5 Ways To Find The Best Property Investment Areas

Whether you’re buying a property investment in the rental sector, or to sell on within the residential sales market, you’ll be looking to get the best return on your investment. So how do you go about ascertaining the best property investment areas to target?

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We take a look at the top five factors to consider before investing in property, and the questions you ought to be asking yourself to ensure you’re looking in the best property investment areas for your money.

  1. Local Trends

  • What are the current cost trends in the region?

  • Are housing prices here rising quicker than other regions?

  • What is the average cost within other neighbouring towns, and how does your town compare?

It’s worth starting with a broad area you’re hoping to target, and zoning in from there on the best property investment areas to focus on.

  1. Indications of Growth

  • What new infrastructure developments are being constructed in the area (schools, transport networks, shopping areas)?

  • What industrial growth is going on (businesses putting down roots, new job opportunities)?

  • What residential regeneration projects might you be able to get in on?

Spend some time in your desired area, and do plenty of research into what’s going on at ground level. Where there are concrete signs of development for the future, there is opportunity, as potential buyers (or tenants) flood to the area for work and leisure.

  1. Tax Implications

  • What is the tax charge likely to be?

  • How are property taxes likely to increase in the near future?

It’s a good idea to have a chat with a local tax assessor, and gain some trustworthy advice from a tax expert. Find out about tax structures, and any that will specifically apply to your area.

  1. Schooling

  • What are the OFSTED reports of local schools?

  • What do the GCSE and A Level results look like of catchment area secondary schools?

  • What family demographics dominate your desired area?

Any families looking to buy (or rent) a property are very driven towards areas in catchment for the best schools. In many cases, good catchment areas are reflected in the house prices in the area. Schools are a key factor that indicate the best property investment areas to focus on. Don’t underestimate the value that parents place on where their children will be educated.

  1. Outlying Regions to Cities and Towns

  • What are the transport networks like from outlying towns and villages into the main city/town?

  • Where are the job opportunities for those likely to buy in your desired area?

Whilst prices will be high, and supply low, within cities and affluent towns, some of the smaller towns and villages in the outskirts can be particularly desirable.

Rural areas where public transport is less freely available are actually more desirable for many buyers, where village schools are often well-appointed, and space and scenery make a pleasant contrast from working in the city, are very desirable. Such rural regions are very likely to see high value rises over time.

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Understanding the market will help you identify the best property investment areas to target.

These five factors to consider are perhaps the best ones to implement if you’re hoping to generate an income from investment in property. As always, it’s best to do as much research as possible, and to seek as much expert advice as you can.


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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Property News Round-up 22/9/16

Property News All The Latest Updates


Hi guys and welcome to our September property news round-up. As usual, we will be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the UK property market with five short stories. Today, we start our property news round-up by looking at the new housing minister’s views on ‘build to rent’ to focusing on the amount of rent that millennials will spend before they are 30. Missed our previous blog entries? If so, feel free to catch up here.

New Housing Minister Backs Build To Rent


Housing minister Gavin Barwell backed the build to rent sector in his first speech since being appointed.

His first speech took place at Property Week’s RESI 2016 conference in Newport and a key takeaway was Mr. Barwell stressing to delegates that there is a need to build more homes of every single type and not focus on one single tenure.

Barwell, who is also the minister for London, said that a growing number of people and families are now preferring to rent, so the build to rent sector will therefore play an important role in providing for changing attitudes.

The recently elected housing minister concluded that in the UK we need to have a thriving private rented sector in place.

He praised Essential Living’s Vantage Point scheme in Archway, north London, the office conversion which has 118 homes has opened for lettings. The housing minister said this was a much needed start for the sector.


Manchester Property Prices Continued To Grow in August

Manchester Property

Reeds Rains and Your Move, released their monthly house price index a few weeks ago, and recorded an increase in both prices and transactions for August.

According to their research, the average house price in the north west had risen to £178,423, up from £178,089 in July.

Other commentators mentioned that the UK housing market is settling down from June’s Brexit vote and confidence has emerged from the Bank of England cutting interest rates.

Transactions across the country were also up, rising by 2.6 pc on the previous month, with over 70,000 sales going through.


Manchester and Liverpool Join Forces For Global Property Expo

Liverpool Property

Manchester and Liverpool will join forces to sell the region to a global audience of investors in October.

Both will send a combined delegation to London for MIPIM UK (the UK’s largest property and investment expo).

Filippo Rean, director of MIPIM UK organiser Reed MIDEM’s real estate division told the Liverpool Echo : Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds provide incredible investment opportunities and their presence at MIPIM UK will provide investors with a unique opportunity to see what these northern giants have to offer.

Mr. Rean added : “As the largest event for real estate in the country, we offer incredible opportunities for investors, developers and representatives from city regions across the UK.”


UK Property Remains The Highest Yielding Investment

Property Money

Despite the uncertainties of the Brexit vote, investors are choosing to invest in property, including investing in sectors such build to rent.

So why have these investors chosen property? The main reason is that they can outperform the likes of government bonds and stocks and shares.

There are still quite a few investors out there who remain very cautious about the ramifications of life outside of the European Union, however, there are many investors out there who feel confident that investing property in the current climate is an opportunity.

Quite a few European based investors have now started to take an interest due to the fall of the pound. The North West in particular has become even more attractive because of this reason, and investors are hungry to invest into a very appetising region.

If this is a topic that interests you we recommend reading our “Is Property Investment Really Better Than Pensions?” blog post and also “Why The UK Rental Market Is Surging“.


Millennials Will Spend £53,000 on Rent Before Age of 30


A combination of falling homeownership levels and the rising cost of renting meant that people born between 1981 and 2000 would pay £53,000 in rent before their 30th birthday (Guardian, July 2016)

The Resolution Foundation mentioned in The Guardian article that this country’s housing crisis is one of the most visible examples of inequality between the generations.

Our very own research from last October found that a quarter of under 30’s say they need someone to die before they can afford to buy a property.

In addition, 36% of those surveyed said they felt they’d have to rent forever.

So while young people are spending more of their hard earned income on rent and finding it harder to save for a deposit, the baby boomer generation are the most likely to be landlords and benefit from the strong rental market, according to The Resolution Foundation.

However, it has been highlighted that the older generations are just as concerned about Generation Y’s struggle to own their home, and support for housebuilding is growing across a variety of age groups.

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What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

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The Alternative Finance Marketplace: How is Real Estate Shaping Up?

