What does Lloyds’ entry into the private rented sector reveal?

What does Lloyds’ entry into the private rented sector reveal?

United Kingdom
  • Fabrik Invest flags up banking giant’s move as hedging against inflation and currency devaluation
  • Bulk property purchases by larger funds and family offices likely to follow
  • Property investment seen as a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty

Lloyds Banking Group has launched a new brand – Citra Living – through which to pursue its aim of becoming the UK’s largest private landlord. The banking giant plans to purchase 50,000 properties over the coming decade. What can we tell from this?

According to the team of financial and property experts at Fabrik Invest, Lloyds’ designs on the private rented sector reveal plenty.

“If banks are buying property, this indicates that they’re hedging against potential inflation and the potential devaluation of the pound. With everything going on in the world, banks and governments naturally had to take into account quantitative easing, which means they’re going to be printing more money to stimulate the economy. It looks like Lloyds is now putting a strategy into action to take advantage of the repercussions of that.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

The UK’s record low borrowing rates also come into play, with banks jumping on the bandwagon and investing. Other corporate and larger clients are doing the same, meaning we’re likely to see more larger funds and family offices investing in bulk purchases in property over the months ahead.

According to Fabrik Invest, there are other factors at play as well. MD Dale Anderson flags up cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as an example:

“Inflation and monetary value aren’t what they used to be. Cryptocurrencies have given people more control over currencies, and banks less so, so that’s a factor that’s feeding into Lloyds’ move as well. Then, of course, there’s the traditional position of bricks and mortar being a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty.”

As inflation rises and the prices of things go up, individuals and enterprises alike will be looking to invest in bricks and mortar, along with other hard assets such as gold, silver and land. It’s a pattern that has played out many times over recent decades. 

Then there’s the housing market itself to consider. Demand continues to outstrip supply for homes in the UK. As a country, we haven’t been building houses fast enough for years.

“That underlying lack of supply means the property sector is a safe bed for Lloyds. With uncertain economic times on the horizon, we’re likely to see many larger institutions looking to the housing sector to provide solid medium- to long-term investment potential. It’s an encouraging sign for individual investors, as it shows the validity of property investment as a money-making strategy.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

For more information, please contact Fabrik Invest on 020 8175 9891 or enquiries@fabrikinvest.com or visit http://www.fabrikinvest.com

Housing Hand emerges ‘fighting fit’ from the pandemic, with host of new services and roles

Housing Hand emerges ‘fighting fit’ from the pandemic, with host of new services and roles

United Kingdom
  • New services designed to meet needs of renters, landlords and letting agents
  • Both Partner Portal and House Finder Service resulted from investment during lockdown
  • Further service and partnership announcements expected in Q4 2021

When the UK first went into lockdown in 2020, companies faced unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Few businesses grasped the long-term implications at the outset, believing and hoping that ‘normal’ life would resume shortly. But as the scale of the pandemic began to be understood many companies began to cut costs, shoring up against an increasingly uncertain future.

However, some businesses began to look to the longer-term future, instead of focusing on the immediate situation. One such company was leading UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand. The company quickly grasped the potential of the new normal in terms of preparing to do things differently. As such, Housing Hand has emerged fighting fit from the pandemic, having invested in a host of new services.

“From shaping new roles within the business to mapping out enhanced and additional services, we have used the pandemic to design Housing Hand around long-term growth potential and operational health. The result is that the business has emerged from the pandemic fighting fit thanks to careful planning and investment in the future. This means we can better serve landlords, letting agents, student renters and working professionals alike.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

Headlining the new launches is the House Finder Service, which provides agents and landlords with a free platform through which to connect with would-be tenants. The ability to specify the kind of tenants they are seeking (i.e. students or working professionals) means less wasted time for all concerned, as does the fact that all properties listed accept Housing Hand as a guarantor.

