UAE in­vestors are 20pc of UK buy-to-let sales

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

Ch­ester­tons Mena, a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional prop­erty agency, is ex­pand­ing its UK prop­erty in­vest­ment reach beyond the tra­di­tional Lon­don M25 bound­ary, with the launch of a num­ber of new prime de­vel­op­ments in the key gate­way cities of Manch­ester and Birm­ing­ham due to strong eco­nomic growth, large stu­dent pop­u­la­tions and ma­jor gov­ern­ment trans­port in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment.

"In the cur­rent mar­ket rental yields in some cen­tral Lon­don zones are as low as 3-4 per cent but still with a healthy cap­i­tal ap­pre­ci­a­tion whereas Birm­ing­ham and Manch­ester of­fer yields of 6-7 per cent and a slightly higher cap­i­tal ap­pre­ci­a­tion, at a more af­ford­able price point, there­fore ap­peal­ing to a larger band­width of in­vestors," said Amit Seth, head of In­ter­na­tional Res­i­den­tial De­vel­op­ment, Ch­ester­tons, Mena. A core city of the north­ern pow­er­house pro­posal, Manch­ester is al­ready home to a thriv­ing res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity that has tre­bled in num­ber over the last decade, to over 500,000 with a fur­ther 2.25 mil­lion liv­ing in the suburbs. With four Univer­si­ties, plus an­other 14 Univer­si­ties and higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions in sur­round­ing ar­eas, 350,000 stu­dents live within an hour's drive of Manch­ester, Europe's largest stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

Eco­nomic growth has also been boosted by ma­jor pub­lic in­vest­ment into trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing the ex­pan­sion of the ex­ist­ing Metrolink tram sys­tem and the com­ple­tion of the Dh175 bil­lion HS2 rail link which will cut the jour­ney time to Lon­don in half, to just over one hour. "Manch­ester is a city known to many GCC in­vestors, thanks to Abu Dhabi United Groupowned EPL foot­ball team Manch­ester City. In­sti­tu­tional in­vestors such as Abu Dhabi In­vest­ment Authority (ADIA) have in­vested heav­ily into the UK, giv­ing in­creas­ing com­fort to in­vestors from the GCC re­gion. To put this into per­spec­tive, the UAE alone ac­counted for over 20 per cent of buy-to-let sales in the UK in 2015, $1.99 bil­lion of in­vest­ment in the last quar­ter of 2014," said Seth. It is also home to the UK's third largest air­port, where plans have been ap­proved to ex­pand the ex­ist­ing Air­port City En­ter­prise Zone and add a new 2.8-mil­lion­square-foot Life Sciences En­ter­prise Zone to fur­ther catal­yse new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. Ch­ester­tons is mar­ket­ing Manch­ester, a ho­tel style project com­pris­ing of 368 hi-spec one to three-bed­room apart­ments lo­cated on the banks of the Ir­well and ad­ja­cent to the his­toric Castle­field quar­ter. Units are avail­able from just Dh750,000, with the de­vel­op­ment fea­tur­ing a ca­sual open-plan lobby with break­out zones, 24/7 concierge, gym and spa, me­dia room, busi­ness centre, stor­age rooms, un­der­ground park­ing and a col­lec­tion of land­scaped rooftop ter­races of­fer­ing panoramic city views.

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