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Beginner's guide to UK property investing
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UK property investments: all our properties

Student Property
Our UK property investment hub

Here, you can find links to our current UK property investments, including all active resale units.

Below this, you can discover the key fundamentals behind this lucrative investment market, including our two focus sectors – purpose built student accommodation and serviced apartments.

Select a topic below to skip to that category, scroll through the hub or get in touch with one of our experienced property consultants to discover more.

Student Property
Q Studios
New build student property
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This impressive new build development boasts a prime location near two highly respected universities. Q Studios is being released in two phases, with the first phase now sold out. Phase II contains 147 highly sought after student studios and an impressive range of facilities.

  • 10% NET fixed yields: every year for 10 years
  • Optional 5% interest on deposited funds during build
  • Fully managed by professional onsite team
  • Available from £69,950
Primrose Hill
Fully operational student property
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Primrose Hill Student Residence is a fully operational student property investment, with proven income generation since 2012. It is in high demand from Huddersfield’s university population, with quality en-suites, excellent facilities and a prime close-to-campus location.

  • 8-10% NET yields: every year for 10 years
  • Immediate & automatic income
  • Fully occupied since 2012
  • Available from £45,950
Tudor Studios
New build student property
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This 255-unit property was constructed within a pre-existing Grade II listed façade. It boasts some of the largest student studios found anywhere in the UK and residents enjoy excellent facilities that include a gym, cinema and games room.

  • Immediate income
  • NHBC award winning developer
  • 8.5-year structural warranty
  • Only 2 active resale studios available
Serviced Apartments
Ilfracombe Holiday Park
Operational UK serviced apartments
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Ilfracombe Holiday Park is our second development of serviced apartments in North Devon. Already popular with tourists, our award-winning developer is carrying out a full redevelopment of the site, including the installation of a range of new facilities, to sustain strong occupancy levels.

  • 10-12% NET fixed yields: every year for 10 years
  • Effortless income begins immediately
  • Partnered with UK’s largest self-catering bookings company
  • Available from £88,000
Westbeach
Luxury Serviced Apartments & Spa
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Westbeach, Devon is located in the UK’s most popular tourist region, and its prime beachside location and excellent facilities – including a spa and the area’s only local indoor swimming pool – ensures its popularity among visitors to Westward Ho!

  • 8-10% NET fixed yields: every year for 10 years
  • Proven income generation
  • Professional management – effortless income
  • Only 15 units available
Active Resale Properties
The Foundry
Fully operational student property
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This purpose built 112-unit property contains a range of student en-suites and studios alongside excellent onsite facilities. The development is fully occupied for the 2017/18 academic year, with proven income generation dating back to 2008.

  • 8.3-9.2% NET annual yield for 7.5 years
  • Immediate income from day 1
  • Professional onsite management
  • Only 1 active resale studio available
Park Lane House
Fully operational student property
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This purpose built student property contains 114 double student en-suites, divided into 14 apartments across five floors. It boasts a common room with pool tables and cinema, as well as a landscaped garden, coffee shop and secure bike storage area.

  • 8% NET fixed yields: every year for 7 years
  • Operational since September 2015
  • Professional onsite management – effortless income
  • Only 2 active resale en-suites available
Jubilee Court
Newly operational student property
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This property contains 241 purpose built student en-suites, all with Wi-Fi and quality furnishings throughout. Residents also have access to a wide range of facilities which places the property at the top of Preston’s student accommodation sector.

  • Immediate income
  • NHBC award winning developer
  • 10-year structural warranty
  • Only 1 active resale en-suite available
Scholar’s Village
Fully operational student property
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Scholar’s Village is an operational student property investment, with excellent new facilities and quality purpose built en-suites. Its prime location enables it to capitalise on demand from both the university and the fourth largest college in the UK.

  • Immediate income
  • Proven property investment model
  • Pre-tenanted for 2017/18
  • Only 1 active resale unit available

UK property investment hub

UK property market: analysing the appeal

Taken together, the UK’s commercial and residential property stock is the third largest real estate market globally.

It is rated as “highly transparent” (JLL) – meaning that it provides one of the most favourable operating environments in the world for investors and developers.

Residential housing represents the largest non-financial asset in the country, with a NET worth of £5.1 trillion and 1.75 million active landlords (HMRC).

Strong capital growth potential has been key to its appeal, with average house prices tripling over the last 20 years – from just over £70,000 in 1999 to £223,000 in 2017.

