UK Property Market Growth Slows

… but prices continue to rise!

The latest Hometrack UK Cities Index has shown that the annual rate of house price growth in twenty of the UK’s largest cities slowed to 8.2% in August 2016. In July, growth had been at 9.5%. The average house price in the UK, as a result, was £239,400. Prices are still rising, but just not as fast at the moment.

Why Is the UK Housing Market Slowing?

People are finding it increasingly difficult to buy a home whilst the UK housing market continues to inflate quicker than earnings, particularly in the south, where many potential buyers are finding themselves completely priced out of the market. This fact is what is probably most of the reason for the slowdown in house price growth over the last couple of months.

There’s also the factor of the shock outcome of the EU Referendum, which gave lots of potential buyers reason to pause for thought. And, of course, is also in part due to the recent interest rate cut by the Bank of England.

So What’s the Good News?

Nonetheless, these disruptions to the UK housing market don’t seem to have had a lasting effect, and we’re seeing the market begin to settle down again now. This is good news that suggests an underlying strength within the residential UK housing market, which will hopefully see us optimistically into the long term.

What Does this Mean for Investors in the UK Property Market?

There is still a massive imbalance between supply and demand of properties on the market. This goes some way to explaining the continuing growth of the rental sector, and why property investors are increasingly leaning towards buy-to-let investment, including HMOs, as their investment of choice.

If residential property as an investment is still on your radar, however, then it’s still a good time to buy. There are signs that house prices are going to continue to rise, and getting in whilst there’s a chance you can afford to could pay in the longer term.

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For investors in the property market wishing to take the sensible route of diversifying their portfolio, record low interest rates make the potentially higher returns of equity crowdfunding and P2P lending for Real Estate an appetising option.

So choose your weapon… all signs point to a continually promising future for the UK property market.

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£40m Manchester Residential Property Development On The Cards!

It was recently announced that real estate and private equity fund manager, Moorfield, has agreed a deal with Manchester-based property development firm, Glenbrook, to deliver a £40m build to rent scheme at Ellesmere Street in Manchester city centre.

The scheme will offer over 200,000 sq ft of accommodation across three buildings, ranging between 8 and 12 storeys.

Construction will take place at the end of July, with completion scheduled for summer 2018.

Moorfield’s Chief Investment Officer, Charles Ferguson Davie, mentioned in a recent CoStar article : “The Build to Rent sector is in its infancy and we are proud to be at the forefront of it. The sector forms a fundamental part of many cities’ wider residential strategies and we intend to develop more schemes across the country and so help deliver much needed housing supply”.

He also stressed that the Brexit vote has caused a lot of uncertainty, especially for property developers and investors, but feels confident that Moorfield’s commitment to the BTR sector has a wealth of exciting opportunities with an aim to build a 2,000 unit platform.

Glenbrook’s director Ian Sherry, also shared his thoughts on the project, he mentioned that he strongly believes the private rented sector will be resilient, a belief which has been underlined by the property developer’s commitment to bring forward over 750 further units which are planning stages across the region.

In addition, Manchester Place’s CEO Paul Beardmore is also confident about the BTR sector in Manchester. He sees the sector as a fundamental part of city’s wider residential strategy and to deliver additional housing.

The gateway scheme which has been designed by AEW Architects, includes a co-working space surrounded by gardens, concierge facilities, a well-equipped gym, basement car parking with car hire facilities plus an abundance of cycle storage.

A Great Time for Buy-to-Rent Residential Property Development!

According to Legal & General, while Brexit might be putting off large-scale personal decisions such as house-buying, at the end of the day, they still need somewhere to live – so the rental sector has huge potential during these uncertain times.

Dan Batterton, the rent to build fund manager at Legal & General recently mentioned in an interview in Architects’ Journal : “We are hearing demand from more people wanting to rent and not wanting to buy. When we look round the world to established build to rent markets, such as the US, the rental sector provides consistent demand to the construction industry regardless of market conditions – it is less cyclical than building for sale.”

He also says that there may also be less competition for land between now and the end of the year because traditional housebuilders are known for pausing land acquisition programmes, which allows BTR investors to make their move.

BTR schemes are known for providing large communal areas and building a sense of community, which is essential for ensuring people stay. Having areas (as mentioned in the Ellesmere Street example) where people can socialise, make friends and will therefore make them rent for a longer period than see before, plus will help drive yields for investors.

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