Latimer Homes launches high-spec apartments and townhouses in the heart of thriving Salford Quays, home of MediaCityUK

 

The UK's fastest-growing economy outside of London, Manchester in North-West England offers the best of modern city living at more affordable prices than the British capital. The former textile powerhouse is today best known for its sports and culture scenes, but a thriving economy and strong and stable property returns are making Manchester a compelling option for overseas property investment in Europe.

As employment, educational and social opportunities continue to draw professionals and students to Manchester from far and wide, the supply of new housing is struggling to meet the high demand, driving up prices and creating opportunities for developers and investors. Property values in Manchester have grown by 19 percent since 2016, according to the Land Registry, and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is projecting a further 17.1% increase in the next five years, with consistent growth of 3 to 3.5 percent per annum in sales and rental prices.

Manchester's urban regeneration is creating opportunities for developers to address this shortfall and add more homes to sought-after areas, particularly in the popular waterfront district Salford Quays. New developments such as Amplify Apartments by Latimer Homes are providing contemporary homes within walking distance of local attractions and a short tram ride from the city center.

 

Thriving waterfront community

Salford Quays can trace its history back to the Victorian period when it was one of the UK's busiest commercial docks. Following the closure of the docks, this prime real estate close to the city center was transformed into a fashionable business and leisure district, incorporating notable cultural venues such as The Lowry Theatre and Imperial War Museum, watersports centers and media hub MediaCityUK, the new home of the BBC and ITV Studios.

Salford Quays is less than 15 minutes from Manchester city center and business parks, making it a convenient address for living and working in the city. World-class facilities and international connections at nearby Manchester Airport have convinced many leading global brands, including Google, Amazon, Adidas and 80 of the FTSE 100, to establish regional offices in Manchester. With more than 1.4 million people working in the Greater Manchester area across sectors ranging from legal and accounting to fashion, media and retail, the city's diverse economy is projected to grow by 2 percent per annum, above the UK average.

Manchester is also a major university city, where over 100,000 students attend 10 notable institutions including the local Salford University, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan. With a 59 percent student retention rate, most young people prefer to continue living, working and renting in Manchester after graduating, contributing to the steady demand for well-connected property.

 

Riviera lifestyle

Amplify Apartments at Salford Quays combines scenic waterfront living with access to the best Manchester has to offer via convenient tram and road links. Buyers have a choice of one, two or three-bedroom apartments and duplex townhouses, with a help-to-buy scheme and Shared Ownership options offering a choice for every budget.

All residences are appointed with high-spec fittings including integrated Bosch appliances, connected media services and full-height windows making the most of natural light and views over The Quays from the higher floors. More views can be enjoyed from the private residents' rooftop garden, while a hotel-style concierge in the entrance lobby can take care of all requests.

 

For more information about Amplify Apartments and other residential properties in Manchester and the UK, click here  or contact JLL International Properties at +852 3759 0909, irp.hk@ap.jll.com or Whatsapp: +852 9316 3620.

23 Jul 2020

Showcase scheme for Old Kent Road regeneration brings warehouse apartments and flexible workspaces to London Bridge area

 

Overseas property buyers looking for an entry point to Central London could do worse than Bermondsey. Walking distance from London Bridge and the iconic sights and sounds of the city, this up-and-coming area on the south bank of the River Thames has been name-dropped by The Sunday Times as one of the best places to live in London. There are plenty of reasons why.

Like many neighborhoods along the river, Bermondsey was a thriving manufacturing quarter until London's economy shifted and the industrial landmarks fell into disrepair. Ongoing urban renewal projects such as the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan are giving these old warehouses a new lease on life, reborn as fashionable restaurants, art spaces and luxury apartments tailor-made for professionals and students who want to live close to the action.

The landmark residential scheme of the Old Kent Road regeneration is London Square Bermondsey. This new neighborhood is bringing warehouse-style living, workspaces and art studios to SE1 in a mix of new builds and refurbished heritage buildings dating back to the 19th century. The latest phase to enter the market is a collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments on the site of the former Branston Pickle Factory, offering spectacular views over the London skyline.

