Invest in Oxygen: Manchester’s First Vertical Village

Oxygen Tower will be located near excellent transport links in the city centre.

Construction is underway of Manchester’s ground-breaking ‘vertical village’ – set to be known as Oxygen Tower. Located near to Piccadilly Station, the 375,825 ft² construction will be one of the most complex and impressive high-rise projects in Manchester.

Oxygen Tower in Manchester will be a ground-breaking vertical village development.

The developers, Property Alliance Group, have commissioned building specialists Russells Construction and designers 5Plus Architects for the £100 million residential development. Set for completion in 2018, it will eventually comprise 345 luxury apartments and 12 family townhouses.

A sales launch has already taken place, with Oxygen proving extremely popular with prospective buyers. There are still opportunities for both residential and buy-to-let investors however, so feel free to get in touch for more information on this exciting investment.

The development will contain a spa, allotments, amenities and services for its community.

Building Details

Oxygen will manifest as three connected blocks, with the tallest being an impressive 31-storeys high. These will include one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with the luxury townhouses on ground level. Ninety-one car parking spaces will be available in the basement.

The tag of Manchester’s first ‘vertical village’ comes from the various leisure facilities set to be included on-site. Along with a 24/7 concierge and rooftop garden terrace, inhabitants will also have access to a communal gym, spa, swimming pool and cinema room.

The development director of Alliance, Gareth Russell, has noted these facilities have been a major enticement for potential buyers. He said:

As Manchester’s first vertical village, the development will provide residents with a variety of luxury homes as well as amenities and services that will create a sustainable and thriving community.

With a roof garden, allotments and spa it will create a sociable environment and lifestyle that will appeal to both young professionals and families looking to rent or buy.”

Oxygen Tower will be located near excellent transport links in the city centre.

Further Information

The project lies on Store Street, just off Great Ancoats Street, which places it within walking distance of some of Manchester’s prime areas. Not only is Piccadilly Station close by, but you’re also not far from the Northern Quarter, Oxford Road, Market Street and the Arndale Centre.

In terms of design, every Oxygen apartment and townhouse will be finished to ultra-modern standards. Although specific details have not been revealed yet, full height windows and balconies will be a feature of each room.

The three towers will descend in height, from 31-storeys down to 15 and nine respectively, connected by a visible lift and stair cores. Underneath, the basement car park will hold 91 spaces for cars and 175 for bicycles.

A residential breakdown is as follows:

  • One-bedroom apartments – 190 units – £220,000 starting price
  • Two-bedroom apartments – 236 units – £292,000 starting price
  • Family townhouses – 12 units – £510,000 starting price

At time of writing, the Oxygen development is expected to be ready for completion at the back end of 2018. Capital growth of 15% in that time is anticipated, with rental yields expected to reach 6%. If you’d like any more information on this exciting investment opportunity in Manchester, feel free to get in touch with us today.

You can find out more about Oxygen here.
For more information about Manchester, take a look at Why Invest in Manchester.

Dubai Offers Vast Potential for International Investors

UK investors should take notice of the vast potential for growth in Dubai.

In the first quarter of 2017, Dubai has witnessed a 25 percent increase in overall transactional activity. Although this is great news for the property sector, there’s still vast potential for growth – especially from international investors.

This was the consensus of the latest International Property Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Experts discussed how lower oil prices, more favourable mortgage conditions and a strong local currency can stimulate market activity even further.

To take advantage of the promising outlook, Aspen Woolf offer numerous investment opportunities across Dubai. Our flexible payment plans, varied finance options and personal connections inside the Emirate will help secure your purchase.

Local Insight

Dubai is offering better rental yields than London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Image credit: Djordje Radovanovic via Flickr

The impetus from inside the UAE is to create an appealing market for international buyers. UK-based investors should take note, especially at a time when Dubai is offering better rental yields than London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The managing director at Emaar Properties has emphasised the importance of a unified effort to bring in foreign investment. He said:

“We already have a strong appeal to international investors. As developers, we can do the marketing but we need the continuous support of banks in completing transactions getting the money abroad.”

This was echoed by Masood Al Awar, chief commercial officer at Dubai Properties:

“Eighty percent of the demand will come from the international market. However, as of today, not even 50 percent comes from it, which means we still have a huge market to conquer and investors to attract moving towards 2020.”

