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London Falling

Not all about London anymore. The London housing market is struggling with prices falling for the first time in 8 years. At a record drop of 0.6% in September this year, London is the weakest performing region in the UK for the first time since 2005. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2gcAlkU

Increasingly, statistics reveal that growth is expanding outside London. The focus — be it for housing, jobs, resources, or investment — has moved to buzzing regional cities where business is booming on the back of lower costs and a higher quality of living.

The London housing market is struggling. Nationwide reports that London house prices have fallen for the first time in 8 years, and, at a record drop of 0.6% in September this year, London is the weakest performing region in the UK for the first time since 2005.

Outside London and across the UK, however — despite Brexit and concerns about the economy — prices are still rising, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years. And yet, while London’s house prices may have dropped, they remain unapproachable compared to the cities beyond.

To date, house prices charting the most significant increases in England and Wales are the Midlands* and Northwestern cities of Manchester and Liverpool, as well as in some pockets off central London like Luton and Guildford, and Northern Ireland.

A chart published recently in the Financial Times shows house prices falling in London and the South East but growing elsewhere. Image credit: Financial Times; source: RICS

Greener Investment Pastures Beyond London

Years of rapid price increases have made London and the south unaffordable to many buyers, prompting them to buy further away and commute. After all, it takes less than an hour to travel from Bedford or Luton  to central London by train, while cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool have a buzzing business scene.

The signs have been there for a while now, says Virata Thaivasigamony of CSI Properties (Cornerstone International), an active property investment consultancy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that promotes investments in UK and Australian property.

“The writing has been on the wall for some time and we’ve said that prices in London will flatline this year. London has always been regarded as the business capital and startup central of the UK, but the fact is that businesses and investments are moving outside of London and into the regional cities. It would be remiss of us to ignore that the best places to invest in are now in those cities,” he elaborates.

What’s Trending

Manchester, popularly assumed as UK’s second city and the Silicon Valley of Britain, is fast earning a reputation as the hotbed of tech and startup talent in the UK, thus pushing property prices up. The city is also a recipient of billions in investment dollars, thanks, in part, to the government’s push for the Northern Powerhouse, propelling the rise in investment returns across central and Greater Manchester, including Salford as well as other Northern Powerhouse core cities like Liverpool.

Prices of property have been rising in Northwestern cities such as Manchester, as more corporations move from London to this city to set up headquarters and make use of its resources and talent pool. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2hEX3Um

Corporations are decentralising from London to the regional cities, too. BBC, ITV and HSBC come to mind, having set up home in Greater Manchester; airlines such as Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific have since 2014 provided direct flights between Manchester and Hong Kong, while China’s Hainan Airlines launched a direct flight service in 2016, making Manchester Airport the only British hub outside London to have non-stop flights to Beijing.

Meanwhile, Berkeley, one of Britain’s best-known luxury housebuilders has broken out of London to build a business in Birmingham to cater to housing demand in the city.

Javad Marandi, a British businessman with investments in commercial and residential real estate says, “Regional markets including the North East, the South West and Yorkshire and Humber have shown growth in commercial property activity, a sure sign of a growing business environment with an increasingly positive outlook, making them one of the best regions to invest in. Building a workforce, free of soaring London living costs, will in turn be cheaper to employ – and no doubt happier with the favourable cost of living outside the capital.”

That Britain is plagued by a serious undersupply in housing is an understatement. Opportunities in these cities have expanded the population, further underscoring the acute demand and need for housing. From a property investment standpoint, this is a good thing.

Meanwhile, a number of university cities are showing a spike in house prices. Towns that are home to a large student population such as Guildford and Liverpool, are seeing a surge in prices. The biggest 3-year percentage house price rise was near the University of Bedfordshire, which has its main campus in Luton, charting a 42% increase in prices over the period of an undergraduate degree.

“The best regions to invest in lie outside the capital – it’s no longer all about London,” Marandi concludes.

