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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 Prop, 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 Prop 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 Prop 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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One Islington – OCT 2017

On behalf of the developer, we bring you updates as at Oct 2017 from the construction site of One Islington in Liverpool, UK. Kindly click on the image below to read, flip through and enlarge the document.

One Islington…Flashback

Living in the Knowledge Quarter

One Islington Plaza is the latest student development directly adjacent to Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter,  in the heart of Liverpool’s student district. One Islington Plaza will consist of 317 studio and ensuite clusters, with great facilities for student living such as communal lounges, entertainment and services. All ensuites have access to communal kitchens with appliances, including dishwashers, while all studios come with fully-fitted kitchens. The project is situated in an incredible location, within walking distance to major universities in Liverpool.

Investment Highlights

  • Prime Location
  • 8% rental returns assured 3 years
  • NO stamp duty
  • NO CGT
  • NO income tax
  • Fully managed
  • Fully furnished

Project Highlights

  • On-site concierge & front desk
  • Communal lounge with flat screens, video games, pool tables, ping pong & fuzzball
  • Cinema, media room & study areas
  • Laundry services
  • Bicycle storage
  • Fully-equipped gym
  • On-site Crosby Coffee shop & retail unit
  • TVs & high-speed broadband in all rooms
  • Hotel style access control systems & monitored CCTV system


CSI Prop 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 Prop 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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Demand for Purpose Built Student Accommodation to Rise

Demand for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the UK, like One Islington – the latest student accommodation project in our portfolio – is set to rise. Find out more about One Islington from us.

Savills reported a 17%  increase in student accommodation investment in the UK this year, and expects investments in the sector  to reach £5.3bn by the end of the year, surpassing the £4.5bn spent in 2016. Meanwhile, Knight Frank’s UK Student Housing Rental Update reports that headline rental growth for the sector increased by 2.55% for the 2017/18 academic year.

Demand for Purpose-built Student Accommodation (PBSA) or UK Student Property is expected to rise as students continue to flock to the UK to study. Unlike residential property, this sector is seen to be a rock-solid investment in the face of global and domestic challenges.

Savills reported a 17%  increase in student accommodation investment in the UK this year, and expects investments in the sector  to reach £5.3bn by the end of the year, surpassing the £4.5bn spent in 2016. Meanwhile, Knight Frank’s UK Student Housing Rental Update reports that headline rental growth for the sector increased by 2.55% for the 2017/18 academic year.

While some of the younger UK population prefer to seek apprenticeships instead of applying for university, the latest analysis by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) shows that demand for higher education among 18-year-olds remains strong. In addition, the Government’s removal of the student cap will continue to see an increasing number of international students applying to study in Britain. In the 2017/18 academic year, non-EU applications had risen by 2.2% even while EU applications had fallen ostensibly due to Brexit.

The provision of good quality student accommodation was traditionally the responsibility of universities, but in recent years, most new accommodation has been provided by private investors and developers.

International students can be very profitable for landlords and letting agents, as many are prepared to pay higher rents for superior quality accommodation.

David Feeney, Head of Student Analytics at Cushman & Wakefield said: “More students than ever are demanding a bed in purpose-built accommodation. This, coupled with pressure on local housing markets, means that demand for purpose-built accommodation should remain strong. However, micro-market knowledge is essential to investment success.”

Mike Mitchell, Partner in Cushman & Wakefield’s Student and Residential Investment team, commented: “Across the UK, the PBSA market continues to be one of the most attractive asset classes in real estate for investors. Despite applications to Universities falling by 3.7%, the sector has witnessed year-on-year rental growth. Due to the value of foreign currencies against the Pound, there has been an influx of capital from overseas buyers in 2017 who are now competing with UK purchasers.”

The UK overtook the US as the largest student property market for the first time in 2015 after reaching a record £6.56bn in investment volumes.

Article by Ian Choong


CSI Prop 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 Prop 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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Phoenix Place – SEP 2017

On behalf of the developer, we present updates as at Sept 2017 from the construction site of Phoenix Place in Liverpool, UK. Kindly click on the image below to scroll through and read the update.

About Phoenix Place 

Phoenix Place offers the ultimate in contemporary purpose built student accommodation in Liverpool. Sited on Iliad Street, these studio and en-suite apartments are within walking distance of all of main university establishments and Liverpool City Centre, built as part of ongoing regional development in the area. The amenities within the immediate vicinity of Phoenix Place offer everything students need to make the most of student life. These include a fully equipped sports centre, gymnasium and swimming pool, the historic Greatie market and a large Sainsbury’s supermarket (due to open in 2017).

And whilst there’s plenty to do and see nearby, for those who wish to travel further afield, there is also easy access to the main routes out of Liverpool via road and public transport. This includes the Lime Street Train Station and the National Bus Depot which are less than a mile away.

Phoenix Place Investment Highlights

  • 9% nett yield
  • 5 years rental assurance
  • Fully managed
  • Fully furnished studio & en-suite apartments
  • Walking & cycling distances to main universities, city centre & amenities

Phoenix Place Location Highlights

  • John Moores Byrom Street Campus – 9 mins walk
  • Liverpool Hope University Creative Campus – 11 mins walk
  • Lime Street Train Station – 16 mins walk
  • Sainsbury Supermarket (due to open in 2017) – 8 mins walk
  • University of Liverpool – 7 mins cycling
  • Liverpool Town Hall – 8 mins cycling
  • Royal Liverpool University Hospital – 7 mins cycling

 


CSI Prop 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 Prop 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