companies to new media hubs feel right at home. Art meets culture meets creativity, all with a good-sized helping of retail therapy and top restaurants thrown in for good measure.

The architecture of Digbeth is reflective of the area’s creativity, with brightly coloured buildings and motivational murals creating a complex, stylish urban landscape that oozes contemporary appeal. The Custard Factory is the heart of the area’s creativity. Offering office space, shops, salons, venues for special events, films, fairs, festivals and an ‘art of the month’ initiative, the complex is packed with independent companies staffed by bright young things who work hard by day and play hard by night.

Many of those who work in Digbeth are keen to live in the area too and demand for high end, contemporary accommodation is on the up, according to Ray Withers, CEO of specialist international property investment company Property Frontiers. He comments,

“Digbeth is turning into Birmingham’s most stylish location and we’ve seen interest in rental accommodation pick up significantly there. There’s a really unique vibe to the area and always something going on. It’s so much more than a 9-5 destination, which is why so many professionals are looking to make it their home, as well as the place they work.”

In response to such keen interest, Property Frontiers has just launched The Divine Collection at St Anne’s Court, in the heart of Digbeth. The hand-picked selection of 30 apartments will offer sophisticated, elegant homes to just the kind of tenant looking for something a cut above the rest in Digbeth.

Investors in The Divine Collection apartments can look forward to strong demand from tenants, not just because of the excellent location, but also thanks to the spacious design, exclusive roof garden and luxurious fit-out. Prices begin at £159,500 for a one-bedroom apartment (investment from £47,850).

Birmingham is currently the eighth best performing city in the UK when it comes to house price growth, according to the June 2016 Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index, having enjoyed year on year growth of 8.3%. The fact that The Divine Collection is available at prices some 10% lower than neighbouring developments provides the apartments with excellent potential for capital growth over the build period (construction is already underway, with completion due in Q1 2018).

Another part of Digbeth’s appeal is the area’s location within Birmingham. Residents can reach the Bullring and Selfridges on foot in 10 minutes. City centre locations don’t get much more convenient and Digbeth is perfectly suited to those who want to live somewhere where they can have the best that Birmingham has to offer right on their doorstep.

Digbeth is also set to benefit from the huge redevelopment due to take place at Birmingham Smithfield, which adjoins Digbeth’s western border. One of the biggest single ownership redevelopment sites in the country, Birmingham Smithfield will see the city’s wholesale markets relocated to one unique, vibrant market district. The area will include a new public space (Market Square), a family leisure quarter, a vast market space and integration with Midland Metro.

Property Frontiers’ Ray Withers concludes,

“Digbeth these days feels like Deptford and Shoreditch used to – there’s a sense of excitement in the air, a feeling that the area is beginning to really define itself. It’s a great time to invest in property in an area, as many of those who bought homes in Lewisham and Hackney back when Deptford and Shoreditch were on the rise can attest. There are exciting times ahead for those who live, work and invest in Digbeth!”

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