Taking control of risk

I want to change an industry for the better, and help you make informed buying decisions. It’s no easy task and I need to know what you think.

When you’re looking to make investments in off-plan property or alternative investments, understanding the risks can be the most important consideration of all.

When you buy traditional property, you have a team to help with this: a solicitor, a surveyor and a mortgage lender. BUT, when it comes to alternative investments no independent help is readily available, and certainly not at a sensible cost.

There are some excellent investments out there, but what is missing is a no-nonsense, easy-to-digest report to help you make a truly educated and informed decision.

My mission is to offer you that very service at low cost. It won’t sell you an investment – there are many brokers that can do this; it won’t give you investment advice – I believe you are free to decide for yourself. What I will give you is valuable insights into the investment, the people behind it, and any issues that you should be aware of.

Each report will show the upside, the downside, the outside and the inside of that investment, working exclusively for you the investor.

I need your help

This quick survey will take less than a minute of your time and give me a valuable insight into how best to serve you. I won’t use your answers for anything else (you can even give anonymous answers if you wish).

As a big thank-you, you have the chance to become a Founder Member: join Diligent Eye for NO monthly fee, forever.

Here’s something surprising – how has UK Student property been impacted by the BREXIT vote?

Rather than damage performance, as many analysts had forecast, the Brexit vote intensified activity in the UK student property market and demonstrated the resilience of the sector.

A recent report by Savills also highlighted how the demand for student housing in the UK has outgrown supply. Analysts believe that the market will continue to be driven by bulk purchases, as investors seek to shore up their positions and acquire additional scale.

Appealing to the Far East

The UK’s student property market has become a global asset class, attracting billions in investment from some of the world’s richest individuals and sovereign wealth funds. Demand is so strong that it was standing-room only for some prospective buyers at a recent investment conference in London. One of the biggest overseas investors is Singapore-based fund Mapletree, which acquired over 6,000 beds last year.

In recent comments, Hiew Yoon Khong, Chief Executive of Mapletree provided insight as to why the asset class holds such appeal to overseas investors, telling reporters: “Student accommodation is a big business and relatively low risk.” According to Savills, the second largest source of capital into UK student housing in 2016 came from North America, with over £1.3bn worth of investment. The bulk of which came from two Canadian investors: Brookfield SRE and CPPIB.

Rising standards

As the student buy to let property market has grown exponentially, so the quality of the accommodation has risen. Nowadays student rooms are more akin to corporate apartments, with communal facilities to match. A key part of our portfolio at HighGround is One Islington Plaza in Liverpool, where flat-screen TVs and high-speed broadband come as standard in the rooms. A cinema room, gymnasium and games room provide students the chance to relax away from their studies, reflecting new standards that many now demand. Research from Knight Frank shows that over one-fifth of students are willing to pay more than £160 per week for the right facilities. New possibilities are being created within the market, as developers compete for the attention of an increasingly discerning client base. Overseas students, attracted by a more lifestyle-oriented academic environment, are a big part of the equation.

Appealing to students means appealing to buy to let investors, who will in turn enjoy greater rental returns, and a UK student property market that has demonstrated it can weather the toughest of times.

See more about UK Student Property :

Rather than damage performance, as many analysts had forecast, the Brexit vote intensified activity in the UK student property market and demonstrated the resilience of the sector.

A recent report by Savills also highlighted how the demand for student housing in the UK has outgrown supply. Analysts believe that the market will continue to be driven by bulk purchases, as investors seek to shore up their positions and acquire additional scale.

Appealing to the Far East

The UK’s student property market has become a global asset class, attracting billions in investment from some of the world’s richest individuals and sovereign wealth funds. Demand is so strong that it was standing-room only for some prospective buyers at a recent investment conference in London. One of the biggest overseas investors is Singapore-based fund Mapletree, which acquired over 6,000 beds last year.