Statistics by RICS indicate that house prices are set to rise across England next year except for London. Image credit: Financial Times; source: RICS

Growth Outside London  

The UK is still seen as a good and safe place to invest your money due to a weakened pound, and, in spite of uncertainties arising from Brexit.

House prices will continue to rise as demand increases and Britain grapples with a chronic housing undersupply, but it appears — for now — that the best investment opportunities lie in regional cities like Manchester and Liverpool, and the outer boroughs of London.

That said, it is crucial to note that London is a market within a market, with characteristics of its own, and that it will bounce back — just as the housing market in the Midlands* bounced back from a low in 2015 to become one of Britain’s fast-growing housing markets today. On a positive note, it is during these low-market times that savvy investors invest in order to reap the most luscious of fruits when the market bounces back.

Article by Vivienne Pal

CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly markets international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Properties does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

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Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter is World-Class Innovation District

Liverpool’s Knowlegdge Quarter: here’s a partial location map to provide perspective to the project. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2y9YbGi

Liverpool is on the cusp of becoming a world-class destination for science, innovation, education, technology and the creative and performing arts. The city’s £2bn vision to establish Liverpool’s 450-acre Knowledge Quarter as one of the world’s leading innovation districts, will further reinforce its status as one of the best student cities in the world.

The Knowledge Quarter is one of five mayoral development zones in Liverpool. It spans a huge area mostly to the east of the city centre behind Lime Street Station, encompassing the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Sensor City, and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

The Knowledge Quarter in Liverpool is around 450 acres and Paddington and KQ Gateway are each around 30 acres. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2ylVlPm

Within the Knowledge Quarter are two major development sites: the £1bn Paddington Village and Knowledge Quarter Gateway. Another key development is the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) railway station, connected to the city’s underground network.

Paddington Village

The Paddington Village project occupies a massive a 1.8m sq ft behind the Royal Liverpool Hospital, and is earmarked for health, education, science and residential development. Construction giant Morgan Sindall has already won the contract to design and build the £35m new Northern base for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

The RCP is one of the world’s most renowned medical institutions and the Liverpool project, its first centre of excellence outside London, will create 100 jobs. Completion is targeted at 2019.

Also committed to the site are Liverpool International College and The Rutherford Cancer Centre. The RCP and Liverpool International College are the anchor tenants of the site.

Work has already begun at the new Royal Liverpool Hospital, which is perhaps the biggest project in the Knowledge Quarter. Here is Aidan Kehoe, chief executive, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, on the site of the new Royal. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2xe8Bp1

KQ Gateway

KQ Gateway sits at the other end of the Knowledge Quarter, between Mount Pleasant, the old Lewis’s store, Copperas Hill and Lime Street Station. The area, with the support of the mayor of Liverpool and collaboration with other parties, will be transformed into a vibrant space – new shops, offices, galleries, bars, restaurants, gyms and university space.

Only 2 hours from London by train, KQ Gateway will offer a new commercial space for tech and digital businesses, alongside futuristic educational space. Regeneration of KQ Gateway is already underway — the Ion scheme on Lime Street and the Liverpool John Moores University’s demolition of the former sorting office on Copperas Hill, to name a few.

Work Underway

The new Sensor City in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter is cladded with stunning gold circuit boards, marking a £15m high-tech hub that could create 1,000 jobs and help make Liverpool a global technology leader. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2yawoWk

The biggest project so far in the Knowledge Quarter is the massive new Royal Liverpool Hospital.

But several other projects are already well under way, including the £15m Sensor City scheme and the Materials Innovation Factory where Unilever and the University of Liverpool are working together to create innovative products and materials.

Existing schemes in the Knowledge Quarter include Liverpool Science Park, whose three buildings are already 90% full.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said: “With £1bn of investment already underway and a potential further £1bn at Paddington Village alone, these are really exciting times for Liverpool and the wider city region’s knowledge economy.

Mayor Anderson agrees: “KQ Gateway not only presents an opportunity for significant future investment and regeneration but will ultimately create more highly skilled jobs in Liverpool and strengthen the city’s position as a world-leading innovation district. By attracting investment and creating jobs, I believe that we can improve people’s lives.

