Brexit debacle does nothing to stem flow of foreign investment into UK, with regional cities emerging on top

Brexit debacle does nothing to stem flow of foreign investment into UK, with regional cities emerging on top

United Kingdom World ,
  • Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area among top 10 global cities for foreign direct investment (IBM)
  • West Midlands is only UK region to see both FDI projects and jobs created increase (Department for International Trade)
  • Pace of FDI shows confidence in UK’s resilience and importance of regional cities (Surrenden Invest)

As we inch ever closer to a no deal Brexit, it’s easy to imagine the rest of Europe enjoying a quiet laugh at the UK’s expense. However, investors around the world are standing up to be counted and showing that they are interested in the UK for the long term, irrespective of Brexit.

Two studies have recently highlighted the importance of the UK to the global investment community – specifically, the importance of the UK’s regional cities. IBM’s 2017 Global Location Trends report looked at the world’s top cities for foreign direct investment (FDI). The annual report compares metropolitan areas based on equal labour catchment areas, for a truer comparison. Using that methodology, the Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area ranked tenth in the world for FDI, placing it in the league of cities such as London, Paris, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dubai. It beat the likes of Barcelona, Toronto and Dublin to make it to the tenth spot.

According to IBM, Manchester and Liverpool jointly pulled in the tenth highest number of FDI projects of any global city in 2017. In doing so, they created some 7,000 jobs.

“It’s brilliant to see Manchester and Liverpool rubbing shoulders with the world’s top cities. Both have undergone extensive regeneration over the past couple of decades, positioning themselves to compete globally at this level. Manchester has established itself as the UK’s creative and media hub, while Liverpool’s health and life science sectors, and digital manufacturing industry, are truly world-class.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Foreign direct investment has not been limited to these sectors. Far from it. Both cities have enjoyed keen interest in their property sectors too, as the UK’s need for far more rental homes than it currently has available, has attracted overseas investors in their droves. Prime developments such as Manchester’s Ancoats Gardens, with its outstanding roof garden, vast 1,715 square foot gym and on-site coffee lounge, or the 139 high-spec homes at The Tannery in Liverpool, which are available from as little as £85,000, provide precisely the easy route into the UK property market that many foreign investors are seeking.

Further research by Foundation Home Loans has contributed to the sense of long-term security that investment in sectors such as buy-to-let in the UK brings with it. The company found that 18% of landlords plan to remain active in the sector indefinitely, versus just 6% who are considering exiting the buy-to-let market in the next year or two.

“What several of the latest research pieces are showing is that investors are looking to keep their money in the UK over the longer term, despite the continued blustering that we read daily about the Brexit debacle. Behind the scenes, investors are letting their funds speak for themselves.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

The second piece of research to flag up the importance of one of the UK’s regional markets is from the Department for International Trade. The study found that the West Midlands was the only region in the UK to experience a rise in both FDI projects and the number of jobs recorded compared with a year previously. These increased by 13% and 43% respectively.

At the core of the West Midlands, Birmingham is another regional city that is firmly on international (as well as domestic) investors’ maps. Again, the city’s property market in particular is charming investors from around the globe. Developments such as Westminster Works, in the city’s investment hotspot of Digbeth, offer a global standard of urban living that appeals to investors and tenants in equal measure.

“FDI in the UK is here to stay. The property market in particular has a compelling case for its long term viability. The UK can’t build houses fast enough to house its expanding population and is over a decade behind where it needs to be in terms of the number of homes. Coupled with a rise in the appeal of city centre living, this has created an excellent environment for investors from overseas who are looking to commit their funds to exciting regional cities.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

 

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499

Newcastle’s tallest ever crane heralds new era for city’s property market

Newcastle’s tallest ever crane heralds new era for city’s property market

United Kingdom ,

 

  • 110m loughing crane believed to be largest ever used in Newcastle (High Street Residential)
  • Development will be visible from most approaches into the city
  • Hadrian’s Tower to be Newcastle’s tallest building (Surrenden Invest)

The installation of a 110m tall loughing crane over the August bank holiday weekend will mark a new era for Newcastle’s residential accommodation, according to leading property investment agency Surrenden Invest. The crane is being installed to enable the next phase in the erection of Hadrian’s Tower, a residential development that will become the city’s tallest building.

