How to Succeed with Student property - Tip 3 : The subtle art of comparison !

Posted by Graham Turrell on Sat, Dec 02, 2017 @ 10:22 AM

They say that size isn't everything , but for investors when it comes to student rental income it's usually at the top of every list. But how can you confidently predict what that income will be from what is currently still a construction site? Fortunately help is at hand...

graduation-day-hats.jpgThe vast majority of PBSA on the market are offered to investors "off-plan" which means agreeing to purchase a property before its built and therefore before it has a track record of being a successful student development. The rewards for this include relatively low purchase costs and usually a good selection of student rooms to choose from .. off the plan.

But without a proven income from the development, how can you be satisfied that your investment is going to give you the income you expect and have been "promised" by your sales agent?

The answer as usual is to do your own homework but seeking out the closest established student halls, closest in a number of ways. When choosing your comparisons, consider:

  • Location - proximity to the development you're considering
  • Age and design
  • Target audience (Undergraduate, overseas, postgraduate)

Often the developer will provide you with a set of income projections. That's fine, but scrutinise these for accuracy. Ask yourself:

  • Are these sufficiently detailed - is there a spreadsheet breakdown of costs and rental income, or just headline figures with little or no justification?
  • Do these figures come with citations or references to justify them?
  • Can the figures be easily verified?

The more data the developer or agent provides you on request the better: it shows there confidence in their development and their commitment to you as a serious investor.

Where this isn't immediately to hand, all is not lost. Comparative data can be obtained by desktop searches, speaking to university accommodation offices and speaking to the student management company that has (hopefully) already been signed up to run the development.

Armed with this data and some nifty spreadsheet work it's then much easier to make your own realistic projections on income and see how this squares with the developers' own.

When HighGround looks for a suitable student hall to offer our investors, we carry this out as a matter of course, regardless of the volume of figures given to us by the developer. We insist on independently checking every assumption to our total satisfaction before we offer it to our investors.

If it doesn't stack, we reject the development. But hey that's just us.

Find out more about why UK student rooms remain so popular with investors. Here is a great introduction, backed up by some solid facts and figures. Download our Student Property Guide today:

Download Student Property Expert Guide 2017-18

  

Tags: Property Insight, Student Accomodation

How to succeed with Student Property - Tip 2 : Look Beyond the Headlines

Posted by Graham Turrell on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

Welcome to our second post with tips on what to do when considering purpose-built student property investments.

You've likely heard the phrase "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is", right ? (I could spend a whole book chapter unpacking that piece of received wisdom, in fact I shall do soon - it's fascinating !).

Being objective

But objective investment research requires put aside the scepticism as well as any giddy excitement. It's a stoic activity, but one we all find difficult to some extent, as most buying decisions involve emotion at some level !

canterbury_hall_lounge.jpg

When it comes to a passive investment such as buying a student room in Purpose-built Student Accommodation (or PBSA for short), one should approach the claims of the property developer or agent with a curious mind.

Here's an example: "Fixed returns of 6% for 5 years". These terms are often offered by the developer as an incentive to buy the student rooms. This is a reasonable idea as it provides some comfort for the buyer whilst the student hall ramps up to speed in the first few years of operation.

That said, these offers are largely irrelevant for well-run new halls, as good student facilities companies of halls built in the right location should enjoy full occupancy at market rent from opening. It can however, mask problems with poor location and bad management

So, as an intelligent investor, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  1. is the student hall in the right town or city, and the right location?
  2. is the student demand there? - some good signs are: investment being made into university facilities and infrastructure; an excess of private student houses of multiple occupation; strong postgraduate programme; growth in local student numbers over the last 5 years.
  3. looking at similar private or university-run halls in the area, do the rents match the estimates provided by the developer's estate agent to the investor? Get out the spreadsheet - real numbers reveal the true story!
  4. does the company set to manage the hall have a strong, long track record of experience with running student halls and advertising them to students to drive the best rents and highest occupancies.

