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Landlords: Abide by UK Energy Efficiency Law or Face Fines

UK residential and commercial property landlords must abide by minimum energy efficiency standards effective today or face fines.

Hundreds of thousands of UK residential and commercial landlords could face fines for failing to make their rental homes more energy efficient once legislation comes into force. The regulation takes effect today (1 April) for new rental lets and renewals of tenancies, and for existing tenancies, on 1 April 2020.

A fine of up to £5,000 can be issued for those renting out homes that fall under the lowest F or G rating in the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Under the law, it is illegal for landlords to rent out property that breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating unless exemptions apply.  

Like the Landlord Licensing scheme (if you are a landlord, read about the scheme here), the requirement for energy-efficient homes is not news, having been set out in The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented) Property Regulations 2015, and the onus for compliance rests with property owners and landlords.

The older the property, the poorer its energy efficiency is likely to be. Landlords with homes built in the Victorian era and early part of the twentieth century ias particularly at risk of being caught out as these types of property are often most lacking in insulation. The Department for Energy and Climate Change said when it announced the move that 65% of F and G EPC rated private rentals were built before 1919.

Many properties that are F or G rated could be made compliant just by making one change. For example, 40% of privately-rented properties could be improved above an F or G category just by installing loft insulation.

Energy Efficiency Regulation Impact on UK Rental Market

Chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, says: “There isn’t a huge amount of awareness among  UK landlords and tenants on the energy efficiency laws.

“However, over the last five years, the number of properties which are EPC rated F or G has gone down from around 700,000 in 2012, to less than 300,000. Therefore, even without statutory enforcement, UK landlords are responding to tenants’ demands for better quality, and better insulated properties.”

However, statistics seem to suggest that landlords are behind in getting their properties ready for the deadline. Monthly data by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) show that overall rental properties managed by letting agents fell by 5% in February compared to January, the lowest level since May 2016.

Cox explained that the drop in rental supply indicates that UK landlords are cutting it fine and removing their properties from the market to make the necessary changes before the regulation takes effect.

“We could see up to 300,000 properties taken off after the deadline passes because they don’t reach the minimum requirements,” he warned.

It will, however, be difficult to know how UK landlords will be policed, says Cox, adding that less than 500 landlords are prosecuted every year and adding new laws is unlikely to improve prosecution rates.

UK property landlords can find out about recommended improvements for their property by checking their Energy Performance Certificate Recommendations Report, or obtaining a Green Deal Advice Report. There are many options for financing under the Green Deal and even receiving free insulation work under the Energy Company Obligation.

Benefits of Compliance for UK Landlords

The Department of Energy and Climate Change claims that increasing a property’s energy efficiency could increase its market value.

Data shows that the average annual cost of energy for an EPC band G property is £2,860, and £2,180 for an F rated property. This contrasts with an average annual cost of £1,710 for an EPC band E property.

Therefore a tenant whose home is improved from EPC band G to band E could expect to see their energy costs reduced by £1,150 a year so long as there were no wider changes in how they use energy in the property.

Research by AXA Business Insurance found the improvements most sought after by tenants were enhanced energy efficiency, through tools such as insulation, newer boilers or double-glazing.

Ultimately, it will result in cheaper heating and better quality of homes for tenants. However, at a time of consistent government change, increasing ambiguity and various tax increases, the proposed cost of changes at £2,500 per property is going to put further pressure on landlords, especially those outside the prime rental markets in London and the South East,” said Cox.

For detailed information about the new regulation, read: www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/minimum-energy-efficiency-standards.shtml

By Ian Choong

Source:


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 General Election 2018 & the Malaysian Property Market

As the country gears up for the general election, questions abound on its impact on the housing market.

What’s the post-election outlook for the Malaysian property market? 

With Malaysia’s General Election 2018 (GE14) looming just around the corner, house-buyers and investors will undoubtedly ask the question: “What is the post-election outlook for the Malaysian property market?

Bank Negara had announced in November 2017 that the property glut in Malaysia reached its highest level recorded in the past 10 years. At the same time, Deputy Finance Minister Lee Chee Leong announced that the amount of unsold residential units had risen by 40% during the first half of 2017.

During Q1 2017, unsold residential units climbed to 130,690, the highest in the decade.
During Q1 2017, unsold residential units climbed to 130,690, the highest in the decade.

Over the past few years, the trend in new housing supply has been skewed towards the higher-end property segment. Developers favour the higher-end property segment due to the higher margins it is able to generate, and tend to neglect affordable housing, with it not being as profitable.

Thus, right now, the Malaysian property market is characterised by an oversupply of non-affordable housing. Houses remain out of reach for many households due to the failure of the market to produce a sufficient quantity of affordable housing for the masses.

The maximum affordable house price in Malaysia is estimated by Bank Negara to be RM282,000. However, in 2016 the actual median house price was RM313,000, beyond the means of many households. From 2007 to 2016, house prices grew by 9.8%, while household income only increased by 8.3%.

Housing affordability by income levels in Malaysia, in 2016
Housing affordability by income levels in Malaysia, in 2016

Bank Negara reports that out of the almost 150,000 unsold properties (146,497) nationwide in 2017, 83% were priced above RM250,000. 61% of the total unsold units were high-rise properties, 89% of which were priced above RM250,000.

By state, Johor had the largest share of unsold residential units, having more than a quarter of the total units (27%), followed by Selangor (21%), Kuala Lumpur (14%) and Penang (8%).

83% of unsold units in Malaysia in 2017 were above RM 250,000.
83% of unsold units in Malaysia in 2017 were above RM 250,000.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim said the government’s efforts in affordable housing are very much needed, and cites the failure of the property market to provide supply in the affordable range.

“If you look at the numbers in 2014 and 2015, the numbers of affordable houses were quite good, accounting for 75% of the supply of residential properties. But in 2016 and 2017, the numbers were reversed, as only 25% of residential properties were in the affordable range.

