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Student accommodation in the UK is one of the fastest growing property markets and has emerged as one of the strongest performing asset classes over the last decade. Outside of North America, the UK has the largest purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) sector in the world, which is valued at £50 billion.

Even with the PBSA market in the UK being so buoyant, there aren’t enough properties available to meet demand. There are over 2.3 million students in the UK, but for every three students, there is only one PBSA room. Put simply, a lot more PBSA needs to be built in the UK, and there are plenty of opportunities for property investors.

When making a successful property investment, knowing where to buy student accommodation in the UK is the most important factor. Many cities in the UK are well known for their prestigious universities and large student populations, and these are the areas you want to invest in. It’s also estimated that around 60% of the international student market lives in a PBSA property for the duration of their course, so it’s important to look at university student demographics when choosing a property to invest in.

Below, we have highlighted four cities we believe have excellent potential if you are looking to buy student accommodation in the UK. These decisions are based on the student population for each city, on-going investments into the universities and the ROI you can expect to achieve.

Liverpool

Liverpool is a city in the North West of England that has a growing student population and is very popular with international students.

The city has a student population of 70,000 spread over four major universities, including a specialist school that studies tropical medicine. 35,000 students study at the redbrick university — the University of Liverpool — and approximately 8000 are international students thanks to the ties UoL has with its sister school in Shanghai.

As of 2017, there are only 21,700 PBSA units in Liverpool, which is approximately 50% too few units to accommodate the demand. Additional units are under construction, but even with these projects completed, there still aren’t enough properties.

Student property rental figures in Liverpool are some of the best in the country. The average yield rate in the region is 5.05%. However, if you buy student accommodation in the L1 postcode, you could see yields as high as 10%.

Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent has grown in popularity recently, and the town is becoming a major player in the student accommodation sector. With over 25,720 students, there has been a significant demand for PBSA properties from students attending the two major universities, Keele and Staffordshire.

The area itself has undergone a dramatic transformation, and is the number one city in the UK for employment growth with some of the major employers including:

  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Bet365
  • Pirelli
  • Vodafone

Because of the many potential jobs, graduate schemes and work experience opportunities in Stoke, we expect the region to surge in popularity even further among student demographics.

Cardiff

Cardiff is a city in Wales that UK-based experts have classed as an emerging market in the PBSA sector.

The city has three universities which educate 43,000 students, over 9000 of which are international students. 25,000 of Cardiff’s students are looking to live in PBSA but cannot find the accommodation available. In total, demand outnumbers the supply at a ratio of 2.5:1, meaning there are excellent opportunities for investors to capitalise on the city’s needs.

Rental yields in Cardiff are also among the highest in the UK at 5.59%. The average rental yield in the UK sits at 4.72%.

Manchester

Manchester ranks highly on many lists for student property investments in the UK. Experts based in the UK even put Manchester in the number one position for student property investments.

The city is home to four major universities and over 100,000 students. Manchester has the second largest student population in the UK and is one of the most popular areas for international students to come and study, which often results in a significant ROI.

According to Manchester City Council, there were only 24,000 PBSA beds available in the 2018/2019 academic year, which was significantly lower than what was needed. As a result, the council wants to introduce more competitive alternate housing onto the market with new PBSA properties.

If you are looking to buy student accommodation in Manchester, you can expect an average rental yield of around 5.55%. In some parts of the city, it’s not uncommon to see rental yields reach as high as 7.89%.

How Renaissance Investments Can Help You Buy Student Accommodation in the UK
The student accommodation market in the UK is widely considered one of the safest markets to invest in. With large student populations and assured rental income, many investors from around the world including Dubai, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are investing heavily into the market and seeing great returns on their initial investment.

Renaissance Investments will play their part in sourcing the right property investment opportunity for you. Our team takes the time to understand what it is you are looking for in a student property investment so we can find the deals that will bring you the most value.

We have a strong network in the UK property scene, and our insider knowledge of the student accommodation sector means we will only show you investment opportunities that will tick all your boxes.

Make sure to get in contact with us to find out more on how Renaissance Investments can help you buy student accommodation in the UK.

2020 has proven to be a unique time for investors in the UK property market. Brexit created some uncertainty last year, but the market started to stabilise in December/January following the country’s General Election. Then the Covid-19 outbreak hit the UK and Europe in March, bringing with it a new set of challenges.

On the surface, it may seem like the present issues are making it a difficult period to invest in UK property, but in fact, now is a very good time to invest. Overseas investors are benefiting from a ‘perfect storm’ of reductions, low interest rates, high demand for rental property, the temporary removal of stamp duty and a weakened pound rate.

The current set of circumstances in the UK has made the country’s property market highly accessible. Property has always been seen by investment experts as a stable asset, and the market is going from strength to strength, particularly for international investors looking to capitalise on the weak pound rate. Here’s how the country’s political and economical stance can mean a great investment opportunity for you.

The Pound Rate in the UK 2020

As the UK pound rate declines, foreign currencies tend to grow in value. For example, GDP was 12% cheaper after the General Election in December 2019 than it was in June 2016 — the month the Brexit referendum was confirmed. While pound sterling decreased in value, the Hong Kong dollar reached its highest peak in years.

By July this year, a £250,000 property was equal to 2,465,500 HKD, which represents a saving of 164,000 HKD when compared to property prices in December 2019.

The United Arab Emirates is also seeing significant savings. In the same time frame, a £250,000 property has reduced in price from AED 1,237,250 to AED 1,168,500, which means UAE investors could save up to AED 68,750 when purchasing property in the UK.

