Property Investment in the North West: 6 Strategies for Success

The North West has been making headlines for many years now thanks to extraordinary property investment opportunities in cities like Manchester and Liverpool.

The demand for this property is only driving growth, with city skylines dominated by cranes and the streets lined with developer hoardings. However, with North West property now the UK’s worst kept investment secret, are there any more deals to be had?

Well, yes and no.

An increase in demand is always going to create a more competitive marketplace, but compared to southern cities and especially London, there are still a wealth of opportunities to be had.

In fact, new research has shown the North West to be the best place to invest in buy-to-let properties in England and Wales.

In this blog, we’re going to share 6 steps you can take to find a great North West property investment in 2019. Let’s get started.

1. Don’t Be Fooled by the Glitz and Glamour

london-skyscapeIf you’re new to property investment or less familiar with the North West, it’s important to not get completely sidetracked by the glamour of a major city centre.

Manchester and Liverpool still have a host of great city centre properties to invest in but they are not your only options. Such as been the boom in these cities, that areas local to them are beginning to benefit.

In Manchester, investment is growing out from the centre to areas like Bolton and Stockport. The latter is even getting “Metrolink ready”, with a new transport interchange and block of flats.

Further afield, areas like Warrington and Preston are seeing more and more young professionals settle because of the easy access to big cities and very affordable prices.

So, while city centre investments may be grabbing the headlines, there are plenty of other great investment opportunities to consider.

2. Don’t Forget Rental Yield

growing-money-next-to-wooden-houseIt’s amazing the number of investors who are completely lovestruck by the promise of strong capital growth. Don’t get me wrong capital growth is important as you want the security of taking money out of your property in five years, ten years or more, but it is not your only consideration.

Just because you pick a property with a strong expected capital growth doesn’t mean you’ll also receive a decent rental yield. In fact, in many instances, increases in mortgage rates can leave you losing money each month while you wait to sell.

Therefore, you should always take the time to research the realistic rental yields in the area you’re considering buying in and you’re own personal goals.

If the purpose of your investment is to sell on retirement and top up your pension fund, then looking for a good capital growth may work for you. However, if you want to enhance your monthly paycheck, then the rental yield is a far more important metric.

Whatever your goal, don’t be brainwashed only by the money you could make in 20 years, think about the money you could make next month.

If you’re unsure how to go about identifying an area with a high rental yield, check out our blog on the subject.

3. Look for Property Investment Markers

checklist-being-tickedOkay, so you know it’s worth considering properties outside the city centre and that you need to look for high rental yields, but what are the other telltale signs of a strong investment hotspot?

  • Student Retention Rate: One of the best indicators of continued growth is a high student retention rate, as this shows a pipeline of high-quality professionals who need property to rent. This is particularly important if you’re considering investing in a city centre property, which is typically in demand by this demographic. Luckily, the North West averages one of the best student retention rates outside of London.
  • Great Transport Links: We’ve already touched on this, but it’s worth making clear what an important indicator good transport links are. They make major cities easily accessible from areas like Preston for work or pleasure, which, in turn, is causing more people to settle in areas outside Liverpool and Manchester.
  • High Occupancy Rates: If you can, look for occupancy rate data for apartment blocks or hotels in the area you’re considering investing in. This should give you an idea of whether the area is growing in popularity or not. If you can’t find this data, look for related statistics on job growth, school quality and local crime.
  • New Investments: If big business is investing in your area, you’ll likely see how prices rise as more jobs are created. Similarly, public investment in terms of regeneration projects is a good indicator of an up and coming investment area. This shouldn’t be too hard to find, with the North West seeing nearly £1billion of investment in the first three months of 2018.

4. Read the Small Print

So far, we’ve only really spoken about strategies for success from the point of view of finding an investment opportunity, but what happens when you have.

If you are investing in an apartment (or some houses), you’ll more than likely be purchasing a leasehold property. If this is the case, it’s imperative that you take the time to pour over every detail in the small print. As you’re only be leasing the land from a freeholder, there may be restrictions on how you can use your property that you need to know about.

These can range from the mundane, such as not allowing pets, to the downright disastrous, such as not being allowed to let out your property at all!

It goes without saying that if you invest in a property with the latter restriction, you’re not going to find it a successful experience.

We’ve written an entire article on leasehold restrictions, so be sure to give it a read before you invest.

5. Share the Burden

woman-holding-weightlifting-barThis is our penultimate step to property investment success in the North West and it’s not one to be taken lightly.

Get some help.

Buying a property is only the first step of your investment, you then have to find tenants, manage paperwork, collect rent, look after maintenance and generally run around everywhere.

This is tough enough with one property (especially if you have a full-time job) but if you want to build a portfolio, it can be practically impossible. But it doesn’t have to be.

There is a range of property management specialists you can use to look after your investment for you. Yes, this costs money, but for the work it takes off your shoulders, we think it’s well worth considering.

Furthermore, having an expert in your corner that knows the market inside out means you can actually benefit from better tenants and rental yields.

6. Speak to an Expert

So, we’ve come to our final step to successfully investing in North West property and, in many ways, it probably should have been our first.

There are a lot of investment opportunities to consider in the North West in a lot of places. If you’re an expert in all of these unique markets, then more power to you, but for the most of us, a little help is the difference between a great property investment and a… well, let’s not think about that.

For that reason, you should also start your search by identifying the local experts in your investment areas. Once you have, just get in touch to take your first step to property investment success in the North West.