“Obviously, there was a market failure. If the government did not come in and provide the additional supply of affordable houses, the problem would have been acute,” he said after releasing Bank Negara Malaysia’s 2017 annual report and the Financial Stability and Payment Systems Report 2017.

The Government had, in November, frozen approvals of luxury property developments indefinitely and temporarily halted the development of shopping malls, commercial complexes and condominiums priced above RM1mil to address the oversupply; it is quite clear that the market is on a decline. Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof has since clarified that this freeze would be applied on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysian property market in 2018 and the impact of GE14

There has been much concern that the Malaysian property market is in a bubble. Fears are that the current glut together with the increasing supply pipeline of properties still in construction, will lead to a market crash soon.

Real estate expert Ernest Cheong warned that developers were aggressively marketing their properties because they were in danger of losing their bridging finance from banks. The bridging finance is used by developers to support their construction.

“This is where the danger starts. I predict if this continues, markets will crash within 24 to 30 months because consumers do not have the financial capacity to buy properties any more. Furthermore, developers who started building two years ago are expected to flood the market further with their units.” he said.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs’ (IDEAS) senior fellow Carmelo Ferlito stated, “Malaysia is undoubtedly experiencing a housing bubble and the unsold properties are a natural consequence of this bubble.”

Ferlito said it would be crucial for Bank Negara to refrain from supporting the property industry by lowering interest rates or the government bailing out developers. “Intervention will only result in a longer and more painful crisis with prices kept artificially high by the central bank when the market is demanding for lower prices.”

IQI Global chief economist, Shan Saeed opined that the property market in the country is merely undergoing some ‘sector changes’, and that there was no danger of a bubble.

“In some areas, property prices are going up, but there are also areas where the price is going down. The property market moves with GDP (gross domestic product) growth, and the growth is currently very solid and on the upsurge. Customers are still buying (property) because income levels are rising. So I believe these concerns concerning the property market are unfounded,” he said.

Real estate firm Rahim & Co stated that Malaysia is unlikely to face a property bubble with the several pre-emptive measures Bank Negara has already put in to stabilise the market, some of which include abolishing the Developers Benefits Under Liquidity Scheme (DIBS), and tightening of the conditions for financing.

CBRE WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen cites the country’s strong fundamentals and measures by Bank Negara as having moderated the impact from price growth in the last market boom.

“While housing prices in Malaysia have been on the rise, they have not reached an unjustifiable level where the price unreasonably exceeds its economic returns” he says.

Credit rating agency Moody’s expects a decline in property prices due to the supply overhang. “In our view, the increasing oversupply and the prospects of a material property price correction will continue to build as new supply enters the market and poses a risk to Malaysian banks’ asset quality,” it said.

Savills Malaysia managing director, Datuk Paul Khong said that house buyers are currently adopting a wait-and-see attitude against subdued and lacklustre transaction activities in the property market.

“It is no surprise to the sector that 2018 is an election year, of which market sentiment is quite mixed. We, therefore, foresee the property market to be rather flattish this year with nominal excitement,”

“We do, however, expect some market movements in the later second half of 2018 (2H18) — especially if the GE14 goes well and the confidence factor returns,” he said.

Savills executive chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd adds that, regardless of increase in demand, “it will not cause a price explosion because it will be tempered by quite a considerable backlog that some developers need to clear as well as the increasing supply.”

Virata Thaivasigamony of property consultancy CSI Prop states that the upcoming General Elections is expected to give a boosting momentum and direction for the country’s property sector.

“We expect GE14 to set the pace for the future, and go some way towards restoring the current lack of confidence in the local property market,”

“Currently the local property market is on a downward trend due to supply not meeting the demand for affordable housing, and demand not meeting the oversupply of higher-end properties. It will take some time till developers rebalance the available supply, and the market regains its footing,”

“The ringgit has strengthened so now would be a ideal time to invest in foreign property, in markets like the UK and Australia, with a potential for great returns,” he added, highlighting recent news reports that the ringgit had strengthened to a 2-year high this month.

Uncertainty still clouds the local market going into 2018, and the current glut of property, with more still in the pipeline, does not bode well for investment prospects in Malaysia at this time. With the ringgit currently at a 2-year high, property in overseas markets like the UK and Australia are more attractive than ever, offering investors an opportunity to take advantage of the currency rate and get on to the overseas investment bandwagon.

Article by Ian Choong

Sources:

  • http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/11/18/bank-negara-property-glut-highest-level-in-a-decade/
  • http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/11/13/unsold-residential-units-rise-40-in-first-6-months/
  • http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/cover-story-higher-inventories-and-lower-margins-seen-among-developers
  • http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/govts-housing-schemes-do-not-distort-market
  • http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/11/14/property-market-will-be-badly-hit-in-2018-says-expert/
  • http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/08/20/property-market-bubble-set-to-burst-says-think-tank/
  • http://english.astroawani.com/business-news/there-no-property-bubble-malaysia-160551
  • https://www.nst.com.my/business/2018/02/334879/malaysia-unlikely-face-property-bubble
  • https://dbv47yu57n5vf.cloudfront.net/s3fs-public/pullout/20180323_ep_2616_locked.pdf
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/11/27/moodys-expects-decline-in-property-prices-due-to-supply-overhang/#zI4BuSEAHm0lxl7s.99
  • http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/ringgit-strengthens-more-2-year-high
  • Charts from BNM Quarterly Bulletin, Third Quarter 2017
  • Featured Image from hazuism.blogspot.com
  • https://csiprop.com/malaysian-property-market-decline-2018/
  • https://themalaysianreserve.com/2018/04/02/property-market-on-wait-and-see-attitude-pre-ge14/

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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Liverpool: Hotspot for Economic & Population Growth

A new survey on the UK’s 24 leading urban economies saw Liverpool rated as one of the top four hotspots in the UK for economic growth potential.

Liverpool’s economic growth rate, coupled with investments into the city’s development and infrastructure, is poised to create more jobs, further driving demand for housing and cementing its reputation as one the best-performing property investment locations for landlords.

