If Santa were a savvy property investor what might he do?

Father Christmas would do well to think about this with a clear head and before drinking any sherry. Why?

Because he would need to have clarity of purpose

Savvy Santa Claus Investor

He would need to give careful consideration to where in the world he might invest. If in the UK he might think about maximising his income from an investment and might consider putting his money into higher yielding HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) or Serviced Accommodation. But, with that comes higher levels of involvement on his part. Given his sporadic appearances across the country, at odd times of day, he might not have the commitment or consistent levels of time and effort needed to manage these more labour-intensive types of property investments. Of course, he could find a managing agent to act on his behalf, but he would still need a certain level of ‘presence’ to keep on top of them and make sure they are representing his interests properly.

Something like a Managed Leaseback home might suit his ambitions and lifestyle well. It offers a bit of income from when it is let out, but he could still make personal use of it for when he is off-duty. Even better if it is somewhere hot like the South of France, or in a ski resort so he could take a break immediately after Christmas. Mind you he might be a bit fed up with snow by that stage, who knows?

Reality of investment timeframe

Father Christmas would also need to be realistic about how much time it will take to buy a property, particularly if he needs to apply for a mortgage. The buying process is likely to take longer, especially if dealing with a local foreign bank for a mortgage. He really doesn’t want to be forking out for expenses upfront, if he is not fully geared-up to buy.

He also needs a reality-check on what time he can dedicate to building a property portfolio alongside his busy job and tight schedule. If he wants to forge ahead nevertheless, he might need some help and support in finding and buying the right properties for him and his ambitions.

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

Some investors 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 planning or build permits or licences, its value can be severely diminished or 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. Father Christmas will want to have some ‘value’ when he comes to sell, or pass it, on.

Exit: does Santa have an end game plan?

It always helps to know what might be the situation in 5, or 20 years’ time. For Father Christmas – who is getting on a bit now – he might need to consider how he passes his property on in a tax-efficient manner. Inheritance rules differ quite a bit from the UK to Continental countries like Spain or France, where descendants tend to have more rights to parental assets than is automatically the case in the UK.

I work with time-strapped entrepreneurs – like Father Christmas – and expats who don’t have the time, local presence or have gaps in their know-how to build property portfolios in the right way for them. This means you can carry on your day-to-day lives without spending disproportionate time getting sucked into investing.

If you would like to discuss your situation or find out more then please get in contact.
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 and sits on the Advisory Board 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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Property Investor Brexit Strategies

During these times of prolonged uncertainty, businesses are spending money on contingency planning and in some instances stockpiling.

What about individual investors?

Some of them are stockpiling money and playing a wait-and-see game with investments.

Consequences of this investment strategy?

Well money can sit in banks, earning a low interest rate. Whilst inflation is currently contained at under 2%, many savings rates of return do not exceed this, or marginally so, particularly for higher rate tax payers.

But if you would like to shake off the early ‘hibernation’ and do something with some of your money, or dip your toe in the market then there are options out there.

Think about this

There are other investors out there who are making the most of this uncertainty and investing in keenly-priced stock. And for overseas investors or expats buying in the UK then the GBP Sterling exchange rate is very favourable currently.

And then there is the Property Cycle

Whether you are an advocate of the cyclical nature of property or not, there has tended to be a bounce back in prices after a period of sluggish house prices in some areas. Whether you think of it as a 10 year or 18 year cycle.

The Brexit-effect depends on the nature of your investments. Whilst we are in unchartered territory, as an investor it could be an optimum time to invest in new properties and spend time refurbishing or developing them. If an upturn is due you could be paving the way to profit once the next phase of the cycle hits.

Either way it makes sense to build in more exit options and greater levels of padding to your financial contingencies, so you are financially prepared to hold that property until the time is right.

An alternative way of investing

Some landlords and property investors are seeking ways of continuing their property businesses in a way that will give some reprieve from the landlord red tape and tax in the UK. It is a way of diversifying and getting exposure to a number of different investment categories; either different geographies, or different types of property, for example commercial vs residential property.

Alternative investing can include Crowdfunding or lending to developers.