At 27-storeys tall, Hadrian’s Tower will be an exciting new addition to the Newcastle skyline. The apartment block is set to usher in a new style of chic, urban homes, with residents benefitting from a range of on-site amenities. These will include a 24/7 hotel-style concierge service, a café and touchdown meeting points. The crowning glory will be the stunning sky lounge, which will offer unsurpassed views across Newcastle.

“Hadrian’s Tower is an incredibly exciting development to bring to Newcastle, as it will mark the start of a new phase for the city’s property market. We’re seeking to raise expectations with accommodation of this standard and to inspire the future of residential accommodation in the city as a result. Using the tallest crane that the city has ever seen plays a big role in that, not just from the physical build perspective but also from the psychological point of marking the start of a new era.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

With an eight-tonne load capacity, the 110 metre loughing crane, which has a reach of 127 metres, will be used to lift everything from concrete slabs to plasterboard to cladding materials.

“This is a complex operation, due to the size of the crane. Even the mobile crane that is used to install it is enormous. Depending on the weather, we’ll be looking to have the Hadrian’s Tower crane in place by the end of Sunday 26 August. It will then remain on site for a year and the development will be visible from most entry points into the city during that time.

“We believe this will be the tallest crane that has ever been used in Newcastle. The angle of the loughing jib means that the whole structure will have a reach of 127 metres. I can’t see any reason why any of the city’s current buildings would have required a crane of this scale.”

Keith McDougall, Operations Director, High Street Residential Ltd

The crane’s installation marks an exciting stage in the building’s progression and is expected to generate considerable local interest. According to Surrenden Invest, it also signifies the city’s arrival on the global investment map.

“There’s no doubt that Newcastle has ‘arrived’ in terms of its investment credentials. We’re talking to a lot of investors who are keen to be part of the city’s future. There’s already plenty of regeneration work underway in Newcastle and some really exciting schemes, but nothing of this height. That’s why we’re so excited to be part of this step-change for the city’s property market.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

 

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499

Why is it that prime property buyers just can’t get enough of Birmingham?

Why is it that prime property buyers just can’t get enough of Birmingham?

United Kingdom ,
  • Prime Birmingham residential values to hit £500 PSF by 2020 (Knight Frank)
  • West Midlands property prices rising at fastest rate in UK (Halifax)
  • Birmingham’s innovation and dynamism, along with HS2, capture attention of overseas investors (Surrenden Invest)

It wasn’t too long ago that those with a passion for property almost took pride in never looking further than the prime London property market. Now, however, it is Birmingham that has captured investors’ imaginations – and for more than purely financial reasons.

“Property investment is fundamentally about making money, but as the buy-to-let market has matured, we’ve seen a shift in investors’ outlook. There’s something compelling about owning a property in Birmingham and investors are keen to be part of the action. It’s a city with a real buzz about it, so while London stagnates, investors are seeking to be a part of the action in Birmingham.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

The UK’s second city certainly has the right credentials in terms of its numbers. The West Midlands housing market saw annual house price growth of 7% during Q2 2018, according to Halifax, meaning that prices there are rising significantly faster than anywhere else in the UK (the next highest house price increases were in Wales and Scotland, which both recorded growth of 3.7%). Within Birmingham itself, the pace of increase appears to be even faster, with Hometrack’s UK Cities House Price Index reporting a rise of 2.9% in the past year alone.

But price rises are only half of the story when it comes to Birmingham. The city also provides exceptional value in terms of its asking prices. The average Birmingham property costs just £161,100. That’s cheaper than the average for Manchester, Leicester, Leeds and a wide range of other regional cities. It’s also well below the UK average of £218,600, according to Hometrack’s figures.