In addition to taking the pain out of finding properties with its House Finder Service, Housing Hand also announced earlier this year that it had launched a new Partner Portal, designed to support accommodation providers to increase their revenue.

All of this means that Housing Hand is now particularly well placed to serve landlords, letting agents and tenants across the UK and Ireland over the months and years ahead. The expanded range of services means an enhanced rental experience for all parties – one that factors in the new economic uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.

Covid-19 introduced significant turbulence for businesses across a wide range of industries. However, we are delighted to have responded robustly with new roles – including my own! – and new services that will improve the rental experience for all those involved in it. We’re also thrilled to be on the brink of sharing additional service and partnership news in the coming months.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Perfect penthouses for enjoying some winter sun

Perfect penthouses for enjoying some winter sun

Spain ,
  • Taylor Wimpey España is offering a range of key-ready penthouses for sale
  • Now is ‘perfect time’ to buy, as prices in Spain return to pre-pandemic levels
  • Spacious penthouses can easily accommodate working from home

Taylor Wimpey España is showcasing a range of penthouses available for immediate purchase. With British interest in Spain continuing to rise, the leading Spanish homebuilder is enjoying keen interest in its properties along the Costa del Sol and in Cadiz province.

“Penthouse buyers are seeking something extra special. They are looking for spacious interiors and well-designed exteriors with plenty of room for outdoor dining and relaxation. Spectacular views are also essential, whether they be out to sea, over the verdant green of a golf course or all the way to distant mountains.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

One property that delivers on all fronts is Pier 2 in Cadiz, where the last two-bedroom penthouse is ready for occupation. Priced at €525,000 plus VAT, the property boasts splendid sea views from its prime position on the frontline of Sotogrande Marina. A shared pool and pretty gardens are provided for residents’ exclusive use.

Spain’s property prices are rising rapidly, as the market recovers from the impact of the pandemic. The latest figures from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) show an increase of 3.3% in the year to Q2 2021, while the price of new build properties rose by 6%. The figures mean that Spain’s property prices have now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“Now is the perfect time for buyers to pick up a holiday home in Spain, as those buying key-ready homes can look forward to the prospect of using the property over the winter season. Penthouse homes provide a wonderfully luxurious way to enjoy the colder months and have plenty of room for those looking to work from home in Spain, as well as holiday there.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

A key-ready penthouse that offers the ideal work-from-home ambience can be found at Le Caprice, at the Westin La Quinta Golf Resort at Benahavis, Marbella. Costing €698,500 plus VAT, the property comes with three bedrooms and multiple large terraces, as well as spectacular golf course and sea views. The price includes the show home furnishings and an extra parking space, meaning that buyers can instantly enjoy using it.

“Being able to simply pack a suitcase and hop on a flight makes for a very easy way to start enjoying your new penthouse, so we find that fully furnished homes are always popular. Buyers can start enjoying their leisure time from the moment they arrive.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

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

Housing Hand reports ‘extraordinary surge’ as record number of students scramble to find homes at last minute

Housing Hand reports ‘extraordinary surge’ as record number of students scramble to find homes at last minute

United Kingdom
  • Uncertainty over Covid and Brexit has caused many students to book at the last minute
  • Universities introducing a range of measures to keep staff and students safe
  • Hopes high that coming academic year will be more normal than past couple

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has reported an ‘extraordinary surge’ in business, as a huge number of students race to book their university accommodation at the last minute.

We’ve not seen a rush like this before. The summer months are always our busiest period for student bookings, as young people arrange their homes for the coming academic year. However, this summer we’ve seen a record number of students leaving things to the very last moment before booking their accommodation. Brexit and Covid have created the perfect storm in terms of delaying decisions around committing to the expense of accommodation for the year ahead.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

Housing Hand is the largest and only award-winning provider of rental guarantor services in the UK. Students from the UK, EU and any other part of the world can use the company as a guarantor for their rent. This avoids the need to pay rent upfront, as the landlord is provided with the comfort of knowing that the rent will always be covered. Housing Hand also provides a free House Finder Service, which connects young people with student-friendly landlords and letting agents across the country.

