Which UK City comes top for property investment this year ?

Posted by Graham Turrell on Sat, Apr 21, 2018 @ 09:38 AM

I am constantly researching the UK property market to identify areas of interest for investment. I thought you might like to take a look at the reports and statistics referenced below which firmly present Liverpool as the City in which to Invest, above Manchester and London.

Please take a look at the following:

Private Finance Reports

Private Finance’s latest buy-to-let hotspots analysis has revealed that Liverpool is the UK’s top performing city experiencing average rental yields of 6.2% once mortgage costs are taken into consideration. This is not something which is likely to blow over considering Liverpool have held this position since May 2017 whilst Greater Manchester averaged rental yields of 5.9%.

Reference - https://www.propertyinvestortoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2018/1/liverpool-and-nottingham-revealed-as-the-best-location-for-rental-yields?source=newsticker



Which City is Growing Faster?

Across England, Liverpool grew faster than Manchester and London in 2016. Liverpool’s economy grew faster than London, Manchester and any other major British city in 2015/2016, figures show.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that Liverpool enjoyed an economic growth rate of 3.1%, faster than any similar major city region in the country.

Reference - https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/merseyside-economy-fastest-growing-uk-12328312

Liverpool has become the one to watch in 2018: “Liverpool was a strong contender in 2017 but 2018 will really be the year investors take note. Property prices are still low but creeping up slowly, so now is the time for investors to benefit from the strong capital growth predicted over the next 5 years. With the amount of investment being ploughed into the area, particularly the £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters project and £1.8 billion into the Knowledge Quarter,  Liverpool is without a doubt a hotspot for investment.

If you have any questions or want to find out about the latest apartments we have available, please let me know.

Check out our latest top performing Liverpool project - ideal for the hands-free or remote investor...

Natex Liverpool Investment Handbook

Tags: UK Investment, Property Investment, Student Accomodation, Liverpool Property, pbsa, Natex Student

Here's something surprising - how has UK Student property been impacted by the BREXIT vote?

Posted by Graham Turrell on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 @ 07:23 PM

Rather than damage performance, as many analysts had forecast, the Brexit vote intensified activity in the UK student property market and demonstrated the resilience of the sector.

One-Islington-Plaza-internal-1A recent report by Savills also highlighted how the demand for student housing in the UK has outgrown supply. Analysts believe that the market will continue to be driven by bulk purchases, as investors seek to shore up their positions and acquire additional scale.

Appealing to the Far East

The UK’s student property market has become a global asset class, attracting billions in investment from some of the world’s richest individuals and sovereign wealth funds. Demand is so strong that it was standing-room only for some prospective buyers at a recent investment conference in London. One of the biggest overseas investors is Singapore-based fund Mapletree, which acquired over 6,000 beds last year.

In recent comments, Hiew Yoon Khong, Chief Executive of Mapletree provided insight as to why the asset class holds such appeal to overseas investors, telling reporters: “Student accommodation is a big business and relatively low risk.” According to Savills, the second largest source of capital into UK student housing in 2016 came from North America, with over £1.3bn worth of investment. The bulk of which came from two Canadian investors: Brookfield SRE and CPPIB.

Rising standards

As the student buy to let property market has grown exponentially, so the quality of the accommodation has risen. Nowadays student rooms are more akin to corporate apartments, with communal facilities to match. A key part of our portfolio at HighGround is One Islington Plaza in Liverpool, where flat-screen TVs and high-speed broadband come as standard in the rooms. A cinema room, gymnasium and games room provide students the chance to relax away from their studies, reflecting new standards that many now demand. Research from Knight Frank shows that over one-fifth of students are willing to pay more than £160 per week for the right facilities. New possibilities are being created within the market, as developers compete for the attention of an increasingly discerning client base. Overseas students, attracted by a more lifestyle-oriented academic environment, are a big part of the equation.

Appealing to students means appealing to buy to let investors, who will in turn enjoy greater rental returns, and a UK student property market that has demonstrated it can weather the toughest of times.

See more about UK Student Property :

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Tags: UK Investment, Property Investment, News, pbsa, One Islington Plaza

Passive Income - Naughty or Nice?

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 @ 07:35 PM

As we start this series of posts on the classic (and sometimes controversial) topic of Passive Income, it's worth taking a bit of time to agree on what we're talking about when we use the phrase.

