From Mumbai to Manchester – could Indian investment be a top 2019 property trend?

From Mumbai to Manchester – could Indian investment be a top 2019 property trend?

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  • New direct Mumbai flights could open up Manchester property market to Indian investors (Surrenden Invest)
  • Trade between UK and India worth £18 billion in 2017 – up 15% on 2016 (DIT)
  • £1 billion 2018 Indian investment announcement to create/safeguard 5,750 British jobs

Jet Airways’ new Manchester to Mumbai direct flight route has prompted speculation that the city might be ripe for a wave of Indian investment. Manchester has already benefitted immensely from Chinese investment, and now 2019 could be India’s turn to fall in love with this enticing British city, according to specialist property investment agency Surrenden Invest.

“It wasn’t that long ago that investors from overseas looked only at London when it came to investing in UK cities, but the likes of Manchester have rocketed onto the global stage in recent years, attracting keen interest from China in particular. Those same attractions that convinced Chinese investors to look more closely at Manchester are now ready to woo investors from India.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Manchester is well positioned to attract the kind of global attention that could trigger a new wave of foreign investment. TimeOut has just flagged up its Ancoats district as the 13th coolest neighbourhood in the world. Colourful street murals, cotton mills transformed into affordable co-working spaces, artisanal bakeries and gun joints all contribute to Ancoats’ distinctive vibe.

Of course, Ancoats – and Manchester as a whole – are already firmly on many foreign investors’ radars. Two years after the opening of the Hainan Airlines direct route between Manchester and Beijing, figures show a 38% increase in Chinese visitors to the region – higher than the London average and that of the UK as a whole, both of which stood at 30%. Hand in hand with the increase in flow of people has been an increase in the flow of spending, with those visiting the North West spending 5% more than the national average.

“UK-China bilateral trade links have never been stronger: in 2017 UK-China bilateral trade expanded by 15.1% to reach a record £67.5bn, whilst UK exports of goods and services to China grew by 28.5%… I’m delighted to see Manchester and the surrounding region benefit so much from this flight connection to Beijing.”

Richard Burn, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for China

Investors have also been spending big in Manchester since the direct flight route opened in 2016, particularly when it comes to the city’s property market. Of course, Chinese investment in Manchester pre-dates the direct flight connection. Indeed, the Manchester China Forum celebrated its fifth anniversary in April 2018. The forum has seen more almost £4 billion of investment in Manchester’s infrastructure by China in that time, with Airport City, Middlewood Locks, Angel Meadows and the Northern Gateway all benefitting.

As well as giant, corporate investors, individuals with an interest in property have been keen to get involved in the Manchester scene. Areas such as Middlewood Locks are perfect for them, with properties such as Middlewood Plaza offering a decent entry point into the market. Priced from £153,000, the stylish apartments, townhouses and duplexes provide the ideal contemporary property investment.

Another popular option is Ancoats Gardens, which sits at the heart of Manchester’s hippest district. The stylish apartments with their high ceilings and premium facilities are priced from £229,714. From an award-winning local developer, the building boasts exemplary environmental credentials. Facilities for residents, meanwhile, include an extensive roof terrace, on-site gym and spacious coffee lounge.

With Jet Airways’ opening of a new direct route between Manchester and Mumbai, there’s plenty of scope for rupees to start rolling into the city in 2019. Earlier this year, more than £1 billion of new Indian investment into the UK was announced, creating or safeguarding 5,750 British jobs as a result of technology, trade and investment partnerships between the two nations. Figures from the Department for International Trade show £18 billion worth of trade between the UK and India in 2017, representing a 15% increase over the 2016 figure.

“Removing barriers to trade is a key way in which the UK can capitalise on the predicted growth in world markets and I’m so delighted we have come to this new trade partnership with India.”

Liam Fox, UK International Trade Secretary

Now that the Jet Airways route has made Manchester more accessible to Indian investors, and thus removed a barrier to their involvement in the local area, it remains to be seen how quickly the city can impress Indian visitors with its potential. Those working in the UK buy to let property sector will certainly be keeping a close eye on the situation.