The story so far as prime city centre property is concerned is even more compelling. In London, prime sales volumes have plummeted by 16.9% over the past year, according to the Q2 2018 Coutts London Prime Property Index, while prices have fallen by 1.7%. This is in stark contrast to Birmingham, where Knight Frank has projected that prime residential values will continue rising, hitting £500 per square foot by 2020.

“The numbers stack up so well in Birmingham that it’s easy to see why the city’s prime residential market has captured such attention both within the UK and overseas. A range of other factors come into play too. Birmingham is known for its striking, modern architecture and has an outstanding reputation as a shopping and leisure destination. Cultural pursuits and economic opportunities abound and the city has become a magnet for big businesses looking to relocate away from the expense and congestion of London.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and HMRC are among those to have been drawn to Birmingham in recent years. Now, the city is also among the top three options for the location of Channel 4’s new headquarters. And still property prices remain well below the UK average.

HS2 has played an important role in elevating Birmingham in the eyes of investors in recent years. The high speed network has pushed forward a number of regeneration schemes within the city, with enhanced connectivity to London and Europe seen as a key driver for Birmingham’s rising reputation overseas. Regeneration work is widespread, with areas such as Digbeth and Smithfield benefitting particularly.

“One of the most notable things we’re seeing about the investment that is pouring into Birmingham is the focus on city centre living. Residences in the vicinity of iconic buildings, such as the Bullring or the Mailbox, are commanding attention from investors looking for premium properties in top locations.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Interest in the city is so strong that leading property investment agency Surrenden Invest has been taken aback at the speed with which homes at its Westminster Works development are selling. Priced from £165,000, the properties provide investors with a 5% NET yield and plenty of scope for capital growth. The Surrenden Invest team is now poised to unveil a further Birmingham development, in close proximity to the Mailbox, although further details of this are currently being kept under wraps. One thing is for certain though – in this dynamic and fast-paced city, the next innovation is just around the corner.

 

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499

Regional property markets race to catch the capital

Regional property markets race to catch the capital

United Kingdom ,
  • Property price gap between London and other cities to narrow over next 1-2 years (Hometrack)
  • Tax changes driving shift in regular market cycles (Surrenden Invest)
  • Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham enjoying annual price rises of 6.5% and above

 

The latest Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index projects a narrowing of the property price gap between London and the UK’s other cities over the next year or two. For investors, the choice is clear – regional cities are the place to be if they wish to profit from property. But are we at risk of completing the same cycle as we saw just over a decade ago, or has the market learned from its previous mistakes?

“While many factors mirror the housing market’s performance back in the early 2000s, there are some substantial differences that look set to bring about different outcomes from this state in the cycle. Tax changes are playing a key role in this, as are the rising quality and security standards of regional city developments.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

At present, house price inflation stands at 4.3% for the UK as a whole over the past year. For London, the figure drops to just 0.4% over the same period. Edinburgh has seen the highest increase in values, at 7.1% over the year to April 2018, closely followed by Manchester, at 7.0%.  Birmingham also fared far better than average, at 6.5%, as did Liverpool, at 5.9%.

The regional success stories stand in stark contrast to the price falls seen in 20 of London’s 33 local authorities. Developments such as Westminster Works in Birmingham are thus offering investors far more potential for capital growth, as well as healthy yields. Ideally positioned to benefit from the HS2 Curzon Street station scheme, as well as the redevelopment taking place as part of the Smithfield masterplan, the premium apartments are raising the bar for rental accommodation in Birmingham. The luxurious apartments come with a range of top facilities, including a concierge service, secure on-site parking and smart home, eco-friendly technology in every home.

The same trend of the regions racing to catch up with London’s prices occurred between 2002 and 2005, when London saw weak growth after a period of strong performance from 1996 to 2000. Regional markets had lagged behind, but began reporting strong performance from 2001 onwards, thus narrowing the price gap.

However, leading property investment agency Surrenden Invest is quick to point out that the current market has a number of significant differences to that of the early to mid 2000s. While the cycle appears similar, secondary cities may actually stand a more realistic chance of catching up to London’s prices than they did previously.

