No Comments

UK Property Outlook 2019

As we enter into 2019, Brexit remains the biggest question for UK property investors — whether there will be a deal, no deal, or no Brexit.

The option of Remain seems off the cards, and despite the recent rejection of Theresa May’s deal by Parliament, we think that the risk of a no-deal is unlikely. Few MPs want such a drastic breakaway, and many will start to get antsy as the deadline fast approaches.

It is almost certain that some form of deal will be hammered out, at the very least to allow for a transition period after March 2019. This will allow time for free trade agreements to be worked out with the rest of Europe.

 

The UK housing market giant

The UK housing market as a whole soared to record highs in the past few years. Research by property firm Savills showed the total value of UK housing stock had increased by £190 bil to its highest level ever — a mind-boggling £7.29 trn.

“Our analysis demonstrates the scale of the housing market and underlines the importance of housing to the economies of London and the UK as a whole, both as an asset class and store of private wealth,” said Lawrence Bowles, residential research analyst at Savills.

Growth of UK market 2008-2018 (Source: Savills)

Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, where market values remained relatively stagnant until 2013, the UK housing market continues to grow in the face of Brexit. Growth pushed up by 2.7% in 2018.

“It’s great that we’re seeing more housing delivery, but development will have to make up a much higher proportion of new housing value if we are to come anywhere near building the homes this country needs,” Mr Bowles added.

Right now England is facing its biggest housing shortfall ever, with a backlog of 4 million homes.

Total housing need in England (Source: Heriot-Watt University)

 

Compelling reasons to invest

Advisory firm Ernst and Young forecasts an upward trend for the UK’s GDP, predicting growth by 6.9% from 2019- 2022.

Predictions for future earnings and inflation in the UK (Source: Ernst & Young)

Spending power will also start to increase this year as earnings are expected to rise by as much as 3.0% while inflation is predicted to drop to 2.0%.

Once a deal has been struck, the British pound is expected to go up. Property firm Colliers International predicts a 5% to 10% appreciation in value, while global assets manager Aberdeen Standard Investments says the sterling might potentially climb by 15% from its current level within 3 months of a deal.

Recovery of the pound will slow inflation and lead to stronger income growth that will support prices. The high-end residential sector will benefit from greater certainty by foreign expats working in London and the preservation of the UK’s financial services sector.

Savills forecasts UK house prices to rise 14.8% from 2019-2023, although there will be significant regional variation.

Where in the UK should investors look to gain the most in 2019? The timeless advice is to look for cities with strong fundamentals, e.g. a thriving local economy and industry. Three UK cities in particular that we recommend investors to keep their eyes on this year are London, Manchester, and Birmingham.

 

London

Property in the capital now makes up a quarter of the total UK housing value. A decade ago, it was just a fifth of the domestic market.

The London market is now worth a stunning £1.77 trn, over four times the combined value of Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool, and Sheffield — all cities which saw higher rates of price growth than the capital in 2018.

The city may have experienced a slowdown since the Referendum, but that has not deterred overseas investors. London was the top city in 2017 globally for cross-border office investment, ahead of New York, Frankfurt, Berlin and Paris.

Last year saw nearly one in five (18%) new-build homes in London being purchased by overseas investors, 61% of which hailed from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Property firm JLL expects a bounce back after Brexit. Adam Challis, head of residential research at JLL, says that values will nudge up next year before accelerating faster with a greater sense of job security.

“Once we have confirmation of a deal and a reasonable transition period, people will start to feel more confident and this will encourage homeowners and investors to buy again.”

JLL predicts that the average price of a new-build home in Zones 1 and 2 will jump 17.6% between Brexit and 2023, making central London property a good buy for investors right now.

House price growth will be driven by the escalating supply crisis within the capital. Housing starts are expected to remain around 20,000 units a year over the next three years, and begin to rise towards 25,000 a year by 2023. This falls a long way short of the Mayor of London’s target of 66,000 new homes per year.

 

Manchester

The housing market is booming in the UK’s ‘second city’. Greater Manchester’s population has surpassed 2.7 million, and is predicted to rise to almost 3 million by 2031, with the City of Manchester alone accounting for 36% of the growth.

The Government projected that if house-building efforts do not catch up with projected growth in households, there could potentially be 1,500 more families than homes in 2026 — and 9,400 more by 2037!

