[Report] Northern UK Property Day with Stephen Beech & Beech Holdings (Manchester)

Yesterday’s viewing trip to Manchester was a real eye-opener. The team at Beech Holdings (Manchester) are preparing to replicate their extraordinary success in converting old office buildings in central Manchester into comfortable eco-friendly apartments.  

Stephen Beech has built a personal property portfolio worth over £23 million using this same approach. He began on a small scale by purchasing terrace housing, keeping the exterior intact, building an interior frame and extending upwards to convert each into 4-6 apartments.

The vast majority of these apartments were fitted with sophisticated energy saving devices such as solar panels (in the early days), energy-efficient windows and warm air heat exchanges. The usual rental model for these types of apartments in Manchester are all-inclusive, so whilst Stephen was making a positive contribution to saving the earth’s resources, he was also able to undercut other landlords on rental charges and still get a better profit margin.

The way to really succeed in property? Simple innovative ideas – put into massive action.

A smart move, since Stephen Beech now has around 450 personal properties bringing in over £1 million a year in rental income, and his business model has scaled up beautifully in Manchester to an almost industrial size. The planning authorities in Manchester are keen to renovate existing empty office buildings and are favouring this over new-build as a matter of policy. 

Beech Holdings (Manchester) is set to dominate Central Manchester

Beech Holdings (Manchester) is very much in the ascendancy. They have ten office conversion projects in various stages of planning, with a further seven identified for the near future. Pictured above is one of these ten developments about to begin, on Waterloo Street in the city centre.

Beech is looking to raise £6 million in crowd sourced funds to finance the purchases, and has already achieved £2.5 million raised from private individuals in just 3 months. We are inviting qualified individuals to take part starting from £20,000 invested for 5 years and in return receive annual interest on10%, paid quarterly. This is a great return on a passive investment and is backed by first charge on the properties, as well as commercial and personal guarantees. This is clearly a property investment with security far greater than “going it alone” in the buy-to-let world.

So why should Beech bother with relatively small investors like us?

You may well ask why Stephen is going to the trouble of raising £6 million of funds this way. Why not go to the banks or sell some of his apartments? Simple reasons:

  1. Banks are still not lending sufficiently to large property developers.
  2. When they DO finally agree to lend it’s too late. In Manchester the secret is to beat off the competition quickly and buy with cash.
  3. The other lending option, Bridging Finance, can cost 20-24% annual interest, so recycling this would be very expensive. Would you prefer to pay private investors 10% or a bank 24%?
  4. Why not sell some of the apartments? Stephen could do this but that would be throwing away tracker mortgages at very low rates, and therefore a considerable chunk of his net income.

So opening up to private investors is the natural and obvious solution. Beech gets relatively low cost loans whilst investors enjoy incomes many times greater than a savings account, and much higher than a traditional net rental yield, with none of the hassle. When it comes to investors in his business, Stephen Beech’s philosophy is one of complete openness. Our due diligence process can testify to this – we’re confident that any reasonable investor question will be answered directly – and to their satisfaction. All enquiries and professional due diligence is very welcome. If you’re looking to invest in property or grow your investment portfolio, this has surely got to be worth investigating.

Find out more about investing with Beech Holdings. Download our brochure today.

What does a good Property Bonds look like? The typical structure…

With any investment, it’s crucial to look beyond the headline figures and peer “under the hood” as well. This is never truer when it comes to Property Bonds.

The key players you should expect to see in a good property bond offering are:

A capable, experienced property development team with a strong track record of successful projects of a similar nature.

A legal team to:

  • Draw up the agreement between Bond Issuer and the developer, and the agreement between the Bond Issuer and the investor. 
  • Operate the Escrow account and ensure that all funds transferred between it and the developer are secured by developer’s assets.

A specialist administrative team to manage the payments to investors.

A Bond Issuer company with a strong track record of successful projects to:

  • Act as the intermediary between investor and borrower.
  • Independently represent the investors’ interests.

Some property developers with little or no understanding of investors needs, will try to do most or all this in-house usually cutting plenty of corners in the process. When you see this, run for the hills.

Learn how to spot a good-looking property bond, and those to run away from. Download our bonds guide today:

Why I’m in love with Property Bonds

As a former traditional property investor myself, I’m speaking very candidly when I openly declare my love for Property Bonds. They offer hope and a future for those unimpressed with the world of “tenants and toilets”, not to mention the continuing UK government assault on the livelihood of landlords.

Choosing a property bond to invest in is rather like dating.

Some bonds are glamorous; some are plain; some are downright unattractive. Some have beauty that’s just skin deep. The secret is getting to know them and seeing the beauty within (or otherwise!).

Here are just five of the reasons why my love is so profound (and why buy-to-let is i’m afraid fast becoming the ugly sister of the property world):

  1. Bonds will let you invest into proven property developers. Leveraging their skill and experience,
  2. Well-structured Bonds offer you built-in security so that even in the worst case scenario, your initial investment is as safe as it can possibly be. 
  3. There’s a fixed net income of between 6% and 11% each year depending on which bond you choose.
  4. Capital is returned to you at a predetermined time. The term of the bond can range from just 12 months to 5 years and the choice is yours.
  5. No more tenants, lettings agents to pay, landlord regulations to upkeep, insurance premiums, repairs, voids, refits, stamp duty, legal fees, deposits, tenant reference checks or landlord tax hikes. 

But would you declare your commitment to a Property Bond until you knew it very, very well? The head decision has to follow (and sometimes override) the heart.

A match made in heaven?

Our role here as Investment Engineers is to detect and filter away the property bonds out there with character flaws, then from those that remain, present those that might be the better fit for our investors needs. Finally we assist with any research the investor needs to do to help them make their own truly informed decision. Our market knowledge, experience and frankly annoying attention to detail (as some bond providers would say) really is our strength.

Bonds, like long-term relationships, are not for everyone. But to help you understand whether they can work for you, we’ve produced a simple but thorough introduction to the wonderful world of Property Bonds, including ways to spot a beauty from a beast…

Download your copy today: