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The last few years have heralded numerous changes in buy-to-let, from regulatory to taxation for both domestic and Expat investors. Further impending changes will create additional challenges for landlords and letting agencies alike, including:
The Tenant Fees Act in force on 1 June, making it illegal to charge all but permitted fees and limiting deposit amounts, leading to rising landlord costs.
Section 21 – The proposal to end the ‘no fault’ tenant eviction grounds
CGT changes for overseas buyers.

Threat or opportunity?

The big talking point is Section 21. It has already been made more difficult to be used by landlords unless certain pre-conditions have been met, like proving a Gas Safety Certificate has been issued to the tenant prior to moving into the rental property, as well as the MCHLG ‘How to Rent’ booklet. So the flexibility of Section 21 has already been constrained.

Section 21 is a victim of its own ‘dubbing’, often referred to as ‘no fault eviction’ to distinguish it from other notices like Section 8 where justification is required. Charities like Shelter have picked up on this and vilified it, and its use, without necessarily understanding the way it is used and applied.

If the changes are made in conjunction with Housing Court Reform and a beefing up of Section 8, then it could make sense. But the Ministry of Justice has limited funds for setting up dedicated fast-track housing specialist courts and it is unclear in what form Section 8 changes might be made.

These regulatory changes may – on the one hand – serve to ‘professionalise’ the role of a landlord, by tightening the procedures for actions, but in so doing putting off the accidental landlords and part-time landlords. So some might exit, creating a buying opportunity for portfolio Landlords and investors. One thing is certain, all of these new regulations have some serious repercussions if they are not fully respected and the new conditions adhered to, so all types of investors and landlords need to sit up and take note.

There is even more reason to think the industry will witness more fallout from all the regulatory changes, given we are only just starting to see the effects of the Section 24 tax changes. There is a time lag as they bite into income, and more landlords will be reviewing their portfolios.

Other changes for Expats and overseas owners of UK property

For overseas investors, the time allowed to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any profits made on the sale of an asset, has been shortened alongside that of Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”). SDLT reporting and payment is now 14 days (for both UK and non-UK) form the previous 30 days, following the effective date of transactions on or after 1 March 2019.

There is also a mooted SDLT 1% surcharge for non-residents buying residential property in the UK, which would apply to both purchases by individuals and company entities.

But it is not just vanilla buy-to-let under pressure….

HMO – Houses in Multiple Occupation

Since 1st October 2018 there have been more restrictive regulations around Houses in Multiple Occupation, heralding more restrictive room sizes, as part of the Mandatory and additional Licensing rules. Breach of these conditions can lead to hefty penalties and indeed Section 21 cannot be served unless the HMO house is in order either.

PDR – Permitted Development Rights

Councils, architects, social housing providers and charities are urging the government to reconsider measures that enable homes to be built outside the planning system and review existing measures that allow home builders to bypass the planning process when converting offices or other commercial buildings to residential use. The groups argue that such measures — under which more than 42,000 homes have been built in the past three years — prevent the construction of thousands of affordable homes, which councils would normally require as a condition of planning consent.

What does this mean for you, the Expat investor?

In the early 2000s, having some of your savings in property seemed like a perfectly valid way to invest for the future and build a decent alternative retirement pot. Few expected to see the tax or political tide shift so drastically. However it is a time to be on top of your game and know what the latest regulations are. These are not just restricted to vanilla buy-to-let, but other forms of property investment too. So whatever your chosen property strategy, keep on top of things and revisit what you are doing often.

If you want to talk through your plans and get clarity then please get in contact by telephone +44 (0)1932 849 536 or contact us

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here

Property Venture® is an award-winning, investment property specialist who helps time-strapped Expats and Entrepreneurs build bespoke portfolios
On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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Following an exploratory business trip to Dubai, I reflected on what Expat investors look for when buying investment property back in the UK. This can be for wealth-building reasons, to provide for a family or as part of lining up a retirement plan.

As an Expat your hopes, aspirations and challenges are similar to many other investors but you’ll also be well aware of the differences.