 

 

Industrial quarter to foodie mecca

A stroll down Bermondsey Street will reveal why this district has become a favorite of Londoners in recent years. Cosmopolitan even by London standards, the streets are lined with gourmet restaurants, chic cocktail bars, artisan emporiums and cultural venues such as the White Cube Gallery and Fashion and Textile Museum. This culminates with the Bermondsey Street Festival, which takes over the street with vendors and entertainment for one day each September.

Close proximity to London Bridge means famous landmarks such as the Shard, London Eye and Big Ben are within walking distance, as are the business facilities of London Bridge City and More London, home of leading financial services firms and other global businesses. Students and families with children will also find some of London's most prestigious schools and universities in the local area, including King's College London and South Bank University.

From London Bridge Underground station, it's just six minutes to Canary Wharf or 10 minutes to the City of London (a.k.a. the Square Mile), London's two major finance and business districts. Bond Street shopping is less than 10 minutes away and it takes a little over 20 minutes to catch international connections at London City Airport. Thames Clipper river taxis from London Bridge City Pier offer a scenic alternative for destinations on both sides of the river.

 

 

Vibrant new neighborhood

The premier residential development in the area, London Square Bermondsey will become the heart of the new community in the new decade. Through the vision of architects AHMM, the mixed-use buildings celebrate Bermondsey's past while updating it to fit modern sensibilities, connected to the surrounding area by public squares and walkways.

The Pickle Factory epitomizes this blending of industrial heritage with contemporary style, from its grand entrance to the open-plan warehouse-style apartments on the upper floors. Critall-style windows frame iconic views over the City skyline and Canary Wharf, taking in the Walkie Talkie building and the Shard, while Siemens appliances, high-end electronics and a choice of color palettes set the scene for luxury city living.

Residents also have access to an exclusive suite of amenities housed in the lower floors of The Pickle Factory and other buildings across the development. These include a private meeting room, Beach Garden, fully-equipped gym and a hotel-style concierge. The development will also incorporate commercial and creative spaces, including new premises of Tannery Arts to support local artists.

A select number of units are now available for overseas property investors in Hong Kong and other locations. For more information about this opportunity and other residential properties in London, contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909, irp.hk@ap.jll.com or Whatsapp: +852 9316 3620.

09 Jun 2020

Less than 30 minutes from London, Reading is an increasingly popular alternative for global business and investment

As London property continues to price out businesses and professionals, the nearby town of Reading is growing in prominence as a place to live, work and play, not just to commute. A high-tech town surrounded by countryside, with commercial and residential districts in walking distance, Reading offers many of the positives of big city living without the negatives.

More affordable house prices and rents, a booming digital sector, multibillion-pound investments and a top UK university are seeing Reading's young and educated population grow rapidly. Research by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) published in May 2020 found that 45 percent of Reading households are young professionals who are privately renting, the largest age demographic being 25 to 34 – prime segments for residential developers and landlords.

Reading has shown consistent price growth for the last decade and JLL forecasts higher sales prices and rental growth over the next five years compared to London and the UK average. Helping to drive this growth are the imminent arrival of Crossrail, improving commuting time to London, the proposed direct rail link to Heathrow Airport, and other high-profile investments aimed at boosting economic growth and quality of life.

A number of residential developments are already under construction in Reading to capitalize on the anticipated surge in demand as the decade goes on, none more significant than Huntley Wharf by leading UK developer Berkeley Homes. Once complete, this new waterfront quarter will bring 765 homes, more than 13,000 square feet of commercial facilities and new public spaces to a central location just minutes from the new Crossrail station and business hubs.

Explaining the appeal of Reading, Berkeley Homes Managing Director (Oxford & Chilterns), Elkie Russell, said: “Reading has so much to offer residents, employers and investors alike: the UK's largest tech cluster; home to 13 of the world's top 30 global brands; excellent employment opportunities with one of the highest wages in the UK outside of London; superb transport connections; outstanding education; to name but a few.”

 

The UK's Silicon Valley

Reading's growing reputation as an exciting hub of innovation has given rise to the Silicon Valley comparison. The region is home to the highest concentration of digital business in the UK, where giants like Microsoft and Oracle rub shoulders with countless startups at high-tech business centers, and its perpetually youthful talent pool is supported by local Reading University.