It seems there's a massive misunderstanding around whether passive income is to be aspired to or or something to be suspicious of. It's an innocent enough phrase but why does it evoke such strong opinions both for and against?


What's the reality behind passive income? As with most things in life, taking the time to understand something is usually well worth the effort.

I suspect there are two key reasons for this lack of understanding:

  1. There is no simple definition of what passive actually is and how it can be attained, and therefore a lot of confusion around the whole subject.
  2. The phrase has, like several others, been used and associated with "get rich quick" schemes. The idea put out to the unwary is that passive income is a way of getting money for nothing and often for no financial commitment, which is highly appealing but ultimately doomed.

To try to address both of these reasons let's get down to some proper definitions.

The most succinct definition of passive income I have found, from trading website ADVFN is: "Income (such as investment income) that does not come from active participation in a business."

Often the best place to look for definition of income types ought to be from the tax man. In the UK passive income isn't a category for tax purposes, but you can get a feel here for what HMRC considers passive income.

But according to the US tax service there are three types of income:

  • Active income
  • Passive income
  • Portfolio income

Active income is when you trade time for money. A regular Job.

Dictionaries can't quite decide in some case the difference between passive and portfolio income.

According to Investopedia, US passive income is "Earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not materially involved."

And portfolio income is "income from investments, dividends, interest, royalties and capital gains. Portfolio income does not come from passive investments and is not earned through normal business activity. Typically, income from interest on money that has been loaned does not count as portfolio income." - Investopedia, again.

(It's somehow reassuring to know that the simple phrase passive income seems equally misunderstood on both sides of the Atlantic!).

Nevertheless, all agree that the difference between active and passive (or portfolio) income is whether one is materially involved in generating the income.

Some income is more passive than others.

In reality there is seldom black-and-white active or passive income - most income is somewhere on a scale between the two...

What about property income ?

Since we're on a property blog, this is an excellent question. If you're a landlord and working directly in your business are you getting passive income? I would say not quite - its somewhere on the scale : semi-passive. If you've delegated out all the work to managing agents, what then? Still not 100% passive but getting closer.

If you've invested in a fully-managed purpose-built student property ?

Or invested in property bonds or crowdfunding?

Again these sit on the scale of semi-passive, especially when you include the due diligence and research needed before making the investment. It's hands-on, "do-once" work, but work it certainly is.

And in the end

In conclusion, I would suggest that a stronger investment goal than the Holy Grail of pure passive income is to create income streams through investments that are leveraged by other peoples time (lettings agents, good brokers, investment researchers) and perhaps also other peoples' money (for example secured loans and mortgages).

I'll leave you with an example of semi-passive property income: Purpose-built student property is a proven "done-for-you" model. Once you've carried out your due diligence and own the student suite, there is literally nothing to do for years -  except receive your net rental income (which compares very favourably with labour-intensive buy-to-let).

Don't take my word for it - see for yourself some passive income in action...

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Tags: Property Insight, Property Investment

[news] Property Tax War Room - why being informed is half the battle won

Posted by Graham Turrell on Tue, Dec 06, 2016 @ 12:12 AM

Our Westminster Seminar 'War Room' Survival Strategies for Property Investors on the "hot topic" of how changes to UK property tax may seriously affect the future of most landlord investors, really hit the spot...

Graham Property Tax 1.jpgSome property investors know of the potential massive hit to profitability coming their way starting as soon as April 2017 and a few of these have already taken steps to minimise the impact.

At the same time, though,  the majority of property investors  in the UK are not even be aware that unchecked, these sweeping changes could potentially wipe out their buy-to-let business.

Being informed is half the battle won. That's why I and two other property and tax experts recently brought together property investors to Westminster from all around London and beyond to "tell it like it is" - and to offer some intelligent, practical solutions.

The response from the audience showed that we'd really hit the spot. So for all those that couldn't be there on the night or missed out on tickets... I like to share our ideas with you in three ways ...

To request a copy of the presentation, gain access to key video clips from the seminar, and speak to me about your property investment plans, just click below you can access my diary and book a property investment review at a time of your choosing. I want to give you real value and as this is so important I'm waiving my consultancy fee -  there's no cost to you whatsoever.     Let's talk !     