Differences for Expat investors

Notably doing everything from afar can be challenging and finding someone on the ground to help from start to finish is not always an easy nut to crack. You could be looking for a vanilla buy-to-let, finding a suitable property, conducting the transaction and then subsequently setting it up to be rental-ready.

There are some simple options like buying a PDR – a Permitted Development Rights’ home, which has been converted from an office to residential. These offer keen prices and are usually ready-to-go as rental properties. The downsides can be if they are located in non-residential neighbourhoods and if the look and feel is too business-like.

For a buy-to-let that is sourced specifically to your requirements that may involve more work and cost. Or to replicate the kind of prices a PDR home represents, buying a resale home, which might be a bit run down and need a spruce-up. So you might save on the property purchase price, but you might have to pay a bit more post-purchase to decorate and set up. So the calculation of the entire cost – buy price and any works – matters.

For other options like HMOs (Housing of Multiple Occupation) a team to support through the process, get involved with re-configuring a home and getting it licence-ready will be important.

For you Expat property investors, obtaining finance is usually trickier, validating paperwork and getting favourable loan-to-values is not always easy.

And accounting for your investments and tax liabilities to HMRC is not always as simple and straight forward as domestic investors, who can usually do this locally online.

Expat similarities to domestic investors

Many challenges are the same though, whether an Expat investor or a local investor.

Understanding what you want to achieve?

Are you looking to supplement your income from your day job, or move full-time into investing? Or are you seeing it as part of a long term plan to build your retirement nest egg?

What is your level of ambition?

To rise to the top of the property industry, or to pursue your existing career but use property investment to kick-start or plug gaps in your pension provision?

What are your timeframes to achieve this?

Have you got the luxury of a decent number of years to pursue a modest and balanced strategy of slowly building your asset base? Or are you going for maximum gain in a matter of months?

What is your approach to risk?

What are you comfortable doing that won’t make you lose sleep?

What do you have experience of, or where are your connections?

You may feel more comfortable starting with single household homes. If you decide to go for one sector or another it is a good idea to focus, given you will build an experience bank and if you seek finance, your experience in a particular field will provide more credibility with banks when they consider lending to you. This might be a consideration for if you decide on HMO as a strategy for example.

What funds have you got available?

If you do not currently have lots of cash to inject into a property project, are you going to save for a deposit? Or go for making money out of assets that you don’t own?

These are all questions for every investor.

If you want to talk through your plans and get clarity then please get in contact by telephone +44 (0) 1932 849 536 or contact us

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist who helps time-strapped entrepreneurs and expats enrich their lives through property investment in Europe.

The focus is mainly greater Europe: buy-to-let and homes in Poland, UK investment property, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish homes.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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Populist or Protectionist? Demand dampener or driver?

The latest UK HMRC consultation about levying a stamp duty surcharge on non-UK resident investors, potentially affecting Expats and Foreign national buyers alike, comes on top of the surcharges already levied on all buy-to-let investors, introduced by George Osborne back in April 2016.

In tandem with the tax regime on buy-to-lets – Section 24* withdrawing tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage payments – some landlords have already been exiting the property market, meaning the government is collecting less stamp duty overall from receipts in England and Wales than before the changes were introduced by former Chancellor Mr Osborne. The 2016 SDLT surcharge has also distorted the market for more expensive homes in London, with a decline in the number of purchases at the most expensive end of the market.

This type of Section 24 tax is already being rolled back and reversed in Ireland where it has had a counterproductive effect. There are also calls for rental caps in England and Wales to help make living in rental accommodation more affordable. However, lessons learned from elsewhere show that this tactic doesn’t end up doing what was originally intended.

Historically Rent Controls have been tried in the UK, (Rent Act of 1965 and 1977), which laid out a RPI-linked formula for rent increases. What happened? The Private Rented Sector as a proportion of housing tenure decreased from 20% in 1971, to around 9% in 1986 only subsequently picking up once the Housing Act 1988 stopped rent controls, alongside the introduction of Assured Shorthold Tenancy contracts, and easier buy-to-let finance late 1996/1997.

