Knowledge is Power - Why the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter is still THE Northern Powerhouse hotspot

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, May 04, 2018 @ 09:49 AM

Liverpool’s economy is the fastest growing out of all Northern Powerhouse City Regions. 

Liverpool-waterside-skyline

The Northern Powerhouse is a Central Government backed investment to boost economic growth in the North of England and balance the UK economy between the North and South of the country, in particular the core cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.

 

Graham-at-liver-building-liverpool.jpgThe scheme takes on the job of improving transport links, investment in science and innovation and devolution of powers in City Deals. Over the course of the scheme, we will see £3.4bn invested into growth deals, £70m into education, £13bn on transport, and a further £445m invested into improving the quality of life for each of the core cities growing population.

Liverpool now leads the way, as the city benefiting most now in this second phase of the scheme while other cities such as Manchester have already seen the bulk of the effects from the investment.

The Knowledge Quarter - Why Student investment in Liverpool is top of the class

Over the next 5-7 years two billion pounds worth of investment are being pumped into redevelopment in The Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool.

 

Liverpool KQ-389777-editedThe Knowledge Quarter Liverpool is the city’s academic hub and home to much of the UK’s leading R&D activity. The University of Liverpool, Royal Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool John Moores University, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are among those thriving in an environment of collaboration.

KQ Liverpool, as it has become known, covers 450 acres to the east of the city and plays a key role in attracting investment from a wide range of industry sectors. New developments are in the pipeline to ensure that KQ Liverpool’s network of innovation continues to expand.  

With around 54,000 students, KQ Liverpool is an integral cog in the UK government’s Northern Powerhouse project. Adjacent to the theatres restaurants and bars of the Georgian Quarter, KQ Liverpool is one of the most appealing destinations in the UK for students and young professionals.

Discover the benefits of full-managed student property today - get our brand new guide:

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Tags: Student Accomodation, Liverpool Property

[video] How is the build going at our Liverpool student investment ?

Posted by Graham Turrell on Sun, Apr 22, 2018 @ 01:06 PM


Check out the latest drone construction update for our Liverpool student property investment, One Islington Plaza...

Our latest Liverpool investors video shows progress so far. All on schedule to open for this Academic year, with very strong  student interest already - many room already reserved by tenant students.

As ever, let me know your thoughts and questions!

 


 

The opportunity for ownership is now strictly limited to the last few apartments at One Islington Plaza. Discover the yield-busting returns consistently enjoyed by our UK and international investors by getting your copy of the investment guide today...

One Islington Plaza Investment Handbook

Tags: Student Accomodation, Liverpool Property, One Islington Plaza

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

https://i.imgur.com/B8IbheW.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/c7pY3lt.jpg


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

[video] A guided tour around luxury student accommodation in Liverpool

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 @ 01:17 PM

 I recently took a trip to Liverpool to take a close look at the latest UK Student Buy To Let developments available to discerning property investors today and a key focus for us was the outstanding deal at One Islington Plaza.

This trip is part of our standard Due Diligence - unlike many regular distributors, we insist on seeing and scrutinising any development before we put our name to it. See how we got on...

Our clients would expect nothing less of us, and as we like to "bring our investments home to you", I though you might also like to see one of the video clips we produced for them.

If you're a seasoned Student Property investor you'll be reassured. If you're new to student property, you'll be amazed at the quality of life that purpose-built student property offers today's demanding students.

Watch the (unedited!) clip of me showing investors around the show suite of the fabulous One Islington Plaza...

The opportunity for ownership is now strictly limited to the last few apartments at One Islington Plaza. Discover the yield-busting returns consistently enjoyed by our UK and international investors by getting your copy of the investment guide today...

One Islington Plaza Investment Handbook

Tags: Student Accomodation, Liverpool Property, One Islington Plaza

The strength of Buy To Let Student Property in the Northern Powerhouse

Posted by Graham Turrell on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 @ 11:17 AM

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

Consider Manchester

According the 2016-17 QS World University Rankings, Manchester is second only to Edinburgh and London as the UK’s most popular university destination. It ranked the city joint-23rd in the world with Barcelona, and most impressive of all, the University of Manchester 29th worldwide.

Manchester is home to a diverse range of famous attractions, including The Lowry theatre, the National Football Museum and the Manchester Art Gallery. The presence of the BBC, along with the UK’s fastest-growing startup scene at MediaCityUK, provides huge appeal to students looking to get ahead when they graduate. These are just some of the reasons why developers continue to invest in the city, and why the Manchester student buy to let market is one of the most competitive in the country.