The results of a survey on the UK’s 24 leading urban economies saw Liverpool rated as one of the top four hotspots in the UK for economic growth potential.

The study was executed by a global design and infrastructure consultancy known as Arcadis. To achieve the rankings, six key features of a prospering city were calculated and compared: workforce and skills, infrastructure, business environment, place, city brand and housing. Liverpool was ranked within the top four economic hotspots together with Edinburgh, Oxford, and Cambridge.

The report was welcomed by both City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and managing director of the Liverpool City Region LEP, Mark Basnett.

Mr Rotheram said: “This is an encouraging report but, in a sense, it tells what we already know. External validation is always useful and helps to signal to UK and international investors the huge opportunities that exist within the city and wider city region. Devolution gives us a huge opportunity to realise that potential by prioritising the areas identified in this report.”

The report revealed that Liverpool’s strengths were its brand, infrastructure, positive business environment and quality and affordability of housing supply — the latter has earned Liverpool a considerable number of titles as one of the UK’s best buy-to-let areas.

 

Not the First Time

A look at Liverpool’s economic history reveals that its position at the top of a list on economic growth is not some newfangled occurrence. In 2015, figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed that Merseyside, a metropolitan county that comprises Liverpool among other cities, experienced an economic growth rate faster than London, Manchester and any other major British city.  Just last year, Liverpool was voted as ‘The UK’s Buy-To-Let Hotspot’ for property investment returns and capital growth. With this positive trend extending into 2018 along with major regeneration schemes, Liverpool and economic growth are set to be well-acquainted in the years to come.

Liverpool’s strengths were its brand, infrastructure, positive business environment and quality and affordability of housing supply.

 

 

Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter: Catalyst of Economic & Student Population Growth

What will further catapult Liverpool’s economic progress is the Knowledge Quarter, a £2bn vision to establish  the city as one of the world’s leading districts for science, technology, innovation and education.

For this goal to be actualized, it is crucial for well-resourced and world-leading universities to take the lead due to their resources and conducive environment. What is usually forgotten is that labs and classrooms are the birthplace of pretty much all the latest technology. AI and deep learning, automation and predictive analytics have all, in some form, started in an educational institution and not a traditional software development environment. The Knowledge Quarter is a perfect example of the UK’s progress towards this major goal, marking its transition into the next digital revolution and cementing Liverpool’s position as one of UK’s core cities taking part in it.

With several universities already residing in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, a growing student population is bound to follow — Liverpool is home to a whopping 67,000 students!

Worth noting is the rising demand for proper accommodation  in the undersupplied student property market. Found below are figures that illustrate the dire shortage of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in Liverpool as of late 2017:


Student Population: 67,000

Amount of Housing Available Through University: 4,500
Amount of Total Student Housing Available: 17,857
Potential Yields: Approx. 8% per annum

 

This shortage, a burgeoning student population and the relevance of the Knowledge Quarter as a one-stop education and technology centre, make PBSA in Liverpool the ideal investment.

Opportunities for investment are also found in the residential property sector as high house rental values have given Liverpool’s city centre some of the highest rental yields in the UK. According to latest research, Liverpool and Nottingham were the best performing property investment locations for landlords with average nett rental yields of 6.2%, no doubt greatly credited to the education sector. With Paddington Village, a massive regeneration scheme within the Knowledge Quarter, poised to create up to 10,000 jobs and fuel demand for housing, we see this trend continuing into the future.  

With Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter and education centres in mind, it would be a good idea to dip your toes into the pool of Liverpool’s looming success as soon as possible! 

Feel free to contact the team at CSI Prop for more information about how to get involved with Natex and how to build an impressive property portfolio.

By Nimue Wafiya 
Additions & edits by Vivienne Pal

Sources:

http://lbndaily.co.uk/liverpool-one-top-four-hotspots-growth-potential-new-report-says/

http://www.finsmes.com/2018/03/new-report-reveals-liverpool-is-one-of-the-top-hotspots-for-growth.html

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/uk-cannot-compete-digital-age-without-top-universities

http://www.primesite-developments.com/5-best-student-towns-invest/

www.movecommercial.com/12439-2/

https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/liverpool-nottingham-top-buy-let-investment-rankings-uk/

www.csiprop.com/uk-property-outlook-2018/

www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/press-releases/merseyside-grew-fastest-in-a-strong-year-for-britains-major-city-economies/

www.csiprop.com/liverpools-knowledge-quarter-world-class-innovation-district/

www.csiprop.com/properties/natex/


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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Investment Opportunities in UK’s Youngest Cities

A younger population can bring advantages such as attracting businesses, which will have a larger pool of working age residents to draw from.

While recent data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK is facing an aging population, key cities remain a hub for the young. What difference does the age of a city make?

With its beautiful, calming scenery and rich history and culture, the UK is home not just to the native Brit, but also millions of immigrants.

Over the past 20 years, younger people have increasingly chosen to live in the urban areas of the UK, while the share of older residents has fallen. Statistics show that the UK’s edgy and lively cities remain a favourite among the younger generation with 62% of people aged 18 – 34 living in cities in 2016 compared to 58% in 1996. In contrast, the share of people aged 65 or older fell from 51% to 46% during this period.

A recently released study by the Centre for Cities reveals some of the youngest cities in the UK, with  Slough as the clear winner at the youngest average age of 33.9. London, popularly assumed as the city with the youngest population, comes in at sixth place, with the average youngest age of 36.5. Here is a list of some of the youngest cities in the UK, with average ages of under 40:

Oxford   34.4
Luton   35.1
Cambridge   35.4
London   36.5
Bradford   36.7
Birmingham   37.6
Bristol   37.7
Manchester   37.8
Reading   37.8
Liverpool   38.2
Plymouth   39.4

Investment opportunities  

What draws the younger population to these cities? Job opportunities and expansion, good infrastructure, facilities and educational institutions — these are the essential pull factors. On the other hand, a younger population can bring advantages such as attracting businesses, which will have a larger pool of working age residents to draw from.