UK Housing market – what’s to be done?

There is a fundamental supply-demand imbalance in the UK property market, which drives purchasing prices and rental prices upwards. The entire ‘property ecosystem’ needs to be addressed and not just seek a sticking plaster for one pressure point. There’s little point in plugging one hole in a leaking bucket, only to find another hole appears or just gets bigger.

By making it more challenging for investors to enter the market – in the same way that advocating rent controls can discourage investment – it can dampen building activity, which means there is not a natural and liquid flow of upwardly mobile homeowners progressing from First time buyers to subsequent buyers. Politicians could be making the housing market less liquid.

A sensible and sustainable way to deliver lower rents across a broad spectrum is to make it easier and cheaper for landlords to bring rental accommodation to the market, as well as providing the different types of rental accommodation needed. This means addressing; supply, the cost of rental regulation and taxes in tandem.

For Expat investors, it is a question of seeking the most cost effective ways of investing, either in areas with good prospects, but lower stamp duty thresholds, and other types of property investing.

*Section 24 of the of the Finance (no. 2) Act 2015 introduced 6th April 2016, phased in 6th April 2017  

Please get in contact to chat your plans through by telephone +44 (0) 1932 849 536 or contact us

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist that helps time-strapped entrepreneurs and expats enrich their lives through property investment in Europe.

The focus is mainly greater Europe: buy-to-let and homes in Poland, UK investment property, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish homes.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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There are many things to take into account when buying investment property in the UK or Germany, but this PRIVATE acronym might help as a start point, particularly with so much change afoot on the European and UK property scene.

 Purpose: Clarity of investment purpose

Are you buying an investment property as part of your retirement planning or to fund a certain lifestyle, or to help with University fees? If so, what does it need to cash flow to deliver on this objective? And do you need to invest directly in property or could you achieve the same result – or better – by investing indirectly over a fixed term? By this I mean getting the security of property but not actually owning the asset, like a debt or equity property product.

Reality: of timeframes

It pays to be realistic about how much time it will take to complete the investment purchase, particularly if you need to get a mortgage or are buying in a Continental European city which is not where you are located. The buying process is likely to take longer, especially if dealing with a local foreign bank for a mortgage. You really don’t want to be forking out for expenses upfront if you are not fully geared up to buy.

Intermediary: buy via an agent or directly from developer?

If you are buying off-plan or new build then it is possible to buy off a developer directly. But do consider they will offer only their product, so you have not much to compare it with, unless you are are undertaking a lot of your own research and check alternatives out.

If you are after a second–hand property or resale, which often offers really good value-for-money, then you might want access more of the market through an agent, new build and resale stock. Whilst you are at it, make sure the agent has a good reputation and is a member of the professional body, such as the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), which also provides access to The Property Ombudsman. This gives confidence, knowing there is some recourse if things go wrong.

Value: a property with innate value or just simply cheap?

Some homeowners think they have got a great deal if they have bought cheaply. But this isn’t always the case. For example if it does not have the correct build permits or licences, it is more than likely unsaleable or illegal. Or if the property is in a poor location with a scarcity of amenities, or transportation links, then it might not represent great value. You want it to have some ‘value’ when you come to sell, or exit.

Access: how good is the location?

Does your investment property have good connections to transport, whether tram, bus, train, road, or multiple? If you are aiming to attract a long term, Executive tenant, is it close to where they might work for convenience, or are you buying in a tourist spot which might lend itself more to serviced accommodation and be less suitable for a longer term tenancy?

Test: Sanity check your emotional ‘buy’ response with a cool head. Sleep on it

It can help if you don’t feel too rushed in making big financial decisions like buying a property in a different country. Don’t rely on emotion alone, check out the facts about the property and make sure it all stacks up. Can you afford it and not stretch your finances? Are you thinking sufficiently with an investment mindset, thinking about how attractive it is for your target tenants, rather than what you subjectively like?

Exit: do you have an end game plan?

It always helps to know what you might want to do in 5, or 20 years’ time. If you want to keep your options open and sell on to locals rather than just overseas buyers, then maybe consider a bigger  town or city with a year round population who live and work there?