“People have been saying that London is too expensive since before Black Monday in 1987, yet over the last 30 years property prices there have grown enormously. Still, there comes a point when a market becomes too expensive to bounce back quickly, even when there are chronic underlying supply issues, as is the case with London. The city remains one of the world’s most significant and sophisticated property markets, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t suffer a sharp, swift price correction – or that it could quickly recover from such an occurrence.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

In previous property market cycles, the regions have narrowed the price gap between their cities and London, only for London’s prices to race ahead once more. This time, though, the quality, security and corporate governance of nationwide developers are far stronger than they were even ten years ago. Previously a concern for risk-averse buyers, these strong credentials – and the attractive yields on offer – mean that regional cities stand a good chance of catching up to London’s prices outside of the standard cycles that we’ve seen over the past 20 years.

Another contributing factor is the new Stamp Duty regime. Many of London’s properties are located in prime and super prime locations, costing upwards of £1 million. The sale of those properties has been significantly hampered by the higher tax rates, as well as the additional 3% charge on second homes. With regional properties available for significantly less money, the tax burden is reduced sufficiently to make regional property purchases more attractive than London ones in the eyes of many investors.

“Are we likely to see the regions catch up relative to London in terms of their property prices? Probably not, as London remains a uniquely appealing market. However, what we are likely to see is a sustained and significant narrowing of the price gap, as regional cities hold fast in the wake of London’s price correction.”

 Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

 

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499

Apartment prices rising faster than any other property type, new data reveals

Apartment prices rising faster than any other property type, new data reveals

United Kingdom ,
  • Average UK apartment price up by £1,251 per month over last 5 years (Halifax)
  • Regional cities such as Liverpool and Newcastle currently exciting investors (Surrenden Invest)
  • Strength of labour market continues to support house prices (Halifax)

Newly released data from Halifax has shown that the average UK apartment has increased in value by £1,251 per month over the past five years, rising by £75,074 over the period.

Although apartments make up just 15% of all home sales, their relevance to urban labour markets is increasingly important. This is borne out by the Halifax data, which shows an increase of 48% in apartment values between 2013 and 2018, compared with an increase of just 42% for terraced houses and 27% for detached homes.

“The sustained level of demand for apartments in regional city centres has shown solid credentials, even in the wake of the Brexit referendum. With dynamic local economies and solid labour markets, regional cities are an enticing prospect for those looking to make capital gains, whether as owner-occupiers or investors. In fact, the majority of investors we work with now come to us with a regional city firmly in mind – London has lost its shine as a residential investment prospect as the UK’s other cities are producing better returns.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Liverpool is one city that has benefitted from this new breed of regionally focused property investors. Developments such as The Tannery, which offers bright, contemporary residences with beautifully presented interiors, are drawing in both domestic and international investors. Hadrian’s Tower, in Newcastle, is another such example. Its blend of exceptional apartments and innovative social spaces is precisely what investors are looking for.

Halifax’s latest House Price Index shows a monthly rise in home values of 1.5% during May, following a brief wobble in April. The lender flags up the labour market’s performance, along with low interest rates, as two of the reasons behind this.

“The continuing strength of the labour market is supporting house prices. In the three months to March the number of full-time employees increased by 202,000, the biggest rise in three years. We are also seeing pay growth edging up and consumer price inflation falling, and as a result the squeeze on real earnings has started to ease. With interest rates still very low we see mortgage affordability at very manageable levels providing a further underpinning to prices.”

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax

With the UK population expected to pass 70 million by mid-2029, and urbanisation increasing steadily (from 80.2% in 2006 to 82.84% in 2016, according to Statista), demand for city centre apartments looks likely to remain strong over the years ahead. And with apartment prices increasing at a faster rate than any other kind of accommodation, they are sure to remain the property of choice for investors looking to make the most of their money.