So consider a developer who has end user ‘blue chip’ clients lined up, who knows what the end-user demand is before embarking on developments, one who works with big companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks. They also have Build-to-Rent as part of their offering, working with local authorities and sometimes pension funds, to build to demand. They have also bolstered their resources to navigate better the increasingly challenging planning approval process. And have a cross-functional board which evaluates rigorously development opportunities.  

Getting exposure to this type of developer, can be done in a measured way, in bite sized chunks. Some investments start at £5,000 or £10,000, some lower, particularly if part of an IFISA (Innovative Finance Isas), where entry levels can be £1,000. Investing via an IFISA, can be tax-efficient, when used as part of a personal Isa allowance, so returns can be tax free for UK residents.

What are the upsides of alternative investing?

The returns on offer can be inflation-busting and much higher than other forms of investing. They are not always correlated with economic returns, so helps spread risk during different economic cycles. They also usually offer defined timeframes (although there are no guarantees) so this can help with planning.

It is important to note that alternative investing provides an alternative way for entrepreneur investors to get exposure to all that property can offer, but none of these ways of investing are guaranteed. Capital is at risk and returns are projected, not guaranteed. This is why many of these types of investments, whilst being accessible tend to be only available to individuals with a certain asset base or income, or who aren’t investing too much of their money in any one of these investment types.

If you would like to discuss your situation or find out more then please get in contact.

I work with time-strapped Expats and Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time, local presence or have gaps in their know-how to build property portfolios in the right way for them. (Or who are simply stuck with little progress).

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 and sits on the Advisory Board 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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What results when politicians tamper with property markets?

I was prompted to write this when I read about the St Ives’ property market, in Cornwall, UK.

The town attracts holiday makers, visitors and habitants, given it is an idyllic seaside town.

United Kingdom_Coastal Properties_Boat-Sea-scene

The problem for the locals, is that it has attracted nationwide interest in its property market and the blame is laid on this wave of home buyers for pushing up the property prices, to the extent that they can’t get on the housing ladder.

So the Local Councillors thought the way forward was to restrict new build home sales to local residents and not to buyers intent on using them for second homes. It was also deemed to be in the interests of the local micro-economy to try to reduce the overreliance of it on tourism.

You can see the logic.

But three years’ on, the average property price has grown 3 per cent year on year from the £323,000 in 2016 when the local referendum took place about introducing this policy. That is c. 14 X the median earnings in Cornwall. So the policy may have abated the price growth – although many micro property markets have experienced subdued price growth across the UK during this period – but buyers have turned their attention to investing in second hand homes. It’s a bit like blocking off one part of a stream, only for it to find a different route, or way round the obstruction.

The seaside town’s rule that new homes are kept for primary residences has been criticised for hampering supply. New builds account for 5% of house sales and the ruling has deterred developers from building new homes.

How to tackle property demand and supply issues?

There are initiatives in run down areas and uninhabitable spots, of selling houses for a nominal sum of say £1 a house, on condition a minimum amount is spent on renovation and making it liveable.

Then there’s help to get a foot on the property ladder through Housing Association shared ownership, Help to Buy and there are tax disincentives to buying second properties in the form of a stamp duty surcharge.

But these are not necessarily all that relevant to St Ives (apart from the tax), given it is an idyllic seaside town, hardly run down, but less frequented in Winter and with limited career prospects beyond tourism. And this new-build policy does not necessarily address short-term lettings, which must irk many locals too.

One view is that it is a tourist business and so the town should be run more along business lines. Which partly means welcoming investment and the spending power of tourists during the Summer months and managing the trough season better. In today’s world of remote working perhaps investment in infrastructure, including broadband and other incentives for businesses would be a more worthwhile effort to create a better year-round future so that it isn’t always bigger cities that attract workers and year-round home owning.

Inspired by an FT article September 2019

If you would like to discuss your situation or find out about suburban and city investment opportunities then please get in contact.

We work with time-strapped Ex pats and Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time, local presence or have gaps in their know-how to build property portfolios in the right way for them. In essence, to buy better in less time.

