High hopes for Hull as buy to let hotspot of the North

United Kingdom

As the UK buy to let market gets back on its feet with demand for accommodation remaining high and increased access to funding, shrewd property investors are once again scouting for locations where the key fundamentals of supply and demand are in place and high returns achievable. And it is up and coming cities such as Hull which are capturing investor attention.


Officially named Kingston-upon-Hull, this Yorkshire city on the banks of the River Hull and Humber estuary certainly has a great deal going for it right now. Affording a population of around 250,000, Hull retains its heritage as a busy port city, handling 13 million tonnes of cargo per year. In fact freight handling at the port is projected to rise following Network Rail’s investment of £14.5 million in the rail link, which was completed in mid-2008.


The port operations run by Associated British Ports (and other companies) employs 5,000 people with a further 18,000 employed as a direct result of the port´s activities. The port area of the city has diversified to compensate for the decline in fishing by introducing the Roll-on Roll-off ferry services to the continent of Europe which handle over 1 million passengers each year as well as exploiting the leisure industry creating a marina from the old Humber Street Dock in the centre of the city.


Industry in the city is focused on the chemical and health care sectors. Several well-known British companies, including BP, Smith & Nephew, Seven Seas, and Reckitt Benckiser, have facilities in Hull.  The health care sector is further enhanced by the research facilities provided by the University of Hull through the Institute of Woundcare and the Hull York Medical School partnerships.


Overlooking the Humber, the new £165 million Humber Quays development, which has now gained World Trade Centre status, is adding new high-quality office space to Hull´s waterfront.  Kingston upon Hull is also home to the University of Hull, which was founded in 1927 and received its Royal Charter in 1954. It now has a total student population of around 20,000 across its main campuses in Hull and Scarborough.


2011 has seen continued investment into Hull with Siemens´ decision to build an £80 million turbine factory marking a major milestone in the city´s history.  Industry on this scale has not been seen for decades; the Siemens factory, to be built on 130 acres of Associated British Ports (ABP) land at Alexandra Dock, could generate up to 10,000 new jobs in the region and will feed into the biggest wind farms the world has ever seen.


Alan Forsyth, Director of well-respected property investment company, Property Secrets and experienced buy-to-let investor, comments,


“It is due to the positive economic track record as well as future growth potential that we believe that Hull is certainly one city to consider as a lucrative buy to let market from a very affordable starting point. Fully refurbished properties can be secured at up to 20% below official RICS valuations with a minimum 7% rental return.


“We have many investors from other parts of the UK attracted by the positive cashflow, and affordable properties here – and are assisting many clients in buying up property portfolios generating passive income on a monthly basis.”


For more information about buying to let in Hull and the free viewing trips offered by Property Secrets call today on 0115 985 3963, email us at service@propertysecrets.net or visit www.propertysecrets.net.

It’s back to school for investors. Why student accommodation is top of the class!

United Kingdom

At present, there is an estimated 2.4 million higher education students in the UK and this is expected to increase further in the next academic year. Applications for entry in 2011/12 are 2.1% higher than the same time last year according to the latest figures from UCAS (April 2011) with the increase in applications thought to have been triggered by students rushing to get a place at university before the proposed rise in tuition fees is introduced in Autumn 2012.

With already large numbers of higher education students in the UK combined with the increase in applications, the limited student accommodation stock available in and around university towns is under pressure. This however presents a lucrative opportunity for savvy buy to let investors.

As Alan Forsyth, Director of highly respected property investment agency, Property Secrets comments,

“From greater demand for accommodation pushing up prices comes greater potential to make large rental returns from investing in high quality student accommodation located in cities where respected universities are based. According to research by Knight Frank, rentals in the student housing arena remain healthy with a recorded growth of 5% per annum over the last six years compared with only 0.6% for commercial property.”

Astonishingly, university maintained properties have only met 23% of student demand for beds with the accommodation currently offered by many universities often outdated and inadequate. Independent research conducted by Knight Frank has also highlighted that only 50% of all students in the UK have access to high quality purpose-built student accommodation.

Interestingly the latest figures from UCAS report an increase in the numbers applying for university later in life. A 6.2% rise in 19 year old applicants has been seen for the 2011/12 academic year as well as a 4.8% rise in 20 year olds, 4.5% for 21 year olds and 4% for 24 years old, the majority of whom in this age group expect a higher standard of living. With this in mind, the focus is now on building new high quality student housing developments as private operators join forces with universities to take advantage of the rising demand.

Alan Forsyth continues,

“Student accommodation is said to be the single largest untapped real estate market in Western Europe and with conditions as it is, now is the perfect time to invest. The city of Manchester has been dubbed a top spot for investment in this sector, ranked number 7 in the Knight Frank Student Report 2011 for best cities with the strongest investment potential in the UK.”