The news that the university's Thames Valley Science Park may soon house the largest purpose-built film studio in the UK could also see Reading become an outpost of Hollywood by 2022, bringing more jobs and attention to the area. This is also the current opening date for Crossrail services operating from the new £900m Reading Station, which will see Reading functionally become a suburb of the capital at less than an hour from Central London.

 

New riverside neighborhood

The mixed-use Huntley Wharf development is part of Reading's transformation, redeveloping almost seven acres along the River Kennet with new public and commercial spaces and residential apartments targeting young professionals and foreign investors. Residents at Huntley Wharf will also benefit from private amenities such as a concierge, gym, co-working studio and podium gardens, as well as having direct access to the on-site stores and restaurants.

Residences are spread across three main buildings and range from 446 square foot single-bed units to 1,057 square foot three-bedroom apartments, along with a number of generously sized duplexes and triplexes. While the exterior architecture of Huntley Wharf is inspired by the site's industrial heritage, the interiors offer a choice of four contemporary color palettes. Most apartments feature a balcony or terrace with views over the river or the Reading skyline.

The first completions at Huntley Wharf are scheduled for Q1 2022, in time for peak Crossrail demand. A select number of units are now available for overseas property buyers at the three main apartment blocks of Bakers Yard South, Bakers Yard West and Discovery House West, with prices starting from £307,500 (HK$2.91m).

 

For more information about Huntley Wharf and other residential properties in the UK, please contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909, irp.hk@ap.jll.com or Whatsapp +852 9316 3620.

 

 

 

04 Jun 2020

Berkeley Homes is bringing a brand-new collection of apartments to Reading – the economic capital of the Thames Valley.  Huntley Wharf is a new landmark development boasting a prime town centre location, overlooking the River Kennet. An expansive new collection of high specification homes which is set to significantly enhance the property landscape.

Huntley Wharf is one of the UK’s most exciting residential investment opportunities to launch this year – the prime south facing riverside setting is just a few minutes’ walk from Reading station. Many of the new homes will feature a balcony or terrace to maximise the south facing aspect and riverside views.

Set in nearly 7 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds, the development will offer over 700 homes in three main buildings, enhanced by a host of proposed amenities including a restaurant, coffee shop, convenience store, day nursery, concierge, resident’s gym, Riverside Square, Riverside Walk and co-working studio.

 

New phase launch

This new collection of apartments features distinctive designs and layouts, broadening the style and range of properties currently available to buy in Reading.  As well as traditional style 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, larger two bedroom properties with a main bathroom, ensuite and a bonus study are also available. This release also includes a number of generously sized duplex apartments, plus two riverfront 3 bedroom triplexes with flexible living accommodation spread across 3 floors.

The new homes are located across the main apartment blocks at Huntley Wharf, namely Bakers Yard South, Bakers Yard West and Discovery House West.

 

Superb investment opportunity

Huntley Wharf offers a truly impressive opportunity for the smart investor. It is set at the heart of a town undergoing rapid transformation, attracting investment by global companies.  Plans have recently been submitted by US company Blackhall Studios and the University of Reading to develop the “largest purpose-built film studio” at Thames Valley Science Park. The move would "bring major Hollywood film productions to the UK" and create up to 3,000 jobs. The company has produced movies such as Venom, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Jumanji:The Next Level. £500m a year is projected to be invested in the complex, which would produce roughly five to seven movies a year and create 1,500 jobs on-site. (1)

 

Prime business location

Reading is ranked amongst the top 25 most attractive European cities for direct foreign investment.  It has the highest concentration of digital businesses in the UK, and following the structural growth in technology, Reading is well placed for long term growth opportunities.

Latest research has identified Reading in the top 5 ‘best broadband hotspots for working from home’ (2) and Reading as one of the top 5 ‘Cities of the Future’ - UK innovation economy and best bet for future growth – Centre for Cities 2020 (3) .

Living and working in Reading brings with it many of the benefits of the big city experience without the drawbacks - with the added advantages of beautiful countryside and the majestic River Thames on its doorstep.

This prosperous town is undergoing major transformation, improvements include the evolution of The Oracle shopping centre, the £900m Station upgrade and Crossrail. 