Intelligent investment involves looking beyond the juicy headline figures, being neither carried away by them nor dismissing them out of hand.

Black and white or shades of colour?

Investment due diligence seeks to simply get to the truth and make an informed decision. It's harder work than just accepting or rejecting the headline figures, but ultimately far more helpful.

At HighGround Property, we operate unusually detailed due diligence on every student hall investment we consider and, as a result tend to reject around 80% of all investments that appear on our desk. Only those that pass our exacting standards are one's you'll see from us.

Our classic example of the moment is Canterbury Hall  service the UNiversity of Central Lancashire in Preston...

Canterbury Hall Preston Investment Handbook

 

Tags: Property Insight, Student Accomodation

How to succeed with purpose-build student rooms - Tip 1

Posted by Graham Turrell on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

There's no denying the success of Purpose-built Student Hall Accomodation in the UK. Demand for quality student living is still constantly outstripping supply, even as the number of new builds grows and competition between them is getting tougher.

canterbury_hall_roof_garden.pngIn this new era of student choice, it's more important than ever to have the facilities that students actually want to use and frankly "beat up" the competition with them.

These days we are seeing "student magnates" for helping the students - and crucially their parents - choose their digs. And that more often than not means comfort.

If the student apartment or block you own offers features like ...

  • self-contained apartments (no sharing kitchens, thanks!);
  • services - local newsagents and hostelries;
  • bragging rights - gyms, cinema rooms and even private roof gardens

... then you're onto a winner. That property when rented out by an experienced student facilities manager, is going to enjoy the highest possible rental income and occupancy (and therefore property value), for many years to come.

Shameless plug - here's a perfect example of what I'm taking about, UCLan Preston's Canturbury Hall, and a small number suites are still available to a few more property investors (I will be sold out very soon now). Not hard to see why.

Have a look now, and get in touch quickly if you would like to know more.

Canterbury Hall Preston Investment Handbook

 

Tags: Student Accomodation, Canterbury Hall

Frustrated Property Investors: how to bank 40%+ and make the tenants someone else's problem

Posted by Graham Turrell on Tue, May 16, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

If you're someone on the look-out for intelligent, hands-free UK property opportunities, I believe this new investment has to be worth your serious consideration.

MDC027_Chester2_V03_Lobby_FINAL_JPEG_Small[2].jpgWith our rigorous selection process, I know we offer only the Best in Class student property investments. If you're considering hands-free student property then Northgate Studios in the beautiful English city of Chester is a truly exciting opportunity.

Placed in a fantastic student location, Northgate Studios is just a short walk away from the Chester city centre and the University campus. Its 150 luxury studios are fully-managed on your and the other owners' behalf, making this an easy ‘hands-off’ investment for you. 

Your key ownership benefits at Northgate Studios:

  • 40%+ Assured Net income over 5 years
  • 5% interest paid on all deposited funds
  • No stamp duty to pay
  • Perfect location for 100% occupancy
  • Hassle-free : full property management by a highly experienced student management company.

Why Northgate Studios and Chester?

Location. Location. Location:  in the historic walled city of Chester, successful planning permission for such developments is rare, ensuring that there will always be a strong student demand for your property. The first phase of this project has enjoyed 100% occupancy from opening, just as I expect to see at Northgate Studios.

This is a truly unmissable investment opportunity for investors, offering a superb 8% MINIMUM net rental income assured for 5 years, and 5% interest paid on deposited funds. 

Get your copy of our investor guide today...

northgate point brochure download

Tags: UK Investment, Student Accomodation

At last - commercial finance for student property - here's how

Posted by Graham Turrell on Sat, Apr 29, 2017 @ 03:41 PM

With the dreaded "Landlord Tax" now upon the UK, many more property investors have been considering Purpose Built Student Property which are exempt from the extra taxes. But those who like to gear up with mortgages have been disappointed that none is available. Until now.

PBSA_Studio_Interior.jpgStudent accommodation is still the most successful property asset class in the UK, but before today, investors have needed to pay for their investment outright. 