As students scramble to find homes ready for the start of term, universities themselves are doing all they can to prepare for an academic year that looks a great deal more normal than the past couple have. Different institutions are taking different measures to keep their staff and students safe, with a number of innovative schemes and incentives in place to ensure that as many young people as possible have been doubled jabbed by the time lectures start.

“With the prospect of a more normal academic year finally a reality, students are rushing to find the homes that they need in time for the start of the autumn term. It’s entirely understandable why so many have left it so late, but it certainly adds to the pressure in terms of getting everything done in time for the new academic year.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Regional city buy-to-lets are back, as rental growth hits 13-year high

Regional city buy-to-lets are back, as rental growth hits 13-year high

United Kingdom
  • Rental growth outside of London at highest level since 2008 (Zoopla)
  • Fabrik Invest flags up potential of Manchester and other top city locations
  • Combination of rising rents and price growth potential delivering a double win for investors

Property investors are enjoying the ideal combination of rapidly rising rents and continuing capital growth. Property investment firm Fabrik Invest reports that city buy-to-lets are back, with demand strong in Manchester, Preston and other UK urban areas, as renters return to city centres once more.

The firm’s findings are backed up by the latest Zoopla Rental Market Report. The Q2 2021 figures show that, excluding London, UK rental growth has hit a 13-year high, with a sharp rise in demand, particularly in city centres.

“With cities opening up once more and life returning to something close to normal, renters are once more embracing the convenience of the urban lifestyle. The exodus to the country that we saw when the pandemic began is now contrasted by a surge in demand from renters for city centre homes.”

Steve Jacob, CEO, Fabrik Invest

This is excellent news for investors in locations such as Manchester, where rents rose by 1.4% during the last three months. The city is home to a number of exciting new developments, with one of the most notable being Michigan Towers, at Salford Quays. In the midst of the £1 billion MediaCityUK expansion, the homes will provide a superb standard of waterfront living in easy reach of the best that the city has to offer. The 375 apartments are complemented by an on-site gym and cinema.

“Not only are rents shooting up in Manchester, but so too are prices, with an increase of 7.4% in the year to June 2021. This is the ideal combination of circumstances for investors looking to enjoy a healthy regular income as well as solid capital growth potential.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

For more information, please contact Fabrik Invest on 020 8175 9891 or enquiries@fabrikinvest.com or visit http://www.fabrikinvest.com

Buyers snap up key-ready homes in Spain as boltholes to avoid winter lockdowns

Buyers snap up key-ready homes in Spain as boltholes to avoid winter lockdowns

Spain ,
  • Taylor Wimpey España reports increasing demand for key-ready second homes
  • Costa del Sol proves most popular with British buyers, followed by Mallorca
  • Spanish islands see prices rise fastest over past year, at 7.9% (Tinsa)

With autumn upon us once again, and after a less than impressive UK summer, many families are thinking about getting away for some much-needed winter sun. Spain’s Costa del Sol has long been a favourite holiday spot for families looking to pick up a second home. Now it has the added attraction of serving as a winter bolthole for those looking to escape the potential of another winter spent under lockdown in the UK. As such, despite Covid and despite Brexit, the Costa del Sol continues to be popular with British second home buyers, according to new figures released by Taylor Wimpey España.

The leading Spanish homebuilder reports that the Costa del Sol remains its most sought-after region with British buyers. In terms of properties, families are increasingly seeking key-ready homes that they can begin to enjoy immediately and from which they can work. Reliable, fast WiFi is now an essential, not a nice-to-have.

A leading example of the type of property being sought in Benhavis is Botanic, where all apartments except the last, key-ready penthouse have been snapped up in the last few months. Priced at €720,000 plus VAT, the penthouse delivers exceptional accommodation backed by views across the rolling green hillsides down to the deep, glistening blue of the Mediterranean. The spacious interior provides room to work from home while also accommodation the family – perfect for the growing demand for ‘wolidays’, where the pandemic has blended work and holidays like never before. 