We’ve been eagerly poring through NESTA’s 2015 UK Alternative Finance Industry Report, ‘Pushing Boundaries’, since it was published in February this year. The report offers a fascinating, in-depth look at all areas of the alternative finance industry, including – crucially – the Real Estate Alternative Finance (crowdfunding and Real Estate P2P lending) market.

If you like data, you’ll love it. But if you’d prefer something a bit more readable, you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve put together our own guide to the state of the alternative finance industry, keeping the emphasis squarely on Real Estate Alternative Finance, of course.

Things have changed since NESTA published its report, ‘The Rise of Future Finance’ in 2013. At that time, the alternative finance industry was worth £939m.  In 2015, NESTA reported its value at £3.2bn. The market is on course to surpass the £5bn mark in 2016.

Real Estate Alternative Finance - QUOTE 1

It’s not just financially that the alternative finance sector has grown. It has evolved taxonomically, too.

In the 2013 report, NESTA identified a range of distinct funding models operating in the sector. Two years later, 28% of alternative finance platforms surveyed reported that they were operating a ‘mixed’ or ‘other’ business model, which does not fit into the existing taxonomy.

Real Estate Alternative Finance: Crowdfunding and P2P Lending Tops the Tables

The 2013 report has no mention whatsoever of the terms ‘real estate’ or ‘housing’. And yet, by 2015, NESTA’s report segments data on Real Estate Alternative Finance into its own category, such is the proportion of the industry it covers.

In 2015, Real Estate and Housing was the most popular sector for the alternative finance market.

  1. Real Estate and Housing
  2. Technology
  3. Manufacturing and Engineering
  4. Food and Drink
  5. Retail and Wholesale
  6. Leisure and Hospitality
  7. Community and Social Enterprise
  8. Finance
  9. Construction
  10. Education and Research

Combined debt and equity-based funding for Real Estate Alternative Finance amounted to nearly £700m in 2015, with P2P business lending in Real Estate (for mortgages and property development) taking the lion’s share: £609m – 41% of the total volume of P2P business loans in 2015.

The market volume of equity-based crowdfunding is much more modest, coming in at £87m for 2015, still a very significant sum.


P2P Business Lending in Real Estate

In 2015, P2P real estate lending financed over 600 commercial and residential developments, mostly by small to medium sized property developers.

Of that hearty £609m funding sum for 2015, Real Estate P2P lending saw increased growth throughout the year:

Q1 → £120.78m

Q2 → £146.81m

Q3 → £152.96m

Q4 → £188.12m

Perhaps some of this extraordinary success has something to do with institutional funding in the P2P Real Estate lending sector? Institutional funding was around 25% in 2015, and up to 75% on some platforms.

P2P business lending for Real Estate comprises a range of financing models and products. There are the short term bridging finance loans, which run for a 12 to 18 month period. Them, there are the longer term (3-5 years) commercial and residential mortgages, and construction/development debt finance.

In 2015, the average size of P2P loans for Real Estate came in at £522,333, slightly under 2014’s £662,425 average. The figure for 2015 was more in line with the average UK house price than the previous year. This may be due to the growing use of P2P lending in funding residential and commercial mortgages, rather than the larger developments focused on in 2014.


Just a quick clarification point here: regulatory constraints mean you cannot use P2P Real Estate lending for your own residential mortgage.

It’s also not a done deal to apply for a loan for a Real Estate development: in 2015, 27.5% of loan applications in P2P Real Estate lending were accepted.

The average number of lenders required to fund a typical P2P Real Estate loan? 490.


Equity-Based Crowdfunding for Real Estate

This model enables investors to acquire ownership of a property asset, via the purchase of shares, either of a single property, or a number of properties as part of a portfolio.


In 2015, equity-based crowdfunding for Real Estate raised a total of £87m, for 174 development projects. This is how the annual quarters looked:

Q1 → £13.09m

Q2 → £23.16m

Q3 → £35.70m

Q4 → £14.63m

Equity-based crowdfunding for Real Estate had a great year in 2015. The record for fastest funding for a development project was set: £843,100 was raised in just 10 minutes and 43 seconds, from a total of 319 investors!


Unlike P2P Real Estate lending, with equity-based crowdfunding, there is scarcely any institutional involvement. Of the 10,626 funders participating in Real Estate crowdfunding, NESTA found that only 3% were categorised as institutional investors by the platform. This contrasts with the 77% of sophisticated or high net worth investors in the model.

Yes, equity based crowdfunded property investment is much more grass roots in many ways than the P2P Real Estate sector. The recent inclination to lower minimum investment thresholds in this area, with the aim of enticing more retail investors attests to this in a very clear way.

Whilst 27.5% of loan applications in P2P Real Estate lending were accepted in 2015, in equity-based crowdfunding for Real Estate, platform acceptance rate was much lower. Only 2.9% of deals made it onto the platform, on average.

However, deal success rate for those who did make it onto the platform was pretty high: 87%. There are also far fewer investors required for an equity deal – NESTA reports an average of 150 per deal. The average deal size for 2015 in the crowdfunding sector for property was fairly high, too: £820,042.

Real Estate Alternative Finance and Manchester

Of the 58 alternative finance platforms surveyed by NESTA for their report, 62% were – unsurprisingly – London-based. However, a significant 5.2% hailed from our home city of Manchester.

Manchester is also one of a number of regional and local authorities that have either partnered with online alternative finance platforms to fund local SMEs, or have used alternative finance methods to fund community projects.

NESTA’s data shows that the most active regions receiving funds from Real Estate crowdfunding were London (of course), the North East, and the North West. The North West was also found to be one of the top 3 regions actually providing funds.


This isn’t terribly surprising given the growing trend for emphasising Real Estate crowdfunding within areas in need of regeneration. Manchester has, as we know, come a very long way. The economy of the North West has been transformed over the last few years, in no small part due to the heavy investment in regeneration projects, in the form of development funding from both the public and private sectors.

It is these regeneration areas that are being identified as some of the potentially best investment opportunities. Not only do they cost investors less than prime locations, but these areas are also the ones that will experience the highest growth over coming years.


Real Estate Alternative Finance and The Government

Direct investment from the government has helped support the growth of both peer-to-peer and crowdfunding markets. In 2015, £60m was lent by the British Business Bank via P2P lending platforms, specifically for SMEs.

Tax incentives have also been applied, including the EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) and SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme). These schemes have been widely used, by a large proportion of investors using alternative funding platforms, and have been especially popular within the equity-based crowdfunding market.

The launch of the IFISA (Innovative Finance ISA) in April 2016 is also an exciting development in the alternative finance sector.