Anthony Stankard, from agents Reside on Deansgate, said: “People follow jobs, and the strength of Manchester and the city region is in its continued economic strength.

“The airport, together with Airport City and MediaCity are key factors, but underpinning it all we have the universities. The newly announced Faculty of Science (of Manchester Metropolitan University) alone will provide enough jobs on its own to fill a couple of residential towers.

“And what Manchester has – and what cannot be replicated – is an energy. And the demand we are seeing just keeps on going up.”

With the the new High Speed Rail (HS2) due for completion in 2026, Manchester will be eight minutes over an hour from the capital.

Data from Hometrack showed Manchester at the number one spot among all UK cities, with a price growth of 6.6% in the 12 months to November 2018.

Houses in the city are priced at an affordable average of £168,900, just over a third of London’s £481,800.

JLL predicts house prices in the city will go up by 14.5% from 2019-2022, whilst rental growth is expected to reach 13% over the same time period.

England’s top 5 cities for price growth in the 12 months to Nov 2018 (Source: Hometrack)

 

Birmingham

Birmingham’s position at the heart of the UK plays a major part in the city’s ever-growing attraction as a hotspot for business and manufacturing.

According to a study by consulting group PwC and think tank Demos, Birmingham is the fastest improving city in the country to live and work in. Falling unemployment and a wave of regeneration projects boosted the city to its place at the top.

A torrent of regeneration started in the city after it won the bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, with developments such as Birmingham Smithfield, Arena Central, Paradise, and the Midlands Metro extension currently underway.

Birmingham also has the honour of being the youngest city in Europe. Out of a population of 1.1 million, nearly 46% is estimated to be under the age of 30.

The city’s youthfulness and strategic location have made it a hotbed for start-ups. The city consistently had the highest number of start-ups in the country outside of London since 2016.

Once the HS2 is complete, Birmingham will be a mere 49 minutes away from the capital.

Data from Hometrack showed Birmingham at second place among cities in England, with a price growth of 6.3% in the 12 months to November 2018.

Houses in the city are priced at an average of £163,600, which is slightly less but on par with Manchester.

JLL predicts house prices in the city to go up by 15% from 2019-2022, with rental growth expected to reach 13.5% over the same time period.

The British pound is set to rise quickly, which means property investors can get better returns by buying now. Don’t miss out! If you are looking for property in the cities of London, Manchester, Birmingham and more — give us a call at (+65) 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia), or email us at info@csiprop.com!

If you would like to read more on property in the UK and Australia, check out our Investment Guide here

Register your Interest

Article by Ian Choong 
Edits by Vivienne Pal

Sources:

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/business-39732816
  • https://www.savills.co.uk/insight-and-opinion/savills-news/273857/uk-housing-stock-gains-%C2%A3190-billion-and-hits-a-record-%C2%A37.3-trillion-valuation
  • https://www.savills.co.uk/insight-and-opinion/savills-news/170245-1/savills-forecasts-uk-residential-market-in-the-next-5-years
  • https://www.hometrack.com/uk/insight/uk-cities-house-price-index/
  • https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/property/buying-investing-property-manchester-centre-14951935
  • http://residential.jll.co.uk/insights/research/regional-residential-forecasts-2018
  • http://residential.jll.co.uk/insights/research/residential-forecasts-west-midlands-report-2018
  • https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/07/birmingham-uk-city-oxford-reading-pwc-demos
No Comments

Liverpool’s Massive Facelift

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Project Jennifer –  £150 million

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

  1. Liverpool2 Superport – £400 million

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

  1. Liverpool Waters – £5.5 billion

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

  1. Anfield Regeneration – £260 million

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

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

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

  1. Knowledge Quarter/Paddington Village – £1 billion

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


CSI 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

No Comments

Most Resilient Asset Class in the UK Property Market

The UK property market has been mentioned in the news quite a fair bit. One of the issues that has consistently been bandied about is the UK property market and how it will augur in the face of the political upheaval that the country is going through, namely Brexit and the UK snap elections.

Over the years, what’s clear is that the UK property market — which suffered at the global financial downturn — has become a tougher nut to crack. UK’s property market has remained resolute, with prices continuing to climb skyward.

Underpinning this spiraling price hike is the critical undersupply of housing — a condition that is not just prevalent within the residential real estate sector, but also the student accommodation sector.