Tags: UK Investment, Property Insight, Property Investment, News, Property Bonds

[seminar] Landlords: what is even scarier than Hallowe'en?

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 @ 06:37 PM

There are "malevolent" forces of taxation conspiring to destroy your career as a Buy-to-Let Property Investor. 

taxmancometh.jpgThis Hallowe'en is one day of the year when we have fun and can "pile on" the fear about the future, but frankly there's rather a lot to be afraid of financially - if you're like most landlord investors in the UK today.

Now, if property tax puts you under a spell, things are set to get far more ghoulish from next year, as the changes to UK landlords' taxation begin their gruesome grip on our finances.

There's no Silver Bullet -  but knowing your options is the key.

Help is at hand...

That's why we're meeting with a group of determined buy-to-let owners in Westminster next week on Thursday 10th November.

It's war, and it's time to prepare our defences. 

If you're around London next week, join us for an evening in Westminster as three property and tax experts join forces to give you survival strategies to manage and grow your property interests.

Due to high demand seats are now very limited, but to find out more and reserve your place, click the button below:

Register Now


Tags: UK Investment, Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Property Investment, Property Bonds, London Property

[seminar] The Property Tax 'War Room' - Join us for an evening in Westminster

Posted by Graham Turrell on Wed, Oct 05, 2016 @ 11:15 PM

The tax onslaught against residential landlords has become the hot topic among property investors. And it's only just begun.

tax-saving-piggy.jpgSome landlords know of the potential massive hit to profitability coming their way starting next April and a few of these have already taken steps to minimise the impact, However others are not even be aware that unchecked, these sweeping changes could potentially wipe out their buy-to-let businesses...

It's war, and it's time to prepare our defences. 

So - why not join us for an evening in Westminster as three property and tax experts join forces to give you survival strategies to manage and grow your property interests?

To find out more and reserve your place, you can click the button below:

Register Now

Here's some more detail...

This seminar is for you if are:

  • worried about the changes to tax law and how it might damage your property wealth
  • looking for ways to minimise the impact of the new UK property taxes on your portfolio
  • seeking to grow your portfolio in the most tax-efficient manner
  • looking for inspiration or new ideas

What you'll get out of attending this event:

  • Returns: Find out how to get better returns on your money and investments
  • Convenient location: Westminster venue, central London - you will get the details with your joining instructions
  • When: Thursday 10th November 2016 after work 18.30 - 20.45
  • Time-saving: Concentrated expertise - meet 3 experts and see what they have to say, in the same room at the same time.

Places are first come first served already filling fast so reserve your seat today.

Register Now 

Tags: UK Investment, Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Property Investment, Property Bonds, London Property

[news] Our property viewing trip to Liverpool - residential restorations for profit

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 @ 10:49 AM

Continuing our property Road Trip to the North, we discovered a gem in Liverpool and had ourselves something of a "road to Damascus" experience. In a city where historical architecture is second only in the UK to London, our eyes were opened to the great opportunity for refurbishing beautiful city centre buildings for residential use. No finer example of this exists today than The Produce Exchange.

Graham-at-liver-building-liverpool.jpgProperty Investment in Liverpool city centre...

The northern UK city of Liverpool has historically had its ups and downs socially and financially, and now is very much on the UP.

Property investment here is a real focus now, as substantial EU development grants and direct foreign investment have aided the renaissance of this great city.

The ball really started rolling when Liverpool was voted European Capital of Culture back in 2008, but was immediately stalled by the international credit crunch.

But over the last two years or so, the money is back.

One has only to tour the city centre to see the plethora of property new-build, serving both the student and the residential markets. The docks now boast chic and sophisticated dining and cultural experiences, including Tate Liverpool and the Museum of Liverpool by the waterfront close to the famous and iconic Liver Buildings (pictured).

Buying uniqueness - why The Produce Exchange?

But how rare it is to find a property investment opportunity like The Produce Exchange residential property development in the heart of the city and close to all the cultural and musical landmarks you could wish for. This historic former commercial building is being lovingly restored and converted to high-spec residential apartments. Beautiful architectural features are everywhere, allowing us to offer this unique opportunity to property investors with an eye for a great deal.

