Well, we’re just back from The Property Investor and Homebuyer show which was held at London’s ExCel Arena, and what a hectic event it was. Whilst it seemed a bit quieter to previous shows, we are still delighted to report that we had a steady stream of people visiting our stand and plenty of interest shown in student property investments and prime city centre developments, especially Downtown Manchester, which I will come on to again shortly.
Although the numbers were slightly down compared to the April 2016 show, the clients we spoke to asked the kind of questions that you only get from serious investors and that was theme of the two days. We spoke to many investors with a strategy and a game plan and, as a result, we’ve certainly got some very strong leads to follow up on.
This show was always going to be an interesting one, operating in an environment where stamp duty hikes have put a lot of would-be investors off and, of course, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Having said that, it was notable how many international investors were at the event, clearly unperturbed about some of the myths about the current state of the UK property market and motivated by the low rate of sterling!
Lots of buzz about Downtown
One of the properties that we were actively promoting at the event is Downtown in Manchester. Downtown is a prestigious new residential development located next to the historic quarter of Castlefield on the banks of the River Irwell. Inspired by Manhattan’s unique skyline, Downtown is a new ‘hotel-style’ development that is creating huge interest at the moment. It’s host of hotel-style services such as a concierge, media room, rooftop terrace,al fresco seating areas and onsite gymnasium and spa, certainly ticks all the boxes for the aspirational Manchester audience that it will attract. One of the big advantages of Downtown in the guaranteed rental income it offers for 1 to 5 years and this was of keen interest to many of the investors we spoke to.
Interestingly, some of the most well-attended seminars at the event were about issues that landlords face with tenants, especially with regards to non-payment of rent and collecting debt. This is why so much interest was shown in our developments like Downtown Manchester where guaranteed rental income is a feature that is clearly attractive for investors looking for strong and secure monthly income.
Property investing outside of London
Another notable factor about the show was the amount of interest shown with investing in properties in regional cities outside of London. Clearly in search of the higher yields and capital appreciation that regional property gives, we were asked a lot of questions about property investment opportunities in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool which we were very happy to answer.
Property investing in UK regional cities is our forte and, having exhibited at property shows for a number of years now, we’ve seen a definite shift with investors looking further afield than London and seizing the opportunities that exist within city centre properties and purpose-built student accommodation.
We’ve also seen a concerted move from investors looking to consolidate their positions, achieve strong and reliable monthly incomes and embark on buy-to-hold strategies rather than focus on purely capital appreciation.
A great success
Overall, the show was a great success for Barrows & Forrester and, as well as meeting up with clients old and new, it was great to see how many of our recommended partners were there in the finance and legal sectors, and equally great to hear a lot of the positive feedback about the service they have been bestowing on our clients.
I would also like to play tribute to my team at Barrows & Forrester who put in a massive effort over the two days and played a significant role in creating interest in our portfolio of developments and continuing the good name of our company.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to visit our stand and we look forward to catching up with you again very soon. Kind Regards James Forrester MD.