In particular, P2P business lending platforms for Real Estate expect the IFISA to generate a whopping 51.9% growth in transactional volume this year, whilst equity-based crowdfunding platforms for Real Estate predict 30.31% growth as a result of the IFISA.


The figures for Real Estate Alternative Finance outmatch those elsewhere in the alternative finance market. P2P consumer lenders, for example, expect a 26% increase in total volume as a result of the IFISA. It’s clear that Real Estate lending stands to benefit the most.

In anticipation of the influx of retail investors expected by the onset of the IFISA, some P2P Real Estate lending platforms are even lowering their investment thresholds.

What is the IFISA?

At its most basic, the Innovative Finance ISA allows UK investors to lend money using P2P lending platforms to invest up to 100% of their £15,240 annual ISA allowance, and to receive any interest and capital gains tax-free. You can find out more here.

Institutional Investment in Real Estate Alternative Finance

Catching the scent of a good thing, institutional investors are also muscling in on the peer-to-peer real estate lending market, as they are across the alternative finance industry.

It is estimated, based on platform reporting, that in the UK in 2015, 1,031 institutional funders were at the bottom of financing loans and equity deals in alternative finance.


45% of all alternative finance platforms reported institutional involvement in 2015. In 2014, this was 28%, and in 2013, just 11%.

For P2P business lending, in 2015 26% of total funding was attributable to institutional funding. In peer-to-peer Real Estate lending specifically, a total of 25% institutional funding was reported, with significant increase between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year, in particular:

Q1 → 22%

Q2 → 22%

Q3 → 23%

Q4 → 31%

By contrast, however, in equity-based crowdfunding, 2015 saw just 8% of funding coming from institutions.

With institutional funding growing in the alternative finance market, as well as the influx of more high net worth investors, there is some discussion about whether the disruptive force of the alternative finance market is at risk of being stemmed.

Banking institutions have found themselves burdened with heavy regulatory compliance, cumbersome legacy systems and bureaucratic complexity. Since the debacle at the end of the last decade, the general populous has been hungry for new alternatives to the traditional financial system. Confidence has been lost, and – at the retail end of the investment spectrum at least – making one’s savings grow within the received systems has less potential for gains than what’s promised by alternative finance.

Alternative finance has become a key player in the development of a whole new generation of financial products. Along with a range of other FinTech solutions to saving, banking and investment, this revolutionary rumble has got the banks concerned.

It’s no wonder that, as such a disruptive movement grows, it finds itself on the precipice of being co-opted into the corporate world. But all the time that interest rates on savings accounts remain shockingly low, and first-time buyers view getting on the property ladder as likely as a winning Euromillions ticket, the prospect of a less suffocating alternative for growing money will continue to be thoroughly desirable.

And, focusing on Real Estate specifically, research conducted by Crowdstacker found that 44% of retail investors would like to increase their exposure to the UK property market, not only owning their own home, but also by investing through P2P lenders, like The House Crowd. Investor reluctance was found to centre around the time consuming nature and costs of property management, as well as affordability. The alternative finance model of crowdfunded property investment and P2P lending in Real Estate removes those factors from the equation.

2015 also saw the emergence of self-managed, platform-owned listed investment trusts, funds and vehicles: a sure sign that platforms are preparing to challenge the fund management space.

And as the alternative finance world continues to evolve, we are also seeing the emergence of a number of independent online aggregators, such as Informed Funding, FinPoint and ABF. These are rising up to provide additional channels and services for connecting business fundraisers to alternative finance platforms.

That being said, corporate interjection into the alternative finance space should not be considered a negative. It is this involvement that is allowing the industry to grow and evolve.

A number of P2P consumer lending platforms have struck high profile partnership deals with some big-name corporates.


Corporate partnerships have been witnessed between alternative finance platforms and large brands such as Virgin, Amazon, Uber and Sage. As NESTA puts it, these partnerships are “fusing the traditional corporate world with the disruptive models of alternative finance”.

It is these partnerships that will aid in increasing public awareness of the alternative finance sector, but not only this. Corporate partnerships will also attract high quality borrowers, reducing default rates on P2P loans, and also offers the potential for data gathering, which will enhance the industry’s credit scoring capabilities, and inform risk management.

The increasing involvement of high net worth investors, along with institutional funding and corporate partnerships is what is allowing alternative finance to push boundaries, blur definitions, and limit the dangers of orthodoxy: it is a catalyst for rapid evolution.


The extraordinary growth of the industry that we have witnessed over the last few years has begun to level out.

In 2015, the UK’s alternative finance industry facilitated investments, loans and donations totalling £3.2bn. In 2014, this figure was £1.74bn – a YoY growth rate of 83.91%, which is not to be sniffed at. But when you compare this to the 161% growth between 2013 and 2014, it looks positively small.


In 2014, 24 new alternative finance platforms began trading. This was down to 14 in 2015. Fewer new entrants are joining the market, whilst existing platforms continue to increase their total volumes at a steady rate.

Up until now, the industry appears to have been actively pushing its boundaries, both in its evolution, and in its rate of growth. Whilst the figures continue to be staggeringly impressive – with the market on course for a £5bn year in 2016 – plateauing figures are a good sign that the industry is maturing.

Alternative finance is coming of age with intelligence and dignity. It is listening to influential voices from big corporates, accepting helping hands where they are offered, and maintaining its grass roots persona. Most of all, however, it’s making money, not just for a few, but for a large body of investors all along the wealth spectrum. In Real Estate, it’s helping to regenerate run-down neighbourhoods, keeping a stagnant housing market moving, improving living standards across the board.


In short, alternative finance may have been a disruptive teenager, but it’s growing up to be a real force for good in the middle of a blighted financial landscape. The future of finance is looking promising.


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Property News Round-up 16/12/15

Property News – All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to another fortnightly edition of our property news round-up. As usual we take a look at an array of stories from the property industry, today we look at Yorkshire and the Northern Powerhouse to looking at some Christmas decorated homes (just don’t let Dave come round and put your decorations up – you’ll see why!), if you’ve been extremely busy like ourselves, they’ll hopefully give you some inspiration for when you do finally get round to putting your Christmas lights up!


Yorkshire Earns Its Place In The Northern Powerhouse

yorkshire northern powerhouse

In the past year the north of England has had a 30 per cent increase in construction and whilst Manchester and both Liverpool dominate, Yorkshire and Humberside are catching up with their north western rivals.

George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse vision to give major northern cities their very own powers when it comes to planning, housing, transport, and policing, deals have already been discussed and agreed upon for Greater Manchester, Sheffield, and the North East.