 

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499

Westminster Works – Latest housing jewel in Digbeth’s crown

Westminster Works – Latest housing jewel in Digbeth’s crown

United Kingdom ,
  • Westminster Works to provide 220 elegant apartments in strategic Digbeth location
  • Digbeth continuing to build reputation as the place to live, eat and work in Birmingham
  • Extensive regeneration plans to ensure that Birmingham benefits fully from HS2

 

Whichever way you look at it, Digbeth is the place to be in Birmingham.

Not a week goes by when there isn’t a rumour circulating as to the latest hip venue that’s about to pop up. The last month alone has brought the news that a vast new live music venue – The Mill – is to open in the heart of Digbeth, complete with mezzanine level and rooftop garden. Also planned is a giant late-night food and drink market, featuring three bars, four kitchens and regular DJ slots. Meanwhile, Digbeth Dining Club has gained such a reputation for its gourmet credentials that its touring neighbouring cities!

There’s also much more to Digbeth than leisure pursuits, exciting though the area’s cultural credentials may be. The £5 million STEAMhouse project has just launched to provide a co-working space that brings together businesses, artists and academics. Fostering economic growth and innovation are top of the agenda for the Digbeth High Street-based initiative.

 

“Digbeth has an incredible energy and sense of purpose about it. If you stand behind the Bullring and look out over the area, the potential is evident. Everywhere you look there are new projects being developed, from entertainment venues and cultural hubs to business premises and superb new residential buildings.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

 

One of the most exciting residential projects in Digbeth is the newly launched Westminster Works. Home to 220 elegant, loft-style apartments, complete with rooftop terrace, concierge service, secure on-site parking and smart home, eco-friendly technology in every home, the development plans to take Birmingham city living to the next level.

Bespoke David Phillips furniture packs complement the warehouse-inspired design of the building’s exterior, ensuring that Westminster Works has a contemporary, luxurious feel all of its own, while high end fixtures and fittings reinforce the superior standard of the accommodation.

Those investing in apartments such as the homes at Westminster Works, which are available from £168,000 through leading property investment agency Surrenden Invest, are also set to benefit from the extensive regeneration work that is transforming several areas of Birmingham city centre. The master-planned regeneration includes the multi-billion pound residential and retail Smithfield area, a £770 million redevelopment of New Street Station and the integration of Curzon Street Station in Digbeth into the city centre, to ensure that the whole of Birmingham reaps the benefits of the HS2 high speed rail network.

With so much on offer in a world-class urban setting, it’s no wonder that investments such as Westminster Works are so popular with investors from the UK and overseas alike.

 

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499

Avoid new ‘Green Tax’ with energy efficient B2L investments in Manchester’s city centre

Avoid new ‘Green Tax’ with energy efficient B2L investments in Manchester’s city centre

United Kingdom
  • Changes to ‘Green Tax’ legislation could cost buy-to-let landlords up to £5,000
  • From April 2018 loans are no longer available to boost a property’s energy efficiency – expected to affect approximately 330,000 investors
  • One Cross Street in Manchester uses low-carbon tech to be one of the city’s most energy-efficient properties (Surrenden Invest)

The UK buy-to-let landscape altered significantly during the first half of 2016, however, the industry has shown few signs of faltering. Advisors surveyed in Paragon Mortgages’ latest Financial Advisor Confidence Tracking (FACT) report revealed that 24% of their business in Q1 2016 consisted of buy-to-let, a modest 1% increase from the previous quarter.

Changes to the rules surrounding the ‘Green Tax’ could disrupt this seemingly endless upward trajectory with landlords liable to spend up to an additional £5,000 on their properties.

Proposed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the ’Green Tax’ will see landlords having to pay in advance for property improvements such as cavity wall filling, insulation and efficient boilers. Designed to save tenants money on rising fuel expenses, the government are predicting 11% in savings for the average household by 2020.

From April 2018 all properties must meet a Band E energy efficient rating at least, but with loans no longer available to boost a property’s energy efficiency and landlord’s liable for the required works, it is expected to affect approximately 330,000 investors.

