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Is the UK on Sale?

(LAST UPDATED 15/10/2018)

One of the latest movies to hit the cinema, Crazy Rich Asians, features the members of the wealthy Young family, who are termed “not just rich, but crazy-rich”. As the story goes, the family made their fortune through investing in property.

Yes, property is tangible and finite – there’s only so much of it on this planet, so it will always be in demand. But some places are better than others. As any seasoned property investor will tell you, location is perhaps the most important thing to consider for the best returns.

In Singapore, house prices as a whole have dropped 5% since 2011. Some areas have been hit more heavily than others. One of the worst hit was Sentosa Cove, where average prices were down by almost 30% from their 2011 highs.

Residential property on the island city remains highly regulated, and a string of cooling measures by the Government this February put a halt on the short run of growth since last year. In Q3 2018 prices went up by 0.5%, compared to the 3.4% rise in Q2.

Other than the slowdown in growth, an additional hit on property investment in Singapore is that local and foreign buyers now have to pay an extra 5% in stamp duty, further reducing returns.

Right now local property investment appears to be giving less-than-stellar returns. So, if not in Singapore, where then can Singaporeans looking to be crazy-rich put their money?

Currently the exchange rate for the pound sterling is at S$1.81 to £1 (15 Oct). Prior to the 2007 Financial Crisis, the exchange rate hovered at around S$3 to £1.

GBP to SGD over last 20 years (Exchange Conversions)

This means that essentially, the UK is on sale for Singaporeans at a 40% discount compared to a decade ago!

The UK is also facing its biggest ever housing shortfall in England alone, there is a total backlog of almost 4 million homes.

Research by Heriot-Watt University shows England must build 340,000 homes per year until 2031 to meet demand a figure significantly higher than the government’s estimates.

This shortfall in housing is not new, and multiple failures of the UK Government to spur the house-building industry have caused prices to soar. House prices in the UK grew 32.28% over the past 5 years, and a whopping 323.58% over the past 25 years!

CBRE Research predicts house prices to continue to rise. For the next 3 years, house price growth is estimated to increase by 17.1%, while rental is expected to grow by 21%.

UK house price and rental forecast 2018-2021 (CBRE)

Regional cities in the UK are great places to invest in real estate, as their frenzied pace of development continues, compared to the over-saturated market of London.

These British regional cities have shown the most promising growth: over the past 12 months since June, Manchester clinched top spot at 7.4%, followed by Liverpool at 7.2%, and Birmingham at 6.8%. Compared to these, the capital only managed a dismal 0.7%.

Price growth of UK cities in last 12 months (Hometrack)

As long as supply is unable to keep up with demand, prices will continue to rise. For the foreseeable future, England’s shortfall in housing is not going to be solved soon, and Singaporeans can take advantage of the currency rate and purchase UK real estate at a discount!

Are you looking to invest in UK real estate? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 65-3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia), or email us at info@csiprop.com!

By Ian Choong
Edited by Vivienne Pal 

Sources:

  • https://gbp.exchangeconversions.com/sgd/charts#chart_20years_rate
  • https://csiprop.com/should-you-invest-in-property-in-singapore/
  • https://csiprop.com/could-birmingham-be-the-next-london/
  • https://csiprop.com/uk-property-investment-beyond-brexit/
  • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/housing-homeless-crisis-homes-a8356646.html
  • http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/singapore-home-prices-rise-even-after-additional-property-curbshttps://sbr.com.sg/residential-property/in-focus/singapore-housing-market-fairly-valued-ubs
  • Featured image: The Straits Times

 

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UK Bank Raises Interest Rates

Experts and industry players are clear that the increase in interest rates will not have too adverse an effect on the property market. In fact, the UK’s property market will take the rise in its stride, according to ratings agency Moody’s.

The official bank rate in the UK has been lifted from 0.25% to 0.5%, the first increase since July 2007. The move reverses the cut in August of last year, which was made in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Even with the increase, interest rates still remain at historic lows. To lend some perspective, Malaysia’s interest rates are at a high 3%, while the interest rates for Australia and Singapore are at 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively.

Higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing money, which moderates economic growth and brings inflation under control.The panel which sets interest rates, called the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), has justified the rate increase by pointing to record-low unemployment, rising inflation and stronger global economic growth.

 

In contract, Malaysia’s interest rates are at a far higher 3% compared to UK’s 0.5%. Image credit: Trading Economics

Bank of England governor Mark Carney stated that the UK economy is expected to grow at about 1.7% for the next few years. He said this would require “about two more interest rate increases over the next three years”, taking the official rate to 1%.