However, when it comes to property, many analysts have stated that Yorkshire property growth is linked to simply supplying the housing that people want. Government schemes such as Help To Buy is one major factor that is helping to flourish “Gods Own County” when it comes to property, particularly for families who are starting out.

The county has definitely attracted people from the south, particularly from the capital, end of the day it’s no secret that you get more for your money up north compared with what you would get in the south. As the Examiner mention, the cash you part with for a two-bedroom flat in west London would get you a 10 bedroom, Grade II listed, detached house with three acres of land in Lindley, Huddersfield.

In addition, the vibrant and beautiful Yorkshire countryside and huge investment opportunities in retail, technology, and research plus its rich culture (which we mentioned about in a previous blog post).

With all these factors you can see why Yorkshire has become a crowded marketplace as it continues to compete with Manchester and Liverpool and this one reason why we have had quite a few projects in the region. If you are interested in Yorkshire, feel free to download our South Yorkshire guide.


Top Of The League – Manchester A Top Choice For Investors

manchester investment

Since 2010 no other place in the country has generated higher yields for property investors than the north-west city. (Select Property, December 2015).

Investors have gained annual average returns of 6.02%, compared to just 4.79% in London according to data which was generated from lending firm LendInvest.

2015 has been a great year for the city as it has cemented its place as the Northern Powerhouse leader to being named as the UK’s number one city for property investment by HSBC.

Last month a survey which was conducted by accounting firm RSM found that the north-west is the second highest UK region for overseas investment. With a vast amount of investment being poured into the Northern Powerhouse leader as well as having a huge demand for rented spaces, investors have been quick to snap up assets in the city ahead of a predicted growth curve.


Is The London Property Market Going To Crash?

London Property Crash

So what’s happening in the capital? To cut a long story short there’s simply too much supply and not enough demand. According to The Independent,  in the last financial quarter alone, 6,000 new apartments were finished, each costing more than £600,000. Currently there are 41,000 homes and flats under construction or being topped out in London priced at north of £1m.

People without children want to live in apartments, these include the  first buyers, buy-to-let investors, and people who’s main home is not in the capital. First-time buyers are therefore being prices out as they simply can’t afford a mortgage or afford to pay a deposit on a house.

In addition, foreign purchases from wealthy Russians and Chinese buyers has started to trickle. Vladimir Putin has put a crackdown on Russian citizens that hold cash overseas meaning that there has been less Russian buyers in London recently. Moving further east, China is also having a corruption purge as mentioned in The Independent.

So what does this all mean for the London property market? According to one property expert, it will take just one single developer not to sell, won’t be able to cover costs, and that’s when the crack will start to happen. He mentions that will be enough to send shockwaves through the market, and bring prices crashing down.

Are you looking for an alternative? If so, we recommend reading our crowdfunding process page to see if property crowdfunding is right for you.


Average Property Price Increases to £20,000 in 2015

stamp duty

Figures from Rightmove show that the average selling price for a home in December was £289,452, an increase of around £20,000 from the average house price a year ago. (Which, December, 2015).

The property portal mentioned that the seasonal 1.1% dip in property prices this month is the lowest December fall they have seen since 2006.

They have predicted that prices will reach new records next year and expects new seller asking prices to rise by 6% as the demand in excess of suitable supply continues.

As a result of prices remaining high in London, highly-skilled workers may look for other options and move to more affordable cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds.


Decorated Christmas Homes – Let it Glow Let it Glow Let it Glow!

christmas lights UK

If you’re like me and leave your Christmas decorations to the last minute and if you are a big fan of Christmas lights you might want to take a look at some of the most Christmas decorated homes in the UK.

If you’re looking at decking up your front with fairy lights we think the 9th example is quite a good one to go for. If you like to go nuts with your lights and Christmas decorations how about the first example?

We’d love to see your creativity, feel free to tweet us your decorated home @TheHouseCrowd.

I hope you can do a better job than me! This is what it would look like if I was left in charge…

christmas decoration fail


Image Sources : Telegraph Heavy


What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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Property values can fall. Your capital may be at risk & returns may vary. Read our Risk Warning.

Property Still Holds Value Post Brexit

Following the EU referendum vote in late June, there has been a lot of uncertainty in the industry from homeowners, landlords, and housebuilders, all questioning what the future holds for the property market.

Examples such as a £40,000 price reduction in average prices in the capital have set alarm bells ringing.

However, in spite of these uncertainties, some good news is that the regional property market is looking up.

A lot has happened this year, not only with the result to leave Europe, but also in terms of legislation. We’ve seen changes to stamp duty on buy-to-let purchases, as well as changes to rules on multiple occupancy, both of which had an impact on local property markets.

The ramifications of George Osborne’s legislation, as expected, was a significant drop in the number of investors registering to purchase buy-to-let properties.

Moreover, whilst general applicant/buyer registration and property viewings also declined slightly, the number of offers being made were actually up, and sales were also on the up.

Turning our attention to our local area, predicted house price growth in Manchester for 2016-20 stands at 24.6% and rental income for the period is expected to rise by 22.8% (stats taken from MEN)

Examples (which we have recently blogged about) such as Moorfields and Glenbrook’s £40 million residential development and Yo! Homes luxury flats are not only exciting projects, but are are an essential part of the city’s residential strategy to deliver additional, high quality housing.
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So what does this mean for investors?

Firstly, because of the shortage of homes across the length and breadth of the UK, there is little alternative to continuing to invest in residential developments. Doing so will keep the residential property market strong.

In addition, Manchester has been identified as the top city for rental yields. According to LendInvest’s research, the average rental yield in Manchester reached 6.8% between 2010 and 2016.

Research from HSBC, conducted last year, showed that the northern city offered the best yields, with 26% of the population here living within the private rented sector.

Despite the uncertainty of the Brexit vote, the ramifications of leaving the EU could create opportunities for investors, particularly those who are experienced with property investing. Potential property buyers might be put off by the softening of recent house prices, but at the end of the day, they still need somewhere to live, which is great news if you’re a landlord. If property prices do cool – it’s fair to say that investing in property will be very tempting.

So to sum it up, property still holds value post Brexit. Bricks and mortar remain one of the stronger investment choices, as volatility in the stock market means that tangible assets at this moment in time are essential for any investor’s portfolio.

As quite a few commentators have mentioned, a lot of the media focus has been on the ramifications of Brexit vote in London and the South East. However, we strongly believe that the north is a strong alternative with entry prices significantly lower compared with the capital, as well a great place to obtain yields from the likes of student rented accommodation.