Apart from a dip in 2009, house prices increased every year during this period – though there has been somewhat of a slowdown in recent years.

Commercial property is valued at £883 billion, and is recognised as the top global destination for the sector’s private investors (Knight Frank).

It represents a higher-yielding alternative to residential housing, with a shallower entry point that allows for portfolio diversification.

UK real estate is hugely popular with foreign investors, who account for 28% of residential property investments. They also make up 16% of commercial property investment activity, with a third of this taking place outside London.

Third largest global real estate market

Highly transparent investment environment

Top global destination for private investors

National housing shortage

That the UK has a housing crisis is one of the few issues that all the country’s political parties can agree on.

The combination of a high birth-rate, immigration and an aging population saw society grow by 538,000 in 2016 – the biggest rise for 70 years (ONS).

Housebuilding companies have long failed to keep pace with this spiralling demand and are building approximately 140,000 new homes a year – far short of the 250,000 annual target set by the Labour government back in 2007.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts that, unless deep-seated issues are addressed, the UK will have a shortage of 1.8 million homes by 2025.

In April 2017, they also noted that the number of properties sitting on estate agents’ books fell to just 43 per branch in March – the lowest figure since the body started collecting the data in 1978.

This shortage has caused an enormous surge in house prices, with the average time required to save for a deposit now an eye-watering 22 years.

Since vast numbers of people cannot get onto the housing ladder, 19% of the population now live in the private rental sector – nearly double 2002’s figure (English Housing Survey).

 

Population grew by 538,000 in 2016

110,000 too few homes built last year

1.8 million housing shortage by 2025

House price growth

Capital growth underpins the success of any property investment, yet house prices in the UK are unpredictable and have a horrible tendency to go down as well as up.

Property values have grown exponentially since the Second World War but recent performance suggests that this has come to an end.

At £219,266, the average house price in the UK is only 10% higher than the August 2007 peak.

With yields sitting at only 2% NET, this means that the average BTL property investor would have earned approximately £65,800 over the last decade, or 30% of the purchase price.

Even a property investor that bought in April 2009 when prices were at their lowest would only have made 42% capital growth since then.

Our commercial property investments, however, are unaffected by the wide range of factors that influence UK house price. These include economic growth, unemployment, interest rates, consumer confidence, mortgage availability, supply levels investment in infrastructure.

Unlike the residential market, commercial property values directly relate to income generation and our buyers receive 8-12% NET annual yields – effectively doubling their money in a decade. Our 10-year fixed income agreements also mean that clients benefit from up to 40% capital growth through yield compression.

Overseas investment

According to international real estate advisor Savills, overseas investors poured £5.8 billion into our regional commercial property market in 2016, accounting for almost one third (29%) of the total investment outside London.

In 2014 and 2015, when investment volumes in the UK regions were at an all time record, overseas investors represented an 18% (£4.1bn) and 27% (£6.1bn) market share of the total.

Savills reports Middle and Far Eastern buyers were busy outside London in 2016, spending £1.9 billion, an increase of 90% on their total spend in the UK regions the previous year.

They also note major interest from European investors who had a 32% market share of total investment in the UK regions, with German investors accounting for almost half.

What makes a good property investment?

As always in property investment, location is paramount. Careful research needs to be carried out to identify those places where a housing undersupply will translate into the sustained high demand required for reliable yield delivery.

Assurances over build quality also shield buyer yields from the excessive maintenance costs that arise from poor workmanship. Quality properties in the UK will be accredited by the NHBC, with new builds protected by 10-year Buildmark warranties.

A regular and consistent income is the ultimate hallmark of a good property investment. Ideally, this would come in the form of a long fixed income agreement that provides buyers with a pre-determined NET annual income, with no costs or surprises.

Resale is central to maximising income from a property investment, and buyers should be able to sell whenever they want. They should also look out for transferable fixed income periods that can be used to stimulate strong capital growth.

What are the risks?

If you’re buying off-plan, the greatest risk is that the property never actually gets built. This could see your investment wiped out completely.

Other risks include market volatility; if you need to liquidate during a downturn, you may have to sell at a loss. If you do well and make a profit, you may well be liable to significant Capital Gains Tax.

Rental income can be affected by a range of external influences, such as the national economy, local development or local business closures. There is no such thing as a guaranteed yield for a residential property landlord.

Void periods are inevitable and need to be budgeted for. If the worst comes to the worst, eviction proceedings are inevitably lengthy, costly and will lead to loss of rental income and possibly damage to the property.