 

Buoyant Property Market

Reading is a prime example of a buoyant market where property prices have been steadily rising over the last 10 years. Steve Woodford, Managing Director, of local lettings agent, Haslams, comments “Property values in Reading have experienced consistent growth over the last decade, with town centre apartments rising in value by 75% over the last five years. With Crossrail now imminent and talks of a new fast, direct rail link to Heathrow, we believe that real estate in Reading will continue to offer a solid investment proposition.”

Elkie Russell, Managing Director, Berkeley Homes (Oxford & Chilterns), comments: “Reading has so much to offer residents, employers and investors alike: the UK’s largest tech cluster; home to 13 of the world’s top 30 global brands; excellent employment opportunities with one of the highest wages in the UK outside of London; superb transport connections; outstanding education; to name but a few.”

 

Rental market – one of the best in the UK

According to Haslams, typical rental returns in Reading are between 4% and up to 4.5%. Haslams let between 70 and 100 properties every month; void periods are minimal and usually properties are let within one week of being marketed. Reading’s population of 230,000 continues to grow and is set to continue for the foreseeable future particularly with the arrival of Crossrail - meaning that demand from tenants is here to stay.

 

The Location

Reading is located 40 miles west of central London and 30 miles from Heathrow Airport. Huntley Wharf is just 0.7 miles from Reading Central Station, and to get from Reading to London Paddington takes under 30 minutes. The imminent Crossrail will allow commuters to travel to London Bond Street in 54 minutes; Canary Wharf in 68 minutes.

 

For more information of Huntley Wharf and other residential properties in UK, please contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.

18 May 2020

Commercial and residential projects are opening up one of West London's most productive areas

 

Bordered by affluent London areas such as Chelsea and Kensington, Fulham offers the high life without the high property prices. Over the years, this leafy district has been favored by royalty, rock stars and other tastemakers, and today it's popular with the C-suite too – boasting the highest number of company directors per capita in the United Kingdom.

Home to the Virgin group, Disney and other global firms in London, as well as a major transport hub in the West, Fulham property is in high demand by professionals. The working age population increased by 13 percent between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, while the elderly population declined by 5 percent. Fulham is also popular with students and families with children, who appreciate its convenient access to world-class universities and outstanding local schools.

Multimillion-pound investment in public spaces, commercial facilities and residential schemes is making Fulham an even more desirable place to live, work and invest in London, particularly around the historic King's Road.

 

Royal address

 

A rich history is a given for any major street in London, but the King's Road has special royal approval, originally being the private road of King Charles II when he visited his palace at Kew. By the 1960s, the King's Road took on very different associations at the heart of the Swinging London scene, home to influential fashion designers and frequented by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, before the next decade saw it became an epicenter of punk.

Today, the King's Road is known a destination for sophisticated shopping, dining and culture in West London. Running for two miles through Fulham and Chelsea, global brands share the thoroughfare with fashion and cosmetics boutiques, antique stores and jewelers. Duke of York Square hosts a weekly market and is lined by restaurants and cafes, while fine dining reservations at the prestigious Bluebird and The Ivy in Chelsea Garden need to be made in advance.

For cultured experiences, the Saatchi Gallery and Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square give platforms to the most exciting and challenging contemporary artists and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show brings the world's biggest flower show to the area each spring.

 

Educational excellence

 

London's major universities are among the highest performing in the world, and many are within easy reach of a Fulham address. These include global top 20 universities Imperial College London and University College London, top 10 UK university King's College London and specialist institutions such as the London School of Economics.

Fulham itself is home to several primary and secondary schools rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted, including Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green and St Paul's Girls' School in Brook Green, making Fulham a popular choice for families renting and buying in London. With three London Underground stations, an Overground station and a nearby bus terminal at Hammersmith Broadway, Fulham property is well connected to the rest of London, the wider UK and international airports.

 

Regenerating Fulham

 

The regeneration of Fulham is multi-faceted, involving improvements to existing public and commercial amenities and the creation of new spaces, business facilities and residential neighborhoods. These improvements aim to serve the growing population (which increased by 10 percent overall from 2001 to 2011), further develop Fulham's potential as a commercial hub, and attract more investment to the area.

