Exclusive Links Real Estate has on offer a range of off plan investments, completed and near completed projects and student accommodation options for sale in key investment cities throughout the UK.
The story across London remains positive, with some Central London areas still offering good value despite high prices and a number of Outer London locations showing particularly high potential for strong returns as price growth ripples outwards from the centre of the city. The UK capital’s population has just surpassed its 1939 peak of 8.9 million, and is now expected to continue on this trajectory to reach some 11.3 million by 2050, while the city remains up against a housing shortfall that is a distance short of demand.
The end of 2014 saw a small slowdown in growth, but this should be taken in the context of an average price increase of 11.1% across the year as well as uncertainty over Stamp Duty and Mansion Tax proposals and the inherent caution typical in the lead up to an election.
Forecasts still put future growth at 22% to 2019, while certain areas can expect strong outperformance as Crossrail, significant regeneration work and strong town economies across the city boost demand. Look out for places such as Ilford, Lewisham, Sutton and West Drayton over the coming years for excellent performance.
Crossrail is driving price growth across London and Woolwich is set to be one of the greatest beneficiaries
For years now, housing supply in London has struggled to keep up with demand, creating an acute imbalance in the city’s real estate market and driving up prices. Over 49,000 new homes are required per annum for the next two decades and this target is not being met. The imbalance is at its most severe in areas that offer the most value, such as east London.
The development of Canary Wharf in the early 1990s set things in motion for the transformation of east London, further fuelled by the London 2012 Olympics. The arrival of Crossrail, Europe’s largest construction project, is further increasing demand and driving price growth as it transforms rail transport in London, cutting journey times across the city, while having a significant impact on property prices and investment.
Residential capital values are projected to increase in the areas immediately surrounding Crossrail stations. By 2015 there had already been an average 31% increase in house prices since Crossrail was announced. This huge infrastructure project is opening up new areas of accessibility in outer London, allowing inhabitants to move around the city with greater ease and efficiency. Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Newham and Greenwich have already seen the biggest rises in house prices. Woolwich, in the London Borough of Greenwich, is predicted to be one of the biggest winner from Crossrail, both in terms of investment and price growth, alongside Whitechapel, West Drayton and Ealing Broadway.
Average residential prices have already risen by 69.8% around Woolwich station since the announcement of Crossrail in 2010, and are expected to rise by 15% in the next 5 years. Further growth expected as the opening of Woolwich Crossrail station in December 2018 approaches and investment in the area continues.
The shining light at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester’s star continues to rise ever higher.
For some time now the virtues of Manchester as a city with plenty of potential for property investors have been extolled, particularly since the British government’s identification of the Northern Powerhouse and its commitment back in December 2014 to invest GBP7 million into business culture and infrastructure in the north of England. This promise would include GBP3 million funding for housing in Manchester and GBP78 million funding for cultural and leisure aspects in the city.
Manchester has the highest GVA and development of the Northern Powerhouse’s six cities, and its core urban area is growing on average seven times faster than other central metropolitan areas of the UK’s biggest cities. This is due to substantial increases in population and employment in the city, which now has an economy bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland. And the city’s GVA is forecast to grow to GBP73 billion by 2024.
Manchester continues to benefit from England’s ‘Northshoring’ activities, which is the growing trend of moving professional services and firms to the north of the country to save money. The BBC has developed a centre in Manchester, as has major multinational law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer who have moved some 300 business service roles north. These moves mark the growth of business, financial and professional services in the city.
Other sectors are growing in Manchester, too, particularly the cultural, creative and digital industries. Manchester has Europe’s second-largest cluster of creative/media businesses. Manchester can also boast growth in the science, research and development sector. Manchester’s GBP28.5 million Cancer Research Centre is one of the UK’s most innovative medical research facilities.
Employment growth in Manchester is expected to exceed that of many international capitals, including Paris, Berlin and Tokyo, according to predictions by Oxford University economists. It is anticipated that 55,000 new jobs will be created before 2025, adding GBP19 billion to the Total Gross Value in the economy by 2030. Additionally, disposable income is expected to rise by 28%.
Liverpool’s economy is booming, and the city is proving to be the next Northern Powerhouse hotspot
It has been three years since the UK government announced its commitment to drive economic growth in the North of England through greater investment and devolution of power – and it looks like Liverpool is coming out on top.
Between 2013 and 2015, the city recorded the strongest growth of any Northern Powerhouse city in both GVA and per capita terms (Office for National Statistics). From 2014 to 2015 its GVA growth was 3.6%, compared to a UK average of 2.9%.
The city has greater control than ever before as a result of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. In 2017 it elected its first metro-mayor who has budgetary control over education, planning, housing, transport and health. An Investment Fund will contribute over GBP500 million to help SMEs to achieve growth ambitions, revitalise local economies and create jobs, and in 2017 alone Liverpool was set to benefit from GBP72 million. The city is having its moment in the sun – and it’s one that looks set to continue.
Liverpool isn’t just about football and the Beatles – it’s also experiencing a remarkable regeneration. Liverpool Waters, a GBP5 billion scheme will revive the city’s historic northern docks into a world-class residential, commercial and leisure space for central Liverpool.
Leeds shows northern promise thanks to a diverse and thriving economy, extensive regeneration and its reputation for education.