There are however opportunities arising that could cause this latest change to become redundant for buy-to-let investors. Property consultancy Surrenden Invest’s most recent development in the heart of Manchester, One Cross Street, uses modern low-carbon technology to ensure the building is one of the city’s most energy-efficient.

Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director of Surrenden Invest, comments,

“This change to legislation for buy-to-let landlords will cause savvy investors to seek out opportunities that already meet the new requirements, a future-proof investment. With a Band A energy efficiency rating, One Cross Street is win-win, allowing investors to be exempt from the new ‘Green Tax’ and its residents to benefit from significantly lower running costs.”

One Cross Street is situated in the city centre just 5 minutes’ walk from Manchester’s prime business and exclusive leisure district, Spinningfields, as well as from the luxury shopping district New Cathedral Street. Redeveloped from the stunning structure of a former cotton mill, the original building of One Cross Street was built circa 1907.

With prices starting at £130,323, the property is formed of 34 luxury apartments featuring elements of the existing structure left such as exposed brick and beams. The project has also included the creation of a modern new-build extension which will include two new penthouse levels featuring floor to ceiling glass walls as well as a beautiful roof terrace available to all residents. Properties also come fully furnished with high end fixtures and fittings.

For more information, visit www.surrendeninvest.com or contact Surrenden Invest on 0203 3726 499.

Growing numbers of young professionals demand luxury city-centre living in Liverpool

Growing numbers of young professionals demand luxury city-centre living in Liverpool

United Kingdom
  • Liverpool city centre population increases by 160% in a single decade (Centre for Cities)
  • Prime town and city market prices now 3% above 2007 peak (Knight Frank)
  • New development The Strand Plaza, Liverpool epitomises luxury living for young professionals (Surrenden Invest)

Knight Frank’s latest Prime Country View report highlighted the rise of urban prime in the UK over the past decade. According to the report, prime property values in town and city markets have jumped 26% since 2005, compared to just 7% for rural properties. Whilst rural homes languish at 13% below their 2007 peak, prime city residences have now exceeded their former peak by 3%.

These figures certainly tally with the experiences of those in Liverpool. Centre for Cities has unveiled a report which shows the number of people residing in the city centre more than doubled in the decade to 2011. According to the report, the rise was fuelled by young professionals: more than half of Liverpool city centre’s residents were aged between 22 and 29 by 2011, quite an impressive figure that reveals a new trend in city centre living.

The availability of jobs was the main reason behind the huge rise in those looking to live in the city centre, but that’s not the only attraction of living centrally, as Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director of property consultancy Surrenden Invest, explains,

“We’ve seen a real rise in demand for luxury city centre living over the past decade. Young professionals are no longer happy to settle for mediocre accommodation in the suburbs and a tiresome commute to and from work. They want a luxury pad that’s ideally located for work – as well as for accessing the city’s leisure and cultural pursuits during evenings and at the weekend. It’s all about location AND luxury – prime developments need to be well located and offer additional features like concierge services to really pique the interest of contemporary young professionals of today.”

Stephens cites the limited release of apartments at The Strand Plaza, Liverpool, as the perfect example. The building is set within Liverpool’s UNSECO World Heritage waterfront area – a prime city centre location. The striking exterior opens up into well-appointed living spaces designed to target young professionals with a taste for the finer things in life. Apartments come fully furnished and with premium amenities, such as the 24-hour concierge service.

One bedroom apartments at The Strand Plaza cost from £135,000 to £165,000, with two bedrooms priced from £185,000 to £250,000, with 6.5% NET assured return.

Such developments will serve to meet the growing demand for luxury accommodation that cities like Liverpool are experiencing. As the Centre for Cities report observes, the higher cost of properties that provide city centre living is no longer the deterrent that it once was for young people just starting out on the career ladder,

“These people are willing to pay a premium to live there, in order to access the amenities that city centre living offers – being able to walk to work, being near cultural attractions, being near shops and restaurants, and being surrounded by other young, professional, single people.”