At the time of writing, the UK is still yet to reach a deal with the European Union over trade agreements, and financial experts believe a ‘No Deal’ Brexit will cause the pound rate in the UK to fall even further. The EU has maintained a tough stance throughout negotiations, and the firmer they hold on to their position, the more international investors can take advantage of the currency rates. The UK has until the end of its transitional period to reach a deal with the EU which officially ends on 31st December 2020.

Stamp Duty Land Tax Reductions

The housing market in the UK stalled during the country’s lockdown, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a temporary SDLT reduction on property sales to boost the market back to an acceptable level.

Reductions will stay in place until 31st March 2021, meaning buy to let investors only pay 3% SDLT on property purchases up to £500,000. Any property bought in this time could result in a saving of £15,000.

These temporary measures aren’t just for UK-based investors. International investors also benefit from the SDLT reductions. However, it is important to invest in UK property now before the reductions revert back to their normal rates on 1st April 2021, alongside the 2% surcharge that was announced in March’s budget.

Low Interest Rates

The UK has had low interest rates in place since the global financial crisis in 2008. In 2020, rates reached a record low of 0.1% With a low interest rate, people feel more comfortable making significant purchases, such as buying a property, so it is easy to see why the Bank of England put this new rate in place. To stop the pound rate in the UK dropping even further, they are encouraging expenditure on a large scale.

As financial interest rates in the UK have never been lower, property investors are being offered highly competitive mortgage rates. This is great news for new investors as well as existing ones. Many are remortgaging their current properties and releasing the equity to make further investments in the UK.

The Long-Term Potential of UK Property Investments

With the pound rate so low, now is a great time to purchase property. The UK market remains strong because there aren’t enough properties to meet demand. City populations are growing year on year, but houses can’t be built fast enough. People are competing for the best rental properties available, which means landlords can increase rental amounts in line with the demand.

By 2039, experts believe the amount of people renting in the UK will outnumber the amount of homeowners. The private rental sector is the fastest growing in the country and is already worth £1.5 trillion.

It is important to remember that the UK’s currency rate won’t remain low forever, so it is a good idea to purchase property now to gain the most value when the pound rate in the UK starts to rise again. A relatively low purchase price in your chosen currency could result in much higher returns providing you are purchasing property as a medium to long-term investment.

Finding the Right Advisors to Help With Your UK Property Investment
The weak pound has created a wealth of opportunities for international property investors looking to capitalise on the currency exchange. However, just because there are opportunities, it doesn’t automatically mean they will all offer value to you.

At Renaissance Investments, we specialise in helping clients find the right opportunity. We take the time to understand what it is you are looking to achieve from an investment. This way, you can be confident that your next investment will bring you the long term value you are looking for.

Find out more about the latest projects we are working on in the UK, by contacting a member of the Renaissance Investments team.

There are multiple types of property sectors you can invest in, but student accommodation has emerged as the favourite among international investors. With over 2.3 million domestic and overseas students studying in the UK, key university cities such as Manchester, Cardiff, London and Leeds don’t have enough purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) to meet the demands. Across the UK, the amount of students outnumber the amount of PBSA rooms available at a ratio of 3:1.

The Coronavirus pandemic caused a small minority of investors to temporarily reconsider investing in PBSA. However, the market remained strong throughout the UK lockdown, proving those concerns were unfounded.

In June 2020, the amount of students searching online for student accommodation increased by 25% from the same month in 2019. There was also a 9.6% uplift in university applications from non-EU international students for the next academic year.

Our own extensive research into the impact of COVID-19 on the UK student property market shows how PBSA found a way to thrive in the “new normal,” and investors are looking to carry on where they left off.

Putting Coronavirus to one side, you may still be wondering if buying student accommodation is a good investment, especially if you’re new to the world of property investing, or a seasoned investor looking to diversify your portfolio.

In this article, we’ll take you through the benefits that investors enjoy thanks to this highly lucrative asset class.

Quality Accommodation Results in Higher Rental Yields

The last generation of students generally didn’t care too much about their accommodation. As long as they had a bed, a desk, and they were miles away from their parents, run-down halls and poorly designed HMO properties were paradise to students. These days, students want a modern living environment with the touches of luxury they’ve become accustomed to.

This is great news for property investors. PBSA is the solution to modern student living, but there simply is not enough supply in the market, meaning the value of available units has been steadily rising.

In a survey conducted by Knight Frank and UCAS, 97% of students in 2018 and again in 2019 ranked value for money as a significant factor in deciding where to live. In addition to that, most said they would be willing to pay a premium for amenities such as fast wifi, communal hubs and 24-hour security.

With so many students looking for a quality living environment that comes with home comforts, you can make great returns by providing them with what they’re asking for, making student accommodation a strong investment.

PBSA Helps Students With Social Interaction & Mental Wellbeing

Purpose built student accommodation is outperforming standard student living in every way, and this is highly apparent when you consider the happiness of students.

University can be a lonely time for many, especially international students who don’t have any family in the country or are struggling with a new language and culture. PBSA is built and managed with health and wellbeing in mind, ensuring every student has somewhere they can go to form friendships and develop close connections.

According to a separate report from Knight Frank and UCAS, 81% of students ranked organisations and clubs as very important in reducing loneliness and isolation. One of the reasons PBSA has become so popular is due to on-site staff doing their best to improve student morale by arranging events and activities.

Thanks to the reputation PBSA has gained as an environment where students can have fun and socialise, the concept has grown in popularity. And the more popular it becomes, the greater the demand for this asset class will grow.

The Long-Term Potential

Student accommodation is an excellent investment because there will always be students in need of a suitable and affordable place to live. The student population is growing at an incredible rate, and it’s predicted there will be an additional 135,000  students studying in UK universities by 2030, showing how essential PBSA is to the country.