As part of the Fulham Riverside Regeneration Area, developer St William is creating 1,800 homes and 100,000 square feet of commercial space at King's Road Park, a six-acre site between the King's Road and the River Thames that's targeting overseas property investors. For more information about this project and other residential properties in London, click here  or contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

03 Apr 2020

The four-season resort development is exempt from normal restrictions on overseas property investment in Switzerland

 

From synthetic snow to wellness, leading ski resorts around the world are coming up with creative solutions to the threats posed by climate change. For one resort village in the Swiss Alps, this has included breaking long-standing rules on foreign real estate transactions by inviting overseas buyers to invest in exclusive apartments and chalets.

The Lex Koller law places severe restrictions on overseas property investment and sales in Switzerland, which normally require special permission, lengthy holding periods and other barriers. However, in 2007 the Swiss federal government ruled to make the Andermatt Swiss Alps resort exempt from these restrictions, as well as from the Lex Weber Second Home Law that enforces strict limits on residential construction.

This presents overseas buyers with a unique opportunity to acquire their own holiday home or investment property in the Swiss Alps, where demand and prices for luxury apartments have skyrocketed in recent years. As well as being part of the popular Andermatt–Sedrun–Disentis ski route, Andermatt Swiss Alps is growing a reputation as an all-season retreat with new attractions including an 18-hole championship golf course, fine dining restaurants and a year-round culture program.

 

Heart of the Swiss Alps

 

Just 90 minutes from Zurich and two hours from Milan, this charming mountain village in the Ursern Valley has been a popular winter holiday destination for centuries. Since the millennium, Andermatt has diversified into a year-round resort, following a sensitive development program that's taken care to preserve its traditional heritage and natural surroundings.

From November to May, Andermatt is thronged by skiers, snowboarders, snowshoe trekkers and other winter sports enthusiasts eager to experience the famous steep pistes and deep-snow descents of the Gemsstock. In the warmer months, golfers of all abilities can take on the 18-hole, par 72 championship course and the Alpine scenery makes a dramatic backdrop for more than 500 kilometers of hiking and cycling trails.

There's plenty to keep visitors and residents busy in the evenings too, from a world-class concert hall and other cultural venues to stores and a growing roster of food and drink options, all within walking distance in the car-free village. Andermatt is also home to the five-star deluxe hotel The Chedi Andermatt and four-star conference hotel Radisson Blu Reussen, with more hotels, apartments and chalets in the development pipeline.

 

Modern Alpine villas

 

The Andermatt Responsible campaign promotes sustainable tourism and development to help preserve the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps. All apartment buildings and hotels in the village are built in compliance with the energy-efficient MINERGIE® standard and draw their electricity and heat from renewable sources. Underground parking is available for guests arriving by road, but the village itself is kept car-free.

Overseas buyers have a choice of practical studios, spacious apartments and deluxe penthouses at Andermatt Swiss Alps. The latest buildings to enter the market are Arve Chalet Apartments, an exclusive apartment block located in the heart of the village, and Enzian Alpine Apartments, which offer private gardens and roof terraces. All residences at Andermatt blend traditional Alpine villa architecture with modern interior design and generous storage space.

International buyers will enjoy tax breaks when investing in real estate in Andermatt and can buy, sell and lease properties without restriction. Since many purchases are for investment property, Andermatt Swiss Alps offers property management services to take care of all cleaning and maintenance in owners' absence and a complete rental program to market and fill rental vacancies all year round.

 

For more information about Andermatt Swiss Alps and other residential properties in Europe, click here or contact JLL International Properties at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

19 Mar 2020

A surge in foreign transactions is expected as investors aim to beat the April 2021 deadline

 

British Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a two percent stamp duty increase for non-resident home buyers from April 2021 in the first Budget of the new Conservative government. This will affect all residential property transactions in England and Northern Ireland from next year, but not those in other UK regions. The Chancellor confirmed on Wednesday that money raised from this levy will contribute to building 6,000 new homes to help tackle the homeless issue in the UK.

An increase in stamp duty has been long anticipated, and this is lower than the three percent previously suggested in the Conservative party manifesto. Although tax increases are never popular, stamp duty on housing has proven a successful source of revenue for the government. Previous tax changes have been criticized for contributing to the slowdown of London property markets over the past few years, but the real impact on transaction volumes is unclear.

Other housing measures included in Budget 2020 were a further £12 billion and a timeline extension for the government's Affordable Homes Programme and an additional £1 billion to remove unsafe combustible cladding materials from older housing schemes. Not included was former Chancellor Sajid Javid's proposed 'mansion tax' that would have increased duties further on high-value homes.

 

How stamp duty works

 

Stamp duty on UK property increases according to value. Currently, there is no stamp duty on UK homes valued at less than £125,000 (up to £300,000 for first-time buyers). This increases up to 12 percent for homes costing more than £1.5 million and there's an additional three percent surcharge when buying a second home.

This means that, from April 2021, overseas property buyers could pay as much as 17 percent total stamp duty when buying expensive homes in England and Northern Ireland (not applicable to property in Scotland, Wales or other UK regions). Those who become UK residents after paying this surcharge may be entitled to claim a refund.

Real estate firms expect to see a surge in foreign transactions before the new tax rule comes into effect. Overseas purchases are then forecast to decline in the rest of 2021 before stabilizing again by 2022–23. At present, around 70,000 of the UK's 1.2 million annual property transactions are overseas purchases, particularly in investment hotspot London where many large-scale developments primarily target foreign buyers.

 

UK property still affordable

 

The stamp duty hike has faced criticism for potentially stifling the UK property markets just as they were beginning to recover from years of investor uncertainty. However, London will remain a competitive city by global standards even after the increase, especially in comparison to expensive alternatives such as Hong Kong, where overseas buyers pay an additional 33.3 percent tax on top of the purchase price. With foreign investors in the UK having benefited from the weakened pound in recent years, the move is seen by some as leveling the playing field for domestic buyers.

Nick Whitten, Head of UK Living Research at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), said: “The change in the rate of stamp duty for international investors was anticipated as part of the government's priority to 'level up' the distribution of wealth in the UK. However, it is vital to strike an appropriate balance in meeting this priority and enabling international investment which currently plays such a crucial role in unlocking the development of thousands of new homes in London and the UK's major regional cities.

“We welcome the delayed introduction until April 2021 to allow developers to explore options to adjust their delivery models. But time will tell what the long-term impact of the increase is, and whether it will threaten the future attractiveness of the UK and the viability of some housing schemes already in the pipeline.”

JLL forecasts moderate growth of one percent in the UK residential markets through 2020 as investor confidence slowly returns following Brexit. This is expected to increase to four percent per annum by 2022, when the more positive investment climate becomes better established.

 

For more information about residential properties in London and the United Kingdom, please contact JLL International Properties at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

13 Mar 2020

Latimer Homes' new development in booming Salford Quays is addressing the high demand for well-connected Manchester property

 

No longer in the shadow of London, Manchester is becoming a popular alternative to the British capital and gaining a reputation as one of the best places to live, work, study and invest in Europe. Making its name in textiles, today Manchester's diverse economy is second in the UK only to London and its cultural and sporting legacy is renowned worldwide. With more firms relocating to Manchester and employment growth outpacing other regional capitals, demand is high for quality housing in the northern city.

 

“When thinking of the UK's strongest property markets, Manchester continues to be in a league of its own,” said Elaine Rossall, UK head of offices research at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). “Job creation is at record levels and is spread across a range of sectors. Commercial development is increasingly catering to occupier demand and this is translating into positive, continued growth across the other property markets.”

 

Manchester house prices have grown by 19 percent on average since 2016, compared with just one percent growth in London over the same period, according to Land Registry figures. JLL forecasts a further 17 percent growth in property values over the next five years and average rental yields of five percent – twice that of London rental property. This substantial price growth is driven by the shortfall of available housing, with an estimated 55,000 properties needed to support the city's projected population growth over the next 10 years.

 

New developments in prime locations are addressing this shortfall and creating opportunities for overseas property investment in Manchester. One notable project preparing to launch internationally is Amplify Apartments, a collection of apartments and duplex townhouses at Salford Quays, Manchester's revitalized waterfront district and the home of creative hub MediaCityUK.

 

Northern powerhouse

 

With the UK economy now in the recovery phase following Brexit, Manchester's economy is forecast to grow by two percent per annum, above the national average. More than 1.4 million people work in the Greater Manchester area at 105,000 businesses, including 80 members of the FTSE 100. Salford Quays is the home of broadcasters BBC and ITV, among other household names, and less than 15 minutes from Manchester city center.

 

A packed events calendar and new restaurants, bars and cafes opening every week mean there's no danger of running out of things to do in Manchester. The Northern Quarter comes alive in the evening with live music and craft beer, while New Cathedral Street is the destination for fashion shopping and everything else can be found at Manchester Arndale, the largest inner city shopping mall in the UK. Local icons such as The Lowry art center and Old Trafford football stadium are just minutes from the city center or Salford Quays.

 

Manchester also has a sizeable student population, with more than 100,000 students attending institutions such as the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Salford. With one of the highest graduate retention rates of any UK city, many students choose to stay in Manchester permanently, maintaining long-term demand for property.

 

City living by the Quays

 

The signature new residential development of Salford Quays, Amplify Apartments combines close proximity to Manchester's finance, retail and culture districts with the serenity of waterside living. Buyers have a choice of one, two or three-bedroom apartments and townhouses designed for modern urban living. Full-height windows let natural light into the open-plan living spaces, furnished with vinyl wood effect flooring, integrated Bosch appliances in kitchens and connected media services. Residents can also make use of an onsite concierge and private rooftop garden.

 

From the apartments, it's just five minutes' walk to Salford Quays tram stop, which reaches St Peter's Square in the city center in 13 minutes. By train from Manchester Piccadilly station it's a two-hour journey to London, while international connections from Manchester Airport are just 20 minutes' drive from the apartments or less than an hour by tram, making a Manchester address convenient for global business and investment.

 

For more information about Amplify Apartments and other residential properties in Manchester, click here or contact JLL International Properties at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

09 Mar 2020

As the UK's high-speed rail network gets the green light, HS2 station areas are in the spotlight for property investment

 

After years of concern over inflating costs and timelines, the UK's proposed high-speed rail system HS2 has been given the go-ahead by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to begin construction. While not without its controversy, the rail link will significantly shorten journey times between London and major cities in the Midlands and the North. It's also expected to create thousands of jobs and to help balance the UK economy.

 

Of special interest to local and overseas property investors, anticipation for the forthcoming rail service has already had an effect on house prices for property near HS2 stations, and it's only just beginning. As the first stage of HS2 approaches completion within the decade, rising demand is expected to drive long-term growth in house prices along the route, creating a 'HS2 effect' in these areas similar to the observed Crossrail effect.

 

What is HS2?

 

Traveling at speeds up to 250mph, High Speed 2 (HS2) will shorten journeys from London to Birmingham from one hour and 21 minutes at present to just 52 minutes, according to the Department for Transport (DfT). At Birmingham, the route will split in two to reach the 'Northern powerhouse' cities of Manchester and Leeds. HS2 trains will then continue as far as Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, using existing lines.

 

As well as improving travel times, HS2 will triple the capacity of trains all along the route. The trains will be more than 1,300 feet (400 meters) long, with up to 1,100 seats per train and departures up to 14 times per hour. Originally scheduled to begin service in 2026, the first phase between London and Birmingham is now expected to open between 2028 and 2031, followed by the second phase between 2035 and 2040.

 

Economic impact

 

Along with the delays, increasing cost estimates have made HS2 divisive, its budget now exceeding £55 billion (HK$555.9bn). However, developers HS2 Ltd claim that every £1 invested in the project will yield £2.30 in benefits to the British economy. The high-speed, high-capacity rail system was influenced by the successful model of the Shinkansen in Japan, and UK cities along the network are expected to benefit in a similar way.

 

HS2 will close the gaps between city markets, businesses and skills and draw significant investment to station areas. Ever since HS2 was announced, commercial and residential development has broken records in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, with Birmingham being chosen as the new headquarters of big names such as HSBC partly on the promise of HS2.

 

Property markets

 

With the opening of HS2 still being many years away, and the UK economy recovering from Brexit uncertainty, it's not yet possible to forecast price growth for property near HS2 stations, but previous infrastructure projects can be a useful guide for investors.

 

The most relevant example is Crossrail, the high-speed rail service connecting stations across London and South East England. London property near Crossrail has increased in value by 30 percent on average, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), even with the service still more than a year away from opening. Property in HS2 locations is already showing signs of above-average capital growth, with the majority still to come.

