There has been much talk about the lack of investment opportunities in the UK in recent years. And it seems to be getting worse, with some UK cities now offering worse rental yields than they did a few months ago. It may even be too late to invest in properties near the long-awaited Elizabeth line in London, as the benefits are already priced in.
The good news is that there are still some areas which offer good investment potential. UK law is also comparatively reliable, making it one of the safest places in the world to invest in property. Coupled with a vibrant economy and plenty of rental demand, the UK remains a popular choice for international investors.
University towns are continuing to provide some of the highest rental yields in the UK. Affordable student flats in areas like Liverpool and Middlesbrough are providing rental yields up to 7 times higher than in London. Investing in student property can be especially profitable as there is reliable high demand and consistent rents, meaning shorter void periods.
There are also stark regional differences, the North of England is now the only option for investors looking for cash generating assets. Manchester has received the largest number of investments outside London, and the Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area is ranked the 10th most popular location in the world for foreign investment. Manchester has a large student community with four universities and houses a student population of 100,000, meaning demand for rental properties will remain high.
Liverpool currently has some of the UK’s largest public investment projects, like the £5 billion Liverpool Waters Scheme. This has had a positive knock-on effect on Liverpool’s booming property investment market. The transformation of a 60-hectare brownfield site is making way for five new neighbourhoods and is part of a widescale regeneration of the region. Liverpool’s average house price also ranks well below the UK average; while the average UK property is valued at £231,422, the average house price in Liverpool is £148,031 which paints an attractive picture for any would-be investor.
While the investment potential of properties along the Elizabeth line have been exhausted, areas around the Crossrail 2 still offer promising rental yields. Birmingham remains a UK property investment hotspot, having recently been ranked 21st for its overall investment prospects in Europe in 2018. The average house price in Birmingham stands at £183,399, as opposed to London’s £484,926, and has an average yield of 5.02%.
Birmingham also offers great investment potential. Britain’s second most populous city has ambitious plans to improve transport links. As well as receiving the new Crossrail, Birmingham will see an extension to its metro, and Birmingham Airport is expected to add many more international routes over the next few years.
Sourcing and buying are just the first steps in making a good property investment. Depending on your strategy, managing a portfolio efficiently is arguably the most important and time-consuming part of being a property investor. Luckily there are a range of cloud-based property management platforms that can save you time and money.
With new cloud-based technology, you can manage your investments from anywhere in the world, broadening the areas you may consider for investment, and opening up the best opportunities from around the world.
Systems including GoTenant and Arthur Online are entirely customisable. You can use them to remain in a central managerial position while not actually being on the ground, as things like tenant check/out can be handled by local agents. You can arrange viewings, sign documents and assign workorders to contractors all through dedicated apps.
This new generation of proptech is making the property sector more connected, ultimately helping investors manage and grow their portfolios efficiently and hassle free, while opening up the most profitable opportunities.
Marc Trup is the Founder and CEO of Arthur Online
After selling his business to BUPA in 1998, Marc started investing in rental properties in London. Over the next 15 years Marc grew his portfolio to over 85 properties. While successful, self-managing his portfolio became increasingly difficult. With technological advances and greater connectivity, he assumed there was software available that would allow him to manage his business from his smart phone, while sipping espresso at the local coffee shop. Following a long search, he found that nothing quite cut the mustard. So being an entrepreneur, he started Arthur Online to make not only his life easier, but also that of other property managers.
Arthur Online is a cloud-based platform that enables property managers to respond instantly and solve problems fast from anywhere in the world, be it with tenants, contractors, property owners or letting agents. Since launching in 2015, it has helped thousands of property managers like Marc run their portfolios in the cheapest, most efficient way possible by using the full potential of new technology and cloud computing. Start your free trial today by going to www.arthuronline.co.uk