Among the cities which have been getting younger, Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton have large shares of high-skilled, high-paying jobs, and all offer good access to quality schools.

Manchester, the UK’s fastest-growing city, is Europe’s second largest creative tech hub with 70,000 people now working in the city’s creative, digital and tech industries. Like Liverpool, it is also home to some of the world’s leading universities, offering a huge cache of thinkers to future employers.

It is in cities like these that purpose-built student accommodation are at high demand, offering commercial property investors opportunities to grow their wealth in this high-yielding and unique sector. 

In Bristol, for example, the number of students needing accommodation is projected to grow to 44,000 by the 2018/19 academic year. The growth can be attributed to the city’s two notable universities, the University of Bristol and the University of West of England, which make up a total of 40,000 full-time students. Little wonder that student property is a top investment in Bristol.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s £2bn vision to develop a world-class Knowledge Quarter will further reinforce its status as one of the best student cities in the world. The Knowledge Quarter represents an opportunity for significant future investment and regeneration, and will ultimately create more high-skilled jobs in the city. By attracting investment and creating jobs, people’s lives are improved and opportunities are created, thus attracting a greater number of young settlers and driving housing demand. 

Private Finance and Savills have now placed Liverpool and the overall Northwest as the top hotspots for buy-to-let investors with some of the highest comparative returns.  Does this pique your interest to grow your wealth in cities with a youthful population? Speak to us and find out more. Or send us a comment below!

Next week, we talk about cities with an ageing population and the opportunities they hold. Stay tuned.

Source:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43316697

csiprop.com/the-top-investment-in-bristol/

csiprop.com/liverpools-knowledge-quarter-world-class-innovation-district/

csiprop.com/uk-property-outlook-2018/

csiprop.com/manchester-original-modern-city/

 

By Marzatul Ruslan

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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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Where is the Best Place to Invest in UK Student Property?

While the final numbers have not yet been released, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) had projected the total investment volume of UK student property in 2017 to be in excess of £5 billion as demand remains high. Image taken from Priestley Lettings UK

UK student property continues to provide rewarding returns to investors over the years. While the final numbers have not yet been released, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) had projected the total investment volume of UK student property in 2017 to be in excess of £5 billion as demand remains high.

Recent data reveals that annual returns for student property between 2012 and 2016 reached an impressive 11.8%. Comparatively, in the same period, residential property was at 7.8% and commercial property, as a whole, at 7.4%.

According to data gleaned from the ONS & UK HPI rental growth index, CBRE student accommodation index and IPD quarterly property index, UK student property delivered 10.2% total returns —  a combination of 5.4% rental income and 4.8% capital growth.

Annual returns for student property between 2012 and 2016 reached an impressive 11.8%, a far better performance compared to residential property and commercial property as a whole. Image credit: Property Partner UK.
Annual returns for student property between 2012 and 2016 reached an impressive 11.8%, a far better performance compared to residential property and commercial property as a whole. Image credit: Property Partner UK.

There was approximately £3.1bn invested in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market in 2016, making it the second highest year on record after the exceptional 2015, when 74,500 beds were traded at a total value of £5.9bn. While the final numbers have not yet been released, JLL had projected the total investment volume of UK student property in 2017 to be in excess of £5 billion as demand remains high.

More students than ever are studying away from home, meaning the demand pool for accommodation continues to grow. In 2016/17 the number of students living in private accommodation increased to 141,210, a growth of 6.4% compared to the previous year. This trend is predicted to continue, fueled by the inability of university-managed accommodation to keep pace with student numbers, and a more discerning and affluent student population.

A chart by Cushman & Wakefiled on the growth of studio bed spaces from 2014- 2017. Image: Cushman & Wakefield UK Student ccommodation Report.
A chart by Cushman & Wakefiled on the growth of studio bed spaces from 2014- 2017. Image: Cushman & Wakefield UK Student ccommodation Report.

UK universities continue to recruit an increasing number of students from outside the UK, with EU students growing by 48% and international students by 70% over the last decade. There are now over 397,000 students from outside the UK, making up nearly one quarter, or 23% of the student population.

Dan Gandesha, founder of investment platform Property Partner, said that during tough economic cycles where it’s harder to secure a job, people are more likely to go to university and extend their studies. This, he said, increases demand and while the number of places does not spike, it does help underpin the demand for student property.

“Having those counter-cyclical characteristics is quite unusual for an investment class. It’s very different to (other) commercial property. Residential property to some extent isn’t affected in the same way, but it doesn’t have the same attributes of student property, whereby the numbers and the demand go up (in a downturn),” Gandesha added.

 

UK student property hotspots

To get the best returns, investors of UK student property should pay attention to cities where universities have plans to grow and relocate campuses, as well as look at cities where the supply and demand balance is favourable. Better value investments can be found in historic and emerging regional locations that have good quality infrastructure and institutions with excellent track-records in education.

For instance, the University of Bristol is planning to invest £300m over the next five years in its brand-new Temple Meads campus, which will be able to accommodate an additional 5,000 students, boosting the demand for student property in the city.

Liverpool’s £2bn vision to establish a 450-acre Knowledge Quarter will further reinforce its status as one of the best student cities in the world. The Knowledge Quarter will encompass Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool Science Park, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, and will transform the area into one of the world’s leading innovation districts. These new innovations will prove to be a draw to students and working adults alike, fueling opportunities for investors of buy-to-let and purpose built student accommodation.

Birmingham has seen a record rise in the supply of student last year and is now home to 21,000 bed spaces, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Student Accommodation Report. Birmingham is second-largest student city in the country after London, with a student population of around 65,000. The University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Aston University, University College London and Newman University are all situated in the city, keeping demand for student accommodation high.

With a current demand ratio of 1 student to 3 beds, UK student property is poised to remain a top investment asset class in the commercial property sector for some time to come. The counter-cyclical nature of this unique asset class, coupled with the UK’s world class education system (and the currently lower pound due to Brexit) will keep the flow of international students coming.