With so much interest in the Costa del Sol and other areas of the Mediterranean coast, prices are racing upward. They rose by 5.2% on average in Spain over that past year, with both the Mediterranean coast and the Spanish islands exceeding this, at 6.1% and 7.9% respectively, according to Tinsa.

The attractions of owning a second home in Spain have never been greater, particularly with winter on the not-too-distant horizon once again. We’re seeing interest in all regions increase compared to 2019’s figures, with international clients turning to Spain for key-ready homes that provide them with plenty of flexibility when it comes to where to stay and where to work. Properties such as the Botanic penthouse are particularly attractive to British buyers, as the purchaser and their family become eligible for a Golden Visa, thus opening up access to the Schengen Zone once more.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Nor is the Costa del Sol the only Spanish region finding favour with British buyers. The sun-kissed island of Majorca continues to be a firm favourite with Brits, as well as with a broader international clientele. Homes such as those at Canyamel Pins, just a few metres from Canyamel Golf and the soft, white sands of Canyamel beach. Surrounded by pleasant communal gardens and with a generously sized pool, the homes provide the ideal antidote to the British winter blues. Prices start from €365,000 plus VAT.

“It’s been encouraging to see so many British buyers returning to the Spanish second homes market over the summer months. Despite travel restrictions, British appetite for Spanish property remains strong and many British families are looking forward to picking up properties in Spain with a view to using them as winter boltholes. This provides not only the opportunity to enjoy some winter sun but also the option to get away from the UK to spend any future lockdowns in the sunshine.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

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

The North West leads annual house price growth, as Preston delivers for everyone from investors to graduates

The North West leads annual house price growth, as Preston delivers for everyone from investors to graduates

United Kingdom
  • North West saw house price rises of 18.6% in year to June 2021 (HM Land Registry)
  • Preston leading the UK for ROI for landlords (Coulters Property)
  • Structural works now underway at The Exchange in Preston (Fabrik Invest)

The North West is leading UK house price growth once more, with an annual price rise of 18.6%, according to the June 2021 UK House Price Index from HM Land Registry. That compares to an increase of 13.2% for the UK as a whole. The figures come as welcome news to those who have been investing in property in the North West, where developments such as The Exchange in Preston are proving popular.

“The North West is such an exciting region from an investment perspective. Not only has it been performing brilliantly in terms of capital growth and yields over the past year, but it’s projected to continue doing so over the coming five years, with Savills forecasting growth of 28% to 2025. For individual cities with strong credentials within the North West, that growth potential is even higher.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

Preston is one such city. In the past couple of weeks, it has been flagged up by Coulters Property as the top city in the UK for delivering the best return on investment for landlords. Property prices there remain comfortably below the UK average, despite the increases of the past year, meaning that investors can enjoy a low entry point in a city where demand for rental homes is high.

Feeding that demand is graduates from the Preston-based University of Central Lancashire, which is currently in the midst of a £200 million investment that is enhancing a range of facilities. Not only is Preston a great place to study, it’s also one of the top cities in the country for graduates, according to a new index from comparethemarket. Preston came in third in the index, only narrowly beaten by Bradford and Carlisle, based on analysis of factors ranging from salaries and available job opportunities to the cost of renting a home.

“Preston is a winner on so many levels. It has this superb talent pool of highly skilled graduates who are feeding the city’s dynamic future. Those graduates and other working professionals are generating plentiful demand for rental homes, and particularly for buildings that are a cut above normal standards, such as The Exchange.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

Available for investment through Fabrik Invest, The Exchange will deliver 200 high-quality apartments spread across three buildings, two minutes’ walk from Preston city centre and five minutes from the city’s market quarter. Ranging from one to three bedrooms, the homes are complemented by an on-site gym, residents’ lounge, elegant rooftop garden with superb views, hotel-style concierge and bike storage, making them some of the most appealing residences in the city. In addition, placemaking activity includes several commercial units at ground floor level, with tenants being carefully selected to create a community vibe.