Once a major market town, the northeastern city of Leeds has been a prosperous urban centre for centuries. Today it is the UK’s fastest growing city due to its strong levels of economic prosperity, dynamism and opportunity of all the prime employment hubs in the UK. It is also a centre for sport, shopping and tourism and boasts a range of educational institutions of excellence and expertise. Appealing to a wide demographic keen to make the most of this vibrant and booming playground of the north, Leeds only looks set to grow.
The Leeds economy is worth GBP18 billion and has grown 40% over the last decade. It is forecast to grow 21% in the next ten years, with financial and business services set to generate over half of GVA growth in that period. Leeds is outpacing other regions with the city’s GVA forecast to expand by 2.0% annually from 2018 to 2022, above the 1.7% Northern England average.
It is currently one of the largest hubs outside London for financial and business services, digital, creative publishing and broadcasting, with offices of over 30 national and international banks within its city borders. A diverse economy, Leeds is home to the second highest concentration of knowledge-intensive jobs and the third largest manufacturing centre by local authority area. The city has seen the highest rate of private sector jobs growth at 6.1%, ahead of London (4.4%) and well above the national average (2.5%) according to the latest Cities Outlook 2017. Leeds is also seeing a rise in the tech, media and telecom industry with 96% more dedicated office space to this sector since last year – more than any other Northern Powerhouse city. The city also has the fastest growing legal sector in the UK, with 20% increase in legal jobs in 2010-2016 versus just 5% in London.
Leeds’s working age population has experienced 10.2% growth from 2010 to 2017, and is expected to grow a further 0.6% in the next five years. Companies with more than 1,000 employees based in Leeds include Asda Group, First Direct, Centrica, Ventura, BT, Direct Line Group and Yorkshire Bank.
Geographically, Birmingham is positioned at the centre of things; a factor that helps to explain the city’s success. Home to 1.1 million people, its location means that 90% of the UK’s population is within four hours’ reach. Over 75,000 companies are based in the city, including 1,190 international firms such as Jaguar Land Rover, Deutsche Bank and Mondelez International.
After London, Birmingham has the largest economy in the UK at GBP25.3 billion. When a move of personnel is afoot for UK firms, Birmingham tends to be regarded as a natural choice - helping to make it the number one city for relocation from the capital. HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and HM
Revenue and Customs are collectively relocating and increasing staff numbers to around 8,000 personnel by 2020. This has made Birmingham the second biggest business hub in the UK with the largest number of new businesses in 2017 at 12,108.
4,057 additional dwellings are required every year until 2026 in order to meet projected demand. However, construction is failing to keep up.
House prices in Birmingham are forecast to rise 20.5% between 2018 - 2022, compared to 14.2% in West Midlands and the UK-average of 12.6%. With a large student population and growing workforce, Birmingham’s rental demand is also growing. A lack of supply has forced aspiring home-owners to rent as well, enabling a high volume of rental activity. Rental prices in Birmingham are forecast to rise 16.5% between 2018 – 2022.
The Big City Plan comprises a 20-year masterplan for the total transformation of the city centre, including 50,000 new jobs. Key central schemes include the Smithfield regeneration project, which will form a unique destination that includes vibrant markets, an exciting new family leisure quarter and new residential neighbourhoods. The scheme will deliver 3,000 new employment opportunities and 1,000 residential units while bringing GBP 470 million benefit to the local economy.
Another key driver of Birmingham’s future growth is the upgrade of the UK’s national rail network. High Speed 2 (HS2) will bring London within 38 minutes and significantly cut journey times to Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester. Birmingham is home to HS2’s construction headquarters, and 1,500 jobs will be created in the city from now until the project’s completion and produce a GBP4 billion increase in economic output per year in the West Midlands.
Home to over half a million people and a key centre of innovation within the European Union, Dublin is attracting attention for all the right reasons.
The Irish economy’s strong and sustained recovery following the global financial crisis ten years ago has reignited growth within the country. With an unemployment rate of 5.3% - the country’s lowest level since 2008 and below the EU average – and GDP growth of 4.4% expected for this year, the country has rebounded significantly. Within the booming country, Dublin is leading the recovery, demonstrated by it being home to Europe’s fastest growing economy for the past four years.
While political reorganisation occurs next door, Ireland’s stability throughout the past two years has proven attractive to investors. Named in Forbes’ list of top ten countries for business, Ireland benefits from close connections to the UK and within the EU. Once Brexit is finalised Ireland will be the only native English-speaking member of the Eurozone, making Dublin an attractive global business destination.
An international city
Ireland is the fourth largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the world and Dublin alone provides 210,000 direct FDI jobs and is a key EMAE HQ location in Europe. Key technology companies such as LinkedIn, Amazon, Google and Microsoft have been enticed by the government’s 12.5% corporate tax rate – one of the lowest in the world. These global connections have led to 3.5 million square feet of office space being purchased in 2017, the highest amount ever recorded for the city. To cater to the growing international profile of Dublin, the government has recently confirmed that a EUR320 million expansion of the city’s airport will be completed by 2021.
Supply and growth
In order to meet housing demands, Dublin requires 10,000 units to be completed each year but in 2016 only 4,000 were completed, demonstrating the high level of undersupply facing the city’s housing market.
House prices in Dublin have increased by 5.5% in the year to September 2018, while apartment prices were up by 7.8% in the same period. With the city hosting a large student population and growing workforce, demand within the rental market is also growing. Rental prices in Dublin rose by 11.6% in 2017 and further growth is forecast.