It’s also worth noting the long-term potential of each individual student. An average university course in the UK runs for three years, which can provide investors with long-term tenants as long as the students remain happy in your accommodation.

No other residential property type can provide the same level of tenant longevity as PBSA. When you consider how many students also go on to study for a Masters degree, you could retain a large number of your tenants for up to six years, guaranteeing you consistent rental income.

PBSA is an Ideal Hands-Off Investment

Your time is valuable, so it’s understandable that you want to make a good investment that requires little input on your part. One of the most positive aspects about PBSA is that you can leave the day-to-day operations with a management team.

Despite being based in a different country, you can be confident that your investment will be looked after by professionals in the student accommodation market. The student management team will tend to the students, tackle any potential problems and provide you with regular updates. With a hands-off investment, you can focus on making a profit, as opposed to running a time-consuming project.

This also allows you to build up a portfolio. Instead of spending your time managing investments, you can allocate that time into finding other opportunities, which can lead to a greater income.

Is Buying Student Accommodation a Good Investment?

Investing in the PBSA sector makes perfect sense. As long as you provide students with quality amenities and a safe place to socialise, you’re giving them everything they need to enjoy their stay at university. In turn, this can lead rental longevity, providing you with years of secured income, without the hassle. A true hands off investment.

We hope this article has given you further confidence and insight into this lucrative sector.  Make sure to read our ultimate guide to student property investments for more information on how to succeed in the PBSA market.

If you would like to discuss what student investments are available on the market, you can contact a member of the Renaissance Investments team for more details.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, higher education in the UK remains popular with young adults. Lectures and seminars were moved online for most of the 2019/2020 academic year, but students are more than ready to return to the classroom.

The 2020/2021 academic year will continue in a digital format, but this hasn’t deterred people from applying to university. According to UCAS, over 500,000 people across all age groups applied to join a course, which represents an increase of 1.6% applications from last year.

Naturally, the online format of classes won’t last forever, and this year’s students realise that. As such, there was still the usual scramble between students for the best accommodation, and many were left disappointed. This is a great sign for investors, as it shows not even a global pandemic can stop the demand for PBSA in the UK. According to AccommodationForStudents (AFS), there was a 25% rise in the amount of students searching PBSA this year than in 2019.

There are many reasons why the UK in particular has a thriving PBSA sector. This article will highlight the reasons why you should strongly consider investing in this high performing asset class.

The UK Has the Strongest PBSA Market

Global investment into student housing has reached a new record, and over £12.3 billion has been invested into the asset class worldwide. The UK has been the biggest recipient of funding, according to Savills, with over £2.7 billion being invested into the country’s PBSA market.

The United States came second for funding, accounting for £2.6 billion, and Germany took the third position. It’s worth noting that even in third place, Germany only had £529 million invested into its PBSA market, proving the UK has the strongest market, and is therefore seen as the safest to invest in, across Europe.

The Growing Student Population

The UK is held in high regard for its educational institutions, and more people than ever before are applying to go to university. Currently, there are over 2.3 million students in the UK across 131 universities, and the population is continuing to grow.

By 2030, there will be an additional 135,000 English students studying in the UK. At the rate new PBSA is being built, the influx of students will lead to a greater imbalance between supply and demand for PBSA.

According to Select Property Group, the UK only has enough PBSA units to house 24% of the students who are actively looking for this type of accommodation. This tells us there is room for the sector to grow significantly, as so many students have to settle for a living environment that they deem unsuitable for their time at university.

As the student population grows, the demand for PBSA rises as it perfectly represents the way modern students want to live. The only way to successfully counterbalance the demand with supply is by having property investors step in to help meet the students’ needs.

The Appeal of a UK Education

The UK has one of the best educational systems in the world and is held in high regard. Due to the UK’s appeal, many international students choose to study here. In total, international students account for 19.6% of the UK student population, and over 100,000 come from China.

It’s no surprise that the UK attracts so many overseas students. Top university cities like Liverpool have sister schools in areas such as Shanghai, meaning many overseas applicants already have a strong connection with the UK.

In total, close to 60% of PBSA properties are rented by international students. This figure is set to rise in the coming years, as more students look towards the UK for its prestigious universities.

Different cities will hold a different appeal to international students, so it’s important to do your research on key university towns before making an investment. Click on the following link to find more information on where to buy student accommodation in the UK.

UK Student Rental Yields

The UK has some of the strongest PBSA rental yields anywhere in the world, sitting at an average of 4.72%. Research from UCAS shows us students are willing to pay more money for better quality accommodation, and with so few PBSA units on the market, it means that investors have been able to increase rents in line with demand.

In certain parts of the UK, investors are seeing rental yields as high as 10%. Below, we have listed the average student yields for many of the top university cities. However many of the opportunities Renaissance Investments are securing are bringing in above average returns:

  • Manchester: 5.2%
  • Cardiff: 5.59%
  • Liverpool: 6.1%
  • Leeds: 6.4%

To find opportunities that have even greater value, you should consult with UK student property experts.

Why You Should Invest in Student Accommodation in the UK

The UK has achieved more for PBSA investors than any other country in Europe. As it stands only the US has seen investments on a similar scale, but with the weakened pound rate and once-in-a-lifetime mix of political factors, the UK is proving to be the most profitable country to invest in.

International students come to the UK on an unprecedented scale, and with more English students opting to go into higher education, the demand from students for suitable accommodation will remain high for years to come. The only thing that needs to change is the supply of PBSA, which is something you can help with.

We will work with you to find the right investment opportunities. Our team prides itself on listening to what clients want from their investment.

If you are considering an investment in the student market, feel free to contact a member of our team. If you need more information on why you should invest in student accommodation in the UK, make sure to read our article: Is Buying Student Accommodation a Good Investment?