The Produce Exchange is set in one of Liverpool's most desirable places to live, work and invest. Is it passive investment through property? Certainly - the property will be operated for you by reputable asset managers (should you choose to appoint them), and for extra security the developer offers a guaranteed 7% net yield in the first year of operation. Mortgage finance is available subject to status. As a hassle-free and lucrative property investment, it takes a lot of beating.


Traditional Liverpool property is still we believe undervalued, but finding a bargain in property of this calibre is rare indeed. That's why we're excited to offer apartments at The Produce Exchange from as little as just £86,000 for a luxury studio and NET yields anticipated to exceed 7%. Ask me for the rental figures from our research and let's talk.

This is a small but beautiful development and will not remain on the market for long.

What to do next?

Discover more about this excellent property investment opportunity. Download our introductory brochure today. Just click the link below and we"ll take care of the rest. 

Download The Produce Exchange Investor Prospectus 

Tags: UK Investment, Property Investment, Liverpool Property, Residential Property

[news] Latest site visit to Northgate Point Student Property Develeopment in Chester

Posted by Graham Turrell on Sun, Mar 13, 2016 @ 10:37 PM

Whereas many property brokers just pass on marketing material from property developers, we like to literally go the extra mile.


northgate-point-11-march-2016.jpgSeeing is believing - and our student development, Northgate Point in Chester was well worth the visit last week. We did this to satisfy ourselves that our investors should take a closer look. We are convinced they should. Find out why...

The view on the ground can be very different so we make a point of visiting sites to check progress, location and demand, and meet the key players in the development and running.

We do this to ensure our investors get the best possible deals available. Northgate Point in Chester is a superbly located purpose built student hall under construction, and here's why we think it has a very great deal to offer our investors...

Graham's on-site introduction:


Location and demand is crucial for a successful student development. As Chester is a beautiful historic city, availabilty of good locations near the city centre and the university are rare indeed. Northgate Point is literally a 2 minute walk from university buildings and just 5 minutes from the cultural city centre. Demand from students for Northgate Point is going to be very strong indeed when it opens for the 2016 academic year.

The developer has an excellent reputation for spotting great student locations, and the first of its two student halls in Leicester, which opened last year have full occupancy, and it is expected that rents will be rising this coming academic year. Great news for our investors there!

If anything, Northgate Point is an even better proposition, and I have no hesitation in recommending to any UK property investor looking for excellent rental yields consider this opportunity now whilst some availability still remains.

And as this is commercial property, George Osborne's 3% second home Stamp Duty Surcharge does not apply here!

Discover much more about this remarkable income-generating powerhouse of a property investment. Download our guide today - just click the image below.

northgate point brochure download

If you have any questions or would like to discuss more about this opportunity and my recent visit, get in touch and I'll be delighted to have a chat (07942 818 606)

Tags: UK Investment, Property Investment, Student Accomodation

[insight] Never mind Black Friday, what about Black Wednesday?

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 @ 05:36 PM

This Wednesday the UK Chancellor announced yet another body-blow for the small landlord in Britain, by hiking Stamp Duty (SDLT) on investment property and second homes with a 3% surcharge on all property purchases over £40,000 from next April.

death_of_amateur_landlord.jpgIn today's world landlords are regrettably an easy target politically, being as they are, blamed for everything from social injustice to being responsible for property prices growing out of the reach of first time buyers.

Surprise! This targetting from what has traditionally been the property owners' political party, began by surprise in this years Budget when it was announced that buy-to-let mortgages would no longer be treated as a standard business expense. The realisation dawned slowly that for the first time ever, landlords could soon be receiving income tax bills greater than their profit. Something no other business suffers from.

The likely result is that rents will rise disproportionately to income as a result of the mortgage tax, and that property prices will surge as we see the rush to beat next April's SDLT increase. This harms both tenants and would-be first time buyers - the very groups that the government is seemingly trying to help.

All this is bound to cause further anti-landlord sentiment (who will be blamed on both counts), and who knows what further politically expedient anti-landlord moves will be next from the government?

Is this the death of the amateur landlord? We foresee that many landlords will be disposing of some or all of their investment properties when reality starts to bite in two years time and this new legislation starts to really take hold. This will be at just about the time when interest rates rises are likely to become a real issue for cashflow and survival. Many landlords that do survive all this will be discouraged from buying further residential investment property as purchase costs multiply with the stamp duty hike.