In Manchester, according to CB Richard Ellis, multinational commercial real estate advisor, students are underprovided for and forecasts that the development arena is “ready to go again” presenting a genuine opportunity for developers. While roughly 79,000 students attend universities across Manchester, only 27,195, some 34%, of them are housed in private rented accommodation.

Manchester is a rapidly developing city where a rising student population has driven several major new schemes to emerge with significant investment being made in the Ancoats and Spinningfields areas.

With a booming market and high rental yields to be enjoyed, (typically 6-10% gross) buy-to-let property experts, Property Secrets, are offering the chance to invest in a hands off, hassle free opportunity in Montgomery House, a student accommodation block in the Whalley Range area of Manchester, ideally situated on the edge of Alexandra Park with access to both the leafy suburb of Chorlton and the city centre.

Consisting of 240 individual bedrooms as well as bathrooms, kitchens and living areas priced at just £24,000 for a student pod with a rental guarantee for the first year, this is a fantastic opportunity to invest in a lucrative and secure development destined to make significant returns.

For more information please contact Property Secrets on +44 (0)115 985 3963, email info@propertysecrets.net or visit www.propertysecrets.net.

Increased demand for holiday homes creates excellent opportunities for buy-to-let investors in Cornwall

United Kingdom

Cornwall, the English Riviera, once considered just a place for a summer vacation or weekend getaway is now proving to be a sound property investment location according to experts. The market, undoubtedly on the ‘sluggish’ side back in 2009/2010 is now experiencing strong demand for holiday homes to rent in Cornwall as well as other coastal towns in the South West according to Knight Frank, with demand up by almost 70% compared to 2010.

With spiraling costs of family holidays abroad, often over £1,000 for a typical family, it is predicted that Cornwall, voted Best UK Holiday County at the British Travel Awards, will be receiving a boost this year in tourism levels. Visitors are attracted not only to a cheaper price but to Cornwall’s balmy climate, rugged and peaceful countryside and coastal walkways, in addition to its excellent surfing spots and popular celebrity restaurants, further enhancing its popularity.

The rising numbers deciding to holiday in Cornwall has resulted in an increased demand for holiday homes to rent and with the busy summer months in our midst, this could provide a big incentive for buy-to-let investors.

With nearly a third of landlords in the UK increasing their rents at the beginning of 2011, with approximately 5% boosting their income by over 8%, there are obvious rewards to be had. This has led to rental property at the lower end of the market becoming very sought after with 18,000 families registered as looking for low cost houses to purchase or rent in the county.

Currently, North Cornwall, as visited by PM David Cameron, is proving to be an excellent property hotspot with an extensive housing inventory at the lower end of the market.

The charming seaside hamlet of St Eval on the North Cornwall coast, located between Newquay and Padstow, is an up and coming area, said to be luring in potential buyers by offering spacious, good quality properties at competitive prices.

Presenting the perfect property investment opportunity in St Eval, Property Secrets have 3 bedroom semi-detached family homes with freehold parking space available. These properties are set to be 35-45% below open market value upon completion of works and 50-60% below neighbouring village prices with a total outlay of £103,000 including legal, sourcing and refurbishment costs as well as a potentially high rental yield upon completion.

For more information on the lucrative buy-to-let opportunities available in Cornwall please contact Property Secrets on +44 (0)115 985 3963, email info@propertysecrets.net or visit www.propertysecrets.net.

The secret is out! Established UK and Overseas property investment agency, Property Secrets, appoints AB Property Marketing

United Kingdom ,

Property Secrets, the established and highly respected property investment agency dedicated to offering exceptional and valuable advice and guidance to those looking towards taking on property investments, has appointed market leading PR agency, AB Property Marketing.

Working closely with Owner, Director and experienced property investor, Alan Forsyth and the team at Property Secrets, AB Property Marketing will be shouting loudly about the companies’ ethos of ‘unveiling the truths of property investments’ both in the domestic market and overseas.

Alan Forsyth, Director, comments,

“We at Property Secrets hold a wealth of information on investing in property and offer advice and guidance to our clients through our extensive due diligence and personal experience. Our aim is to educate investors and therefore we produce up to date books such as ‘Buy to Let Secrets 2011’, ‘Property Tax Secrets’ and ‘Property Auction Secrets’ as well as Market Profile and Performance Reports, daily news posts on our website, regular e-newsletters, blogs, videos, seminars and forums.”

From their Head Office in Nottingham, Property Secrets offers a number of high yielding buy-to-let investments primarily in the north of the UK including Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, Newcastle and Glasgow as well as attractive deals overseas in cities such as Detroit and Istanbul.   They also present refurbishment projects for clients to invest – with recent successes in Cornwall and North Wales.