The entire development is positioned to benefit from Preston’s extensive regeneration work and infrastructure development, which has attracted £434 million worth of public funding and £2.3 billion of private investment. Structural works are now underway at The Exchange, which is due for completion during Q3 2023.

For more information, please contact Fabrik Invest on 020 8175 9891 or enquiries@fabrikinvest.com or visit http://www.fabrikinvest.com

Demand for key-ready holiday homes in Spain to “remain strong in 2021”

Demand for key-ready holiday homes in Spain to “remain strong in 2021”

Spain ,
  • CBRE highlights heightened interest in immediately available new-build homes
  • Taylor Wimpey España reports increased demand for key-ready homes with terraces
  • New build prices showing far more stability than previously owned homes (Tinsa)

Figures from the CBRE, Tinsa and leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España are all pointing to 2021 being a particularly positive year for newly built, key-ready homes in Spain.

“One of the most striking consequences of covid-19 has been a heightened demand for new-build housing with immediate availability. With the spectre of further lockdowns hanging over them, buyers were not prepared to wait, and demand for immediately (or imminently) available properties should remain strong in 2021.”

2021 Spain Real Estate Market Outlook, CBRE

Buyers, it seems, have no time to lose when it comes to making the most of their holiday time, and CBRE’s projection is already proving true for Taylor Wimpey España.

“We have seen a notable increase in demand for key-ready homes recently. Homes with private terraces and communal outdoor areas with pools and gardens are proving to be precisely what buyers want to counteract the restrictions that so many of us have been living under for the past 18 months. Sunshine, fresh air and outdoor space have never felt so special.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Figures from Tinsa highlight the impact of this increased buyer interest. The Coastal Housing 2021 report shows that 76.1% of locations were delivering price stability for newly built homes, compared to 49.5% of homes that had been previously owned.

The Spanish Colegio Registradores, meanwhile, reports that foreign buyers now make up 9.7% of all property purchases in Spain (as at Q1 2021), with Mallorca and the Costa del Sol being the most popular areas. British buyers are leading the charge, accounting for 25.8% of all foreign purchases in Spain during the quarter.

Homes in the Costa del Sol certainly deliver when it comes to space in which to enjoy the sunshine. At Natura, for example, townhouses at La Cala Golf Resort deliver accommodation split across three levels as part of a private, gated development with communal pool and pretty gardens. Each spacious, three-bedroom home comes with a large solarium, measuring over 50 m2, and a private garden. Key-ready homes at Natura are priced from €450,000 plus VAT.

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

Could rising self-employment spell trouble for the rental market?

Could rising self-employment spell trouble for the rental market?

United Kingdom
  • Record rise in solo self-employment projected for 2021
  • Number of self-employed women has risen by 57% in past 10 years
  • Housing Hand offering solution for both landlords and self-employed renters

More people than ever are leaving the traditional 9-5 behind and going down the self-employed route instead. Towards the end of 2019, self-employed workers in the UK surpassed the five million mark for the first time. According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), it is women who are driving the growth, with the number of self-employed women rising by 57% in the past decade (compared to 25% for men).

Meanwhile, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has projected a ‘record rise in solo self-employment’ in 2021.

While some individuals have been forced into self-employment through Covid’s impact on the jobs market, IPSE’s research has found that many of those opting out of working for someone else have done so for positive reasons.

“We have also found they are going into self-employment for overwhelmingly positive reasons like having more freedom to choose where they work (83% of freelancers said this was a factor), when they work (84%) and having a better work-life balance (73%).”