Source:

https://www.buyassociation.co.uk/2018/02/20/purpose-built-student-blocks-can-provide-healthy-returns-investors/

https://realassets.ipe.com/real-estate/sectors/alternatives/student-housing-market-revision/10018850.article

Cushman & Wakefield UK Student Accommodation Report

https://resources.propertypartner.co/invest-purpose-built-student-accommodation/

By Ian Choong

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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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Oscars 2018: The UK Proves Itself Again

The 2018 Oscars was, in its own way, an homage to British history and talent, following the announcement of several British winners.

For as long as you and I have been alive, the UK has been a superpower. The expanding crosses of the Union Jack seem to be mirrored by Britain’s far-reaching hands of success into pretty much every industry: education, manufacturing, culture, fashion and more. And, if the 90th Academy Awards is anything to go by, then Britain’s film industry has surely demonstrated its triumph in the form of several golden statuettes.

The 2018 Oscars was, in its own way, an homage to British history and talent, following the announcement of several British winners.

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s depiction of the Dunkirk evacuation in World War II, managed to scoop three out of seven awards it was nominated for, which are Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Following in Dunkirk’s success is Darkest Hour, a British war drama regarding Winston Churchill’s account of his early days as Prime Minister during World War II. For this, English actor Gary Oldman won Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Winston Churchill while Kazuhiro Tsuji took the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Phantom Thread, a film set in the glamour of the 1950’s British fashion scene, most deservingly received Best Costume Design while The Silent Child, a British short film, took the award for Best Short Film (Live Action).

Oscars 2018 Proves UK is Home to Great Talent 

The Oscars this time around, most definitely proved the UK is home to many talented artists and a thriving film industry — Christopher Nolan, director of Dunkirk amongst many other famous movies, revealed in Total Film that he was adamant that all of the cast be British for Dunkirk, which, evidently, worked out well in terms of film success and historical accuracy. Nolan himself was raised in Westminster, UK, crediting his own trip across the channel to Dunkirk and his knowledge of Britain’s rich history, for inspiring him to make the film.

Inspiration for the Darkest Hour came quite the same way, with the film’s equally decorated English director, Joe Wright being enamoured by Winston Churchill, and his interesting leadership qualities.

It goes without saying how important the filming locations were in bringing historical movies such as the Darkest Hour to life. Manchester, the second largest city in the UK, was featured heavily in the movie. Permission to film in Manchester Town Hall and John Rylands Library in the University of Manchester, which doubled for a World War II-era House of Parliament, provided the crew of the Darkest Hour the perfect solution to their location hunt.

Location manager Joe Cairns, explains, “We were met with such a warm welcome and the ease of filming at both busy city centre locations made the production’s experience in Manchester an extremely positive one. To now have Screen Manchester, which is the dedicated film office for the City of Manchester, further develops the city’s strong commitment to supporting film & TV production and the clear understanding of the huge investment it can add to the local economy.”

Screen Manchester was recently established as the city’s official film office, to support location filming in the area. Along with Manchester’s brand new film office are many other film offices and studios spread out across the country, proving that the UK has a good eye for spotting industries that provide great returns.

Not surprisingly, Manchester is home to the fastest-growing creative industry in the UK outside London, with some 48,515 people working in industries such as design, film and TV, publishing and architecture. Many defining achievements in science and technology come from Manchester, too. It is where the world’s first IVF baby was conceived, where they split the atom and isolated graphene.

Manchester’s staggering development makes it an attractive place for investors looking for the next big thing to invest in. With all this economic progress happening in Manchester (and most of the UK, as proven with a little more research) one would be regretful not to take a look at the UK’s booming property market following high demand for more housing spaces. Should your interests extend beyond the Oscars and into real estate, please feel free to contact us. We can definitely help you with that!

What did you think about the Oscars 2018? Do you agree that the UK has much talent? Share with us your thoughts in the comment box below!

By Nimue Wafiya

Source:

bcnews.go.com/Entertainment/director-christopher-nolan-tells-inspired-dunkirk/story?id=48772403

http://collider.com/bruno-delbonnel-interview-darkest-hour/

https://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/news/broadcasting/2018/01/manchester-looms-large-darkest-hour

http://www.screenmanchester.com/

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/manchester-fastest-growing-creative-industry-14295016

csiprop.com/manchester-original-modern-city

csiprop.com/uk-property-outlook-2018

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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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England Hits Highest Happiness Level

Despite concerns over the uncertainty of Brexit and the effects it might have on household budgets, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that England has hit its highest level of happiness since 2011.

Despite concerns over the uncertainty of Brexit and the effects it might have on household budgets, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that England has hit its highest level of happiness since 2011. On the other hand, there have been no significant improvements in happiness in neighbouring Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

The method of research is fairly simple, depending entirely on citizens self-reporting their feelings; those aged 16 and over were asked to rate their “happiness”, “anxiety” and “worthwhile” levels out of 10.

The results from 2011 showed that for the most part, England’s overall happiness was faring well at an average rating of 7.29. Interestingly, this figure has now risen to 7.52. In terms of feeling “worthwhile” the average score has risen from 7.67 to 7.87. Even anxiety levels have dropped from 3.13 to 2.92  — why is this the case?

Happiness Level Related to Quality of Life

Silvia Manclossi, head of the quality of life team at the ONS, said, “People’s social connections and health status play an important part in personal wellbeing. However, some economic factors are also important, so perhaps this trend over time is not surprising as the country came out of the economic downturn. ”

It seems that England’s citizens have been, even with misgivings that accompany economic unpredictability, finding their own reasons to continue thriving.

Manclossi also mentions the large difference in overall happiness levels between those of different ages, giving the quality of life team at the ONS something to look further into. A quick look at said discrepancies reveal the following:

  1. The overall happiest age group are those between 65 and 80 years old
  2. The least satisfied aged group are those between 50 and 54 years old
  3. People aged 16 to 19 reported the highest levels of life satisfaction of any age group

Happiness Level: UK vs other countries?

In a dispatch called the World Happiness Report 2017, an initiative of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a group of independent experts including economist Jeffrey Sachs surveyed people in 156 countries to find out how highly they evaluated their lives on a scale from 0-10.