… and Liverpool

liverpoolcity

There is an estimated 54,000 students in Liverpool, making it one of the UK’s most popular places to study. Aside from an outstanding choice of universities, students choose the city for its vibrant social scene, low cost of living and rich cultural heritage.

Student accommodation is in particularly high demand in the Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool. The city’s academic district combines leading names from education, health, science and technology with some of the most famous attractions. It’s here that you’ll find the RIBA award-winning Everyman Theatre, the Liverpool Philharmonic, the historic Philharmonic pub and the city’s two cathedrals. As well as a host of great bars and restaurants.

Then there’s Bold Street, which may as well have been conceived with the city’s student population in mind. Lined with independent bars, restaurants and vintage stores, Bold Street offers a fitting contrast to the modern architecture and high-street brands of Liverpool ONE a few blocks down. In fact, wherever you go in Liverpool, culture and history are waiting to greet you. The Tate Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery, the Museum of Liverpool and the Beatles Story, all contribute to an environment in which students thrive, and the reason why demand for buy to let student accommodation in Liverpool is out-stripping supply.

A key part of HighGround's UK Student Property portfolio is Liverpool's One Islington Plaza in the Knowledge Quarter.

Find out more here:

One Islington Plaza Investment Handbook

Tags: UK Investment, Property Insight, Student Accomodation, Liverpool Property, One Islington Plaza

Why the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter is now THE Northern Powerhouse Property Hotspot...

Posted by Graham Turrell on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 @ 08:41 AM

Liverpool’s economy is the fastest growing out of all Northern Powerhouse City Regions. 

Graham-at-liver-building-liverpool.jpgThe Northern Powerhouse is a Central Government backed investment to boost economic growth in the North of England and balance the UK economy between the North and South of the country, in particular the core cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.

The scheme takes on the job of improving transport links, investment in science and innovation and devolution of powers in City Deals. Over the course of the scheme, we will see £3.4bn invested into growth deals, £70m into education, £13bn on transport, and a further £445m invested into improving the quality of life for each of the core cities growing population.

Liverpool now leads the way, as the city benefiting most now in this second phase of the scheme while other cities such as Manchester have already seen the bulk of the effects from the investment.

The Knowledge Quarter - Why Student investment in Liverpool is top of the class

One Islington PLaza Investment GuideOver the next 5-7 years two billion pounds worth of investment are being pumped into redevelopment in The Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool.

The Knowledge Quarter Liverpool is the city’s academic hub and home to much of the UK’s leading R&D activity. The University of Liverpool, Royal Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool John Moores University, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are among those thriving in an environment of collaboration.

KQ Liverpool, as it has become known, covers 450 acres to the east of the city and plays a key role in attracting investment from a wide range of industry sectors. New developments are in the pipeline to ensure that KQ Liverpool’s network of innovation continues to expand.  

With around 54,000 students, KQ Liverpool is an integral cog in the UK government’s Northern Powerhouse project. Adjacent to the theatres restaurants and bars of the Georgian Quarter, KQ Liverpool is one of the most appealing destinations in the UK for students and young professionals.

This expanding demographic is creating a surge in demand for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA), and we are delighted to announce our first Liverpool Student opportunity -  One Islington Plaza. 

Why choose One Islington Plaza?

Perfectly located in the Knowledge Quarter and within walking distance of the major universities and teaching hospital facilities, as well as the Liverpool transport hub and a wealth of shopping, restaurants bars and clubs, One Islington Plaza is set to become a definitive landmark on the student accommodation scene.

As an investor and owner at One Islington Plaza, all the boxes are ticked to ensure you enjoy the benefits of strong, sustainable hands-free rental income as well as ownership in an area of very significant growth in the Northern Powerhouse. 

Key features, all laser-focussed on attracting student demand:

  • Onsite concierge & front desk
  • Communal lounges with flat screens, video games, pool tables, ping pong, fuzzball
  • On-site Cinema, Media Room and Study areas
  • Onsite laundry / Bicycle storage / Fully-equipped Gymnasium
  • On-site “Crosby Coffee” shop 
  • TVs with free view in all rooms / Safe in all rooms
  • Hotel style access control systems & monitored CCTV system / High speed broadband internet
  • Communal kitchens with fully fitted appliances, including dishwashers for ensuite units
  • Fully fitted kitchens in all studio apartments

Pretty cool for students - and a true property hotspot for all discerning hands-free property investors.