While Liverpool’s overall city centre population rose by 160% between 2001 and 2011, its younger residents (aged 22-29) more than quadrupled in number. The dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit of this city-based community is behind Liverpool’s growing reputation as the startup capital for the North, with Santander having opened its first business incubator there in 2014. Liverpool is also home to the SparkUp accelerator programme and Launch22 has opted for Liverpool as well, opening its first incubator outside of London there.

This business and entrepreneurial ethos has spread throughout the city and is based on a solid and rapidly improving financial foundation. According to PwC’s Good Growth for Cities 2014 report, Liverpool saw the largest improvement in income equality and the fourth largest rise in income per head out of any UK city.

With so many bright young things flocking to the city centre to be part of Liverpool’s future, it will be fascinating to see how much better the city performs over the coming years, with all this creative and passionate talent at its disposal, and in turn to witness the ever-growing demand for young luxury city-centre living.

For further details, visit www.surrendeninvest.com, email info@surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499.

Green living in the big city – Horizon London showcases sustainable building

Green living in the big city – Horizon London showcases sustainable building

United Kingdom
  • 16% of people would withdraw an offer on a property with a low energy efficiency rating (Populus)
  • Climate change key cause of conflict in Syria (Prince Charles)
  • Horizon London showcasing sustainable city living (Surrenden Invest)

Green living is becoming increasingly important to homebuyers. In a recent survey by Populus, 16% of respondents said that a low energy efficiency rating would be sufficient for them to withdraw their offer on a property. A further 23% said that poor energy efficiency would lead them to reduce their offer by hundreds of pounds, while 36% would reduce it by thousands.

It is a message that has not been lost on the UK. From the government’s solar panels initiative to the academics at De Montfort University who are trialling a revolutionary eco heating system, which essentially stores heat in the garden soil during the summer for use during the winter, the housing market is buzzing with new ways to make the residential accommodation leaner and greener.

But it’s not just country piles with huge gardens that can take advantage of innovative modern solutions to saving energy. A new building – Horizon London – is showcasing sustainable living in the big city. Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director of London-based property consultancy Surrenden Invest, explains,

“Horizon London is, quite simply, the building of the future when it comes to city life. Every element of the building has been carefully planned with sustainability in mind. This isn’t just a token nod to greener living, but a fully-fledged commitment to creating the kind of apartments that people can be proud to own due to their sustainable credentials.”

Located in Ilford, just a few minutes’ walk from Seven Kings station and 10-12 minutes’ walk from Ilford Station, Horizon London offers sustainable living for a sustainable community. The building’s ‘living’ walls not only create a stunning visual effect, but offer a range of benefits. According to Green Over Grey, living walls improve air quality, provide buildings with a shield from sun, rain and thermal fluctuations, reduce stress, enhance wellbeing and dampen noise pollution. They also enhance a property’s value by being in tune with future demand.

Horizon London also features photovoltaic cells on the upper levels, rainwater harvesting and a centralised heating system. These features work in tandem with the building’s smart design to ensure that fewer resources are used when compared with similar buildings that have not incorporated sustainability into their design. Essentially, Horizon London consumes less energy and less heat escapes the building.

As well as enticing investors looking for a modern, socially responsible way into the UK’s booming buy-to-let market, Horizon London’s green features are also appealing to tenants. The living walls create a beautiful backdrop to daily life, while the fact that less heat escapes the building means that resident’s energy bills are reduced.

“What we’re seeing at Horizon London is seriously sophisticated sustainable design coming to life,” continues Surrenden Invest’s Jonathan Stephens. “Each element of the building has been designed to work in harmony with the others. It’s about taking a holistic approach to sustainability and creating something that is superior to the sum of its parts, even when each of those component parts is already an excellent feature. Investors have been absolutely delighted with the result.”