The top 5 spots were taken by Nordic countries; Norway tops the list, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. The UK found itself taking the 19th place, right after Luxembourg. Worth noting is Australia’s title as the 9th happiest country in 2017 as it is also home to the World’s Happiest and Most Liveable City, Melbourne.

While explanations for this list are naturally complex, experts have condensed them roughly into six factors: income, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble, generosity, freedom and trust, with the latter measured by the absence of corruption in business and government.

Evidently, the UK  has managed to remain resilient in the face of uncertainty following Brexit — if the citizens are getting happier, something must be working right!

Need to up your happiness level? Invest in England and get a slice of that happiness! For more information on the property market in the UK, check these articles out: https://csiprop.com/uk-property-outlook-2018/ and https://csiprop.com/regional-uk-property-tops-price-growth/.

By Nimue Wafiya

Sources:

World Happiness Report 2017

Overall UK happiness level given boost by English ONS Life Satisfaction Survey

Melbourne World’s Happiest City Survey

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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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UK Student Property: Favourite Investment of Institutional Investors

UK Student property is regarded as one of the strongest investment platforms today (Img source: http://bit.ly/2EhQLnQ)

This month, a Scottish property developer signed a £500m joint venture with a US company to build student accommodation across the UK. The Glasgow-based Structured House Group (SHG) said the agreement with Harrison Street Real Estate would lead to 5,000 apartments being built over the next five years, with potential sites already identified in the northwestern cities of  Manchester and Liverpool, and Scotland. Many institutional investors, both private and state-owned, are pouring money into UK student property, also known as purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), today.

According to latest figures by the IE Business School in Madrid, sovereign wealth funds have quadrupled their investment in student housing in both Europe and the US, from under 4% a year between 2011 and 2015 to more than 15% in 2016. The sharp increase in investment in the sector is based on the potential growth of wealthier middle classes in emerging economies looking to send their children to study abroad.

In 2015 and 2016, Malaysia’s Felda Investment Corp Sdn Bhd (FIC) launched two investments in the student accommodation market in London worth £168 million.

And from Singapore down south, Mapletree and GIC spent a combined £1.2 billion on student housing in the UK in 2016, in cities like Leicester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester and Lincoln. Singapore holds the title of being the largest investors in student property in UK (and beyond) in recent years.

UK Student Property: Most Favoured Investment

UK student property is regarded as one of the strongest investment platforms today, surpassing other traditional real estate classes. There an acute undersupply of student housing in the UK due to restrictions in building permissions, a challenging planning environment and the government’s support for housing development. This limits the existing residential housing stock that is available for students to rent.

Universities face many of the same problems with building student halls. Students are typically only guaranteed their first-year of accommodation, and left to seek a room of their own after that. Purpose-built student accommodation, thus, are designed to not only solve the dual problems of inadequate university-managed accommodation and residential housing to let, but to go further, and provide a higher standard of living for the discerning student.

In 2016-17 the number of students living in private accommodation increased to 141,210, a growth of 6.4% from 132,720 last year. This trend is predicted to continue, fuelled by the inability of university-managed accommodation to keep pace with student numbers, and a more discerning and affluent student population. Unite Group reports that 85% of second year undergraduates are now looking for quality, purpose-built student homes that fulfill all their needs (including peace and quiet and access to night-life). CBRE statistics shows that student accommodation generally has occupancy rates of about 99%, and, for investors, tenancy is virtually assured.

By 2017, the UK student accommodation market was estimated by Knight Frank to be worth some £46bn and growing. James Pullan, Knight Frank’s head of student property said that there are more investors in the sector now than there has ever been.

“It is one of the few sectors in the property world that has delivered consistent rental growth every year since the economic downturn. More than 70% of investment is coming from overseas buyers, from sovereign wealth funds and ultra high net worth individuals (people with investable assets of more than $30m) and private equity,” he said.

UK student property used to be the sole domain of the institutional investor. In recent years has it been packaged to be accessible by the individual investor, adding to the appeal of this investment class. Its price points are affordable at approximately £65K onwards per unit, which is a steal compared to the price of a London apartment which easily costs more than £500K — and which cannot fetch annualised returns that come close to the 8% that UK student property can. 

UK student property is a sought-after investment due to its returns. Image" CSI Prop
UK student property is a sought-after investment due to its returns. Image” CSI Prop

Student Arrivals Fuel UK Student Property Demand

Meanwhile, students continue to enrol into UK’s higher education institutions. The Government’s removal of the student cap will maintain a steady stream of foreign students applying to study in Britain, buttressing demand for proper accommodation and providing opportunities for investors.

In 2015-16, there were almost half a million non-EU students in the UK, about one-fifth (19.2%) of the 2.3 million total. 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 Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reports that entrants to full-time first-degree, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research courses have increased considerably in the past 10 years (by 31.2%, 30.5% and 25.7%, respectively), and the proportion of 18-year-olds applying and entering higher education were at record levels.

London’s full-time student population alone is expected to rise by 50% in the next 10 years, whilst regional cities, particularly where there is a Russell Group university, is expected to see dramatic increases in student numbers. EU and non-EU students are the fastest growing segment, bringing a net benefit of £2.3 billion per annum to London’s economy supporting 60,000 jobs in the capital.

Ultimately, investors are in it for the returns: UK student property can fetch yields of more than 8% annually. Additionally, PBSAs are categorized as commercial property and, thus, benefit from tax exemptions that residential property does not qualify for. This allows the return on investments to be higher than other classes of real estate. In 2017, market transactions exceeded that of 2016 at £3.61 billion, but , with a further £1.05 billion under offer (unlike 2016) and £1.5 billion in the market, double the totals for 2016.

What makes PBSA such a property hotspot, at the end of the day, is the combination of internationally respected higher education, structural undersupply and steady rental growth. It has proven to be recession-proof and will be Brexit-proof, too. This offers investors a safe and stable place to put their money.