Discover One Islington Plaza for yourself -  download the Investment Guide today..

One Islington Plaza Investment Handbook

Tags: Student Accomodation, Liverpool Property, One Islington Plaza

Investor demand for UK student property alive and well - The Laceworks proves it

Posted by Graham Turrell on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 07:02 AM

When you look at the figures, you don't need a degree in economics to conclude that property investors worldwide are seeing UK purpose-build student property as solid investment and are ready to snap them up.

Internal 2.jpgProvided that is, that the location is right, the developer has years of experience and track record, and the right company is signed up to run it.

Our latest student offering, The Laceworks, serving Nottingham's two universities, fits the criteria better than most.

As a result, of the 222 high-spec student suites in the development, over 200 have been sold since Christmas. That's close to a record.

Demand for exceptional UK student developments has never been higher, and continues to be the highest performing real estate asset class in the UK.

Take a look at The Laceworks, tell me what you think and, if you're an agile cash investor you may even still be quick enough to secure one or more of these suites for your own portfolio.

The Laceworks Investment Brochure

 

Tags: Student Accomodation

How to Succeed in Student Property - Tip 5 - Understand about capital growth and exit

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, Dec 15, 2017 @ 10:27 AM

As we've seen, purpose built student property can offer consistent rental income that buy-to-letters can only dream of - when the right development is chosen and invested in. But the question that so often comes up is ...

"what if I want to sell the property later?"

A fair question because unlike with regular buy to let property, there is generally no residential resale market: your potential buyers will all be property investors. This is because purpose-built student accomodation (PBSA) can only be occupied by students - there will be a covenant or equivalent on the property deeds to stipulate this.

Not your regular property market

house-with-moving-up-arrow-small.jpg

Without a residential resale market, the future value of the apartment is likely to differ from an equivalent residential development. As the buyers are investors, the property value will be determined in a very similar way to traditional commercial property, where that value is based almost exclusively on the Yield - the achievable student rental income from the property.

This commercial element to the investment is often seen as an advantage over the rises and falls in popularity of the residential property market and somewhat easier to predict on a spreadsheet. For that reason too, PBSA can offer a convenient "hedge" to have inside a traditional buy to let portfolio. 

OK, so more about this "usage thing"...

Only students can live in your property. There are advantages to this occupancy restriction though: officially-designated purpose-built student property is treated as a special case by the UK Government, with potential tax advantages for the owner. For instance it is exempted from the recently-concocted Second Home Stamp Duty Surcharge, which for buy to let buyers with a residential property already, adds a 3% hike on to their SDLT bill.

How to resell your student property

Student hall property has traditionally been the domain of buy-and-hold strategies, and those investors planning to hold their property as an income cash-cow for the long term had not been especially concerned about selling. 

The good news about resale though is that what was once a very niche property marketplace with just a few student developments, has in recent years exploded in the into the most popular specialist property market in the UK. Many estate agents with significant property investor databases now recognise the secondary (resale) market and it is MUCH easier to resell a good student room property.

And a part of that market prefers to buy room in halls with a few years track record under their belt. So provided you choose to invest in the a new-build student hall that ticks all the right boxes, the ability to sell you property on is perfectly possible, with some capital growth to boot.

Many investors have gone on to build substantial portfolios of purpose-built student property and as confidence continues to build on the success of the market this is set to continue.

Growth tips from the trenches

The secret to building any successful property portfolio is doing your research when you buy, and this is especially true of student room investments. So become your own purpose-built student property expert, and learn the right questions to ask the developer before making a decision to buy. Use an agent, broker or consultant with as much experience in this field as possible, and pick their brains mercilessly!

For example our team purchased their first student room investment way back in 2005 when the market was in its infancy. Whether you speak with us, or any other excellent, experienced agent about student property, make sure they're independent and as unbiased as possible towards the developer or the development. Above all you need to trust that they have your interests at the heart of all they do. 

With our ten years' experience, we carefully select every development we offer and are beholden to none. If we aren't 100% satisfied, we won't offer it, period.

A great example

Here's Canterbury Hall, our current favourite with just a few suites now remaining to buy. If you would like, drop me a line and I'll be happy to go through why we think it's the best of breed right now to add to your own portfolio.

Canterbury Hall Preston Investment Handbook 

Tags: Student Accomodation, Canterbury Hall

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:

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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