In the north we trust!

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Property News Round-up 3/8/16

Property News All The Latest Updates


Hi guys and welcome to our first property news blog of the month! As usual, we will be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the UK property market with five short stories. Today, we start our property news round-up by looking at Generation Y and their renting habits to focusing on Aegon’s research on homeowners and pensions. Missed our last round-up? If so, catch up here.

Millennials Like The Flexibility & Freedom of Renting

Millennials Property

Recently, a study confirmed something that most 18 to 30-year-olds already know: they can’t buy houses and also something we are familiar here at The House crowd from conducting our own research. As The Independent’s Thea De Gallier points out : “Millennials are abandoning their dreams of home ownership,” declared a damning report that revealed home ownership in the UK has fallen to 63.8 per cent (for context, it was 70.8 per cent in 2003).”

So why is it so hard for millennials like myself to become a property owner? Firstly, the average house price in this country is just over £200,000, (almost 10 times the average wage!) Secondly other regions are playing catch-up with London’s astronomical prices which has left us no choice but to rent.

But is renting necessarily a bad thing? Today, Generation Y are known for their fast paced life style and are constantly on the move, renting is surely ideal for them.

Research can back this claim up, for example, Deloitte found out that 44 per cent of millennials want to leave their current jobs in the next two years, in addition, Econsultancy found that 69 per cent of all graduates thought freelancing was a more attractive option than long-term employment. (Stats taken from The Independent)

On the other side of the Atlantic, many commentators have mentioned that millennials simply don’t want to own a property. One source in particular views that millennials are “[thinking] differently about what it means to “own” something”.

I totally agree with the commentator as we are currently living in a sharing economy. Moreover, I completely side with De Gallier’s points in her article that we need a similar renting cap that is used in European cities such as Berlin. It’s fair to say the current system isn’t working for us even though some of us like to rent. We definitely need to seek alternatives – the likes of property crowdfunding could be one of those methods, which you can read more about here.

Why Are Fewer People Purchasing Properties in Greater Manchester?

Property News North West

BBC News reported yesterday that home ownership has fallen more sharply in Greater Manchester than anywhere else in England.

The biggest question on everyone’s lips is why? Financial Analyst Louise Cooper says the issue stems from house cost to wage ratios. She told the BBC that : “The average house price in England in 1986 was £38,000, today it is £226,000,” she said. “Over the same period the average salary has gone up two and half times.”

She adds : “The price of property compared to salaries has gone up hugely. Everyone says it is a London problem. It is not. Manchester is one of the worst.”

Our very own Frazer Fearnhead mentions in the BBC article that Manchester has a large student population and young professionals in the city prefer to rent.

Frazer believes that the Greater Manchester area mirrors the rest of the UK in the fact there are not enough houses being built, fuelling a demand that pushes up prices.

Read more on the issue here.


Investors Pull £1.4bn From UK Property Funds in Brexit Month


Retail investors withdrew £1.4bn from property funds in June, 6 per cent of the sector’s assets, as the Brexit vote sparked an exodus that forced some of the largest funds to halt trading. (FT.com, August, 2016)

Following to the leave the EU in late June, led to many moving money out of property funds which forced Standard Life’s UK Real Estate fund to suspend redemptions in early July.

Others followed suit, such as Aviva, M&G, Columbia Threadneedle, Henderson and Canada Life.

Senior analyst at the retail investment broker Hargreaves Lansdown, Laith Khalaf, told the FT : “The scale of the exodus from investment funds in June is quite extraordinary, with the Brexit vote eclipsing the financial crisis in terms of putting the frighteners on retail investors in the short term.”

At present, around £15bn of investors’ money remains trapped in suspended funds that lack enough liquid assets to meet redemption requests.


UK Construction Crashes At Fastest Pace Since Financial Crisis

UK Construction

Construction output in June has fallen at its fastest pace since the dark days of the financial crisis in 2009 according to a survey by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips).

Purchasing Managers Index figures indicate that Slower demand has lead to a drop in purchasing activity for the first time in just over three years. The index dropped from 51.2 in May to 46.0 in June, with anything below 50 indicating a contraction, as The Independent’s Ben Chapman reports.

Despite having record house prices, it was revealed that the weakest performing sector was residential construction. In addition, commercial building work was also weak, as new projects did not start to replace those that were coming to completion.

The EU referendum has been linked to the slowdown as there are still many uncertainties. Senior economist at Markit, Tim Moore told The Independent : “Widespread delays to investment decisions and housing market jitters saw the UK construction sector experience its worst month for seven years in June.”

However, David Noble, chief executive officer at Cips mentioned that the only glimmer of light through the brickwork is the rate of decline was not as sharp as that experienced during the previous financial crisis.

A spokesperson for Home Builders Federation said recent figures should not be viewed in isolation and that long term trends for the sector were good.


Little Appetite For Using Property As Pension As Research Shows

Property News Landlords

Research conducted by Aegon revealed that majority of homeowners do not want to use their property wealth to fund retirement.

Their study showed 74% of homeowners would only use their home as a “last resort” to provide a retirement income or do not consider their home as a source of retirement income at all. (Professional Adviser, August, 2016)

Moreover, Aegon found out that more than half of the research respondents want to leave their home to their loved ones.

Only 3% of those surveyed said that they would sell their property and move in with family as a means of funding retirement. 21% of homeowners are hoping they can fall back on inheritance to assist them with their retirement plans.


What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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Beating Your Cash Investment With Property Crowdfunding

Following the financial crisis of 2008, cash savers have been hit hard. Interest rates are at their lowest for 300 years, with no sign of any improvement for years to come. For those reliant on cash savings for a monthly income, things are looking particularly bleak.

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In the short term, a deposit account may be a safe haven for your money, but over time, cash saving will almost certainly leave you with a loss, as inflation swallows up the value of the money you’re trying to save.

So what’s the investment answer?

Assuming you have a juicy £100,000 to invest, you do have other options. Divide that sum between what you’ll need short term, whilst locking the rest into medium term investments. Both strategies will go towards providing you with a monthly income.

Global Equity Income funds provide twice the return of cash, and corporate bond funds will generate about 50% more monthly income than cash savings. However, these come with a level of risk due to fluctuations on the stock market. The alternative? Well, crowdfunded property investment, of course!

Whilst there is always risk on investing money anywhere, we remove many of the uncertainties associated with property investment, and offer consistent, predictable returns via simple, transparent investments suitable for all levels of investor.