Hiew Yoon Khong, chief executive of Temasek’s real estate arm Mapletree, Singapore, sums it up best: “Student accommodation is a big business and relatively low risk.”

 

Article by Ian Choong

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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 Top Investment in Bristol

The number of students needing accommodation in Bristol is projected to grow to 44,000 by the 2018/19 academic year.

Growth can be attributed to the city’s two notable universities, the University of Bristol and the University of West of England, which has a combined total of just over 40,000 full-time students. These two institutions have driven Bristol’s continued demand for student accommodation, providing a prime opportunity for developers and investors.

The University of Bristol, in particular, is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of Universities, which represents 24 leading universities in the UK. Ranked 9th in the UK according to the Times Higher Education League Tables, the university has long experienced high student demand and seen a 20% increase in applications since 2012. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has named it the 6th most oversubscribed university n the UK — demand for places at the university exceeds even that of the world-famous King’s College London or Queen Mary University of  London!

Adding to the allure is the value a University of Bristol degree holds in the working world. A research by Savills has shown that British universities boasting high graduate salaries see a bigger increase in applications over the past five years, compared to the rest. The research reports that graduates from the University of Bristol  are most likely to go on to jobs that pay £2,700 above the average in the UK.

The University of Bristol is currently embarking on an ambitious expansion of its facilities, which includes plans for a brand-new £300m Temple Quarter Campus situated next to Bristol Temple Meads train station. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2Fsk1Zb
The University of Bristol is currently embarking on an ambitious expansion of its facilities, which includes plans for a brand-new £300m Temple Quarter Campus situated next to Bristol Temple Meads train station. Image credit: http://bit.ly/2Fsk1Zb

The University of Bristol is currently embarking on an ambitious expansion of its facilities, which includes plans for a brand-new campus right in the city. The £300m million Temple Quarter Campus will be situated next to Bristol Temple Meads train station,  in the centre of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK. Once completed, it will provide study places for 5,000 new students, which will starkly increase the city’s demand for student accommodation. The new campus is expected to open in time for the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

 

Savills: Bristol is Top 12 in PBSA investment

Currently there is a significant demand for student accommodation in the city.

Savills puts the city of Bristol in its first-class tier, or top 12 cities in the UK for investment in the commercial purpose-built student accommodation sector, based on the current and future projected supply of student property, demand, affordability and potential for rental growth.

Backing up Savills’ research is a study by Sellhousefast.uk, which places Bristol in the top 20 cities in the UK by demand for student accommodation, at a ratio of about 1 bed to every 2 students (1:1.93).

Investors who invest in Bristol student property can expect favourable returns on their investments. According to the Cushman & Wakefield Student Accommodation Tracker 2017/18, en-suite rents in Bristol went up by 4%, tying with Birmingham as the highest increase of all cities in the UK. En-suite bed spaces represent 56% of the student property market, whilst studios account for 12% of all beds.

James Pullan, head of student property at Knight Frank, says Bristol is structurally undersupplied.

“As is apparent from the figures, Bristol needs purpose-built accommodation. It doesn’t have enough. If you look at the university projections, it still needs more. The market would not be saturated if another 4,000 beds came to market,” he says.

 

And Much More

There’s much more to Bristol than top-notch universities, which makes it a great place to live and work in.

Bristol has been voted the best place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2017. It was announced as the Green Capital of Europe for 2015 and has numerous eco-friendly projects, from fish farms and tidal generators to the infamous ‘poo bus’ — a bus powered by methane generated from the Bristol Sewage Treatment Works.

Bristol also has the reputation of being England’s first “cycling city”, with a report stating that 24,000 cars are kept off the streets everyday, thanks to cycling. 

Named the Green Capital of Europe for 2015, Bristol is also England's first "cycling city". Image credit: http://bit.ly/299HZdv
Named the Green Capital of Europe for 2015, Bristol is also England’s first “cycling city”. Image credit: http://bit.ly/299HZdv

Economy-wise, Bristol performed strongly in 2016, recording a 2.4% increase in YOY economic growth and moving into 10th place in a league table for city growth, according to a study by the Centre for Business & Economic Research (CEBR). The report projects Bristol’s economy to grow 15.7% by 2026.

Jobs are also being created in the city, and accessibility, increased.

The Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, a 70-hectare enterprise zone in the city is expected to draw talent from the creative, high-tech and low-carbon industries. Since 2012, over 3,000 people have come to work in the Enterprise Zone. The target is 22,000 jobs over the lifespan of the project.

The Temple Meads railway station, which is being redeveloped by Network Rail to be a brand-new transport hub, will improve access to surrounding neighbourhoods and the city beyond.

In conclusion, there is a significant market for the commercial student property sector in Bristol, and investors can capitalize on that. The student population is set to increase over the next few years, and the current lack of supply of student beds gives great potential for growth in this sector. The residential property sector, meanwhile, looks to benefit from increasing jobs created in the city.

Article by Ian Choong

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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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UK Property Outlook 2018

In 2017, low mortgage rates and healthy employment growth continued to support demand for property, whilst supply constraints provided support for house prices. However, this was offset by the looming Brexit and mounting pressure on household incomes, which exerted an increasing drag on confidence as the year progressed.

As we go into 2018 with no indication that a Brexit deal is about to be reached, some uncertainty still plagues the property markets. Nevertheless, investor confidence has returned, as can be seen from the recent price recovery. In this article CSI Prop analyses the current trends and predictions of the property market for the year.

CBRE’s 2018 Market Outlook forecasts continuing economic growth for the UK, despite the uncertainties caused by Brexit. The report states that those uncertainties are likely to peak this year.

Some sectors will weather the uncertainty well, including industrials and the so-called ‘beds’ sectors (build-to-rent, hotels, student accommodation and healthcare). This is because these sectors exhibit non-cyclical characteristics, or serious mismatches of supply and demand, or some form of structural change.

In its annual market housing forecast, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that house price growth in the UK would slow with the number of transactions falling slightly, driven by political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the lack of available stock.