The student accommodation investment market in the UK has been one of the strongest property sectors to invest in for many years. Even during economic downturns, this asset class has consistently provided investors with secured rental returns.

The market has evolved rapidly over time, taking the 2008 global recession and the emergence of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) to truly solidify the UK student housing market as one of the highest performing asset classes for investors.

Forecasts from several property experts — such as Savills — are predicting the growth to continue, giving investors further confidence, making now an excellent time to invest in UK student accommodation.

This article details the evolution of this thriving sector, and shows why investors continue to put their faith in this evolving marketplace.

The Global Recession & Rise in Student Fees

In times of financial difficulty, the younger generation is often quick to react. During the 2008 global recession, there were over 1.67 million young people in higher education, which represented the sharpest rise in undergraduates since the early nineties.

The reason for this is simple. When the economy is negatively impacted, young people look to upskill in the hopes of securing a better job and making themselves invaluable to the companies they want to work for. It wasn’t until 2013 that the UK started to recover from the recession, which left young people fearful about securing future jobs.

However, it wasn’t just the world’s economic problems that caused a rise in student numbers. Following the Browne Review in 2010, plans were put in place to raise student tuition fees from £3225 a year to £9000 by 2012. Student numbers reached 2.55 million in 2011 — the highest point on record — as many young people felt like they were put into a “now or never” situation in regards to going to university.

An increase of people enrolling on university courses created problems in the student housing market. The supply far outweighed the demand, and this didn’t leave many options available. Many had to settle for outdated halls of residence, others rented from private landlords, and many had to stay at home with their parents. There was very little suitable accommodation on the market, which investors looked to capitalise on.

An Influx of International Investment

While Western society struggled with the financial crisis, Asian and Eastern countries managed to build on their wealth and prosperity. Places such China and Hong Kong had established themselves as economic powerhouses by the early 2000s, which was helped by China joining the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

A UK education is held in high regard across the world, and many students from overseas choose to study in the UK. Chinese students in particular have a preference for the country’s educational system, as they make up nearly 20% of all UK-based students.

International investors had a vested interest in the UK student accommodation investment market. Many undergraduates from Hong Kong, China, India, Pakistan and the UAE study in the country, but it was clear that the UK didn’t have suitable accommodation for international students at the time.

A decade of investments has added a significant amount of units to the student housing market, but the number of PBSA available is still in short supply. Investors from Dubai, Kuwait and Pakistan, alongside Hong Kong and China are taking advantage of the demand while the opportunities are still available.

History is Repeating Itself

In a similar vein to the 2008 financial downturn, young people in the UK are currently concerned about the job market. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the UK thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, and not having a firm trade deal in place with the European Union by December 2020 could affect many of the country’s industries.

Not wanting to be left behind in the jobs market, young adults are once again signing up to attend university in record numbers. As we mentioned in our article detailing the impact of Covid-19 on the UK student property market, 40.5% of 18-year-olds in the country applied to join a course while in lockdown.

The only difference between 2020 and 2008 is that the amount of suitable accommodation on the student housing market is already far too low. University towns and cities still haven’t caught up with the demand for PBSA from years ago. Now, the demand is even greater, and more students than ever will be left looking for alternative accommodation.

International investors have a head start this time around. Many investors have paved the way for foreign investment in the sector, and are going from strength to strength. The key university cities to invest in have already been established, and emerging university towns are making the sector accessible for new and seasoned investors alike.

Capitalising on the Current State of the Student Accommodation Investment Market
The student housing market has evolved in the last 20 years. The ever-growing population combined with the emphasis on providing quality accommodation has created many worthwhile opportunities for property investors.

Students, both domestic and international, are asking for PBSA, but supplying it in such high numbers is proving to be more difficult without further financial input.

At Renaissance Investments, we specialise in helping international investors find the right property deals in the UK. We have the network in place and expert property knowledge, but more importantly, we will take the time to discuss your needs so we can present you with the most suitable opportunities.

To find out what Renaissance Investments can do to help you, get in touch with us for more information on the student housing market and the opportunities in the UK we have available.

Selecting the right property investment agent from day one can be an invaluable resource for any investor. They act as your eyes and ears to ensure you don’t miss out on the latest opportunities, and they do the hard work behind the scenes so you don’t have to.

There are several key traits you should look for when working with an agent. Many agents mean well and carry out their roles to the best of their ability, but when it comes to investing your hard earned money, we believe a hard working agent is not enough. Your agent should have expert knowledge of the market combined with certain skills and characteristics, which we will highlight in this article.

Expertise & Knowledge

The major difference between a good property investment agent and great one will be their ability not just to put an opportunity in front of you, but to have the knowledge to explain why you should consider the investment for your portfolio.

A prime example of this is having good knowledge of the area where the property is located. A property agent should be able to present a strong investment case including:

  • local regeneration projects which will benefit the property for years to come
  • rental figures
  • comparable property prices
  • infrastructure
  • tenant profiles
  • growth figures
  • an exit strategy

The answer to these questions can determine the success of any property purchase. If an agent is able to provide you with the answers, this is always a positive sign that they have put in the extra effort with their due diligence.

Honesty & Transparency

A major factor when choosing your agent is identifying if they have your best interests at heart. The opportunity presented to you has to work in your best interests, and no agent should try to persuade you into making a deal you’re not 100% comfortable with.

Taking the time to discuss your investment goals should be the number one priority. An experienced agent will listen carefully to your needs, so they can identify the right path to go down. By having this open discussion first, you are unlikely to be offered deals that do not match your requirements.