 

As the only transport interchange serving both Crossrail and HS2, once both services are up and running, London's Old Oak Common station area offers a unique opportunity for property investors to capitalize on the high demand for well-connected property in London. The new £26 billion 'super hub' interchange will be the focal point of the UK's largest regeneration area, which will include up to 40,000 new homes, retail and commercial spaces and university campuses.

 

Among the new residential developments currently under construction near to Old Oak Common Crossrail and HS2 stations are Regency Heights, a collection of studios and one, two and three-bedroom apartments and One West Point, offering 378 residential units and inclusive amenities. Both developments are estimated to complete by Q4 2021, with units now available for overseas buyers who want to experience the HS2 effect first hand.

 

For more information about residential properties in London, please contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

17 Feb 2020

Britain's economy is playing catch-up, with upticks in house prices, investment and development activity expected following EU withdrawal

 

More than three years after the landmark 'Brexit' vote, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on Friday, January 31 with a favorable deal. While the long-term impact on the UK economy will have to wait to be seen, the short term is looking more positive than at any time since the 2016 referendum.

 

The UK property markets were among those hit hardest by Brexit uncertainty. With investors being uncertain what the future held, house prices, foreign investment and development activity underperformed. Now that Brexit has gone through, following a general election in December that secured Conservative leadership for another five years, the outlook for investors is more positive.

 

The Brexit boost has already been observed with the strengthening of the pound and Prime Central London property sales picking up at the end of 2019, according to data from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). Improvements in employment and real wage growth will help reaffirm investor confidence further in the year ahead.

 

“There's certainly been an improvement in sentiment among investors since the election late last year,” said David Rea, chief economist for EMEA at JLL. “After volumes dropped in 2019, we expect investment to rebound in 2020, particularly from overseas investors who are keen to exploit London's yield arbitrage over other major European cities.”

 

Bright new decade

Even before the Brexit agreement was signed, January saw a notable rise in UK real estate transactions compared to the same time last year, as home buyers and investors sought to secure properties at current price levels before the anticipated growth spurt. Supply also increased as more sellers put their properties on the market, with an increase in new housing starts also expected.

 

JLL forecasts moderate growth across all regions of the UK for most of 2020 as investors and developers bide their time watching the markets cautiously. Growth is expected to accelerate in the final months of the year as the more positive investment climate becomes clear and the UK negotiates its new trade agreement with Europe, bringing an end to the era of uncertainty.

 

Once the nature of the UK's future relationship with the EU and other territories becomes clear, JLL predicts house prices to grow from 1% per annum in 2020 to 4% in 2022. More than 1.3 million transactions per year are expected by 2022, the slower recovery in development activity maintaining high demand.

 

With Britain's urban population set to increase by 2.5 million over the next four years, demand will be highest in towns and cities, particularly for student and multifamily homes. Other trends expected to characterize the decade are high demand for affordable housing, rental properties as people delay starting families until later in life, and elderly housing, with a quarter of the population being aged over 65 by 2030.

 

Fastest growing regions

Most areas of the UK are set to benefit from the newfound Brexit certainty, some more than others. Besides investment favorite London, the strongest performing regions are expected to be cities in the East of England, Yorkshire & The Humber and North West England, the comparative affordability of these regions offering more room for growth.

 

London's recovery will be strengthened by the capital's expanding digital sectors and its ability to nurture talent, as the home of more high-ranking universities than any other city in the world. With population growth of 100,000 annually, demand is consistently high for London property, particularly in the historic neighborhoods of Prime Central London and areas around Crossrail stations, London's new high-speed rail service that's currently scheduled to begin in 2021.

 

The Prime Central London property markets are the most expensive in the UK, but also offer some of the most lucrative investment opportunities, with strong performance in Q4 2019. JLL expects this fresh momentum to continue through 2020 as buyers and sellers return to a more liberated market. The Prime Central London lettings market also recorded its highest annual rental growth for seven years, due to the high demand for well-connected property in the capital.

 

For more information about residential properties in London and the United Kingdom, please contact JLL International Residential at +852 3759 0909 or irp.hk@ap.jll.com.

06 Feb 2020