Before you make any kind of investment, always make sure you can get out easily. Anybody’s circumstances can change overnight, but unlike stocks and shares, residential property resale takes a lot longer than that. You could be left high and dry.

And remember, most investments offer you some form of customer rights and protection; residential property investment does not.

Why choose Emerging Property?

Emerging Property provide fully managed UK property investments, with £155m worth of stock sold to date and 2,500 units currently under our management.

Emerging Property provides fully managed UK property investments, with £155m worth of stock sold to date.

This video provides an overview of our property investment approach that is generating 8-12% NET annual income to thousands of clients from around the world.

It also provides an introduction to purpose built student accommodation, the UK’s highest yielding property investment over the last six years (Knight Frank)

Key investment sectors

Buy-to-let: residential UK property investing

The proportion of residential stock being bought by property investors looking to tap into the private rental market has grown sharply since the 1990s, and they now account for 20% of all mortgages across the country.

While landlords can hire a management company to administer the property on their behalf, it is equally common for them to take a hands on approach to avoid income being eroded.

Today, buyers receive an average annual yield of 2%, making it a higher yielding option than savings accounts and ISAs. This is a low for the sector, and a result of government initiatives to curb this runaway sector in the face of the country’s housing shortage.

Since the introduction of a Stamp Duty surcharge in 2016, buy-to-let property buying has decreased by 30%. However, in the long term, it is expected that higher costs – with a range of sector regulation being introduced over the next few years – will be passed on to tenants.

Property investors now rely on capital growth at resale to maximise income from this asset. With property prices oscillating randomly and the sales process taking over three months, income here is unpredictable.

£1 trillion private rental sector

Owner occupancy level at 30-year low

2% NET annual income

Purpose built student accommodation

These specialist student developments have been the highest yielding UK property asset every year since 2011 (Knight Frank).

This performance is underpinned by a strong demand from the UK’s ever-growing student population. It has doubled in size during the last 20 years, with 30% of this growth coming after four consecutive record-breaking years of student intake.

While these private halls of residence have long been the preferred accommodation choice for students, there are only enough bed spaces for 26% of the country’s students – forcing 1.7 million students into substandard alternatives in the private rental sector.

In comparison with residential housing, beneficial economies of scale decrease costs for each individual unit buyer. This also allows for added benefits like a permeant onsite management presence, excellent facilities and advanced security systems.

Property investors receive an average of 6.5% NET income each year, with strong yield-driven capital growth and excellent resale options thanks to the sector’s buoyant secondary market.

£43 billion sector

6.5% NET annual income

Strong government incentives

Serviced apartments

Serviced apartments have been the UK’s fastest growing hospitality sector since 2014. Today, the sector accounts for 6% of all hotel investment volumes compared to just 2% in 2011 (ASAP).

Despite this increase in supply, however, the industry still experienced 81% occupancy levels in 2016 – a record for the sector and higher than hotel occupancy which sat at 77.2% during the same period (ASAP).

Future expansion will be led by the regions, with growth of 20.5% forecast in 2017, compared to an increase of 8.1% in London (Savills).

Strong demand is built on the UK’s thriving visitor economy. It is the 6th most visited country in the world (UNWTO) and attracted 37.3 international tourists in 2016 – a 3% annual increase and the highest level since records began in 1961.

By providing a bridge between Airbnb and the traditional hotel sector, serviced apartments are ideally positioned to capitalise on technological shifts and changing consumer preferences.

This explains the popularity of serviced apartments and underlines why they are growing into a mainstream property investment class. Sitting between 6.5% and 9.5%, sector yields are also outpacing the traditional hotel sector.

6.5% NET annual income

Higher occupancy than hotels

Strongest sector growth in the regions

Other commercial property

The UK is the most attractive global commercial property market, with overseas investors accounting for a third of all activity.

This popularity comes as a result of sophisticated and transparent legislation, as well as favourable exchange rates.

Traditionally, the UK’s commercial property market has been dominated by the office, retail and industrial sectors.

Alternative property investments, like serviced apartments and purpose built student accommodation, have increased their market share rapidly over the last few years.

Despite the Brexit referendum, the total volume invested into UK commercial property hit £27.2bn in the first six months of 2017 – a slight increase on the same period in 2016 (Savills).

Savills forecasts that average market yields are expected to be around 5.5% for UK commercial property in 2017 and will improve over the next five years. Total income varies from sector to sector, with current levels displayed in the chart opposite.

£871 billion market

4.7% NET annual income

Popular with overseas investors

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As seen in:
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