For more information, visit or call 0203 3726 499

Homes near Christmas markets – at home and overseas

Homes near Christmas markets – at home and overseas

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  • Regional Christmas markets pulling in shoppers from far and wide
  • Arras French Christmas market drawing shoppers across the Channel
  • Twinkling festive lights and beach sunsets a winning combination in Spain

Each year, towns and cities around the world hang up their twinkly lights and roll out the market stalls, ready for the magic of Christmas to come alive once more. From traditional toys to quirky gifts, Christmas markets provide a wonderfully atmospheric way to do your Christmas shopping, with plenty of tasty treats thrown in to keep you going.

According to the Nabma ROI team, Christmas markets generate more than £250 million in visitor spending. Deloitte, meanwhile, are projecting a rise of 1% in our Christmas spending this year, with an average spend of £567 per person over the festive season. The figure is 42% higher than the European average. The majority of the expenditure (£299) will be on gifts, though food and drink and socialising will account for a fair amount, at £151 and £66 respectively.

Those shopping for properties at this time of year can enjoy the delights of local Christmas markets as they analyse the area(s) they’re interested in. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best festive markets and the best local properties, to give them a head start.


Birmingham is known for hosting the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. From craft beers and artisan edibles to toys and crafts, this is a great place to do your Christmas shopping while indulging in some incredible gingerbread.

In terms of property market opportunities, Birmingham is home to the exceptional Westminster Works. Nestled in the city’s hip and happening Digbeth area, the 220 elegant apartments are available from £168,000 through Surrenden Invest.


Manchester’s Christmas market attracts millions of visitors each year, with a wide variety of gifts, toys and gourmet treats, alongside an ice rink to burn off all those extra Christmas calories.

For property investors, Ancoats Gardens is the obvious choice. The latest of Surrenden Invest’s investment opportunities, the world-class apartments are one of the city’s most exciting developments. Prices start from £229,714.


Of course, it’s not just the UK that has jumped on the Christmas market trend. Shoppers looking to head across the Channel will find one of France’s most beautiful Christmas markets just an hour’s drive from Calais. The market is set in the midst of the splendid, Flemish-style architecture of Arras, some of which is UNESCO World Heritage listed. The Village de Noël includes more than 130 chalets, surrounded by richly decorated Christmas trees and fairy lights. Toys, gifts and gourmet treats abound, along with an action-packed funfair with everything from an ice rink and toboggan slide to a merry-go-round and big wheel.

Properties in the local area are as diverse as the gifts for sale at the market. One of the most interesting currently on the market is a three-storey water mill with beautiful grounds, which spans the River Ternoise. Ripe for conversion, the property is on the market for €309,000.


A short plane ride away, Spain also hosts some superb Christmas markets each year. In the Costa del Sol, visitors can enjoy sunshine and beachscapes during the day, then head for the gently twinkling lights of the Nordic-style stalls in Estepona of an evening. Traditional teddy bears, clothing, craft items, festive Spanish treats and much more await eager shoppers, while an ice rink and children’s playground ensure little ones (and not so little ones) will be entertained too.

On the property front, Taylor Wimpey España’s picturesque Green Golf development is home to 48 spacious houses with large terraces and spectacular golf course views. Prices for these three-bedroom, three-bathroom home start from €280,000 plus VAT, with residents enjoying lush communal gardens and pools as part of their purchase.


For more information:

Surrenden Invest: visit or call 0203 3726 499 

FrenchEntrée: visit or call +44 (0)1225 463752.

Taylor Wimpey España: visit or call 08000 121 020 (or 00 34 971 706 972 from outside the UK).

New Brexit Guide from Surrenden Invest helps property investors see past the politics

New Brexit Guide from Surrenden Invest helps property investors see past the politics

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  • Resignations and leadership struggles getting in the way of key Brexit facts and figures
  • New Brexit Guide to help investors see through the political fog
  • Regional focus examines potential of cities such as Birmingham and Manchester

It’s been a turbulent few days, even by the usual standards of the Brexit process. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has resigned, apparently unable to give his commitment to the agreement that he was largely responsible for negotiating. Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has also quit, reportedly following a cabinet meeting in which she was reduced to tears, as have Junior Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara and junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman.