Expo 2020

Expo 2020 takes place in Dubai in three years.

Image credit: USCPublicDiplomacy via Flickr

The year 2020 is significant in Dubai right now, essentially because of the impending World Exhibition in three years’ time. The prestigious event will attract a massive 25 million visitors to the Emirate over a six-month period, acting as a major catalyst for real estate activity.

Buy-to-let investors have been quick to recognise this unique opportunity. Such an enormous influx of people will create massive demand for accommodation, as well as inflated rental income.

As the quarterly growth of 25% indicates, the momentum created by Expo 2020 has already begun. This has been backed up by government initiatives to improve infrastructure and the tourism/hospitality sectors, creating jobs and boosting the rental market even further.

International Investment

UK investors should take notice of the vast potential for growth in Dubai.

Image credit: Serge Bystro via Flickr

With the local real estate community cooperating to attract foreign backers, UK investors should take notice of the vast potential for growth in Dubai. Findings in the Core Savills’ Q2 Dubai Residential Market Update shows how this approach is already paying off.

Their report found the main apartment districts of the Dubai Marina, the Views and the Greens are attracting increased buy-to-let interest, buoyed by increased supply. More than 3,500 units were delivered in the second quarter of 2017, an increase from 12 months before.

To take advantage of Dubai’s potential for growth, especially ahead of Expo 2020, using a UK-based estate agent to secure the purchase is highly recommended. At Aspen Woolf, we can advise on various local buying customs and how to benefit from the UAE’s lenient tax conditions. Please get in touch today for more information.

Why It’s Good for Investors that UK House Prices Are Still Rising

Despite Brexit and the political uncertainty in the UK, house rises have been rising.

The average UK house price increased by 5.6% in the year to April 2017. This is good news for buy-to-let investors, protecting your initial outlay whilst also driving usual first-time buyers into rented accommodation.

It also provides more options for an exit strategy. Knowing your investment will make capital gains year-on-year provides peace of mind and a healthy resale value should you decide to move on.

Investment Sense

Despite Brexit and the political uncertainty in the UK, house rises have been rising.

Despite the political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, UK house prices still rose around £15,000 last year on average. What this shows is a resilience in the market not seen elsewhere.

This makes acquiring property Britain’s number one investment. For example, it far outstrips what you’d receive from a savings account, especially with interest rates at historically low levels.

This has been backed up by Rachel Springall of comparison website Moneyfacts, who says:

“To earn £15,000 in a year, a saver would need to have £300,000 and find an interest rate of 5%. No standard savings accounts offer anywhere near that.”

Even if house prices start to decline, you’ll still have an underlying asset at your disposal. This will help you obtain finance for mortgage applications or other investments, using the property as collateral.

Positive Forecast

Research suggests that UK house prices will continue to rise making now the time to invest.

These property gains are showing no sign of slowing down either. Research from Barclays suggests that house prices will rise by a further 6% over the next five years, meaning the average UK property value will be nearly £300,000 in 2021.

Their report claims that a buy-to-let surge will play its part in the growth, especially in upcoming property ‘hotspots’ outside of London. Relatively cheap house prices and thriving local economies will lead to increased demand and higher rental yields in these areas.

Likewise, according to Aviva, forecasts for UK rental income remain positive over the short and medium term. They predict average yields to remain at around 6.5% until 2020 at least, with some other areas in the Midlands and North offering up to 10%.

Rental Reliance

As UK house prices rise, more and more people are relying on rental properties.

With a housing shortage and expanding population, the rise in UK property prices means many Brits are increasingly reliant on rental homes. For buy-to-let investors, this is promising news and means tenant enquiries are almost guaranteed once your property is listed.

The latest research backs this up. Nearly 75% of those currently renting expect to be in the same position three years from now and by 2021, it’s predicted one in four households (5.8 million) will be privately renting as home ownership becomes less achievable.

Rental income is also expected to increase with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicting a  25% rise in rents over the next five years. Property prices themselves are expected to increase by around 20%, placing buy-to-let investors in a win-win situation.

For all types of investor or those planning retirement, property is your best bet in the current climate. However, because house prices are still on the up and look set to rise even further by 2021, now is the time to act.

 

The options we have at Aspen Woolf span all areas of the UK and cater to investors with varying budgets.