The Bank of England (BOE) has been reluctant to raise interest rates until now, arguing that inflation had been boosted by the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote in June of last year. OBR predicts inflation will peak at 3% this quarter before falling back towards its 2% target over the next year.

Expectedly, the increase in interest rates will cause knock-on effects in the UK property market. Homeowners on variable rate mortgages, whether it is a standard variable rate or a tracker rate, will be most affected. However, homeowners whose mortgages are on a fixed rate will not be affected by the rate hike until  they remortgage their property.

Higher mortgage payments caused by rising rates can put less households in reach of a mortgage (loan). The lower competition can reduce demand for property which will in turn slow down property price growth. Correspondingly, the market for rental properties will increase as people who might have bought a house can now only afford to rent. This, from the investor perspective, is a good thing.

Experts and industry players are clear that the increase in interest rates will not have too adverse an effect on the property market. In fact, the UK’s property market will take the rise in its stride, according to ratings agency Moody’s.

Moody’s economist Colin Ellis said, “We have expected a rate rise for some time. This is about taking away emergency stimulus introduced after the referendum vote. A rise of 25 basis points [0.25%] is not going to move the dial. A rise of 0.25% pales into insignificance compared to the 8%-10% decline in the currency.”

Surveys from major mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide have painted a buoyant picture of the housing market. Halifax reported that house prices in the UK were rising at their fastest annual pace since February, up 4.5% to a record £225,826. Nationwide’s house price index also showed prices picking up in October, to an annual rate of 2.5%, the highest reading recorded in three months.

Savills predicts the housing market will grow by 14% from 2018 to 2022 based on an assumed Bank base rate of 2.25% by 2022. The north-west of England is set to experience the fastest price growth in the UK over the next five years: a surge of 18.1%.

Savills also forecast that rents are set to grow faster than house prices in London for the first time since 2011. They are forecast to rise 17% over the next five years, despite a 3% fall this year.

Virata Thaivasigamony of property consultancy CSI Prope commented, “The interest rates are now still very low, so it’s a good time to get into property. The fact that the UK is increasing interest rates at this time is a great statement of confidence in its economy, that Brexit is no longer a cause for concern.

“The UK has had a housing crisis over the past few years, and the increase in interest rates isn’t going to change the basic fact that people still need homes — which are a basic necessity. If people can’t afford to mortgage, they will have to rent. You’ll see rental income potentially going up, as demand for housing continues its upward trend.”

Interest rates remaining near historic lows bodes well for buyers, and today’s market still reflects some of the cheapest debt a property buyer will be able to attain in the market.

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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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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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 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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The Waitrose Effect on UK House Prices

A Waitrose outlet. Image credit: http://themarketinglessons.com/swot-analysis-for-waitrose/

Imagine adding almost £40,000 (!!!) to your house price value just by living in close proximity with Waitrose, Marks & Spencer or Sainsbury’s.

Not convinced? Take it up with Lloyds Bank, whom we credit for the term ‘Waitrose Effect’.

The bank released a research which revealed that properties within easy reach of local supermarkets have an added premium of  £21,512 on average compared to those in nearby areas.

Waitrose Effect: How much is living near a supermarket worth? Source: Lloyds Bank

Living near Waitrose commands the highest premium, at more than £36,000 to the value of your property.

Marks & Spencers comes in second at £29,992 additional premium, followed by Sainsbury’s (£26.081), Tesco (£22,072) and Iceland (£20,034).

In its initial release in 2016, the research showed that property in the same postal district as Waitrose command the highest premium compared to other areas in the same town in 7 out of 10 regions of England and Wales. The largest premium is in the North West: average house prices in an area with a Waitrose is £73,629 (39%) higher than in surrounding areas.

Living near Waitrose commands the highest premium, at more than £36,000 to the value of your property.

However, if your property is located within easy reach of all four supermarkets, then you’ve got a big win at an average premium of 9%. In 2016, Chiswick in West London commanded the highest average house price premium compared with surrounding areas, at £476,738. According to Lloyds Bank, the average house price in Chiswick (which has a Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer) is £961,564 — almost double the price for Hounslow.

Property located close to budget supermarkets get a premium hike, too. House prices of homes close to an Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons or Asda have grown by an average of 11% since 2014.

Homes located near a Lidl valued at £6,416 more on average than those in the surrounding area. Conversely, however, properties near an Aldi are £2,902 less expensive on average than those in surrounding areas.

Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/2s6xlQm


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