One of the students we interviewed who is currently a VITA Student resident in Liverpool. Student property is currently the top investment asset within the UK property market.

Student property is now one of the most — if not the most — resilient asset class in the UK property market. Over the years, more investments have been made into this sector, making it a popular investment among astute investors. Institutional investors like Temasek & GIC have invested heavily into this sector. Watch this video  above to know why student property is now the UK’s Most Resilient Asset Class in the UK property market.


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

No Comments

Article 50 – What You Need to Know

British Prime Minister Theresa May has officially triggered Article 50 which marks the beginning of a two-year negotiation process for the terms of UK’s exit from the EU. The UK will ask for free trade and control of immigration and lawmaking while, for the EU, the focus will be on ensuring that there is no easy ride for the British as it tries to safeguard the stability and commitment of its 27 remaining member states. Here’s a quick snapshot of the process and what to expect:

It won’t be an easy exit

It’s open season for both the UK and EU. According to Irish PM Enda Kenny, negotiations could turn vicious while European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that the process will be “very, very, very difficult”. Not surprising — after all, this is a divorce from a 44-year ‘marriage’. Theresa May will also need to deal with the added pressure of fresh calls for a second independence referendum in Scotland from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

A challenging time frame

The timing of Article 50 was up to Britain but what happens next is up to the EU. Time is crucial as there is 2-year deadline and, realistically, the UK has up to end 2018 to agree terms of the breakup and win the trade deal it wants as the resulting deal would need to obtain the consent of the European and British parliaments. Otherwise, Britain will crash out of the EU without a pact and be subject to higher tariffs (subject to the WTO).

Negotiations might move along slowly because all 27 member states of the EU must first agree a common negotiating line before chief negotiator Michael Barnier can meet his British counterpart David Davis at the table. This alone could take months, particularly with distractions along the way such as the French and German elections in May and September, respectively. If the rest of the EU agrees, the two-year negotiating period can be extended, leaving Britain in the EU for a while longer. Or, the two sides could agree on a transitional period.

What’s on the table

Britain wants to win back control of labour flows and lawmaking, while landing a new free trade pact with the bloc by March 2019. The EU wants the UK to first pay off a £50 billion bill to cover EU staff pensions and other expenses that the UK has agreed to. The UK is likely to question the amount to be paid and the EU will not allow the UK to cherry pick on deals to be negotiated now that it is out of the bloc.

The impact

The overall impact of Brexit on the UK and London and their place in the world, remains to be seen, and there are fears that London’s position as a global financial centre will be affected, among other things. But, we expect the UK to recover and regain its momentum once there is clearer direction. The UK has long been a sovereign global power, even before its membership in the EU and we believe that it will find its footing as it charts its freedom from the EU.

  • The performance of the pound. Following the invocation of Article 50, the pound dropped (albeit not too sharply as most of the impact had been factored into the sterling since the referendum) to RM5.48 but rallied back to RM5.50 as at press time. We believe there will be a rise in the currency as negotiations get under way. These few months could be the the last period during which the pound will sink further before it recovers once official negotiations are underway.
  • Window of investment opportunity. Savvy foreign investors are taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate to invest in the UK. They are seeing the opportunity that Brexit presents, understanding that while there might be uncertainties ahead, UK’s fundamentals are strong enough to ride out the Brexit process.

Housing crisis: residential property in demand

The UK’s housing crisis is a real one, and one that is not going to go away anytime soon. Britain needs some 300,000 houses to be built in a year to address skyrocketing prices and housing demand, yet it has consistently fallen short of the mark. With such high prices, there is now an increasing number of young renters known as Generation Rent who are unable to afford to buy their own homes. The scarcity of houses and the favourable exchange rate combines to form an opportunity for property investors in the UK.

PwC’s research into housing affordability for generation rent shows that buyers may now have to save for 19 years in order to buy their first home (assuming deposit is raised entirely from their own savings without family assistance). In 2000, the same group would have been able to buy after saving for just 6 years, and in 1990 it took only around 2 years.  PwC estimates a generation renter starting to save in 2016 can now buy in 2035. See our article: Britain, A Nation of Renters?

Conclusion

Both the EU and the UK government agree on one thing: that this is unprecedented territory and neither side knows how the talks pan out.

British Prime Minister’s letter triggering Article 50. Image: The Telegraph UK

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