If property investment agents immediately starts discussing products and prices without taking this first step, they’re clearly putting their own welfare over yours. In some cases, you may have an investment in mind that could turn out to be unsuitable for you in the long-term. Instead of proceeding with the deal, a credible consultant will highlight the potential pitfalls. They may even be able to find you a similar yet more stable investment opportunity, ensuring your finances are better cared for.

Track Record

When you decide to work with property investment agents, it is important to consider the experience they have. Asking them about their experience and track record, might sound a little intrusive, but this information will help set them apart from the rest. You want to know when you make an investment, you are in safe hands. Many agents can sell you a property; that’s the easy part, but finding an agent who will stay around and provide you with extra customer service is not as easy to find.

Agents should be able to confidently talk about previous developments they have sold, and highlight how they helped clients in the past. If they have done a good job, they should already have a number of repeat buyers, who will be happy to share testimonials. If they are unable to provide you with the basics , then you must question if they are a right match for you.

If you’re considering investing, you want some reassurance on who you are working with. Knowledge and customer service can only go so far, and it’s the experience factor the agent brings to the table that ensures you invest in the most profitable properties.

Quality Connections

An agent’s connection and network goes a long way in this industry. If an agent is well connected, they are more likely to be up to date with the latest developments in the market, sometimes even before they come to market. Having the inside knowledge before the rest, can put you ahead and in many cases giving you the opportunity to secure the best options.

It is also important, a property investment agent is proactive and not reactive. They should be able to give you up-to-date industry news, knowing where the latest emerging buy to let hotspots are and any market changes.

Go with your instincts; they are normally right. If you feel comfortable and confident your agent will go the extra mile, then there is no reason not to work together.

Where to Find the Best Property Investment Agents

If you are considering making your first property investment in the UK or Dubai property market, Renaissance Investments is a highly trained team of experienced property professionals. We have a consultative approach to the market and have established a market leading property service, covering every part of the purchase process.

With our experienced team, we have access to some of the very best property deals, creating property portfolios for clients around the world.

Speak to a member of the Renaissance Investments team today to start your new property venture. We specialise in helping international investors find success in the UK and Dubai property market, and we have many exciting opportunities available to discuss with you.

For more information on the UK property market, make sure to read the articles available now on the Renaissance Investments news page.

Property has a reputation for being a safe investment, and the UK is one of the strongest and most reliable countries you can invest in. Not even the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, nor the Coronavirus pandemic could halt the UK property market going from strength to strength. As it stands, property investors with UK assets are set to enjoy one of the strongest and fastest growth periods in years.

Now is an excellent time to invest in UK property. A once-in-a-lifetime mix of political events, global circumstances and a booming population has created a property market like no other in the world today. To the right investor, this means low costs, high rental yields, an increase in capital growth and an investment that will provide you with significant value.

Experts worldwide see value in UK property, and the facts speak for themselves. In this article, we’ll explain the reasons why property experts are recommending the UK to investors around the world.
The Future of UK Property is Bright

2020 sparked a short-term dip in the UK housing market, as estate agents struggled to showcase properties to potential buyers and renters, with social distancing measures in place. However, that dip was quickly reconciled thanks to innovative solutions.

Agents arranged property viewings with help from technology. The UK has seen more virtual viewings this year than ever before, and it helped bring a renewed sense of confidence into the market. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reported an 87% rise in new property enquiries in July, followed by an 80% increase on new instructions. As faith in the market continues to build, Savills predicts this will result in higher residential property prices year on year.

By 2024, the average house price growth in the UK is expected to increase by 15%, but many regions will far surpass this prediction. The North West of England ranks number one in the price forecasts, as house price growth is expected to reach 23%.

It’s important to remember that these predictions don’t take into account individual cities within the regions. As an example, Manchester house prices could even surpass the North West’s average, reaching as high as 24%.

The Midlands and Wales are also anticipated to exceed the national average with five-year forecasts reaching 18.4% and 17.7% respectively. Knowing the right areas to invest in should always be at the forefront of the due diligence process, so make sure you thoroughly review the UK’s regions before deciding on a place to invest.

A Low Supply and a High Demand

One of the main reasons why the UK rental market performs so well is the lack of residential property available. New build projects are being commissioned, but demand far outweighs the amount of residential property being constructed. There also aren’t enough homeowners who want to sell their properties. According to a Legal & General survey, 25% of prospective buyers are looking to make a purchase this year, but only 4% of current homeowners are definitely looking to sell.

This has created a prime opportunity for investors, as people in the UK see renting as the easier option. When you take into account the fact that many are also willing to pay a premium rate to secure quality property, you’ll find the value of rental properties in the UK are staggeringly high.

Metropolitan cities with dense populations that grow year on year are falling behind other areas in the UK in terms of supply. As a result, investors are finding they can increase their rental figures in line with demand. In key city centres across the UK, investors can achieve average rental returns of 7%, making it an attractive proposition for their property portfolio.

Nation-Wide Regeneration Projects

As the UK continues to grow, regeneration projects are helping key cities to expand while boosting localised areas. One of the biggest projects currently underway in the UK is the HS2 railway, which will allow for greater and faster transport around the UK. The BBC reported that the estimated time it would take to travel between London and Manchester is 67 minutes. The scheme is also predicted to create 40,000 new jobs, 13,000 new homes and one million square metres of commercial space.

With HS2 in place, businesses can find more affordable cities to base themselves in, and skilled workers will no longer be limited to finding work in their local area. Domestic tourism will also improve, as people will be able to travel more of the UK in a much shorter time.

It’s not just the HS2 railway that’s having a positive effect on the UK. Major cities are taking action, securing their economies for years to come. Take the Northern Powerhouse, as a prime example. Cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds are leading from the front with game changing regeneration projects.