For more information on the predicted property market rise, check out Optimistic Outlook for Property Market in Next Five Years.

Key UK Cities See the Highest Quarterly Price Rise Since 2014

Leeds City Skyline view

House prices in major UK cities increased by 3.5% in the last three months – the highest quarterly rise since 2014. This is according to the latest data from Hometrack, an analytics website that monitors residential house prices in 20 key cities across the country.

For property investors, these results demonstrate the stability of UK real estate. After recent political shocks, expected downturns in the market have not materialised, meaning property investment remains a viable and profitable approach going forward.

Leeds has grown by 2.8% making it an interesting opportunity for UK property investors.

Leeds city skyline. Image credit: Tim Green via Flickr

Overall Analysis

Over half of the 20 cities recorded faster growth than they did at the same point last year. Although overall increases slowed marginally from 2016 levels, the yearly rise was still an impressive 5.1%. This brings the average sale price within the index to £250,200.

As you’d expect, the findings vary across different regions although nearly every city (except Oxford and Aberdeen) experienced positive growth in the past three months.

The biggest gains were found in Birmingham (3.8%), Nottingham (3.8%), Liverpool (3.7%), Manchester (3.3%) and Leeds (2.8%) – a clear indication of confidence in buy-to-let hotspots outside of the capital.

Property prices are continuing to grow making now a great time to invest in the UK.

Image credit: Ruben Holthuijsen via Flickr

London, with quarterly growth of just 1.9%, is becoming less attractive because prices aren’t just inflated but have no real scope to rise further. In fact, its annual growth rate of just 3.3% is the lowest it’s been for five years.

There’s more potential with Midlands and Northern properties, especially those with large student populations. This was supported by Richard Donnell, a research and insight director at Hometrack, who said:

“There is clear potential for additional house price growth in cities outside South Eastern England. House prices in London have grown 90% since 2009, making them unattainable for your average investor.

“As the economy continues to grow, and mortgage rates remain low, we expect house prices to keep rising at a steady rate and close the gap to London.”

Investment Confidence

Nottingham, having grown by 3.8%, is a great UK investment hotspot.

Nottingham city centre.
Image credit: Lee Haywood via Flickr

Although sharp rises in the UK’s key cities may not be welcomed by residential buyers, investors should be buoyed by the latest data. More people will be pushed into renting, assuring you of tenant enquiries once an investment is made.

Furthermore, with house prices on a steady incline, capital appreciation provides an effective exit strategy in the medium to long-term. And with a current housing shortage, property will remain in high demand if and when you do decide to sell.

Research from Rightmove backs this up. They show that more homes are trading hands now than they were a year ago, meaning there’s still high activity and confidence in the property market. Their director, Miles Shipside, has said:

“A year on from the shock referendum result and subsequent dent in activity levels, the fundamentals remain strong.

“Low unemployment, low interest rates, strong demand and historic undersupply of homes are mitigating any wobbles in confidence and as a result nearly half the properties on the market, over 45 per cent, have sold signs slapped across them.”

 

If you’re looking to take advantage of the current property resolve as noted in the Hometrack index, Aspen Woolf have a range of investment opportunities in these key UK cities.

If you’d like more information on how the rental sector is growing, you might be interested to know that By 2021, the Buy-to-Let Sector Will Have Grown by 24%.

Student Accommodation is the Ideal Investment in the Current Economy

The UK student population is 2 million and they need somewhere to live.

With the UK set for political and economic uncertainty over the next few years, some commentators have predicted a period of stagnation for the property sector.

Although this remains to be seen and the market has held up well so far, one area that won’t be affected is student accommodation. This is because student investment is countercyclical in nature and less likely to be affected by the overall economy.

Students will always need somewhere to live, and if you can find a property in a favourable location, demand will hold up year-on-year. At Aspen Woolf, we offer a number of student properties for this exact reason.

Outstanding Performance

Student accommodation is one area of the UK property market that won't be hit by political uncertainty

Throughout the current decade, student accommodation has outperformed traditional assets in the property sector. Although recent external pressures on buy-to-let may partially explain this, the main reason is due to the strong demand for purpose-built flats in prime student areas.

Traditionally, first year students have had to rely on university-sponsored halls when they enrol – these are usually older buildings with limited space and basic amenities. Now, it seems undergraduates prefer modernised, purpose-built flats when given the option.