The Prime Minster is now being hauled over the coals by everyone from the opposition to her own party, as Jacob Rees-Mogg moves to lead a vote of no-confidence.

“While emotions are naturally running high, given the importance of the process that is underway, all this politicking doesn’t help those looking at the investment potential of the UK property sector. They need facts and figures on which to base their investment decisions: What has happened to property prices since the Brexit vote? Which areas are up and coming? What about the future construction pipeline? These are the questions that property investors need answers to.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

In order to best meet investors’ needs, specialist property investment agency Surrenden Invest has put together a thorough, detailed Brexit Guide. The document takes a no-nonsense look at the economic fundamentals that the UK is facing following its decision to leave the EU. It looks at the economy as a whole, as well as segmenting out Brexit’s impact on industry, retail, foreign direct investment and housing.

Far from being a London-centric document, the new Brexit Guide considers the regional perspective and implications, with Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle all under the spotlight in terms of their future investment potential.

Surrenden Invest is well positioned to comment on these regional hives of activity, having spent years working with local developers to bring some of the finest contemporary residential developments to investors. The company’s latest development, Ancoats Gardens in Manchester, epitomises the high quality homes that are available to investors looking to be part of the future of the UK housing market, once they can see past the Brexit politics.

“We wanted to create something that provides real value for investors – something that gives them the hard facts, as well as expert insights from our team of property and finance specialists. I’m delighted that the resulting Brexit Guide does just that.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Freely available through the Surrenden Invest website, the Brexit Guide will be updated regularly, ensuring its status as an essential, living document as we hurtle ever closer to 29 March 2019.


For more information, visit or call 0203 3726 499

The future of property investment – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be?

The future of property investment – where will 2019’s housing hotspots be?

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  • Regional cities boasting Brexit-proof potential will top investors’ lists in 2019 (Surrenden Invest)
  • Solid market fundamentals will remain in place after March
  • Growing, youthful populations will be influential on 2019 hotspots

It’s time to gaze into the housing market crystal ball to see what 2019 might bring. With the UK set to part ways with the EU at the end of March, it’s going to be an interesting year for any number of sectors, housing included. However, specialist property investment agency Surrenden Invest believes that the UK is as prepared as it can be to ensure that property investment continues as business as usual.

“Nobody can ever see what the future holds – that’s the case regardless of Brexit. As such, looking ahead to likely investment hotspots is a case of examining the underlying market fundamentals. For 2019, that means cities with youthful populations and strong trends for city centre living. The UK’s rental sector is still growing, so 2019’s hotspots will be those areas in which populations are expanding rapidly, and where employment prospects are sound.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis and is falling further and further behind each year in terms of delivering the number of homes that our population needs. The 13,000 new homes mentioned in this week’s Budget are a mere drop in the ocean. Combined with the rapid rise in popularity of city centre living, the shortage of housing is creating pockets of extreme demand in some of the UK’s regional metropolises. As such, the Surrenden Invest team has done some number crunching (with a little help from data from the Office for National Statistics and Zoopla) to see which hotspots are worth keeping a close eye on over the year ahead.


2019 property investment hotspots


2018 population: 1,147,300

2041 projected population: 1,313,300

Property price growth over past five years: 29.46%

Housing development to watch: Westminster Works

With a 14.5% population increase on the cards between now and 2041, Birmingham tops the list of 2019 hotspots. The city has a young population compared to the country as a whole, with its five university campuses attracting young people with a thirst for knowledge. The city has the sixth highest graduate retention rate of any UK city, and the third largest inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city.

This 65,000-strong student talent pool provides Birmingham with a vast pipeline of future workers and entrepreneurs. It also means that stylish homes in city centre locations are, and will continue to be, in hot demand.