The Liverpool Waters Project, is seeing £5.5 billion being invested into the city, creating thousands of new jobs and new infrastructure. Cities such as Birmingham and Manchester are fighting for the right to be called the UK’s second city, firmly establishing themselves on the international stage. Events such as the 2022 Commonwealth Games are taking place in Birmingham, and these events are creating thousands of new jobs and regeneration schemes across the city.

A Growing Population

The UK’s population is growing at an incredible rate. Within the next 20 years, it’s predicted 74 million people will call the UK their home. This means the population is expected to grow by 300,000 people every year until 2040.

As you might have guessed, it’s the busy cities that are predicted to have the biggest booms in population. By 2026, Manchester is expected to have an additional 75,000 permanent residents, which is a population growth rate three times higher than the national average.

Liverpool is another city on the rise, as the area expects a population growth of 50,000 within 20 years. To keep on top of property supplies, this means an additional 30,000 new properties have to be built in Liverpool by 2030, or else the demand will continue to outweigh the amount of properties on offer.

Interestingly, the UK doesn’t just have a growing population; it has an ageing population as well, which is creating more opportunities in the rental sector. Over 1 million people in the UK are over 50 years old and renting their property, which is nearly double than the amount of over 50s who were renting back in 2010.

25% of the UK is expected to be over the age of 65 by 2050, and with the shift towards older generations preferring to rent, there’s a lot of potential for investors to gain a foothold in a market that’s on the rise.

Post-Covid Property Boom

The Coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we live, and during this time many people are re-evaluating their living arrangements.

Estate agents have seen a sharp rise in people looking for properties with some form of extra space, and this trend is expected to continue post Covid. More workers want to create a comfortable home office environment which is benefiting city centre projects, especially those that offer a co-living community. There’s also been a growing demand for properties with outside space. With people having to be cautious when they venture out, many have realised how important it is to have a garden so they can step out for some fresh air whenever they please.

Finally, the concept of staycations has found roots in the UK. As the list of countries being added and removed from the UK’s travel ban seems to change on a daily basis, plenty of UK residents have decided to take vacations in their home country. As such, the amount of serviced accommodation apartments and holiday lets being booked for short-term breaks has skyrocketed in the last few months.

The Weakening Pound Sterling

The UK’s currency has always been strong, but it has certainly fallen in value since the economic crash in 2008 and the announcement of Brexit in 2016. More importantly, when the pound rate weakens, other currencies tend to grow in value, which is great news for property investors from around the world, including UAE, Hong Kong, Saudi, China.

To keep the economy stable, interest rates in the UK reached an all-time low of 0.01% this year. This means property investors can take advantage of highly competitive mortgage rates.

As a further benefit to property investors, the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak reduced Stamp Duty Land Tax to 3% on property purchases up to £500,000. However, it’s important to remember that these reductions will only be in place until the 1st of April 2021, so an investment made in the near future, will provide you with additional savings.

For more information, take a look at our article on how to capitalise on the weak pound rate when buying property.

The Value of UK Property Versus the Rest of the World

The UK is one of the best countries in Europe for foreign investment. London topped the Global Cities 30 Index as the number one city in Europe for investments, and number two across the world. No other city in Europe even broke the top ten; the closest was Paris which came in at No. 14.

London’s success as a property investment hotspot has also had a positive impact on the wider area. The London Commuter Belt is more affordable for young families who need to live in close proximity to the UK’s capital, which has seen a surge in demand for property in areas such as Bracknell, Slough, Luton and Brentford.

International Confidence in the UK Market

International investors have already seen the tremendous potential value in UK property and are continuing to build on their  portfolios. In the purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) market alone, £1.68 billion of investment has come from overseas, which is more than half of the total amount invested in the market. Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has one of the largest portfolios worth over £448 million, and other countries from Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council are looking to take advantage of the rising popularity of UK-based PBSA.

Build-to-Rent (BTR) property is also proving hugely popular among foreign investors. Peter Burns, the Head of UK Development & Residential Capital Markets at CBRE said domestic investors have made significant deals, and international investors are looking to follow suit. According to Burns, new investors see more value in UK property than they do in other European centres.

CBRE has forecasted residential investments will increase by 30% by the end of 2020 with a significant amount of input coming from overseas. As developments become more popular in metropolitan areas, it’s expected the smaller towns and cities in the UK will soon see a huge growth in demand for BTR.

Why Invest in UK Property?
The UK is one of the best locations in the world for property investments due to the rising population and  the lack of residential property currently on the market.

When you  take into account the value for money you can achieve on the weakened British currency and the amount of regeneration projects that are underway to improve the country, it becomes clear that the answer to “Why invest in UK property” is a simple one; you can make an excellent return on your investment.

Renaissance Investments has access to a variety of property deals across the UK, in many of the UK’s high performing property investment hotspots. Whether you’re looking to invest in student accommodation or the buy to let sector, we take the time to understand your needs. With this tailored approach, we can present you with the most suitable opportunities.

To learn more about the exciting opportunities we have available, contact a member of the Renaissance Investments team today for more details.

If you are considering building your property portfolio in the UK, it is important that you have the right team on the ground to take care of the day-to-day management of your property. Experienced property management teams will take away any hassle you might have, giving you the time to focus on your own tasks.

If you are a hands-off property investor, the right property manager will take care of all the tasks related to your investment. This should include the following:

  • Organising repairs
  • Putting together maintenance reports
  • Collecting rental fees
  • Sourcing new tenants and negotiating rental fees
  • Handling insurance
  • Organising payments for any outgoings
  • Being the main point of contact in the event of emergencies

Selecting an experienced property manager can be a huge asset for your portfolio and can contribute heavily to the success of your buy to let investment.