If you want a bit of capital appreciation, when you come to sell, then it might be worth buying something a bit more distinctive than a me-too box house, in an area where there is known buyer demand, or where there is a sense of ‘scarcity’, like a city centre or on an island?

Of course there are plenty of other things to consider too, like getting familiar with the whole buying process, budgeting for running costs, working with independent lawyers, and so forth, but by going PRIVATE you are already making a great start.

Want to talk though your investment options? Drop us a line

© Written by Louise Reynolds, Director of Property Venture® an award-winning, European investment property company that offers advice, sourcing, support and problem-solving services to time-strapped entrepreneurs, expats and executives to help them enrich their lives through property investment in Europe. The focus is mainly: UK and German investment property, buy-to-let and homes in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct.

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Apart from welcome big news items like bringing forwards higher personal tax thresholds and more help for the transition to Universal Credit for those on benefit payments, there is mixed news for UK property investors and owners.

There’s a lot of frustration among landlords and property investors the punitive tax regime on buy-to-lets – namely Section 24* withdrawing tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage payments – has not been rolled back, like it has been in Ireland.
There are however, some other interesting developments.

Easier to convert commercial to residential property

There has been recognition in Sir Oliver Letwin’s Independent report -published alongside the Budget – that major house builders are not speculatively land-banking and holding up building rates (as some politicians and media pundits have claimed). Possibly prompting the Planning Reform Consultation, which is being launched on new permitted development rights, to allow upwards extensions on commercial buildings, or to be demolished and replaced with homes. Whilst welcome, and may enable value-for-money properties to be built in good central locations, will this be to the further detriment of UK High Street centres?

Help to Buy

The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is due to end March 2023. Whilst a long way off, that will affect First Time Buyers who have been helped onto the property ladder with this scheme, although a saving for tax-payers and possibly a potential dampener on home prices in the more modest price bands.

Housebuilders have been forewarned that they will no longer have a government-backed safety net and they will need to approach the market differently, scrutinising their locations and product offering more. Help-to-Buy supports about a third of housebuilders’ private sales – by March 2018 it had helped almost 170,000 home purchases; almost a fifth of the buyers were already homeowners.

Private Residence Relief (PRR ) is being diluted from April 2020. The occupation rules, which stood at 18-months has now been shortened to 9 months – meaning anyone who has lived in the buy-to-let property at some stage, which is being sold, can only add 9 months to the time they occupied the property, rather than 18 months to help reduce their Capital Gains Tax bill (CGT).

Lettings relief is worth £40,000 to each owner – doubling to £80,000 for a husband and wife. From April 2020, relief to be used to offset against CGT will only be available to a landlord who shares a home with a tenant.

Upside for First Time Buyers and Infrastructure

The Chancellor has extended the dispensation on stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £300,000 to first-time buyers of shared ownership properties valued at up to £500,000. That sounds good in theory, but I am not sure that retrospective payments are going to make a significant difference to many individuals or to the UK’s coffers….?

An additional £500m has been announced to unlock the Housing Infrastructure Fund, bringing the Fund to £5.5bn in total, for the Local Authorities to build infrastructure for housing developments to deliver the targeted construction of 650,000 homes in total. This is all good in theory but the Government and Local Authorities do not have a great track-record in bringing these targeted numbers of homes to fruition. Coupled with Theresa May’s commitment to lift a cap on Local Councils’ borrowing, against their existing housing stock, to build more homes, this bodes well for meeting local housing needs. Except it will take time to ramp up their capacity to build. Local authorities built fewer than 3,000 homes in the 2016-17 Financial Year.

It is encouraging to hear that there is a boost to 10 University Zones. For example up to 1m new homes in a region dubbed the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, two science and technology hubs-which will be serviced by an-already-announced 35-mile expressway between Oxford and Cambridge, via Bedford and Milton Keynes.

This was meant to be a holding budget, but has provided a boost to get Britain building again. It remains to be seen if these end up being unfulfilled ambitions….

