The real estate market in Britain has been steadily on the rise since 2012, and nowhere is that more evident than in London. From 2013 to 2014, average house prices in some boroughs of London climbed by 32%, and the top ten fastest growing property markets in the country were all within the boundary of the M-25 motorway. Figures released by the National Office for Statistics revealed in June 2015 that average house prices in the London Borough of Walthamstow shot up from £250,000 to £330,000 in the space of just twelve months.
Heavy investment from foreign buyers has increased market value, while the influx of young professionals from other British regions and from overseas is driving rental prices ever upward. Properties in London’s most exclusive districts are being purchased faster than developers can build them.
Maine Tower, a luxurious new skyscraper planned for Canary Wharf, is still in the very early stages of construction: At present, it is little more than a set of foundations. In mid-July, the night before the sales office opened, potential buyers were seen sleeping outside to ensure a prime place in the queue. Over 200 properties (valued at a total of £140m) sold within five hours, showing just how enthusiastic London’s aspiring real estate moguls are. The apartments won’t be ready for another four years; however the investors already have high hopes for their new purchases. Some are planning to rent their newly bought studio apartments for £1,400 a month: no small amount, but par for the course in central London.
The current property boom has certainly benefited the British Royal Family: this year the Crown Estate saw a 7% year on year increase. The Crown Estate manages luxury properties owned by the Royal Family across Britain, many of which are leased out as office space. Thanks to some considered investments in Central London, particularly around Regent Street, the Crown Estate made more than £285 million last year.
While the property market in London is almost too hot to handle, some wise investors are turning their eyes towards regional towns and cities. Property prices have stagnated in some areas of the country, and have even dropped in Bradford and Liverpool, creating some exciting opportunities.
As rent prices in London continue to increase, many young professionals are moving away from the capital. The Office of National Statistics claims that more than 58,000 young professionals left London in 2013-14, a 10% increase on 2010. As more members of ‘generation rent’ turn their sights towards cities like Newcastle, Brighton, and Edinburgh, there are more opportunities for wise property investors to make money, for a much smaller entry price.
Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, is a university city that is currently experiencing its own mini boom. There aren't enough properties to meet demand, and riverside developments like iQuarter are offering luxurious properties at provincial prices. Hull is also attracting a huge amount of interest from foreign investors. In addition to boasting convenient ferry links with mainland Europe, Hull has been named the UK’s Capital of Culture for 2017.
Whether you want to own a slice of London’s booming market, or would rather invest in an up-and-coming city elsewhere in the country, Engel & Völkers can guide you towards the finest new prospects for your portfolio.