What’s more, at The House Crowd, we offer rates of return, both equity and P2P, that are extremely attractive. Our crowdfunded property investments typically offer 9.5% gross yields fixed for five years, or 10% or more per annum on our development properties.

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Along with offering more potential for profit, and a preferable alternative to seeing your savings fester sadly in a stagnant savings account, our model is inarguably a much more interesting and engaging way to manage your investments. The House Crowd is unique in offering both equity and peer to peer secured lending and a range of investment types and terms. This allows you to diversify whilst holding your portfolio on one, easy to manage, trackable platform.

It’s always a sensible move to get advice from an independent financial advisor before investing. A professional will be able to review your needs to ensure the portfolio you choose is of the best quality to offer you the best returns. However, whichever way you swing it, we’re confident that our crowdfunded property investment strategy is the way forward to seeing your money grow!


Your Guide to Investing in North Cheshire

Home to the eponymous Golden Triangle, North Cheshire is among the most affluent and, some may say, ostentatious, areas of the North West of England.

It’s fair to say that the pretty countryside towns and villages of North Cheshire have risen to fame over the last few years as a result of their popularity with celebrities, notably footballers. However, beyond the customised Range Rovers and paparazzi, beneath the glitz and glamour, remains a uniquely English charm. It is the natural beauty, as much as the coveted postcodes, that make North Cheshire such a desirable place to live.

Of course, the question we are – as always – seeking to answer, is whether North Cheshire is a good place to invest your money.

There’s no denying that Cheshire is a prime location, whichever way you cut it. Even away from the mansions and gated communities, the housing market here remains buoyant. Developers still view it as a hotspot, not simply because of its reputation, but because of its juxtaposition of achingly beautiful English countryside with the vibrant metropolitan buzz of nearby northern powerhouse, Manchester. Manchester itself is rocketing in popularity, with significant investment into the city’s infrastructure (including substantial development work on Manchester Airport). For a more in-depth look at Manchester’s prowess, check out our guide to investing in Manchester city.

Those who come to live here do so because they know that they are getting the best of both worlds. A place that’s perfect for raising a family or escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, in close proximity to the leading business centres of the UK outside of London.

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In this article, we will be looking at a few of the most desirable towns and villages that make up the Golden Triangle, with the aim of helping you decide if investing in North Cheshire is right for you. The ‘Triangle’ is generally considered to consist primarily of Prestbury, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow, with Altrincham, Bowdon and Hale also getting plenty of golden attention. Let’s begin at the top of the Golden Triangle, with footballers’ favourite, Prestbury.


Arguably less ostentatious than nearby Alderley Edge, Prestbury is, nonetheless, home to an impressive list of famous residents.

Of course, there’s Wayne and Coleen Rooney, who’ve been living in their mansion in Prestbury since 2005. There’s Peter Crouch and his model wife Abbey Clancey, who rent a £3 million home in Prestbury. Along with a string of other footballers, Prestbury is also home Freddy Flintoff, former Slade frontman Noddy Holder and comedian Paddy McGuiness.

Yes, it is one of the most sought-after and expensive places to live outside London. But is there any room for property investors to take a slice of Prestbury pie?

Well, the truth is that there isn’t a great deal on the market in Prestbury. Of the twenty properties sold in March 2016, eleven were detached houses averaging just over £800,000 in value. Just one flat was sold, two semi-detached and six terraced properties.

Prestbury Property


Prestbury Property



Prestbury Property

What does this mean? Well, in short, you’ll have to look very closely to get a look-in at anything worth your investment, in an area where the highest proportion of properties on the market are over £1 million. Nonetheless, if you’re able to snap up something on the lower end of the market, it should certainly make a very quick turnaround. In July 2016, terraced properties spent an average of just 38 days on the market, with three bed properties proving good fodder for a quick sale.


Prestbury Property


Prestbury Property


Prestbury Property

Prestbury Property

Alderley Edge

A quaint village characterised by lovely Tudor-beamed cottages and a delightful rose coloured stone church, Alderley Edge is, in essence, the epitome of an English rural village. Don’t be fooled by the rows of designer boutiques, florists and delicatessens. Alderley Edge may be WAG-central, but it’s as charming as they come.

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As with anywhere, charming does come with a price tag. Take Whitebarn Road, for example, where the average property price is well over the £2 million mark. This is among the highest value streets in Cheshire, and the rest of Alderley Edge isn’t too far off.

Alderley Edge Property

Alderley Edge Property

Alderely Edge Property

Alderley Edge Property

Alderley Edge Property


And is there a rental market in Alderley Edge? You might think this super posh town was almost exclusively the domain of the owner-occupier, but there are rental properties around. As such, we’ve done our rental market charts for you:

Alderley Edge Property

Alderley Edge Property

Alderley Edge Property

Aldereley Edge Property

Alderley Edge Property


Altrincham’s town website describes its population as being “made up of an exceptionally high number of professionals, captains of industry and homeowners. The prosperity of the town and its inhabitants are such as to make it almost unparalleled outside the south east of England.” Clearly, Altrincham is pretty proud of itself.

As well as being impossibly posh (we’re going to assume you’re getting the picture by now), Altrincham is also a very well appointed town in terms of transport networks to Manchester city, retail, leisure, schools, and – crucially for us – property.

A 2014 report by Halifax claimed that Altrincham residents pay a whopping £2,227 per square metre for their homes. Things certainly haven’t eased off since then, so you can pretty much expect prices to be as high as elsewhere in the Golden Triangle area. Still, it’s not as expensive as London, where (in 2014) a square metre of property weighed in at over £5,000, and in Kensington and Chelsea, over £10,000. Anyway, here are the charts:

Altrincham Property





Altrincham Property

Altrincham Property

Altrincham Property

Altrincham Property

A quick word about transport: Altrincham is prime territory for those successful types commuting into the city. Situated on the A56, there is easy road access to Manchester, as well as national motorway routes. Integrated rail, bus and metrolink interchange are designed seamlessly to run into Manchester and direct to its mainline rail stations, which make journeys to London pleasingly straightforward for professionals taking regular trips to the capital. Just fifteen minutes from the centre of town, Manchester Airport is within very easy reach, too.

And here’s those all-important rental market charts:

Altrincham Property


Altrincham Property



Hale – (home to The House Crowd HQ) is situated within the borough of Altrincham, and is bounded by Bowdon, Hale Barns and the River Bollin (which flows through most of these towns). About nine miles south west of the city of Manchester, it’s got great transport links via the M6, M56 and M602, as well as the integral public transport networks. Again, it’s ideal territory for commuters.