A recent report by Knight Frank backed this up. It showed students are prepared to pay increased rents if the facilities impress them, and so with many new developments containing gyms, games rooms and individual car parking, finding tenants should be of little worry.

At a time of political uncertainy, UK student accommodation remains a safe investment.

Even though many are being constructed in areas close to campus buildings, transport links and shops, there’s still a significant structural undersupply. It is here that individual investors can take advantage.

Yields are consistently high, helped by low-entry prices onto the market, with impressive occupancy rates. This isn’t a recent trend either, it has remained a resilient investment sector for many years now with no indication of slowing down.

In addition, rents are usually guaranteed by a parent and paid upfront. For investors, this provides great peace of mind knowing you’re assured both demand and rental income at the start of each term.

Positive Forecasts

The UK student population is 2 million and they need somewhere to live.

Although the UK student population is roughly 2 million, there’s only enough private-sector accommodation to house a quarter of them. And despite increased university fees, applications don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems the student sector will remain a robust asset class for many years to come.

These positive forecasts are being recognised by wealthy foreign investors. Over 70% of new purchases are from private equity and high net-worth overseas buyers. Even if you can’t compete with this financial clout, as a private investor it pays to recognise their buying behaviour.

According to Knight Frank, the purpose-built student market is estimated to be worth around £46 billion, with a further £5 billion to be added in new developments this year. This shows that, despite the economic uncertainty around at the moment, one sector unaffected is student property.

At Aspen Woolf, we’ve recognised this trend and have sourced various student flats from hotspots across the UK. We’ll have management companies in place for the investment on your behalf, meaning all you need do is sit back and enjoy your assured rental yields of between 6-10%.

 

Take a look at our current student property investment offers today.

If you’re interested in investing in student accommodation, you may want to take a look at the Five Best Student Towns to Invest In.

What Could the Election Results Mean for Property Investment?

The general election led to a lot of political uncertainty.

A hopeful period of strength and stability didn’t turn out as planned for Theresa May. The snap election has muddied the waters, meaning some property investors may remain a tad more cautious until things settle down.

However, if speculators believe this time of political uncertainty will negatively affect the property market, one glance at the sector post-Brexit should be of comfort. In the year since the Referendum, the average property price has risen by 5.6%.

Likewise, although the Conservatives didn’t get the extended majority they were looking for, they still have mandate to govern effectively and will be able to guide the country through the EU negotiations.

Therefore, property speculators shouldn’t worry too much about the seemingly ambiguous future of UK politics. The law of supply and demand will remain, especially in the consistent rental and student sectors which are more immune to outside influence.

The UK general election led to a lot of political uncertainty.

Image credit: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 via Flickr

Expert Views

Many estate agents inside the industry have experienced election fallout before, as well as the 2008 economic crash and last year’s Referendum. Of course, any uncertainty is not welcomed by investors, but because the UK has a chronic housing shortage problem, the demand will always be there.

Sales director at Seven Capital, Andy Foote, echoed these sentiments in the wake of the election result:

“While the London market may be more sensitive to a change in central government, for the short term, growth markets around the country will remain robust and resilient, delivering capital growth for investors,”

“Despite the change in government, the imbalance of supply and demand in the UK property market still persists.”

Housing Minister

Alok Sharma is the new UK Housing Minister.

Image credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Flickr

Adam Challis, the head of residential research at investment management company JLL, has noted that the loss of Gavin Barwell as housing minister will have mixed results. Although some may believe this will create more ambiguity, if the new minister, Alok Sharma, can continue government house building pledges then confidence will return.

Challis says:

“It will be crucial that the new champions of housing market policy in government can reaffirm commitments to the current policy direction rather than to create further disruption or uncertainty,”

“It’s important the policy direction as set out in the white paper on building more homes across the range of tenures will be upheld.”

International Investment

Brexit and the election both saw a drop in the pound. This has mixed results for the economy, where one positive is a rise in foreign spending. International investors will be attracted to the UK in increasing numbers due to the more favourable exchange rate.

This has been evident within the student market in particular. Over 70% of investment in the purpose-built student sector was from overseas buyers last year. The spending behaviour of accomplished and wealthy foreign buyers is a good indication of where growth will occur.