Inna Yordanova, Senior Researcher, IPSE

So far, so positive, but being self-employed has wider implications than just work/life balance. Chief among these is the difficulties that self-employed individuals can sometimes experience in accessing rental properties.

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has been working with self-employed renters for years. Around 15% of those who have asked the company to act as a guarantor since 2018 have been self-employed.

There’s no denying it can be trickier to access rental accommodation when you’re self-employed but it’s just a question of being prepared. Landlords, quite rightly, need to know that their tenants can afford a long-term commitment to renting the property. For self-employed renters, this may mean providing some form of extra reassurance, such as a guarantor.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Business Development, Housing Hand

As a rental guarantor service, Housing Hand is able to guarantee the rent for the whole of the tenancy – precisely the kind of reassurance that landlords need. Having this service in place can avoid situations where landlords ask for six months’ rent upfront (or more).

“For landlords, having to arrange to get six months’ rent upfront is far from ideal, and for many renters, it’s just too big an ask. With the number of self-employed people rising, we need strategies and solutions in place that provide both landlords and tenants with solutions to ensure that renting a home is a smooth and hassle-free process.”

Terry Mason, Group Operations Director, Housing Hand

For more information, please contact Housing Hand today on +44 (0) 207 205 2625 or visit https://www.housinghand.co.uk/

Fabrik Invest reports significant surge in demand for Manchester buy-to-let properties

Fabrik Invest reports significant surge in demand for Manchester buy-to-let properties

United Kingdom
  • 70% of sales in last quarter have been in Manchester
  • Manchester ranked as top investment location by 2020 buy-to-let city tracker
  • North West rated as fastest growing region for productivity in 2020 and for property prices for next 5 years

Property Investment company Fabrik Invest has reported a surge in demand for buy-to-let property in Manchester over the past three months. During that time, a staggering 70% of the company’s sales were made in the city.

“We’ve sold around £8 million worth of property in Manchester in the past quarter and demand continues to be strong. Manchester is ticking all of investors’ boxes right now, whether they’re domestic investors or those putting their money into UK property from overseas.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

Why is Manchester such a favourite with investors right now? The city’s property market, obviously, plays a key role in this. According to Zoopla’s June 2021 UK House Price Index, Manchester has enjoyed the third highest price rises in the UK over the past year, with an average increase in value of 7.4% (only Liverpool and Belfast have seen higher rises).

Savills, meanwhile, is forecasting a 28.0% rise in property prices across the North West over the five years to 2025 – a total that no other UK region surpasses.

When it comes to overall property investment potential, Manchester wins outright, with Aldermore’s buy-to-let city tracker, published in late 2020, ranking the city as the best location in the UK for landlords to invest in. The rankings were based on numerous factors, from average rent to local void levels.

Further supporting the case for investment is economic credentials of the North West – and Manchester in particular. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, labour productivity in the North West grew by 4.6% in 2020 (compared to 2019). This is the fastest rate of growth in the UK and well above the national average of 0.4%.

In addition, foreign direct investment (FDI) is pouring into the region, with only Greater London and Scotland attracting more FDI in 2020 than the North West. Manchester, meanwhile, is the UK’s third best performing city when it comes to attracting FDI.

“Manchester is a leading light when it comes to property investment right now. With so much going for it, including strong demand for rental homes and a relatively low entry point – the average property there costs £188,900, compared with £488,600 in London – the city has enduring appeal for investors.”

Matt Harper-Penman, Group Director, Fabrik Invest

Homes in key Manchester locations are, naturally, the most popular with investors. Fabrik Invest is offering one development that’s nearing completion – Manchester Waters – which provides waterfront living just six minutes from the city centre. Michigan Towers, meanwhile, is just getting underway at the heart of the £1 billion MediaCityUK expansion. Premium locations such as these provide precisely what investors are seeking in terms of long-term rental home demand.

For more information, please contact Fabrik Invest on 020 8175 9891 or enquiries@fabrikinvest.com or visit http://www.fabrikinvest.com