Though new developments are thin on the ground, the existing properties in Hale are characteristically beautiful. Ignoring the top heavy market, and focusing more on the affordable, there are terraced houses and semis available for prices that parallel those of the south east of England. You can also pick up a luxury penthouse for under £300,000, and there are a selection of retirement flats around, too.

It’s a town that is as – if not more – out of reach for most buyers. However, as the rental market continues to expand and push owner-occupancy rates down, investors could benefit from the promising rental yields to be expected in such an in-demand location.


Very similar to Hale, Wilmslow and the rest, Bowdon also comprises the small village of Dunham Massey (which is owned by the National Trust), Bowdon Vale and Warburton.

It’s home to a relatively small population of just under 9,000, and is a much quieter, more rural-feeling village than some of the others covered in this article. Most of Bowdon is owned by the National Trust, as part of the Dunham Massey Estate, which comprises the stunning Dunham Massey Hall and deer park, which dates back to 1616.

But what of the property market? Here are the charts:

Bowdon Property






Bowdon Property

Bowdon Property

Bowdon Property

Bowdon Property

And again, here come the Bowdon rental market charts:

Bowdon Property




Bowdon Property

Bowdon Property


Just three miles from Manchester Airport, and ten miles south of Manchester centre, Wilmslow is yet another North Cheshire town prime for commuters to the city. Home to roughly 30,000 residents, including the obligatory scattering of celebs, there’s little to suggest Wilmslow is anything less than on a par with its neighbouring affluent towns.

That being said, the property market here feels a lot more fluid. There are significantly more flats, terraced properties and semis on the market (as of July 2016), even if the prices are characteristically steep. Rental yields are, however, promising.

Wilmslow Property

wilmslow property

Wilmslow Property


Wilmslow 4

wilmslow property

wilmslow property

…and, once more, the Wilmslow rental market:

wilmslow property

wilmslow property

wilmslow property


The Golden Triangle and satellite villages of North Cheshire are, as we have seen, prime real estate territory. As one of the most desirable locations in the United Kingdom, the area comes with a correspondingly high price tag.

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As such, those seeking an opportunity for buy-to-let investment are likely to benefit from decent rental yields across the North Cheshire area. There is no sign of interest dropping off on the owner-occupier front, either. As more professionals flock to Manchester to take advantage of its ever-growing influence on the economy, there will continue to be demand for properties for the most affluent.

So, should you consider investing in North Cheshire? If you can, then it looks promising. As always, we must tell you that nothing is certain, and we cannot guarantee that your investment will pay off. Nonetheless, for those interested in getting involved in the higher end of the market, or taking advantage of opportunities on mid-range properties in the area, things could be very fruitful.

HC Developments – the development arm of The House Crowd – is currently building 4 luxury apartments in a prime position in Alderley Edge and 3 detached houses in Prestbury. We have recently bought another piece of land for 5 large detached houses and are actively seeking more land buying/ development opportunities.

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Your Guide To Investing in Central Manchester

Manchester has come of age, and can now proudly boast the title of Capital of the North. It is a city rich in modern cultural vibrance as much as historical heritage; a magnet for the creative, forward-thinking minds of the future. Manchester is a bona fide example of a 21st century city, on course to continue with the exciting growth we’ve seen there in recent years. As such, the Manchester property market is an absolute hotbed of money-making potential.

Another reason to invest in Manchester in particular? By 2050, it is estimated that a staggering half of all households will live in cities. Homes are set to become smaller and smarter, whilst cities – of course – offer the facilities, entertainment and lifestyle options that are simply not available in the suburbs.

Map of Central Manchester


So, with all that as an introduction, let’s get stuck into looking deeper about why investing in property in Manchester could be the ideal investment decision.

Regeneration and Investment

There are so many regeneration projects either in progress or on the horizon in central Manchester at present, it’s hard to know where to begin. But we’ll do our best.

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Located within a strategically valuable gateway location in south western Manchester city centre, the Cornbrook Hub is situated close to the A56 Bridgewater Way, with good access to Pomona Island (part of the development site), the Bridgewater Canal, and with the Cornbrook Metrolink station central to the site. This Metrolink station is key to the city’s public transport network, and therefore vital to the success of this development area.

Right now, despite its great location, Cornbrook is an underutilised part of the city, occupied by open storage yards and scrap metal merchants. It’s these that are detracting from the massive potential of the area, and making it incompatible with recently regenerated St George’s Island, and new proposals for Pomona Island. In short, there is a huge amount that this area of the city could offer. You can see the full regeneration proposal here.

Development talks are still in progress, with some dissent still coming from campaigners objecting to development on the natural space on Pomona Island, and negotiations with businesses unwilling to move from their offices within the proposed development site.

Nonetheless, all signs point to a strong future for the area, and it’s likely to be a prime location to consider for early investment opportunities. Watch Cornbook closely.

Medieval Quarter

Set within close proximity to the city’s retail hub, near to the Salford city border, the Medieval Quarter is a culturally and historically rich area of the city. Home to both Chetham’s School of Music and Manchester Cathedral, as well as the National Football Museum, new developments within the area are promising.

Not only is the destination itself prime territory, it’s also an ideal route to the main business sector and retail core of the city. Proposed new developments will expand on the green space and tree coverage in the area, and seek to drive the Medieval Quarter’s attractiveness to potential new residents. Find out more about the Medieval Quarter proposals here.

East Manchester

East Manchester, specifically the areas of Ancoats, New Islington, Beswick, Miles Platting, Openshaw, Clayton, Newton Heath and Gorton, has undergone substantial redevelopment in recent years.

It was the part of Manchester most severely affected by the industrial decline of the 1970s, in which over half the area’s manufacturing jobs were lost. House values subsequently plummeted. As a result, the area spent a long time in a state of impoverishment.

Things, however, are now on the up. Huge investment in the creation of family neighbourhoods – involving the construction of over 5,000 new homes, and the improvement of over 6,700 – is now paying off. Three new shopping centres, two new health centres and seven children’s centres have appeared, as well as 1,300 local companies supported by business advisors, and nearly 200,000 square metres of prime commercial floor space has been built.

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In the Ancoats area, design-led apartment blocks have been integrated into well thought-out and sustainable neighbourhoods. Though most have been snapped up already, construction is still going on, so it’s worth registering an interest, particularly if the words ‘edgy’ and ‘progressive’ appeal to you.

Similarly, New Islington is worth a mention. Located within Ancoats, Urban Splash (the renowned Manchester property developers) have been behind the creation of this brand new community. They brought in avant garde architect Will Alsop to design the housing stock, which is aimed at families (there’s a lovely, fresh ‘free’ primary school here), both rental and owner-occupier.