“Ordinary cities lead to ordinary lives but Liverpool is no ordinary city – we are exceptional and exceptional cities foster exceptional lives”.

What’s clear at the end of the day is that the Knowledge Quarter scheme could bring THOUSANDS of new jobs to the city in addition to increasing demand for housing.

Knowledge Quarter chief executive Colin Sinclair said: “We’re not just banding big figures around. What we’re trying to say is this is a landmark, a historic moment in the future of Liverpool .

“And there’s a really bright future for Liverpool. When that kind of investment is being made you can really say to any investor from around the globe, America, India, China, that Liverpool is a city of opportunity.

“It’s a step change. We’re not dabbling around the edges here. We’re trying to create something that is lasting for the city.”

—-

CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly markets international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Properties does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

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Five New Investors for Liverpool City Region

The city of Liverpool recently received a wave of new investors.

These investors, comprising Danish energy firm DONG Energy, transport giants Alstom Transport and Stagecoach, Liverpool-based museum British Music Experience and training provider South West Regional Assessment Centre, are investing in the area as partners of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Under this partnership, all five organisations will now be able to contribute to growing the city region’s economy through the LEP alongside like-minded businesses and organisations

LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and the private sector set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to lead economic growth, job creation and maximise return of investment within the local area. The Liverpool City Region, centred in Liverpool, also covers the local authority districts of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, and has a population of between 1.5 million and 2.3 million.

LEP chair Asif Hamid MBE expressed his appreciation for the support extended by the five organisations to the city region and the LEP as partners.

“This is an exciting time to be doing business in the city region and this new and continued investment by these businesses will make a huge contribution to the economic growth and employment opportunities here. All the support we receive from our partners goes directly into making a difference to the city region’s growth for the benefit of the wider community,” he said.

DONG Energy UK managing director Matthew Wright said: “We have operated out of Liverpool City Region for over a decade and worked very closely with the Liverpool City Region LEP on a number of initiatives, including our event to mobilise the North West supply chain, the International Festival for Business and most recently the inauguration of Burbo Bank Extension, one of our two offshore wind farms in Liverpool Bay.

“Together these wind farms generate enough low carbon energy for over 310k homes, so we’re really excited to join others in this partnership to continue to drive forward the growth of the low carbon sector in the city region.”

The Liverpool LEP was established in 2010. Liverpool is a core city in the Northern Powerhouse, an initiative by the government to boost economic growth in the North of England by investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture, and devolving significant powers and budgets to directly elected mayors to ensure that decisions in the North are made by the North.

With the Liverpool City Region LEP Strategy, Liverpool is well and truly open for business. This strategy will see the possible creation of more than 100,000 new jobs, an increase of more than 50,000 people and growth of  more than 20,000 businesses. It will also see a boost in Liverpool’s economy of some 50 billion pounds!

Liverpool has been ranked among HSBC’s Top 10 Buy-to-Let Hotspots in 2015 by yield. The city has also been pivotal in driving an increase in the number of renters in urban areas from 80% ti 86% over the last 10 years, according to Knight Frank.

This article was originally sourced from http://bit.ly/2fhP7rO

CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

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Liverpool’s Massive Facelift

Liverpool’s massive facelift involves investments to the tune of billions. These investments give Liverpool the boost that it needs to revitalise the city and galvanise the economy. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2vCyhsW

Though more than 800 years old, the city of Liverpool is vibrant and alive. With a population of almost half a million, Liverpool is home to The Beatles, Liverpool FC, an amazing cultural heritage, several world-class universities, and a massive student population of more than 70,000! Indeed, it has earned a reputation as one of the UK’s top student cities.

Liverpool is at the centre of the UK’s second largest regional economy with access to 6 million customers, an economy worth more than £121 billion and 252,000 businesses.