No Real Impact

Just as Brexit didn't have much impact on the UK property market, the election likely won't either.

Image credit: Paul Townsend via Flickr

Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner has maintained that the results of the snap election won’t have too much impact on people’s buying and selling behaviour. Broader economic effects are the main factor, something proven by previous election trends.

As house prices remain out of reach of many traditional first-time buyers, the rental sector is expected to grow in demand as well as rental income. A typical tenant won’t really have the state of UK politics in mind when considering a move, meaning the election isn’t likely to affect the overall property market too much either way.

 

If you’d like further evidence that the property market is still healthy despite current politics, then you might be interested that Demand for Rented Homes is on the Up as Renting is Now Cheaper Than Buying.

Buying A New-Build Property Could Pay in the Long Run

New-build properties offer investors a low cost, modern opportunity.

A study by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has found the cost of upgrading an older property to the same standard of a new-build could be as much as £50,000! Therefore, on top of the initial property purchase, the overall cost may exceed what you’d pay for a new-build in itself.

With this in mind, investors should consider purchasing a new-build outright, especially if the location is desirable and there’s potential for long term capital gains.

Renovation Costs

Renovating an old property for investment can cost thousands of pounds.

Image credit: Nolan Issac via Unsplash

The Home Builders Federation survey looked at refurbishment work that is often required when people move into a new home. Estimates of these potential costs are listed below, although some prices may of course differ depending on the size of the property:

  • Fitted kitchen – £7,900
  • House re-wiring – £8,850
  • New bathroom – £3,800
  • New central heating system – £6,185
  • Roofing – £4,000
  • Doors and windows – £4,900
  • Guttering and insulation – £1,000
  • Utility appliances and electrical equipment – £1,000

If looking to refurbish, one should really take these potential costs into consideration. If they begin to add up significantly, then it’ll make more financial sense to invest in a new-build. Add to this the energy savings you’re also likely to make. Plus the added bonus of having a new-build warranty, which is usually set at 10 years.

Energy Savings

A new-build property will have the latest in energy efficiency and standards.

Image credit: Matthew Hamilton via Unsplash

Buyers are often drawn to new-build homes because of their increased energy efficiency. Compared with Victorian-style properties, they could be up to 65% more effective in preserving heat due to fitted airtight doors, insulated roofs and double-glazing.

The HBF study shows that 94% of homes built in 2016/2017 can boast an A-C energy efficiency rating –  this is just a quarter in second-hand properties. New-build homeowners will therefore save hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of pounds in utility bills alone each year.

New-Build Advantages

New-build properties offer investors a low cost, modern opportunity.

Image credit: Echo Grid via Unsplash

Some older buildings in the UK may simply not meet the standards required for 21st century living. Remodelling them completely may take up too much time and money for it to be considered financially viable. Usually something done out of a labour of love rather than investment purposes.

On the other hand, new-builds are always constructed to modern standards and have to pass multiple council planning, build, and health and safety requirements. They’ll be equipped with energy-efficient boilers and vacuum insulation panels, not just saving you money on bills, but also meaning replacements won’t be needed any time soon.

You’re also likely to experience long-term capital appreciation as new-builds are often hand picked in areas with high social and economic growth potential.Some buyers may not be aware that new-builds are zero rated from VAT. As the buyer, these savings will be passed onto you, helping reduce your overall costs. As briefly mentioned before, fittings in a new property are covered by a 10-year NHBC warranty protection on structural defects. So if anything does go wrong, you won’t have to worry about footing the bill.

Deciding between a large-scale renovation or a new-build property depends on the property itself, as well as your personal circumstances and goals. However, as refurbishment can cost as much as £50,000 as noted in the Home Builders Federation study, it would make more financial sense to plump for a new-build instead.

 

If you’re looking for ideas on where you should buy your investment property, take a look at The UK’s Top Buy-To-Let Hotspots in 2017 Revealed!

For more advice and information on where you can invest in property, get in touch for a chat.

Rents in England Increased Year-on-Year Official Statistics Show

Aspen Woolf have sourced properties from Plymouth due to these rental increases and positive forecasts.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that rents in England grew by 2% in the year to April 2017.

This correlates with an overall rise from January 2011 where rental prices across the whole of the UK have increased by an impressive 14.6%!