In recent comments, Hiew Yoon Khong, Chief Executive of Mapletree provided insight as to why the asset class holds such appeal to overseas investors, telling reporters: “Student accommodation is a big business and relatively low risk.” According to Savills, the second largest source of capital into UK student housing in 2016 came from North America, with over £1.3bn worth of investment. The bulk of which came from two Canadian investors: Brookfield SRE and CPPIB.

Rising standards

As the student buy to let property market has grown exponentially, so the quality of the accommodation has risen. Nowadays student rooms are more akin to corporate apartments, with communal facilities to match. A key part of our portfolio at HighGround is Natex in Liverpool, where flat-screen TVs and high-speed broadband come as standard in the rooms. A cinema room, gymnasium and games room provide students the chance to relax away from their studies, reflecting new standards that many now demand. Research from Knight Frank shows that over one-fifth of students are willing to pay more than £160 per week for the right facilities. New possibilities are being created within the market, as developers compete for the attention of an increasingly discerning client base. Overseas students, attracted by a more lifestyle-oriented academic environment, are a big part of the equation.

Appealing to students means appealing to buy to let investors, who will in turn enjoy greater rental returns, and a UK student property market that has demonstrated it can weather the toughest of times.

See more about UK Student Property :

Property Investors: why you should follow the UK Government money

In this week’s November Budget, the UK Chancellor has left us in no doubt – punish landlords and reward property developers.

Warning: this is a lengthy but important post. If you are at all involved in property investment, or thinking about it, read on.

Building good, renting bad

The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond this week made it very clear that a key objective of this government is to build houses. And build at a rate last seen in the 1970’s. Substantial funding and support is being offered to developers to build the 300,000 annual homes construction targets. We applaud this but we as investors need to adapt – and quickly.

This government strategy includes continued support for corporate “Build to Rent” (B2R) developments, which we believe puts further long-term pressure on small private landlords to compete and make a living.

“Hooray! It’s not worse”

Some commentators are suggesting that because no further punitive measures have been placed on Landlords this time round, this is to be celebrated. Unfortunately the reality is, in the last two years so much damage has been done the message to private BTL investors is sadly clear: “you’re not welcome”.

I’m of course talking about:

  • the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge for second homes (primarily affecting buy to let investors trying to grow their businesses);
  • the devastating changes to taxation of mortgage interest for private landlords;
  • the emergence of trial rent controls (expect this not to go away!);
  • the “demonisation” of landlords in the media;
  • the growing frustration of Generation Rent desperate to get on the housing ladder.

So it is clearly government policy: we can expect to see the rise of many small and medium-sized property developers, and the decline of small-scale private landlords as they are forced out financially and replaced on the whole by (albeit largely middle-class) first-time buyers.

The problem is that development funding is today still hard to find, and despite government money, this is likely to remain a major bottleneck for getting builders to build. The need for private funding for developers through crowdfunding, property bonds and good old-fashioned joint venture partnerships is going to become more important to the government vision than ever before.

“Whatever your political view on this, it would seen very sensible for property investors to recognise this sea-change quickly and look to either build property, or finance those who do.”

Which team would you rather be on – the aided or the persecuted?

It is time for landlords to review their long-term strategies, especially if they do not currently include adding “asset value” by developing, extending or carrying out major refurbishments. For a growing number of property investors, buy-and-hold residential letting is no longer the Holy Grail it used to be, and may never be again.

In the light of government-backed “landlord persecution” some landlords have pledged to sell their portfolios, but may have no clear plans where to invest the profits.

As a business, our focus is set firmly in line with the government camp, at least as far as supporting development is concerned. We support small developers by connecting them with investors large and small through Property Bonds, Crowdfunding, and other collaborative ventures such as student room ownership in new purpose-built student accommodation. We have been doing this for a decade and long before it was fashionable. We believe in wealth creation through property now more than ever.

Here’s one example of how investors can profit from great UK property developers today. It’s possible to invest in midlands-based Godwin Capital from just £5k and enjoy double-digit fixed annual income through property plus your capital returned in two years. All without the need to lift even a hammer.