This beautiful and historic waterfront metropolis is one of the core cities within the UK’s Northern Powerhouse, a government-led initiative to boost economic growth in the North of England by investing in skills, innovation, transport and culture, and devolving significant powers and budgets to directly elected mayors to ensure that decisions in the North are made by the North. Almost sounds like the Game of Thrones, eh 🙂

Liverpool remains a key city in the UK due to the investments that have gone into the city. These investments, comprising several regeneration projects worth several billions, occurring at a steady pace over the years, are giving Liverpool a massive facelift (one of the recently completed regeneration projects is the amazing ONE Liverpool). It is the reason why Liverpool remains on the radar to this day, and why many continue to see Liverpool as a viable place to invest.

Here,  we list the current projects going on in Liverpool:

  1. Project Jennifer –  £150 million

A regeneration scheme in Liverpool’s Great Homer Street area, which will house a new Sainsbury supermarket, district centre, retail, new link roads and bring up to 1,000 jobs into the area. Click here for the latest update.

  1. Liverpool2 Superport – £400 million

Central to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership to promote the facilities of the Liverpool City Region Superport, this new deep-water container port on the River Mersey was built so that Liverpool could welcome the world’s biggest ships. L2 is the country’s most central container port and geographically the first port of call to Europe from the Americas. It is one of the four key drivers of the city region’s economy. Before,  the port could only accommodate 4,500 TEU-capacity vessels, but today, L2 can accommodate ships up to 20,000 TEU. The port is currently undergoing the 2nd phase of expansion which is scheduled for completion in 2019. The HS Paris is the first large vessel to berth at L2, with a capacity of 6,552 TEU. L2 is expected to create approximately 5,000 jobs. Click here for a timelapse of L2’s construction.

  1. Liverpool Waters – £5.5 billion

The scheme aims to redevelop Liverpool’s historic docklands quarter into a world-class waterfront site, creating at least 17,000 new jobs, commercial and residential buildings and facilities for business, leisure and culture, parks and views overlooking the River Mersey. Approvals were granted in 2012 and work on this massive project could take from 25 to 50 years. The team at Liverpool Waters are expecting to see over £300m construction work starting on site by year end. The project site spans 2.3km and is a 2 million sqm development.

  1. Anfield Regeneration – £260 million

Regeneration plans were raised in 2013 and is now underway. The regeneration includes the redevelopment of Liverpool FC’s main stand, new and refurbished housing, improved shopping facilities, office buildings, F&B, a hotel and improvement of the road and surrounding areas. The regeneration is a collaboration between the council, Your Housing Group, the community and Liverpool FC. The regeneration of Anfield continues this year with the installation of new LED lighting in the area. The expansion of the main stand at the stadium has created over 1,000 new match day roles, including catering, retail, hospitality, safety, museum, tour and kitchen teams.

  1. Lime Street Regeneration – £39 million
The developer’s conceptualisation of regeneration at Lime Street. Image credit: liverpoolecho.co.uk

Approved in August 2016, this regeneration will involve the demolition of older derelict buildings, replaced by new leisure, commercial and retail buildings, which includes a hotel and student accommodation. Construction has already begun.

  1. Knowledge Quarter/Paddington Village – £1 billion

The Knowledge Quarter is aimed at promoting the dynamic and innovative industries operating within its area. It is home to some of the world’s most influential players in science, health, technology, culture and education. A key part of the quarter’s plans is Paddington Village, a £1 billion flagship expansion site that will house 1.8 million sqft of science, technology, education and health space. It will be a great place to live, work and socialise; in its centre is The Royal College of Physicians and Liverpool International College, which will host over 45,000 students.

CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260

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Top 5 Places to Invest in UK Now

Here are top 5 places to invest in the UK now according to http://bit.ly/2w3SlZL

News Update: Political turmoil, stamp duty issues and Brexit have an effect on the housing market in the UK this year. Yet, house prices are still on the rise, with the average price of a UK home now 10% above the Aug 2007 peak at £219,266. This is 42% higher than the low point of £154,663 in April 2009 according to Halifax. So, where is the top 5 places to invest in the UK now for great returns?

