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