The impact of climate change is still poorly understood around the world, but there is a growing body of evidence to show that its impact is not just a threat to the future, but a very real force behind global unrest today. A study by the University of California found that greenhouse gas emissions exacerbated the drought in Syria from 2006-2010. The drought led to mass movement of people from the country to the cities, even as food stocks dwindled and prices rose. Though there were other factors contributing to the conflict there, the role that climate change played is not to be underestimated according to sources as diverse as Prince Charles and political activist Charlotte Church.

It can be hard to recognise the full impact of buying into a sustainable future today, but it is actually possible to demonstrate a chain of events that starts with buildings like Horizon London and ends with fewer lives being lost around the world. Now that’s a truly sustainable commitment to a better world.

Prices at Horizon London range from £233,000 to £515,000.

For further details, visit www.surrendeninvest.com, email info@surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499.

Buy-to-let demand predicted to soar with each new generation

Buy-to-let demand predicted to soar with each new generation

United Kingdom
  • Fewer than half of those born in 1990 will own their own home by age 40 (Savills)
  • Custom House Crossrail station area prices to rise by 40.5% by 2020 (JLL)
  • Riverside buy-to-let apartments available from £390k (Surrenden Invest)

Newly released data from Savills has thrown into stark relief the pace at which home ownership is falling in the UK. Issue three of the Residential Property Focus 2015 reveals both the rate at which home ownership has fallen since 1960 and the rate at which it is projected to go on falling for those born in the 1980s and 1990s.

According to the Savills figures, 53% of those born in 1960 could look forward to owning their own home by the age of 30, rising to 71% by the age of 40 and 79% by the age of 50. This compares to just 35% of those born in 1980 and 26% (projected) of those born in 1990 being able to own their own home by age 30. And it is clear with these figures that it is the 1990 cohort that is set to suffer the most. By age 40, the majority of the group will be in rented accommodation, with just 47% predicted to own their own home.

Of course, falling homeownership levels aren’t bad news for everyone. The figures paint a promising picture of a profitable future for the UK’s buy-to-let sector. Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director of Surrenden Invest, a London-based property consultancy specialising in high yielding buy-to-let investments, explains,

“Quite simply, falling rates of homeownership mean rising rates of renters, so the growing situation in the UK creates a substantial opportunity for those looking to make their money work for them by investing in residential real estate. Of course, alongside this it is important to remember that the area in which you invest is important too – a few miles difference, particularly in major cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool, can have a big impact on yields.”

This is particularly true of London properties. House prices are projected to rise by 21.5% in central London and by 18.2% in outer London over the next five years, according to Savills. Yet figures from JLL predict rises of nearly double those averages by 2020 in many areas of the capital, all good news for those able to buy.

Yet there are even more substantial profits to be found for those savvy investors who look carefully. Property around the new Custom House Crossrail station, for example, is projected to rise in value by 40.5% over the next five years, based on the JLL forecasts, with the same area expected to achieve rental price growth in excess of 28% by 2020.

Royal Victoria Residence is located just minutes from the planned Custom House Crossrail station. The superior one, two and three bedroom apartments, due for completion towards the end of 2017, will benefit from premium amenities, including a 24-hour concierge service. Curved balconies, views of the Thames and Canary Wharf and sleek interiors are bound to prove popular with the demands of modern tenants, making this one of London’s key riverside investment opportunities over the coming years. Prices range from £390,186 to £854,459.

Soaring levels of investment in London’s Royal Docks are also likely to impact positively on property prices over the coming years. Surrenden Invest’s Jonathan Stephens comments,

“The revitalisation programme for the area around London’s historic Royal Docks is massive. There are some vast mixed-use projects underway and others still under discussion. Royal Wharf at £3.5 billion, for example, and Silvertown Quays at £1.5 billion are going to have a huge impact on local employment levels and economic output growth. Altogether some £22 billion of investment potential has been identified in the area.”

The intense redevelopment makes the Royal Victoria Residence an even more exciting prospect for buy-to-let investors. Certainly with the rate of home ownership projected to continue falling over the years ahead, it will be developments like this that make up the future of London’s housing market.

For further details, visit www.surrendeninvest.com, email info@surrendeninvest.com or call 0203 3726 499.