In this article we’ll discuss how buy to let property management in the UK works, and the benefits of having an expert manage your portfolio.

What To Expect From Buy to Let Property Management
Property managers act on your behalf to keep your property and tenants in order. They take on all the responsibilities so you don’t have to. This creates the perfect hands-off investment, meaning all you have to do is relax and wait for the rental payments to come through.

The Legalities

Even if you’re based in the UK, property management service providers can be invaluable. If you’re new to being a landlord, there are various rules and regulations your property has to adhere to. With a manager in place, they will ensure your property is fit for the rental market by:

  • Obtaining a valid Gas Safety Certificate
  • Obtaining a valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • Installing smoke alarms
  • Ensuring you have consent to let the property (insurance companies and mortgage lenders have the right to take away consent)
  • Proving your property is fit for human habitation, as described in the Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018
  • Making sure your furniture and furnishings have passed UK Fire Regulations (Our furniture partner has provided more information on this subject with their blog: What is Crib 5?)

UK law is strict about the condition of properties on the lettings market, as the safety and wellbeing of tenants must come first. Fortunately, many of the items listed above are easily resolved with the right help, and having property management arrangements in place will ensure your property adheres to standards.

Marketing

An important step for any property investor is making sure your property is attracting attention. This is where the marketing expertise of a manager comes into play. With their knowledge of the local market and expertise in writing adverts that capture the reader’s imagination, your property should be rented out with minimal — if any — void periods, ensuring you start to see immediate income, and maximising your annual rental profits.

A key part of the advert will include the marketing images. Your property manager should have access to professional photographers who will highlight the best features of your property, giving potential renters a realistic idea of what the property will be like once they move in.

Tenant Responsibilities

If you’re looking into property management services, one key aspect to take into account is their ability to handle tenant responsibilities. A point of contact is needed in the event a problem arises. This can range from maintenance issues through to complaints from the neighbours.

As part of their training, property teams have to understand Landlord and Tenant Law to ensure both you and the tenant are following the terms in the tenancy agreement. They may have to seek legal expertise from a solicitor, but your property manager should have knowledge on:

  • Eviction proceedings
  • Dealing with non-payments
  • Harassment charges
  • Changes to agreed services

Luckily, these issues are very rare in the UK, and the chances of having any problems arise can be mitigated further through the expertise of your manager. Their services usually include a tenant screening process, which means they will conduct a thorough background check before letting the property out to an individual. Most background checks will include:

  • Following up on references
  • Completing credit checks
  • Arranging property viewings and meeting potential tenants in person
  • Finalising the terms in the tenancy agreement

When a new tenant moves into your property, they will also leave a deposit — normally one month’s rent — with your manager, which acts as a safety net if the tenant damages your property or if they miss a rental payment. By law, this deposit has to be kept safe with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) or a similar government-approved scheme. A manager will handle this process for you, and will organise the repayment to the tenant if there is no need to make a claim against them.

Buy to Let Property Management Made Easy

When you make an investment in property, you want to do everything you can to maximise returns. To unlock the full potential of your investment, buy to let property management services provide you with an effective solution.

At Renaissance Investments, we offer our clients a full 360 bespoke property service, which includes introducing you to reputable, local property management companies. We conduct thorough due diligence when researching property management teams, asking the questions you need the answers to. Once we’re confident in our selections, we will present you with the best options.

For straightforward and hassle free property management solutions, please get in touch with a member of the Renaissance investments team.

This is exactly what the seller of the property wants. The seller will have their own reasons for taking their property off market, such as wanting a discreet quick sale or simply looking to save money on selling costs. Depending on your needs as an investor, this can work either to your advantage or against it. You may secure a new property for your portfolio in a short space of time, however it is worth keeping in mind, these off market deals can also command a premium price.

It’s worth considering off market properties, as there are some great deals to be done, however it is also important to evaluate if you’re paying the right price for the property. Finding off market properties for sale can be difficult, but this article will highlight the best way to source these unique opportunities.

Build Your Network

In order to find the best off market deals, a strong network is essential. As these opportunities are kept quiet, you need to have reliable connections within the industry. These may include:

  • Investment agents
  • Estate agents
  • Building operators
  • Property developers

These industry professionals are more likely to be kept up to date with the latest deals on the property market, and if you nurture your relationships with them, they will feel more inclined to part with their insider information.

By gaining access to this knowledge before other investors, it gives you more time to consider your options. If you decide that the investment is right for your needs, you may be able to make the first bid, which is crucial if the seller wants a quick sale.

An investment agent will be invaluable  if you’re searching for a specific property. A great agent will already have the connections in place in order to find the best deals, and they proactively stay on top of the latest developments.

Do Your Research

As with any investment, it’s important to do your research before making a commitment. When a seller decides to go down the off market route, there’s usually a specific reason why. In many cases, the seller simply doesn’t have the time to go through the traditional method, and going off market means they don’t have to schedule viewings or spend time and effort marketing the property.

However, off market property deals in many cases are completed very quickly, which can put investors in a predicament; do you complete the purchase with the small amount of information you have, or do you conduct thorough due diligence first?

Even without details on the off market property for sale, you should at least take some time to research the average rental returns in the area and the type of tenant the property is likely to attract. Regeneration projects in the area also point towards healthy growth figures, making your investment suitable for the long-term.

If you’re unfamiliar with the location, an expert investment agent will conduct due diligence for you. Their priority is to ensure you get the best deal possible, and if they can’t put together a strong case as to why you should invest, they will advise you against making a purchase.

Don’t Assume Off Market Properties Provide the Best Deals

Off market deals have a reputation in the UK for providing some excellent deals for investors. From our own experience, we know this isn’t necessarily the case. It is true that off market properties for sale can save investors money, but the exclusive bidding nature can actually cause the purchase price to rise.