However, despite these factors weighing on the market, the chronic undersupply of housing is likely to support prices, the organisation said. RICS expects prices to drift higher in some parts of the UK with the strongest gains in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the northwest of England, which includes cities such as Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Newcastle. But, a slump in asking prices across London and the South East will drag down prices in the rest of the UK so that overall growth remains flat.

The Government recently announced its ambition of building 300,000 homes a year in the Autumn Budget alongside a tranche of policies aimed at increasing the housing supply. However, RICS said that as many of these measures won’t come into effect until the mid-2020s, they will do little to alleviate the immediate housing crisis.

 

Residential property to increase across UK

In 2018, the Office for Budget Responsibility expects a 3.1% increase of house prices across the UK, with prices bolstered by first-time buyers benefiting from the stamp duty cuts. Countrywide, the biggest agency in the UK, thinks prices across the country will go up by 2%. More conservatively, real estate firms Savills and JLL both predict a rise of 1%.

Of the two big lenders that operate well-known price indices, Nationwide said it expected property values to be broadly flat in 2018, with perhaps a marginal gain of around 1%. Halifax allowed itself some wiggle room, predicting UK growth from 0% to 3%.

However, in January 2018, the market has, so far, outperformed expectations. Rightmove stated that the average price of a property coming on to the market has gone up by nearly £2,000 compared with last month.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that the average house price in the UK as a whole was £226,000, up 5.1% YOY.

Average UK house prices from January 2005 to November 2017 (Souce & credit: ONS).
Average UK house prices from January 2005 to November 2017 (Souce & credit: ONS).

Russell Quirk, chief executive of online estate agent eMoov, is broadly optimistic about the market in 2018: “UK house prices are up 5% since last December and we predict that they will continue to increase at a similar rate in 2018 as the market has already begun to find its feet again.”

Public confidence in the market has risen beyond initial forecasts, and we think that the outlook for the market, as a whole, is positive.

 

London property charts weak growth

Homes in the capital sold for an average of £482,000, an increase of 2.4% (£11,000) in 2017, according to the latest figures from Land Registry and ONS.

London’s house prices remain the highest in the country but the capital continues to experience the weakest price growth as buyers continue to be held back by affordability constraints.

Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC commented: “Continuing the recent regional trend, London is the weakest performer. House prices have now declined for four consecutive months, from the high of £490,000 in July to £482,000 in November.

“But due to growth earlier in the year, prices are still 2.3% higher than 12 months ago,” he said.

 

Regional markets

The strong 5% (£11,300) increase in house prices was thanks, in part, to strong annual growth in the regional markets.

This increase was led by the West Midlands region, where the average sold price was £192,000, which is 7.2% higher than a year before.

Manchester had one of the highest price growths, up 12.7% with an average sale price of £175,312, whilst Liverpool gained 10.8% (£131,707). Sheffield was up 8.1% (£160,974) with Birmingham at 7.8% (£177,728). London was a drag on overall growth, with the central city having a drop of 10.9% (£729,134).

Annual Price Change by local authority, year to Nov 2017
Annual Price Change by local authority, year to Nov 2017

The figures also showed rises in lending to home movers and remortgaging, despite the Bank of England’s decision to raise the base rate to 0.5% last November.

“The data shows housing market activity remains buoyant, despite November’s rise in the base rate,” said Paul Smee, Head of Mortgages at UK Finance.

“Steady increases in lending for house purchases together with increases in homeowner remortgages reflect a keenness among consumers to benefit from still historically low interest rates, and a highly competitive marketplace,” he said.

Meanwhile, the B16 postcode — Ladywood, in Birmingham, named last year as having the highest levels of child poverty in the UK — has seen the sharpest rise in property prices, according to Barclays Mortgages. They rose by 17% in 2017, as buyers snapped up cheap homes. The Office for National Statistics says Brum lured 6,510 Londoners last year, with 5,280 going back to the capital, thanks to employers such as HSBC and HS2 expanding in the city.

Hometrack says that in Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle, the current house-price-to-earnings ratio is lower than the 15-year average, which makes them good value ahead of likely increases in the longer term.

Savills identifies Birmingham, Manchester and the overall Northwest as the top places for buy-to-let investors, with the highest comparative returns. Image credit: propertyreporter.co.uk
Savills identifies Birmingham, Manchester and the overall Northwest as the top places for buy-to-let investors, with the highest  comparative returns. Image credit: propertyreporter.co.uk

Rental yields

The buy-to-let market has faced tougher taxes and mortgage affordability criteria over the last year. The introduction of the stamp duty surcharge on additional property, changes to tax relief and tighter lending criteria have cut into landlords’ pockets.

According to UK Finance, the number of buy-to-let mortgages granted for purchasing a property was 75,300 in the year to the end of August 2017 – 47% lower than in the year to March 2016. The growth in the number of outstanding buy-to-let mortgages is lower still, at just 24,800, and there is evidence that some investors are shedding stock.

However, irrespective of the support provided by the Bank of Mum and Dad and Help to Buy, little has changed for the deposit-constrained first-time buyer and the demand for rental stock will continue to grow.

Savills identifies Birmingham, Manchester and the overall Northwest as the top places for buy-to-let investors, with the highest comparative returns. They predict a 4.5% average annual return for Birmingham and Manchester, and 4.1% for the Northwest.

Net rental yields in 2017 once mortgage costs are taken into account (Source: Private Finance)
Nett rental yields in 2017 once mortgage costs are taken into account (Source: Private Finance)

Comparatively, mortgage brokers Private Finance place Liverpool at the top for nett rental yields in 2017 once mortgage costs are taken into account, at a whopping 8%. Manchester here is in fourth place at 4.3%.

With lower supply, and increasing demand as house prices continue to be out of reach for the majority of first-time buyers, the buy-to-let market remains lucrative for investors.

We see the property market as a whole on recovery from Brexit in 2018, and investors can get the best returns from investments in the regional markets.

Article by Ian Choong

CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential and commercial property including student accommodation and carehomes, in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). 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