For such a small island, there’s a lot of the UK that has a roof over it – about 25 million homes and 2 million business and commercial premises.
This makes it the 4th largest property market in the world, underpinned by one of the world’s most stable economic and political systems.
And Britain’s continuing role as a major influence on world affairs helps protect its markets and provide solid investment security – but as an investor abroad, how do you get a foot in the door?
Welcome, 欢迎, bienvenu, أهلا بك!
The first thing that works in your favour is Britain’s attitude to private overseas investors; you are welcomed with open arms.
There are countries around the world that put severe restrictions and even blanket bans on outsiders owning property – not the UK.
There are no extra tariffs or tax penalties for non-residents, and you may own as many properties as you please. You can buy houses, flats, shops, hotels, garages, cinemas, campsites, agricultural land, offices – everything is available to you.
Easy purchase process
The British legal system is one of the oldest in the world and over many centuries has evolved into one of the most transparent and accessible. Property in particular is kept as uncomplicated as possible, with straightforward ownership and registration legislation.
A benefit of this is that all stages of property ownership are scrutinised and validated by formally qualified independent licensed professionals; all transactions are crystal clear and legally binding at the time of purchase – there’ll be no nasty surprises further down the line. And with no culture of corruption in this country, everything is open, above board and fully documented.
The fully independent Property Ombudsman is on hand to arbitrate on any point of contention between buyer, seller or agent.
Obviously you would be well advised to take legal guidance from a UK-based property expert should you choose to proceed.
So much to choose from
Of course, the overseas investor is at something of a disadvantage when it comes to actually identifying the property they wish to buy. Unless you’ve seen the place on a previous visit, you’ll be doing your research from a distance.
If you’re familiar with the UK, you’ll know there’s a lot more to it than London, Manchester and Birmingham – which is just as well, as the biggest cities tend to command the highest property prices. London in particular can be quite terrifyingly expensive. If you don’t know the country very well, you’ll need to do an awful lot of homework very, very thoroughly before you commit your capital.
Whatever kind of property you’re after – a suburban buy-to-let, a retail outlet, a holiday rental – you’ll have to be quite certain that its location ensures it will be in the kind of demand that will provide you with a worthwhile, regular and sustained yield.
It may be that you have relatives, friends or associates over here who can make a few recommendations and maybe do a little reconnaissance for you, and that will be a great help.
But what you really need is an expert on the ground who will do all the legwork for you before, during and after purchase.
This is where Emerging Property can prove invaluable.
Local knowledge – a priceless asset
We and our exclusive developer partner specialise in undersupplied, oversubscribed property sectors; our top performers are purpose built student accommodation and serviced apartments.
But there’s a lot more to it than just looking for a university town or tourist resort and diving straight in.
Although there is a severe shortage of designated student property – only 26% of the UK’s two million plus students can access it – some towns are very much better supplied than others, and are approaching a saturation point which, from the investment perspective, is around 40% supply.
So, we keep well away from 60% undersupply and concentrate on more chronic shortages to ensure long-term demand.
This has the added bonus of allowing our properties to be among the first on the scene and to secure pole position in terms of prime close-to-campus location.
Clearly, this is just the end benefit of a comprehensive programme of research and due diligence, which embraces a wide range of criteria. Obviously, we seek out information on student numbers and their current accommodation options, but we also take an in-depth look at the university itself, its progress up the rankings, its campus investment programme and its overall long-term desirability to students.
We examine the local and regional economy, looking for evidence of current or planned and funded urban renewal; we check local, national and international transport links and infrastructure projects.
Only when we are completely satisfied that the candidate location meets all our strict criteria will we commit.
We go through the same process for our serviced apartments; obviously we have a very different checklist here, such as tourist numbers, visitor attractions and overall holiday appeal.
Our final decision is based on the findings of our professional, highly experienced research teams, which submit these towns, universities and resorts to the kind of scrutiny that would be beyond even the most intrepid of local investors, never mind one based overseas.
This is why we collate all this information into our detailed but user-friendly Investor Reports, which are available for download wherever you may be in the world.
And the armchair ride continues
When you read your Investor Report, you’ll notice that our properties come with sector-leading NET yields of 8-12%, fixed and contracted for 10 years. This will be paid automatically into the account of your choice anywhere in the world.
What’s more, your property will be professionally managed for you; every aspect of ownership will be taken care of on your behalf and there will be no further costs – no ground rent, no maintenance or repair charges, no utility bills, nothing. The management team will take care of all letting, vetting and rent collection.
You have to do precisely nothing for the next 10 years.
Fixed price local legal guidance
We said it would be sensible to take expert legal advice, but that might be easier said than done for our overseas clients.
So for a one-off fixed fee, we can arrange unlimited access to a fully independent, impartial UK property law expert to help you through the purchase process as smoothly as possible.
So what next?
The best way to start is to browse through our properties and find something that might be of interest. Then simply download the Investor Report; there are full contact details there so you can get in touch with one of our consultants if you have any further questions.
Then it’s just a question of settling back and letting us do everything for you.