The term “off market” makes a deal feel more prestigious than it is. If you’re sure you want to invest in a certain type of property or in a specific area of the UK , it’s worth researching the opportunities that have been made available on the open market first.

Not only are these opportunities more readily available, you can use the information the seller provides to your advantage.

It’s rare that off market deals will allow viewings, particularly if the property in question is tenanted; buying a property on the market means your agent will have a good opportunity to assess the condition first, and you will also be able to request structural reports on the property.

Off market deals can be lucrative to investors, but your agent needs to be sure nothing is wrong with the property first. If the agent’s instinct tells them something isn’t right with the deal, you should walk away and continue your search.

Finding the Best Off Market Properties
As with all investments, there are two main elements you need to have in place before considering an off market property:

  1. An experienced property agent
  2. Extensive research

Without an agent who will support you through the entire process, you can’t be sure you’re getting the best deal for you. Without the right knowledge, you could miss out on better opportunities.

At Renaissance Investments, we pride ourselves on being experts in the UK property market. We specialise in finding our clients the right investments for them and we will always look to provide an honest opinion, if we feel the opportunity is not a right match.

For more information on how we can help you, speak to a member of our team today.

London is an incredible city that has a lot to offer property investors, but the demand in the market has waned in the last few years due to property price growth reaching a six-year low.

High property prices with little room for capital growth, and rental yields that offer only a fraction more than the country’s average rates are making it harder for investors to find great opportunities.

The city still has a lot of appeal, though, and provides jobs for millions of skilled workers in the UK. People want to work in London, as it’s a city that competes on the global stage in sectors as diverse as finance, marketing, media and fashion. What the people don’t want is to pay sky-high prices for property, which is why 1-in-16 London residents admitted that they’re looking for a new place to live.

As buy to let London is considered too expensive for the average renter, it has created a boom in the London Commuter Belt. These are areas just outside of the city that provide easy access to and from the capital. Many of the people who live in Commuter Belt locations rent properties that offer better value for money.

It’s the London Commuter Belt that is making healthier returns for property investors. As such, if you’re looking to invest in a buy to let London property, you should look into the following locations first to see if your money can be made to go further.

Bracknell

Bracknell is an up-and-coming area in the London Commuter Belt that’s receiving over £1 billion of investment into its retail, leisure and residential spaces. Thanks to the town’s ongoing redevelopment, the demand for rental property is on the rise, and many people can see that Bracknell offers better value for money to workers than a standard buy to let London property. This is why the town has a rapidly growing population that’s expected to reach 141,000 by 2039.

Property in the area offers more value to investors as well. According to figures obtained from the UK property site Zoopla, a two-bed apartment in Bracknell costs on average £203,421 and receives £975 in rent per calendar month. This equates to a healthy rental yield of 5.75% per annum.

Part of Bracknell’s growing success stems from its talented workforce. Major technology companies such as Dell and Honda have established a base in the town, which is helping to attract young and talented workers who are struggling to stand out in the London crowd of 9.1 million people.

Brentford

Brentford is set to become one of London’s largest waterside regeneration hubs in the next few years thanks to the London Plan — the mayor’s strategic document which outlines the town as being a key centre for commercial and residential growth potential.

The town lies in close proximity to London, which is just a 30 minute journey away. While being close to the capital is one of its key selling points, Brentford sets itself apart from other areas in the London Commuter Belt for being surrounded by open green space.

Almost 370 acres of parks, gardens and woodland are within a 20 minute walk of Brentford station, and a further 1853 acres is accessible within 20 minutes via public transport. If renters in the area own a car, there is over 6000 acres of green space available to them. This includes Syon Park, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Richmond Park. As an added bonus, nature lovers who rent in the area will have access to 1.9 miles of river frontage.

As green space is becoming more coveted, property prices in Brentford are expected to rise rapidly. Capital growth is predicted to reach 9% by 2023, and rental figures will go up by 16%. By comparison, buy to let London rental figures have actually fallen by an average of 0.6% in the last year.

Slough

Slough is arguably the most well connected area in the London Commuter Belt, and offers property investors much better value for money in terms of capital growth. In the last five years, the town has seen house prices increase by 19%, whereas London has only seen a 12% growth.

One of the reasons Slough has such a high capital growth rate is due to its incredible accessibility to the capital. London is only 30 minutes away on the train and less than an hour away by car. There are plans to boost the railway’s performance even further with Crossrail — an infrastructure project that’s decreasing travel time and adding more journeys into London. Crossrail has been so successful that property prices in Slough have increased by 60% in the last decade.

With 46% of the homes in Slough rented out to London workers, it’s clear that the price of rent in the capital is too high for many. A buy to let London property isn’t seen as attractive when Slough can offer much cheaper rental rates while keeping the capital within commuting distance.

The town isn’t just well connected to central London; the UK’s busiest airport — Heathrow — is half an hour away, which makes Slough a highly accessible place for airport staff to live. Plans are in place to add a third runway, and this expansion is expected to create a further 40,000 new jobs, boosting the local economy even further and creating a need for more rental properties.

An Alternative to Traditional Buy to Let London Property

The London Commuter Belt provides investors with affordable opportunities and greater returns via rental yields and capital growth. While buy to let London properties will always appeal to the wealthiest renters in the UK, the towns outside of the capital attract a larger audience who are looking for better value for money.

We want you to find the right investment opportunity, which is why we take the time to listen to your needs. Our approach means we can source deals that deliver exactly what you’re looking for, and the London Commuter Belt has an exciting range of offers that the capital city can’t match up to.

To hear more about our wide array of alternatives to buy to let London property, contact a member of the Renaissance Investments team.