Despite additional pressures on the buy-to-let sector in recent years, investors should be buoyed by these rental statistics. This is especially the case if you can obtain properties in buy-to-let hotspots around the country – something we have been quick to recognise here at Aspen Woolf.

Why are Rents Increasing?

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that rents in England grew by 2% in the year to April 2017.

Image credit: Christine und Hagen Graf via Flickr

Rents have consistently risen because traditional first-time buyers cannot afford to purchase their own home. Combine this with a chronic lack of housing and you have millions of people increasingly reliant on the private rental sector, and not just for the short-term either.

These findings are backed up by the latest English Housing Survey. It shows the private rental sector has doubled in size since 2004, with almost half of those aged between 25 and 34 paying a landlord for their accommodation. Around a decade ago, this figure was below a quarter.

What this ultimately means is that monthly rates will increase. Landlords are assured of enquiries as potential tenants have no real alternative, even as rents continue to rise each year.

Landlord’s Perspective

A gradual increase in rents over a few years is more beneficial than doing a sudden increase.

Image credit: walknboston via Flickr

Looking at things from the landlord’s point of view also helps explain this pattern of growth. Of course, no investor wants to disappoint their tenant by raising prices, but the choice is sometimes taken out of your hands.

If the level of inflation or cost of living rises – as it has done in the UK since 2015 – it makes sense to increase your rental income to cope, especially as other landlords are likely to be doing the same.

As noted, it’s not good practice to burden your tenants with an expensive hike in their rent in one go. A gradual increase over a few years is more beneficial, hence the long-term positive trend across the UK as a whole.

Further Analysis

Aspen Woolf have sourced properties from Plymouth due to these rental increases and positive forecasts.

Image credit: Robert Pittman via Flickr

Looking further at the ONS report, it illustrates that even by removing excessive London rents from the equation there’s still a 10.5% rise after 2011. The rest of England outpaced both Wales and Scotland comfortably.

The South West performed impressively, with rents up 2.5% from March this year, whilst the North West also saw a rise of 1.4% over the same period. Aspen Woolf have sourced properties from Plymouth and Liverpool due to these rental increases and positive forecasts.

There’s no sign of these trends slowing down either, especially as more and more people are being pushed into the rental sector. According to property agent Savills, rents (+19%) across England are set to rise considerably faster than house prices (+13%) between now and 2021.

 

You can find out more about our investment opportunities in Plymouth and Liverpool over on our UK investment page.

If you would like to know more about these areas, you may be interested in 5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Invest in Plymouth and Three Reasons Why North Liverpool is a Great Place to Invest.

Student Properties Are a Safe Bet For 2017

Using a letting management agent means you don't have to deal with overwhelming demand from students.

Student accommodation blocks are now common sights in university towns and cities across the country. They’ve signified a move away from the traditional, tenement-type student digs, offering a sleek and secure way of living favoured by modern students.

Shrewd investors have been quick to spot their potential in recent years. They provide an attractive and often low-cost route onto the property ladder, with guaranteed enquiries year on year. Students will always need somewhere to live, particularly in areas close to their campus or local amenities.

In 2017, this demand will only grow as student numbers rise. Over 408,000 are currently on undergraduate courses, complemented by over 90,000 postgrads – an increase of 22 per cent from last year.

 

Purpose-Built Student Accommodation

PBSA has taken over from traditional student digs in popularity.

Image credit: Elliott Brown via Flickr

The number of students living in private sector purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has increased sharply in recent years, making it one of the only property subdivisions to deliver positive rental growth every year since 2007.

Undergrads are increasingly looking towards more luxury accommodation in the modern era, preferring en-suite bedrooms, spacious common rooms and exclusive high speed Wi-Fi connection. Some developments even include games rooms and multi-gym facilities.

The market alone comprises assets worth over £40 billion, with the potential to rise even further over the next decade or so. Average rents have also risen in this time, generating around £150 per week.

 

Managed Lets

Using a letting management agent means you don't have to deal with overwhelming demand from students.

Image credit: Francisco Osorio via Flickr

By placing the purchase in the hands of a professional lettings agent, all the usual hard work and hassle of managing the property is taken care of. For the student sector in particular, this knowhow is especially valuable as the turnover of tenants is relatively high.

For example, as a private investor, you may not be able to deal with a flood of enquiries towards the start of term time. Aspen Woolf will take care of this on your behalf, answering questions from prospective tenants and vetting them in the correct manner.