2018 population: 553,500

2041 projected population: 631,500

Property price growth over past five years: 30.60%

Housing development to watch: Ancoats Gardens

Manchester is on track to experience a 14.1% population increase between 2018 and 2041, meaning it will be snapping at Birmingham’s heels in terms of growth. The city has already risen up the ranks in recent years, making it onto IBM’s list of top ten global destinations for foreign direct investment in 2017 (as part of the Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan region).

Manchester benefits from a steady influx of bright, enthusiastic young people. The city is second only to London in terms of its graduate returners (at 58%), as well as its inflow of graduates with no prior connection to the city. Businesses are doing much to harness this talent; Amazon, for example, chose Manchester as the site of its first Amazon Academy, running a series of programmes and events designed to help hundreds of small, local businesses. Future residential developments in the city centre will need to serve these entrepreneurial young professionals.



2018 population: 8,965,600

2041 projected population: 10,346,000

Property price growth over past five years: 32.36%

Housing development to watch: Brook House

London leads the UK in many respects, as a world-renowned centre for finance, business, education, tourism and more. Over the next 25 years or so, its population is projected to increase by 15.4%, driving demand for housing across the capital. From sleek, centrally located apartments to sprawling houses in the suburbs, London offers every kind of property imaginable, providing homes for workers from across the UK and the globe.

More than 300 languages are currently spoken in London’s schools, highlighting the diversity of the capital’s future workforce. The city attracts some of the best and brightest as a result of its vast range of employment opportunities and is home to a huge rental population. According to PWC, 60% of Londoners will rent their homes by 2025, as the city’s young (and not so young) professionals rent in ever greater numbers.



2018 population: 495,300

2041 projected population: 554,500

Property price growth over past five years: 24.67%

Housing development to watch: The Tannery

Liverpool is on track to experience a population increase of 12.0% between now and 2014, as the city continues to attract talented young people as a result of its thriving service sector, healthcare sector and knowledge economy. The city’s extensive cultural offering is also a draw, from its plentiful museums and art galleries to its excellent restaurants and lively music scene.

42% of Liverpool’s population is below the age of 30, compared with 37% nationally. This youthful population is driving forward Liverpool’s reputation as an innovative, entrepreneurial city. It is also one of the main forces behind the extensive regeneration that the city is experiencing, while the growing trend for city centre living is creating new hotspots close to key attractions and amenities.


Newcastle upon Tyne

2018 population: 297,400

2041 projected population: 318,100

Property price growth over past five years: 23.70%

Housing development to watch: Hadrian’s Tower

Newcastle’s city centre population has grown rapidly since the turn of the century. According to Centre for Cities, Newcastle city centre enjoyed population growth of 112% between 2002 and 2015. The massive jump in demand for city centre living is creating a hotbed of innovation within the housing sector, as developments seek to woo the bright young things who have flocked to the city for work and want prime accommodation in the heart of Newcastle.

With a superb social scene and a thriving urban renaissance well underway, Newcastle’s attractions to ambitious young professionals are plenty. It also has a rapidly growing student body as a result of its superb universities. Student numbers at Newcastle University have shot up by over 70% since 2000, while Northumbria University has enjoyed a student body increase in excess of 114% over the same period. With nearly 50,000 students in total, a full sixth of the city’s population is engaged in study, creating a uniquely youthful atmosphere as Newcastle grows its own talent for the future.


“Each of these cities has its own distinctive culture, which is drawing in young people who will ultimately contribute to the future success of that city. Those working in the housing sector need to respond accordingly, delivering high quality homes in central areas, in order to meet the demand that these young people are driving.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest


For more information, visit or call 0203 3726 499

The true cost of buy to let property

The true cost of buy to let property

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  • New Surrenden Invest mortgage and stamp duty calculators to provide financial clarity
  • Number of landlords in UK at record high of 2.5 million
  • Average properties per landlord has risen to 1.8 homes each (Ludlow Thompson)

Over the past five years, the number of landlords in the UK has increased by 27%. Not only are there more landlords, by they are buying more properties – an average of 1.8 properties each, according to Ludlow Thompson. For the last tax year, when the government’s 3% Stamp Duty levy for second home owners was in full force, and mortgage interest tax relief was on its way out, landlord numbers rose to a record high of 2.5 million.