We've got Finance:

We can now offer 50% finance* on selected student developments, such as Preston's unique Innovation House development (see below). Now, investors can halve the investment capital they need to own a student suite "cash cow". Our FCA-regulated financiers are already helping investors to double their spending power in this way.

if you'd like to find out more, just drop a note in the comment box below with the word "finance" in it and I'll pop you an email showing how this groundbreaking product could work for you.

Innovation House Preston Investment Prospectus*Subject to Status

Tags: Student Accomodation, Innovation House

[Property Insight] The importance of being thorough

Posted by Graham Turrell on Wed, Feb 08, 2017 @ 02:23 PM

Purpose-built student accommodation can be a remarkably effective way to put your cash to very good use in property investment - all without the hassle of having to deal with the "tenants and toilets" of the buy-to-let world. But why should student hall  property investors speak to us first?

Innovation_House_Preston_Exterior.jpgWe're a bit different from many other companies in this field. Before we offer any development or investment to our buyers, we carry out our own extensive detailed research. Not just desktop research which seldom provides the essential full picture (although of course we do this as well)...

In the case of purpose-built student accommodation this includes the following:

  • Visit the site and the city, checking the location is completely right for the proposed student market.
  • Have discussions with the University about supply and demand from their perspective.
  • Interview the Student Management company appointed to run the student hall being offered for investment. The correct management company is crucial for the long-term success of an investment. We make sure this is the case before we approve.
  • Meet with the builders or their appointed representative for a thorough investigation of the development and their ability to deliver .
  • Speak with occupants living in existing private halls in the city for a "students' eye view" of living there, what they look for and what they'd like to see improved.

(This is not normal. After speaking to us, ask some other companies if they have done all this for the projects they offer and then ask for their full findings and you'll likely see what I mean).

We call this process part of our "Investment Engineering" system. It's all about seeking to apply rigourous engineering principles to transform the art of property investing into much more of a science. This means that for those projects we offer our investors, not only have we ticked all the necessary boxes, but we gain a deep expertise in the investment that we can share with our serious buyers to help them make a thoroughly informed decision. The goal is peace of mind of secure and sustainable returns on investment in the most popular property asset class in the UK today.

For example, our recent visit to Preston and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is a case in point. Innovation House, the recently announced all-studio student hall is in the perfect location to benefit from the university's £200m investment programme, along with Preston's £400m regeneration initiative.

Discover more - download the Innovation House student investment guide today. You can then contact us for a friendly in-depth chat should you wish to find out more.

 

Innovation House Preston Investment Prospectus

Tags: UK Investment, Student Accomodation

New Launch Today - Superb UK Purpose-built Student Property with a big USP

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 @ 10:48 AM

We're delighted to announce today this brand new student property investment right on the main campus of the University of Central Lancaster. Welcome to Innovation House...


Innovation_House_Preston_Exterior.jpgThis newly-announced opportunity is available to investors from today and buyer demand is expected to be buoyant.

Why you may ask? For investors all the fundamentals are in place to ensure a secure investment in the most successful  property asset class in the UK for predictable hands-free income:

Developer track record - 35 years experience. 

Student demand - the only all-studio purpose-built student accommodation in the city of Preston. The size, design quality and location of Innovation House is set to ensure huge demand from students including those from the growing overseas student market with the desire for only quality self-contained studio living that the traditional "cluster flat" accommodation simply does not deliver.

Location - a major coup for Innovation House is that it's located on campus : quite a rarity for privately owned student property and a real pull for students who prefer the convenience and the feel of being close to all the university academic and social life that the campus offers.

Management - property owners need to be confident that their investment is looked after in the best possible way and know that occupancy will always be expected to be 100%. That's why one of the leading Student Management operators is on board to manage Innovation House perfectly for both students and investors.

All good news for property investors new to this asset class, and for experienced portfolio builders alike. Gross yields are confidently expected of 11%, and an 8% NET yield is contractually assured for the first 3 years. Our research shows that this should continue to be achieved or increased in the following years, making this an easy to own, income generating asset for the long term.