*Section 24 of the of the Finance (no. 2) Act 2015 6th April 2017

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property company that helps Expats and off shore workers invest in high yielding UK property and property-related investments. We also help UK-based entrepreneurs invest in City buy–to-lets like Berlin in Germany and Krakow in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

Featured or Mentioned in: The Sunday Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Express, Daily Express, The Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, The Independent on Sunday, The Independent, Evening Standard-Homes & Property, Homes Magazine, Property Wire, International Estate Agent Today, Property Overseas Today, Overseas Property Professional, HSBC Liquid Magazine, easyJet Magazine, London Homes & Property, A Place in the Sun, Buy Association

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Walsall is a thriving historic town which caters for workers, students, residents and visitors of all ages. There is no shortage of shopping, eateries, activities or nightlife given its status as the largest industrial town in the West Midlands.

Walsall’s Waterways please residents and workers

Whilst Saddlers Shopping Centre is the social hub of Walsall’s community, Walsall Canal is fast becoming a big attraction since it has been revived, cleaned up and the environment improved, making it a picturesque spot for local people. The once-derelict Walsall Town Wharf has been re-developed, and now has an acclaimed art gallery. There are moorings for boaters from which to access to the town’s attractions, including the Leather Museum, Walsall Arboretum – a restored Victorian park of over 80 acres – and the Jerome K Jerome Birthplace Museum (a C19 English writer, best known for the comic travelogue of Three Men in a Boat).

For nature lovers, walking enthusiasts and cyclists, the canals in Walsall are part of a network of routes connecting the town centre to the surrounding countryside. Given its strategic location 8 miles north-west of Birmingham and 6 miles east of Wolverhampton and job creation among its 270,000 population – partly driven by re-development projects including Walsall Manor Hospital (£174million), Walsall College (£65m), Waterfront South (£60m) and St Matthew’s Quarter (£25m) – Walsall requires new homes to facilitate its rising local population.

Students and staff need housing in Walsall

Students are here too, 12 junior schools, numerous secondary schools, including comprehensives, academies, private and grammar school. Walsall College provides further education and the town is home to the University of Wolverhampton’s Sports

This video is taken outside Walsall Town Hall, a grade II listed, Baroque style building which opened in 1902, but now hosts events and bands such as Jameson Raid, Slade, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath

Expats want to invest in Walsall buy-to-let Property? - YouTube

If you are interested in investing in the business district, just a few minutes’ walk from the High Street, then please do get in touch.

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here Or download our City Guide

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist that offers advice, sourcing, support and problem-solving services to time-strapped entrepreneurs, expats and executives to help them enrich their lives through property investment in Europe. The focus is mainly: UK and German investment property, buy-to-let and homes in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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A city associated with global industry, civil aerospace, engineering, supply chain, apprenticeships, graduates, Derby is a hive of industry. With Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Tarmac and Bombardier having established operations there, providing robust employment for its population of 250,000. The proximity of the East Midlands airport – about twenty minutes’ away by car – means that it is in an important strategic place, as a hub for freight.

Derby – Civil Aerospace buoys employment and need for homes

Rolls Royce a pioneer and one of the world’s leading industrial technology companies is building on its founding expertise in internal combustion engines to providing the world’s most powerful and efficient aero-engines in Derby.

Derby is its largest site and it is where they design, assemble and test the Trent jet engines – the world’s most efficient large aero engine – which powers the Airbus A350 which is assembled in Derby.

Their Apprentice Academy in Derby has increased capacity helping apprentices go on to work in the supply chain. There are about 600 apprentices at any one time at several locations across the UK, with a 98% retention rate, as well as 600 graduates on their UK Graduate Scheme at any one time.

Derby home to engineering and manufacturing employees who need to live nearby

Bombardier’s Derby site is a global centre of excellence for rail engineering and aluminium car body manufacture. The site is the only facility in the UK able to design, manufacture, assemble and test new trains for domestic and export markets. Its current contracts include vehicles for Transport for London’s Elizabeth Line, vehicles for Abellio and vehicles for operators including C2C & GWR.