“The UK property market represents such an outstanding investment opportunity that domestic and overseas investors have been undeterred by tax hikes and Brexit alike. Landlord numbers continue to rise, and the latest addition of 1% more Stamp Duty for foreign investors is unlikely to make much difference. The market fundamentals are strong enough to withstand it – ultimately, the UK property market remains a place where investors can make healthy returns in both the medium and the long term.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Given the continuing keen interest in UK property, particularly in regional cities, specialist property investment agency Surrenden Invest is encouraging potential investors to consider the true cost of buy to let property. Their aim is to ensure that potential investors have clarity on all of the costs involved – not just the cost of having a buy to let mortgage.

“Buy to let mortgages are just one of the costs involved in investing in buy to let – there are also legal fees, the cost of furnishing the property, service charges and ground rent for new build developments, management fees and, of course, Stamp Duty Land Tax. It’s only after investors have taken all of these into account that they can work out their returns.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

While the long list of fees might seem off-putting, investors with a keen eye for a good deal can cut costs while still investing in high end homes. At The Tannery in Liverpool, for example, apartments are available from £85,000. That means that investors pay only the lowest rate of Stamp Duty, as the cost of the home is well below the £125,000 threshold of the first band. Investors at Westminster Works in Birmingham, meanwhile, have the option of selecting stylish David Phillips furniture packs. Doing so can offer a significant cost saving compared with choosing comparable furnishings from high street suppliers, and also cuts out the cost in the investor’s time of having to furnish the apartment.

Other costs are simply part and parcel of the investment, such as service charges and ground rent. Management fees can potentially be avoided, though for many new build investment opportunities, the management company arrangements are a core part of the deal. And even when they are not, those looking for hands off investment opportunities often find that the drag on their time as a result of managing the property directly soon means that they are happy to bear the small cost of using a professional management company.

Again with financial clarity for investors in mind, the Surrenden Invest team have just announced the addition of mortgage and stamp duty calculators to their website. The new functionality will be available in the next few weeks, as the company seeks to provide investors with the right tools to aid their understanding of the true cost of buy to let.

“Investing in buy to let homes in the UK is a fantastic opportunity. We want to ensure that investors have the time to consider the financial implications of doing so at their leisure. The stamp duty and mortgage cost calculators on the Surrenden Invest website are one way in which we are enabling that.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest


For more information, visit or call 0203 3726

From property to culture to foreign direct investment, Liverpool is showing other UK cities how it’s done

From property to culture to foreign direct investment, Liverpool is showing other UK cities how it’s done

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  • Liverpool leading UK cities with house price inflation of 7.5% (Hometrack)
  • Liverpool-Manchester metropolitan area among top 10 global FDI destinations (IBM)
  • Population boom creating long-term, sustainable property investment opportunities (Surrenden Invest)

Liverpool has just hit the headlines for leading the UK’s cities in terms of its house price growth. The Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index reported 7.5% inflation in Liverpool during the year to August 2018. For those working in the Liverpool property sector, the news comes as no surprise.

“Liverpool has exceptionally strong credentials as a property investment destination. It has a booming city centre population, a thriving business community and a superb cultural offering. This combines to produce a high and sustained level of demand for decent, well-located rental homes, which in turn means that property investors can earn healthy yields, as well as enjoying the potential for impressive capital growth.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

As part of the Liverpool-Manchester metropolitan area, the city was recently flagged up by IBM’s annual Global Location Trends report as being among the top ten cities in the world for foreign direct investment (FDI). The area pulled in the tenth highest number of FDI projects in 2017, according to the report, resulting in the creation of some 7,000 jobs.

Earlier this year, TripAdvisor also highlighted Liverpool as one of the best places in the world to visit. The city’s cultural offering was key to that decision. This year, it is offering a year-long programme of events, exhibitions, seasons and performances to mark the ten-year anniversary of Liverpool being crowned European Capital of Culture. One of the most impressive offerings is the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, which is drawing in visitors from around the UK and beyond.