Discover more about Innovation House and the strength of the student property market. Download our handy guide to Innovation House today:

Innovation House Preston Investment Prospectus

 

 

Tags: UK Investment, Student Accomodation

Have your cake and eat it - Sheffield Student Property investment with a difference

Posted by Graham Turrell on Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 10:45 PM

Time to cut to the chase. If high-yielding student property investment is for you, this is a rare opportunity indeed.

There is an ever-growing list of great UK student investment success stories, and this niche asset class still remains the strongest performing in the UK.

Royal-Riverside-Exterior.jpgBut how many purpose build student property (or PBSA) investments offer you ALL these?:

  • 8% net rental yield assured for 5 years.

  • 5% interest earned during construction.

  • Fully-furnished.

  • Fully-managed by an experienced company.

  • Every student facility imaginable including concierge reception, gym and leisure facilities.

  • Preferential tax benefits associated with Purpose Build Student Accommodation asset class.
  • and uniquely ... a "Buy Back" option available to owners after 5 years at 115% of purchase price.

Sheffield city's high-specification Royal Riverside delivers all this. Assured returns, assured capital growth and hands-free - which means ownership from anywhere in the world is perfectly practical.

The Sheffield City Region is at the forefront of the UK's industrial and entrepreneurial development and was recently described by the Secretary of State as being 'at the heart' of Britain's continued economic growth.  With an economy bigger than some European countries, the Sheffield City Region is a significant financial power.  The area is home to almost 1.8 million people and has an output of more than £24.7 billion per year.

Ownership is available from just £64,500. Over 50% of available suites at Royal Riverside have already been sold so the time to research this opportunity is now, and we're here to help... 

To find out more about Royal Riverside download the full investor guide today:

Royal Riverside Sheffield Investment Prospectus

 

Tags: UK Investment, Student Accomodation, Sheffield Property

[news] Report reveals facts and hotspots for UK student property

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 @ 08:40 PM

STUDENTS-INDOORS.jpgPurpose built Student Accommodation (PBSA)  in the UK remains an incredibly popular asset class for a whole host of reasons.


When it comes to looking for reliable growth and passive income through property, fully-managed student property is hard to beat. 

 

Here are 9 fascinating facts about student property!

Did you know that ...

  1. It's Big Business. In 2015, a massive £5.1b's worth of PBSA transactions took place - the largest yearly figure ever.
  2. It's Popular. Just over 49,000 PBSA beds were bought and sold last year.
  3. The Big Boys are playing. Nearly half of these were bought by institutions, including major pension funds such as Aviva and BlackRock.
  4. If a certain brewery built property, it would be this. PBSA has again outperformed all traditional property classes.
  5. Students are in love. PBSA is more popular with students than ever before, and this is set to continue
  6. It can be T.A.X Friendly. Most Purpose-built student property is exempted by HMRC from capital gains tax (but seek professional tax advice to confirm for your situation)
  7. More buyers love second-hand. With increasing yields (average rent in 2015 was up by 3.64% - well above inflation), the resale secondary market is becoming lucrative. Some buyers are prepared to pay a premium for PBSA blocks with years of trading history.
  8. It's still growing. Growth is set to continue, with growth outside London expected to be greatest.
  9. There's a "Brexit Bonus". With a lower £ following the Brexit decision, the overseas student market could be set to enjoy another further boost in the medium term. PBSA is even more popular with non-UK students so demand could see another further shift from traditional privately let shared houses (HMO) and university-owned accommodation. 

If large institutions such as Aviva are buying PBSA for their managed funds, it may be worth considering taking a leaf out of their book? Especially when individual student suites can be owned for less than a deposit on some city centre apartments.

Discover more facts and figures in the latest PBSA report from Knight-Frank, including some expected PBSA UK hotspots.

To get your complimentary copy, just click the link below. 

Download Student Property Market Review 2016-18

What do you think of the report contents? Post your thoughts below, we'd love to discuss!

Tags: News, Student Accomodation

[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