Toyota established a manufacturing operation in the UK pre-1990, including the vehicle manufacturing plant at Burnaston, just West of Derby.

Derby a student city – needs accommodation

With the University of Derby attracting international students which contribute to its student population, about 10% of the population, keeping it a youthful city.

The population is expected to grow by just under 10% over the next ten years (to 2028), given the pipeline of new job creation, creating more demand for homes. No wonder Derby has a rising population.

In this short video I take a look at a completed Derby property development.

Derby City Buy-to-Let Investing - YouTube

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here Or download our City Guide

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist that offers advice, sourcing, support and problem-solving services to time-strapped entrepreneurs, expats and executives to help them enrich their lives through property investment in Europe. The focus is mainly: UK and German investment property, buy-to-let and homes in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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I check out the product of developers I work with and it just so happened there was a distinct offer I wanted to explore. This involved travelling to Nottingham, Derby and then on to central Birmingham. So I went to do some due diligence on one company, which offers a ‘mini bond’, backed by property as security. This type of proposition typically offers higher returns for the duration that the money is ‘loaned’ with the capital returned at the end of a pre-determined term. It can sometimes be called a ‘mini-bond’ because it is like a bond, but it is not tradeable like some bonds on an Exchange.

I like to understand the Business Model used, what level of security there is for you – the investor – and what the Management Team are like, you know, the calibre of individuals, their track record and philosophy. So this involved a bit of effort and travelling the length and breadth of the East Midlands.

The popular term for this type of ‘bond’ is about two years. It can be longer if preferred. This type of offer is for those of you who are at ease with having something slightly higher risk as part of your portfolio, in order to get higher returns, usually double digit. If you are looking for double digit returns in the short term and want to see if this is an option for you?

Then get in contact and let me know a telephone number so we can speak

In this short video I take a look at the type of developments the team have carried out

Nottingham's residential Neighbourhood delivers high yield - YouTube

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist that offers advice, sourcing, support and problem-solving services to time-strapped entrepreneurs, expats and executives to help them enrich their lives through property investment in Europe. The focus is mainly: UK and German investment property, buy-to-let and homes in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

Disclaimer: Property Venture® acts as an introducer and is not involved with the development, management, or rental guarantee on any developments we offer. Property Venture® is not a member of, nor regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance and should not be relied upon when making an investment decision.

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The England football team has been doing so much better than expected in the World Cup 2018 hosted by Russia and nearly played the host nation in the semi-final. But how do they match up on the property investment stakes?

Well among the usual reasons attracting investors to a particular location or geography are criteria such as:

World Profile- and for Russia hosting the World Cup has significantly raised its profile in a positive way on the world stage

Economy – this is a weak point for Russia and whilst the economy in England is not currently growing particularly quickly, weighed down by Brexit and the global trade war initiated by the USA, it is bigger and more buoyant than Russia’s.

Culture – what the World Cup has shown is that the people of Russia are in some respects, separate from Vladimir Putin. They have shown themselves to be warm and welcoming of all the football supporters and tourists who have descended on them, in contrast to some of the global policies of the Kremlin.

Infrastructure – in such a vast country it is challenging to keep the infrastructure up to date with the needs of its people, however in cities like Moscow its distinctive Metro system stands out, with elegant architecture at Metro stations and an efficiency of operation.

Property Investment in England vs Russia

There is a disparity perceived between returns associated with buying in emerging markets and property returns from more mature European property markets. But with those differences in returns, or profitability, comes higher risk.

Whilst Russia is part of the European continent, its Foreign Policy does not always act that way and nor does its Real Estate Market in many respects. The latest Jones Lang LaSalle 2018 Global Real Estate Transparency Index/Property Index sheds some insight into this. Its focus is on the commercial property side, but it nevertheless acts as a proxy indicator of the state of residential markets, since many processes are similar e.g. ownership or title registration.

As global businesses have more choice over where to locate and base their offices and subsidiaries, this in turn creates an even greater need for high-quality market information, on which to base those decisions. Many countries are waking up to this, to become more competitive in their fight for this inward investment.