Commenting on ABPM’s appointment, Director Charlotte Ashton remarks,

“We are delighted to be appointed as the PR representatives of Property Secrets. Having known the company since its inception we have seen the client base grow and grow as has the range of investment opportunities available. It is a pleasure to be working with such a knowledgeable and proactive team.”

What can Property Secrets offer the media?

  • Expert comment and opinion on a wide range of markets from Director Alan Forsyth
  • The very latest UK and Overseas property news from the team of experts
  • Insight into UK property trends, buy-to-let and student accommodation
  • Detailed product information
  • High resolution imagery
  • Case studies
  • Interviews
  • Seminar speaking
  • B2B comment for trade press

For more information on Property Secrets or Media Requests please contact Charlotte at ABPM on c.ashton@abpropertymarketing.co.uk, call + 44 (0) 845 054 7524 or visit the ABPM Media Centre at http://www.abpropertymarketing.co.uk/html/media_centre.php.

Destination Detroit – Latest reports reveal 2.9% increase in house prices

United Kingdom

Detroit in Michigan is not alone in the United States as being a state that suffered in the economic downturn but the 8th highest populated state and one famed for its automotive industry is not one to write off with the latest data from the FNC Residential Price Index reporting 2.9% positive year-on-year growth in house prices since January 2011.

Foreign investors have Detroit firmly in their sights as a lucrative destination in which to invest, attracted by the incredible rental returns and the values which also allows Detroit residents to have the opportunity to live in modernized, secure and affordable accommodation through government initiatives such as the HUD scheme.

It is the HUD scheme – Housing and Urban Development scheme – with whom property investment experts Property Secrets are working, bringing foreign investors together with local housing bodies in Detroit to provide quality homes for residents.

When the automotive industry collapsed in Detroit there were significant redundancies and high levels of home foreclosures, forcing people into rented accommodation. Through HUD scheme initiatives including rent subsidies, grants and general assistance to private agencies or other bodies involved with housing, more and more people are able to stay in their homes. This in turn keeps rents stable and prevents communities from being blighted. But still with over 9,000 people on the waiting list to receive a rented home, more help is needed from investors to modernize existing run down properties and to offer the cash assistance to the government in order for them to subsidize rents.

Alan Forsyth, Director of Property Secrets, informs us,

“We are offering 3 and 4 bedroom, fully refurbished houses to investors from $40,500, (around £27,000) often at least 50% under market value. These were selling 5-6 years ago for over $100,000 and it is just a matter of time before they fully recover, allowing our clients to gain substantially, through our relationship with the banks in USA.

“These properties are subscribed to the HUD scheme meaning that owners purchase houses with tenants already in place, they are paid rents directly from the government plus we offer a 12 month rental and maintenance guarantee so offering a safe and secure investment. And with a typical 3 bedroom home achieving rents of over $800 a month, an average investment through us will NET yield a minimum of 13%, gross yields over 20%.

“Within 3 days of releasing the investment information to our clients we had 19 property reservations. Our clients can see that this is an excellent opportunity for a hands free and profitable investment. I can however understand why it has been met with a level of scepticism by some. When you consider the US property market today and relate these kind of rental yields to it, it seems too good to be true, but the fact is there is such high demand for property rentals and the market has already reached an all time low that on a basic level of demand and supply these figures are not only achievable but are on the modest side”.

As with many regions in the US, there are now some glimmers of recovery and market regeneration in Detroit with the news that the Ford Motor company has chosen to build its next-generation Ford Focus model in Wayne, a suburb of Detroit. Ford intends to invest around $550 million to retool the existing plant in Wayne giving it the capability to make the environmentally friendly electric cars. With plans to produce 2 million vehicles a year there will be a sustained input from the car manufacturer from 2011 onwards and an extra requirement for quality housing in the area to home the workers. With jobs and growth brings prosperity and a positive outlook for early investors.

This outlook is backed up by figures recently released from the FNC Residential Price Index. February historically has been a pivotal month in predicting prices for the rest of the year and so experts are now saying that the market is ready for a gradual rebound and the latest statistics released on existing home sales shows a modest increase. General market conditions have improved in the last 2 months and of the markets tracked by the FNC 30-MSA Composite Price Index Detroit has shown positive year on year growth in house prices of 2.9% since January 2011.

Forsyth continues,

“We are so confident with our investment opportunities in Detroit that we are the only company in the UK to offer 50% finance to our clients, adding a real incentive to buyers. This is at a fixed rate of just 3.95%, and has allowed our clients to increase their return on investment even further.”

For more information and a full investment pack contact Property Secrets on +44 (0)115 985 3963, email investments@propertysecrets.net or visit www.propertysecrets.net