Students also trust this approach more, knowing they won’t be left stranded with an unreliable or uncontactable landlord if something goes wrong. Any maintenance issues will be dealt with by us, along with regular inspections and inventory stock-takes.

 

Location

One of the student property hotspots in the UK is Liverpool.

Image credit: Vita Student via Flickr

At Aspen Woolf, we only offer properties from the UK’s student hotspot’s such as Manchester, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Plymouth. This assures your investment won’t be wasted as tenant demand is guaranteed every year.

We also look for universities with a high percentage of international students. This is because they’re often drawn to the PBSA due to its secure and more luxurious nature. Liverpool and Edinburgh Universities, for example, boast around a 30 per cent foreign student intake.

Student property remains a safe bet in 2017, especially purpose-built student accommodation managed by a professional estate agent. You’re getting a hassle-free and relatively low-risk way onto the property ladder, with typical yields of 7% – 10% with no signs of slowing down.

You can take a look at our student accommodation opportunities here.

If you’d like to talk through potential investments or have any questions, get in touch.

8 Reasons Why Bristol is One of the Best Places to Live in the UK

Fantastic views are only a step away from trendy bars in Bristol.

Bristol has been named as the best place to live in Britain, according to a 2017 guide by the Sunday Times. The annual list considers such factors as crime rate, school performance and house prices, with Bristol seeing off stiff competition to take this year’s prize.

Buy-to-let investors looking at Bristol property should hereby be confident that demand for rental homes is strong. A high-quality of life creates jobs, increases commerce and boosts the local economy, meaning you’ll attract tenants who’re willing to stay in the area long-term.

We’ve put together eight reasons why Bristol topped the Sunday Times poll to become the best place to live in the UK.

1. Quality of Life

Bristol has something for everyone, from idyllic landscapes to a host of trendy bars and restaurants. In recent years, this has been supplemented by low unemployment, excellent public services and falling crime rates.

Fantastic views are only a step away from trendy bars in Bristol.

Image credit: Harshil Shah via Flickr

2. Local Economy

Continued investment in Bristol shows confidence remains in the area. The local economy grew by 2.4% in 2016 to be worth £13.6 billion, with a further increase of 15.7% expected by 2026. One example comes with the Bristol Temple Quarter development, creating nearly 20,000 jobs and adding a further £100m a year to the city’s already booming economy.

3. Jobs

The Sunday Times poll found that Bristol offers a “glamorous, creative, hi-tech and professional” variety of jobs, with an above average UK wage of £23,000 per annum. Graduates are increasingly likely to find work in the region and then rely on the rental sector for somewhere to live.

4. Universities

Bristol comprises two major universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, as well as a host of colleges. This creates fantastic demand for accommodation, especially in areas near to university buildings, bars and local amenities.

University of Bristol buildings are scattered throughout the city.

Image credit: Andrea Vail via Flickr

5. Location

Bristol was praised for being “handily placed for seaside and scenery” but “hardly cut off at the same time”. You’re only a short drive away from gorgeous beaches and holiday resorts, whilst journey times to London, Cardiff, Plymouth and Birmingham can all be made in under two hours via train.

6. Transport

As noted, Bristol isn’t cut off from the rest of the UK despite its ‘independent’ attitude. The M32 runs directly into the centre, with the M4 and M5 close by as well. Buses serve the city centre well, with an impressive number of urban cycle routes also.

Bristol is surrounded by motorways, had a good bus network, excellent cycle networks and two major train stations.

Image credit: Hugh Llewelyn via Flickr

7. Culture

There are plenty of attractions in the city, notably Bristol Zoo, Brunel’s SS Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, along with a host of parks, museums, religious sites and activity centres. Looking for somewhere to eat? Bristol can compete with any city in the UK for its cuisine options, as noted on the Visit Bristol website.

8. Property Hotspot

With a steady supply of students and young professionals, the buy-to-let sector in Bristol is booming. As the city continues to attract investment and provide a high-quality of life, the likelihood of people remaining is strong. The property market as a whole is forecast to perform well in 2017 and is currently outpacing London with a 9.2% annual price growth.

 

Bristol isn’t the only city in the South West that is hot for property investors right now. Check out these 5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Invest in Plymouth.