“Liverpool is one of those rare cities that has it all. It’s a delightful blend of economic opportunities, cultural pursuits, a superb gastronomic scene, a lively sporting offering and a thriving property market. The city also enjoys property prices that are well below the average for the UK, which is another reason that it is such an exciting prospect for property investors.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

According to Hometrack, Liverpool’s average property price stood at £120,100 as at August 2018, against a UK average of £217,300. For those buying a main residence, that means 0% stamp duty. For those buying a second home (including investment properties) it means the lowest stamp duty rate, of 3%.

Factor in a 10-15% discount for off plan properties, and Liverpool really does have some exceptional investment deals available. Apartments at The Tannery, for example, are available for as little as £85,000, with anticipated yields of 6% net. Despite the low entry price, the homes have been designed to offer outstanding quality, synonymous with the world’s greatest capital cities – those with which Liverpool has been rubbing shoulders on the IBM Global Location Trends report. Bright contemporary interiors are complemented by on-site facilities including a 24/7 concierge, secure underground parking, a spacious communal courtyard and a roof garden, all in the sought-after L3 postcode area.

“This is definitely an exciting phase in Liverpool’s history. The city is one of the most investable destinations not just in the UK, but in the world. The resulting boom in population is generating a long-term, positive impact on the property market. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Liverpool leading the UK again in terms of its property price increases over the coming months.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest


For more information, visit or call 0203 3726 499

6 months to go until Brexit and investor sentiment remains bold

6 months to go until Brexit and investor sentiment remains bold

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  • Overseas investment in UK property remains strong (Surrenden Invest)
  • Investors ready to take advantage of sterling’s fluctuations
  • World-class developments like Ancoats Gardens attracting keen interest

29 September marks just six months to go until the UK leaves the EU. The country’s journey since the referendum has been turbulent and at times bitter. However, overseas investors remain confident in the long-term viability of the UK’s property market, according to specialist property investment agency Surrenden Invest.

“We’re still seeing strong investor sentiment so far as residential property is concerned. Overseas investors continue to benefit from the pressure that the Brexit process has placed on sterling, with no sign of interest in high quality properties dropping as we approach the 29 March 2019 deadline.” 

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Despite recent gloomy predictions from the Bank of England’s Mark Carney about the future of the UK property market, investors’ confidence has not been rocked. After all, they heard similar predictions immediately following the referendum. Instead, according to the experts at Surrenden Invest, investors have simply become more particular about the products they choose.

“There’s definitely been a drop off of interest in sub-standard developments, as foreign buyers focus on selecting the best products. Agencies with strict quality standards, like Surrenden Invest, are therefore seeing little change as the Brexit deadline approaches. The best developments continue to attract keen interest.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Ancoats Gardens in Manchester is a prime example. The 155 apartments are well-located, beautifully designed and offer a host of on-site facilities that will command tenants’ attention. With huge windows and ceilings up to 0.5 meters higher than the average city centre rental apartment, the light-filled homes, with their huge roof garden, coffee lounge and multi-level, 1,715 square foot gym offer world-class living standards. Launched in early September, the development has already attracted foreign investors looking to pick up multiple apartments.

The exchange rate has played an important role in this. The pound remains cheap relative to its pre-referendum value. Despite its stability over the past year, it remains around 10% undervalued on certain markets, such as versus the dollar and Middle Eastern currencies. And investors are ready to take advantage of any further dips.

“We expect to see a lot of foreign investors timing their property purchases very carefully in the run-up to March and in the weeks and months following. While nobody can know for certain what will happen to sterling as a result of the UK leaving the EU, it’s fair to expect a certain amount of volatility so far as the value of the pound is concerned. For those overseas, that could mean some exceptional bargains, if their timing is right. As a result, we expect to see interest in high quality UK residential properties continue well past 29 March next year.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest


For more information, visit or call 0203 3726 499

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 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

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  • 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 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 or call 0203 3726 499