The key to finding the best places to invest is by observing the infrastructural changes and investments that go into a particular area. We have constantly stressed the importance of this factor to many investors as investments into an area indicate potential developments and expansion, as well as possible job creation. This will increase the number of people coming into an area, which will, in turn, increase the demand for housing. Simple economics dictate that with the increase in demand — especially if the demand overrides supply — comes an increase in price for the entity in demand.

A recent article published on a news site in the UK has identified the top  Here are the top 5 places to invest in the UK in 2017, according to Express.co.uk, a news website in the UK.

Pricing across Liverpool is expected to rise as the city undergoes several housing regeneration schemes including the Liverpool docks. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2vCeblN

Liverpool

Pricing across Liverpool is expected to rise as the city undergoes several housing regeneration schemes including the Liverpool docks. The L1 postcode is a great example – house prices have risen by a whopping 41.2%!

Meanwhile, the student population in Liverpool has given the city the second highest rental yields in the UK, just behind Manchester, due to the combination of low house prices and high rental values. Clearly, student investment is particularly profitable in this city.

Salford, Manchester is the home to MediaCityUK. The area is also a popular option for rental. Image credit: mediacitydaily.co.uk

Salford, Manchester

Over 60,000 people work in the creative and digital industries in Greater Manchester, and that number is forecast to grow by 27% by 2034. What’s important to note also, is the 70,000 students who come to the city each term, with Salford being the popular option to rent. Yields are higher than London and the arrival of the HS2 will add to this appeal.

Just in case you didn’t already know, many corporations have moved their headquarters to Manchester; ITV and BBC have now set up base in Salford. The recent £1 billion investment into Salford MediaCityUK only goes to affirm Manchester as the biggest tech and creative centre outside London.

Boxpark is constructed of stripped and refitted shipping containers, focusing on small independent retailers to create a unique shopping and dining experience. Boxpark Croydon transforms the quality of the retail and leisure offer in Croydon and is expected to draw customers and new businesses from across South London, Surrey and Sussex. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2uRtc0o

Croydon

This London borough has enjoyed a resurgence in its reputation in recent years. Croydon has fast become the “Silicon Valley of the South” with over 1,000 new start-ups coming to surface. The introduction of Boxpark and the upcoming Westfield shopping centre will further increase investment into this area.

Many first-time buyers are already flocking to the area and prices are believed to have risen by 20 per cent in 2016 according to Rightmove figures, the highest rise in the UK. Nonetheless, prices still sit about  £185,000 below the capital’s average, but demand is expected to increase, as is the price!

Basingstoke has a thriving employment sector attracting global companies like Sony and Barclays, and with 66% of its residents working in the town itself. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2x68pGZ

 

Basingstoke has a thriving employment sector attracting global companies like Sony and Barclays, and with 66% of its residents working in the town itself. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2x68pGZ

Basingstoke

Basingstoke has a thriving employment sector attracting global companies like Sony and Barclays, and with 66% of its residents working in the town itself. It also enjoys the highest concentration of digital businesses compared to overall businesses in all of the UK. That, and the upcoming regeneration and redevelopment projects in the area is sure to increase Basingstoke’s stock.

Change is coming to Wood Green thanks to revitalisation efforts and the upcoming Crossrail 2. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2uJTiqi

Wood Green

Situated just west of Tottenham, Wood Green’s house prices are considerably more modest than those in areas around it such as Muswell Hill and Crouch End. Prices in Wood Green is expected to rise, thanks to the targeted £3.5 billion investment to revitalise the town centre and the redevelopment of over 25 sites to facilitate more restaurants and cafes. Wood Green is also a hotspot zone for Crossrail 2 as connectivity is beefed up. Transportation transit points normally beef up the housing area closest to it.

CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and purpose-built student property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc); Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane) and Thailand (Bangkok). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts and due diligence. 

Disclaimer: CSI Properties (Cornerstone International) does not provide tax & legal advice and accepts no liability. Readers are encouraged to consult a qualified tax or legal advisor for a thorough review.

Need advice or clarification? Call us for more information and/or to find out about our projects! Hotline: 03-2162 2260