So the rules of amateur property investment are changing. Smart investors will see the signs and adapt in time. Others frankly will "die". It's certainly going to make potential investors think twice about buy-to-let. Fortunately there are always other practical ways to invest in property, which will come to the fore as restidential property is no longer seen as the only or obvious option.

See also /blog/property-insight-the-illusion-of-being-in-control-of-your-property

I'll talk more about this massive property sea-change in other posts so (if you haven't already) stay up to date and subscribe to the blog now by clicking the image below...

Subscribe to our blog

Tags: Property Insight, Property Investment

[property insight] The illusion of being in control of your property

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 @ 05:31 PM

As a dedicated fan of what we call Passive Income Through Property, one of the main questions I'm faced with from property investors is the issue of control over one's property.

investment-portfolio-strategyThis is particularly true when speaking with UK landlords who understandably like to run their own show. What do I mean by this?

For example often when I speak to a buy-to-let (BTL) investor about say Hotel Room Investments, the questions that arise immediately run like this:

1. It's too good to be true. How can you (ie the developer) promise something like a 10% net yield when the average buy to let Gross yield s closer to 6%? And that's excluding management charges, insurance, agents fee, purchase costs, wear and tear, void periods, etc etc.

2. Even if that's possible now, says the landlord, how can I guarantee the developer or hotelier can keep this up? I'm relying on the hotelier's business model and the hotels performance. With my own property, I'm in control of all this!

3. What about my exit strategy? If I want to get out of a buy-to-let I just sell it, and usually for a decent profit.

4. Its far too risky. I know what I like and I like what I know. Haven't there been some massive train wrecks with these types of property investment, especially overseas?

These are all very reasonable concerns of course, and on the face of it the landlord has some very valid points: After all It's pretty easy to source and buy a UK residential property pretty much anywhere that isn't going to be a complete disaster: even a bad decision made now will probably come right in the long term by virtue of capital growth, providing you can stick with it. On the other hand its very easy to buy a bad passive investment without expert guidance. Seems a no-brainer.

What underlies a lot of this thinking is a sense of control through ownership.

But property ownership can easliy give us just the illusion of control. Buying an investment property is one thing, living with it is quite another. 

The BTL control idea is borne out of this kind of thinking:

Principle 1: I can plan my borrowing. Fixed rate mortgages mean predicable borrowing costs. Reality: Swap rates and base rates are utterly outside of our control. There is a Bank of England base rate increase coming. Not today but it will come.

Principal 2: I can adapt or improve my property to increase rental income and property value. Reality: whilst a Good Thing to do, there is a high capital cost to this and both the rental market and resale market depend mostly on macro-economic factors such as employment levels and GDP, all outside of our control.

Principal 3: The Private Rental Sector is too important to UK PLC for the government to jeapodise it. Reality: the recent Summer budget attacked landlords tax situation aggressively, on three counts, arguably for pure political gain. The chancellor was able to do this as the majority of the population (non-landlords) seem to regard landlords as greedy, and the government will gain more support than they lose.

Principal 4: If things get too bad I can always sell up. Reality: if things are bad for you they're probably bad for everyone, so selling may simply not be an option, just when you need to.

These are just examples, there are many more. In fact just add to this list another column for every supplier to a BTL business, such as block service charges, government regulatory controls, stamp duty, insurance.

The good news is that once property investment is recognised as a whole string of uncontrollables, these can be anticipated to some degree. The risk is still there but stress-testing your property portfolio is essential to survival in the rough and tumble world of BTL.

Passive property investment means seemly relinquishing all of this perceived control, but what are you really sacrificing? The sacrifice is perhaps going to be doing far more work up front when deciding what to invest in. The rewards of getting it right is hassle free property income.

Let me be clear, this is not about the right or the wrong way to invest in property. Buy to let investment can be incredibly lucrative over the longer term and any mistakes made at the buying stage will most likely be rectified in time. Just be mindful that whatever we buy, we do not pull many of the strings at all.

In conclusion, I believe that proper research is the absolute key to dealing with risk and understanding the control issues in any property investment, whether it's a holiday home in the sun, a room in a Scottish Castle or a tasty rental flat in Harrow.

8 Top Tips for Successful Property Investment


Tags: Property Insight, Property Investment