The world’s most transparent markets continue to be dominated by the more liquid Anglophone countries along with many European nations. The United Kingdom is the world’s most transparent Real Estate market in 2018, followed closely by Australia and the USA. This means the UK (including England) is THE benchmark when comparing other overseas property markets in terms of how the property buying process works and how transparent it is to buy property. Russia ranks number 38 in the League Table, ranked as a ‘Semi-transparent’ property investment market, just below Brazil.

So even before you consider the returns from your investment, where does ease and transparency of investing in property rank for you? And who wins the match?

Source: Jones Lang LaSalle, LaSalle Investment Management (100 markets covered and 186 factors assessed, including Real Estate investment performance, market fundamentals, regulatory framework and the investment transaction)

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here    Or download our City Guide

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist that offers advice, sourcing, support and problem-solving services to time-strapped entrepreneurs, expats and executives to help them enrich their lives through property investment in Europe. The focus is mainly: UK and German investment property, buy-to-let and homes in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

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Now this is in the sense of a big, strong, muscular city, not one that is picking a fight. One that is forging ahead in more sense than one

Berlin Housing Supply Limited

Contextually, Germany has a population of 83 million, which has increased by nearly 3 million since 2009. This coupled with high job growth, creates more pressures on the housing market.

In Berlin, the housing pressures are possibly the greatest. Berlin has a population of 3.6m – the biggest city in Germany when compared with the other big six: Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Dusseldorf, Koln, Stuttgart.

There is a disparity between approved property developments and completions, with 1.9 permits issued for every completed development. The build rate is 6k annually, but 48,000 new people move to Berlin annually (CBRE)

In parallel, the city’s population has risen by about 150,000 and the number of households by 75,000. Forecasters work on the basis that the population will increase by more than 250,000 by 2030. 100,000 houses needed to be built in 2015, but only 15,000 got built. It is not without good reason that Berlin is quoted as one of the top three most attractive real estate markets for existing investments, new investments and development (PWC).

There is also a strong supply of old buildings which need to be modernised and brought into the housing stock pool. About 1% of the German Real Estate market falls into the ‘Listed’ building category, which equates to around 1.1m buildings. Housing Associations don’t want to own old housing stock so they sell on older units in their possession and substitute these by purchasing newer homes.

Berlin has pent-up property demand

Home ownership in Berlin is low at about 16% compared with 46% for the whole of Germany. And rents have been on the rise, up 7% in 2016 year-on-year. So there are strong incentives driving home ownership.

It is home to 3 top Universities: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, as well as Technische Universität. What’s more, Berlin is the most affordable city in the top ten of the 2012 QS Best Student Cities, as it combines cheap rent and low living expenses with no, to low, tuition fees for public universities.

Both Berlin’s GDP and rise in disposable income are higher than the national average. Digital trading and service industries are growing, while the city still has a strong electrical engineering and chemical industry. It is also a hub for research and development, having 11 state universities and various scientific institutes all nearby.

It is also the Start-Up Capital of Europe with one starting every 20 minutes. Why is that?
Well according to the Davos World Economic Forum it has a low cost of establishing a start-up, its international make-up with a young, talented demographic and friendly eco-system also helps. 22,800 jobs were created in the tech industry between 2008-2015. Berlin’s share of the digital economy has grown from 4.8% to 18%.

It is for all of these reason and more that home prices have been rising +9.6% since 2015 (CBRE)

If you want to invest in Berlin Please get in contact to chat your plans through by telephone +44 (0) 1932 849 536 or contact us

Our clients get regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here

Property Venture® is an award-winning, European investment property specialist that offers advice, sourcing, support and problem-solving services to time-strapped entrepreneurs, expats and executives to help them enrich their lives through property investment in Europe. The focus is mainly: UK and German investment property, buy-to-let and homes in Poland, Managed Leaseback in France, Spanish property.

On the Advisory Board and a Member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) the business has been vetted, approved and voluntarily commits to Industry Regulation and the Professional Code of Conduct. We are known for our quality customer service and non-pressurised approach to sales. Take a look at what our clients say

Read Full Article

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