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 and sits on the Advisory Board 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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Second guessing the property market? Try Nuancing

Are you finding it tricky to second guess the property market? Given the shifting sands of UK politics it’s difficult to know what the outcome might be. There are questions over High Speed Rail HS2 and how it might be managed moving forwards. Yet investors may have been encouraged by such infrastructure investments to buy. So what to do?

Well maybe a slightly more nuanced approach might help? Why?

Well the traditional markets of the capital city, London and other main city centres like Birmingham are attractive investments, but entry level pricing is not always that accessible. And if you are looking for something slightly different from an investment it can pay to be more open-minded, or nuanced.

For example central London prices are showing falls on a monthly and quarterly basis, (although average annual prices show modest growth of 1.5% vs. 2018) and the volume of transactions are down annually at 5%.*

Greater London is a different story. The market continues to rally, with prices rising by 3.1% in July 2019, the strongest monthly performance since 2014*.  And annual prices have increased by 1.9%, outperforming 2018. And whilst the market is still not flowing freely – the fall in annual transactions has slowed to just 1.7% – quarterly transactions have surged by 33.4%.

So the London suburban market is holding up better than central London.

What’s more by looking slightly further afield you can get more for your money. For example Teddington has recently received favourable coverage over its relative affordability, claimed to be the cheapest riverside spot in south-west London, particularly for families. Given the combination of riverside activities, a good range of family houses and the large parks nearby.  What’s more, until recently, Teddington had avoided the price falls seen in central London.

But of course you can always look at the centre of London in a different way. If you want to invest and make money, but don’t like the prices of many central London properties, then there are some good-looking Ex-Local Authority properties that are affordable, mortgagable and deliver high yields. Now you don’t hear that often in the same sentence do you, London and high yield?

This suburbs-vs-centre theme can also be worth considering for the other major cities.

Let’s take Birmingham, once known as the first manufacturing town of the world it continues to attract investor attention, with a flourishing economy built on the service industry with the likes of Deutsche Bank, HSBC and PWC relocating offices to the city. Home to five universities, it has one of the UK’s largest student populations, many of whom choose to stay in the city beyond graduation.

Investing in the city-centre is not for everyone and if you want to buy more of a family home then the suburbs are a good place to look. So what about areas like Solihull and Sheldon? Right near major infrastructure links like rail and airport, prices are more attainable than central Birmingham.

On an annual basis sold prices in Sheldon were 8% up on the previous year and 15% up on 2016 when the average house price was £157,143.

So if you are finding it hard to second guess the property market, then maybe a more nuanced, subtle, approach of choosing in the suburbs might just work.

If you would like to discuss your situation or find out about suburban opportunities then please get in contact.

I work with time-strapped Expats and Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time, local presence or gaps in their know-how to build property portfolios in the right way for them. (Or who are simply stuck with little progress). This means you can carry on your day-to-day lives without spending disproportionate time getting sucked into investing.

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 and sits on the Advisory Board 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

*Source LCPAca Residential Index: Land Registry and cash sales, July 2019 figures

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What does ‘Alternative Investing’ mean for entrepreneurs and Expats?

I recently participated in a panel on how to be a ‘Savvy Investor’ with a core topic of conversation being Alternative Investing.

What is it? It is investing in non-regulated areas, which means they aren’t fully regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). This captures a lot of property and property-related investing, such as peer-to-peer lending for property activities. By way of example, this can be lending to a specific developer in the form of a mini bond, (non-tradable on an Exchange) or it can be investing via a Crowdfunding Platform, a regulated ‘website’ that facilitates this process.

Unfamiliar with peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding?

This is a relatively new sector in the market, under ten years’ old and it is an interesting time to be investing this way.

On the one hand it is ‘democratising’ the investment process, it offers property investing in bite-size chunks, with lower threshold entry levels for investment and easy access. Because of all of these things, it is starting to become a more popular way of investing in property and more mainstream, providing serious competition to mainstream bank lenders.

It has been given more of a cloak of legitimacy since the launch of IFISAs in 2016 (Innovative Financial ISAs which allow property investing as part of the tax-free wrapper).

But we mustn’t forget there are risks associated with these types of investments. There are no guarantees so everyone has to weigh up their own situation and risk profile. And make sure they are not over-stretching themselves financially.