As a result, East Manchester is now quickly becoming an area renowned for its business prowess. It shows promise in becoming a significant employment location, with successful companies choosing to locate themselves in the new and thriving area.

Manchester Area Facts

New Bailey, Salford

Spanning 17.5 hectares (that’s about 21 football pitches, to you and me), the £650 million development on the banks of the Irwell was given the go-ahead in 2015.

90 rental apartments in the Ordsall 11-storey tower block (200 metres from Salford Central station), a mix of cafes, bars and restaurants, outdoor events space and a new public square, form just part of the development.

A further 100 apartments have already been built on the site of the former Vimto factory, and 372 flats within a 15 storey ‘Manhattan-style’ block on Woden Street are in progress. 580 apartments, boutique studios and townhouses are proposed for the £75m Adelphi Wharf scheme. 36 townhouses with rooftop gardens have received planning permission overlooking the river.

All in, over 1,000 new homes, along with hotels, shops, leisure facilities and restaurants are expected in New Bailey. This is estimated to bring 11,000 jobs to the area.

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Just as with most aspects of Manchester right now, the city has ambitious plans for the future of its transport networks. There’s a long term vision in place (see video below), but they’re working in five year increments to keep improvements moving constantly into the future.

Greater Manchester’s Transport strategy is focused on devolution of powers and funding from central Government, pushing for greater local determination of policies, funding and delivery. In short, it has big ideas, and wants to be in control of making them happen. That explains why their plans reach forward as far as 2040.

It’s all very positive and forward thinking, with key emphasis on supporting sustainable economic and population growth. You can read the full Greater Manchester Transport Strategy report here.

Demographics and Work

We’ve got some cracking stats on demographic data for Manchester city. Just for ease, we’ve laid them out visually for you:

Demographic Data on Central Manchester Residents


Manchester Residents Gender Figures



We also investigated the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, and found that the median weekly wage for residents of the city of Manchester was £392 in 2015, just shy of the median for the north west as a whole (£401). The median figure for the whole of England in 2015 was £430.

Employment in Central Manchester

Some more data for you to chew on:

  • The 2011 census showed Manchester to be the fastest-growing city in the UK, in terms of population
  • Greater Manchester is home to more multi-millionaires than anywhere outside London, with the highest levels attributed within the City of Manchester itself
  • Manchester rates 7th in the 2016 mid-year Quality of Life index for Northern Europe, behind Edinburgh (1st), Copenhagen (2nd), Reykjavik (3rd), Helsinki (4th), Stockholm (5th, and Tallinn (6th). London, by comparison, is 12th. It is also ranked 6th in the UK
  • Manchester is rated second most globally influential city in the UK after London
  • Research at the University of Manchester is ranked the third most powerful in the UK, behind Cambridge and Oxford
  • Along with London, Manchester featured in the top 30 cities in the world for investment. Of the top 30, Manchester was 12th for the highest proportion of urban economy derived from financial and business services

Quality of Life in Northern Europe

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Manchester City Property Market

Manchester City Property Asking Prices

We think we’ve made it fairly clear how highly sought-after the City of Manchester is as a residential area. But let’s look a little deeper into what an investment in Manchester property could mean.

The 2011 census tells us that, at that time, 37.8% of households were owner-occupied, and 28.4% were privately rented. Subsequent data suggests that the rental figure has ballooned considerably since 2011, whilst owner-occupancies have decreased. Council and social housing made for 13.5% and 18.1% respectively. Just over 30% resided in terraced properties, though this figure has since decreased.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows Manchester to have the greatest percentage point increase in proportion of flats sold between Q4 of 1995 to Q2 of 2015. Flats sold in the city have risen from 10.1% in 1995 to 35.6% of all property sales in 2015. This equates to a 25.6% increase.

Investing in Central Manchester: Properties on the Market

Looking at the number of properties on the market at present, compared to 2015, we can see that there has been a significant drop-off. There are 27% fewer properties of all types on the market in July 2016 than there were this time last year. Nonetheless, in keeping with the data from the Office for National Statistics, the highest proportion continue to be flats, with 1471 up for sale in July 2016. This equates to 19% fewer than last year.

Manchester Property Market - Time to Sell


Manchester Property Market - Time to Sell


Manchester Property Market - Time to Sell

Of course, where there are fewer properties on the market, demand is high on those that are for sale. From our information, in the period May to July 2016, it seems terraced houses, and one bedroom properties, take the least amount of time to sell. Interestingly, however, when we look at value, it’s the £400,000 to £500,000 bracket that is snatched up quickest.

The Rental Market

When we look at July 2016’s data on the rental market in Manchester, we see that the most popular properties for rent are in the two bedroom category. They fly off the market within an average of 51 days, and there are nearly 2000 on the market at time of writing. Tenant occupancy rates in Manchester are at over 97%.

Why so popular? Well, there are a number of factors at play making rental the primary accommodation option for residents in Manchester. Firstly, the lack of lending for mortgages, and a decline in social housing. Then there is the shifting employment landscape and continuing immigration. Divorce rates are higher than ever, and (completely unrelatedly, of course) people are delaying marriage for longer. Finally, there’s the rise in student numbers.

Demand for high quality, purpose-built student accommodation is higher than ever. Students, it seems, aren’t happy to fester in mould-encrusted digs anymore. We won’t mention anything about millennial entitlement issues here. But the result is that Manchester is providing property that meets the demands of the city’s valuable student population, and with over 80,000 students arriving every year, this is a lucrative market.

Manchester Rental Market Figures


What’s more, a large number of students enjoy Manchester so much that they stay on after they’ve graduated, moving up to a house share or city centre apartment as they make the transition from study into the workplace.

In the city centre, in the rental market in particular, the highest demand can be found in those smart, European style open plan apartments and converted warehouses. Even more so, high quality micro-living apartments, and those boasting new techie smart home features. These are the sort of properties young professionals rising up through the economic ranks are after, and the city centre is where they want to make their home.

To Conclude: Should I Invest in Manchester?

Of course, we can’t tell you to invest anywhere. We cannot make assurances, and markets can always drop as much as they can grow. Having said that, however, all signs point to a glittering future for Manchester city centre.

Regeneration is reaching deep into every crevice of Manchester, with billions being invested in the continued growth of this city. Great minds are seeing the sheer potential Manchester has to offer, and for those savvy enough to jump on the right opportunities as they come up, there is a sense of the property market here being ripe for the picking.

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