Why might entrepreneurs invest in property via a crowdfunding platform?

Some landlords and property investors are seeking ways of continuing their property businesses in a way that will give some reprieve from the landlord red tape and tax that has become burdensome in the UK.

Investors can be attracted because it is a way of diversifying their activity, getting exposure to a number of different investment categories; either different geographies, or different types of property, for example commercial vs residential property, or the opportunity to work with a developer they might otherwise not be able to.

They can also do this in a measured way, in bite sized chunks. Some investments start at £5,000 or £10,000, some lower, particularly if part of an IFISA, where entry levels can be £1,000. Investing via an IFISA, (Innovative Finance Isas) can be tax-efficient, when used as part of a personal Isa allowance, so returns can be tax free for UK residents.

What are the upsides of Crowdfunding or investing via a property mini bond?

The returns on offer can be inflation-busting and much higher than other forms of investing. They are not always correlated with economic returns, so help spread risk during different economic cycles.

They also usually offer defined timeframes (although there are no guarantees) so this can help with planning.

Investing via a Crowdfunding website or platform can make the process quick, easy and accessible. Progress can usually be checked through a console. Many Crowdfunding platforms also do a level of due diligence which some investors like, but it is important to check what level and type of due diligence they do, so you are not lulled into a false sense of security.

What to remember when investing via Crowdfunding or developer mini bonds?

These types of investments aren’t guaranteed so it is important to check on the type of security offered for if things don’t work out as expected. Is it a registered charge on the property or land, or assets?

And how is this set up, via an independent Security Trustee holding and administering it on behalf of investors or something else?

What type of investing is being made? Are you seeking a share of equity, so that you get the upside and downside risk of a development project through shares in a company set up for a particular development?

Or lending money to a developer for a fixed return, over a fixed timeframe and the capital returned at the end of the term?

It is important to note that alternative investing provides an alternative way for entrepreneur investors to get exposure to all that property can offer, but this way of investing is not guaranteed. Capital is at risk and returns are projected, not guaranteed (or shouldn’t be claimed to be). These investments are also not very liquid, should you wish to cash in early, or redeem an investment. This is why many of these types of investments, whilst being accessible, tend to be appropriate for individuals with a certain asset base or income, or who aren’t investing too much of their money in any one of these investment types.

If you would like to talk then please e-mail info@property-venture.com with a telephone number to arrange a conversation.

I work with time-strapped Expats and Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time, local presence or have gaps in their know-how to build property portfolios in the right way for them. (Or who are simply stuck with little progress). This means they can carry on their day-to-day lives without spending disproportionate time getting sucked into investing.

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 and sits on the Advisory Board 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

Property Venture® is not a member of, nor regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority and does not provide regulated advice. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance and should not be relied upon when making an investment decision. Investors should carry out their own Due Diligence and seek independent financial advice.

Property Venture® acts as an introducer. Neither Property Venture® nor any of its Directors, employees or representatives will be liable for damages arising out of or in connection with the use of any information provided or any action taken in reliance on any information appearing on this website, in information sent out in printed or written format, or verbally.

All rates quoted, statistics, facts and information, were deemed to be relevant at the time of posting; however we can accept no responsibility for the on-going accuracy of the details contained within this website, or other documentation, or for error and omission.  We rely on data provided by 3rd party sources in some instances and whilst we endeavour to provide only accurate information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information you will see is for guidance. Intending purchasers should not rely on information given as statement of fact, but must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to its accuracy and conduct independent due diligence.

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Navigating Life as an Expat Investor?

As an Expat you may be an experienced worker whose skills are in demand around the World or in a specialist niche in the Oil, Gas and Energy industry or have started working straight from University and embarked on a career with a multi-national firm. Continue reading Navigating Life as an Expat Investor?

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Expat investors what’s different about what you seek?

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. Continue reading Expat investors what’s different about what you seek?

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Expats take note of latest UK Property consultation

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 Continue reading Expats take note of latest UK Property consultation

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Buying Investment Property right is a PRIVATE matter

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. Continue reading Buying Investment Property right is a PRIVATE matter

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