Britain’s ‘second cities’ offer opportunities for overseas investors

Britain’s ‘second cities’ offer opportunities for overseas investors

Away from the bright lights of London there may be some opportunities for property investment

Recent surveys suggest that there is a dip in confidence in the UK property market. Concerns over Brexit are making home owners cautious. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned at the possibility of up to a 30% drop in house prices if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. . Most experts believe this is an unlikely, worst-case scenario but even if this doesn’t happen, uncertainty about the future  may be making people hesitant to move house until a clearer picture emerges.

Is the London premium worth paying?

Overseas investors may not be concerned with the same issues as UK property owners, but the high prices of London property may be looking less attractive to long term investors. The solution may be to consider some of the UK’s ‘second cities’ which do not carry the London premium. In many places across the UK, there are opportunities for growth and property which offers excellent value.

Manchester boasts a media city

Manchester is the home of ‘Media City’ where a major part of the BBC operates as well as other companies including the commercial channel ITV. This has attracted more than media professionals; support and add-on services as well as general infrastructure and retail have meant that the area is growing. Manchester is also home to two of the UK’s biggest football teams, and this brings with it a certain amount of prosperity. The area is well primed for further development and could be a thriving hub in the future, making property investment there an opportunity to consider.

Leeds offers a choice for creative industries

While we’re looking at the media, major UK channel, Channel 4, announced earlier this year that they were relocating their headquarters to Leeds. This is another financial powerhouse in the North, with luxury department stores and a thriving arts scene which attracts businesses. Like Manchester, property tends to be cheaper in Leeds than London, and often you’ll get a larger or more luxurious property for the same price than you might find in the capital. Both cities also boast proximity to truly breath-taking countryside, giving investors the best of both British industry and the fresh air of the moors and hills.

Understanding currency fluctuations

Brexit isn’t the only issue to watch. The pound moves in relation to other currencies, so for example if the US dollar  continues to strengthen into next year,   good news on the Brexit front may not be enough to  see sterling make any gains. We offer all our clients expert guidance on the currency market which can help with understanding current trends and  potential changes to the market over the year to ensure that your foreign exchange plans and strategy remain fit for purpose in a rapidly evolving market.

Innovation and international links on the South Coast

It isn’t just the North that is showing growth. Southampton and Bournemouth are both developing at pace. The cities have close proximity to London, but are also developing rapidly. Southampton’s great strength is that it is a port with strong international ties. Bournemouth has grasped the opportunity to specialise in a growing area. The number of games developers may not yet rival Silicon Valley, but it’s clear that the city has the intention to grow and alongside that industry, many other businesses can thrive.

Currency costs and the price of property

While the pound is weighed down by Brexit uncertainty, overseas investors may get value in property investment both in London and further afield. The challenge comes when the dust settles on the UK’s departure from the EU. There are some concerns that the high prices of London will not hold and that growth may slow. In those cases, looking to some of the UK’s second cities, particularly those with clear advantages for global businesses or specialist areas of growth, may prove to be a strong alternative.

Wherever you’re planning to buy, a currency specialist can help you make the most of your money. A specialist can offer guidance on the currency market and often charges lower fees and offers better exchange rates than a high-street bank. Just a fraction of a percentage point on the exchange rate can make a big difference in the cost of a property deposit or purchase. An established provider like moneycorp also has offices all over the world and can provide additional benefits including a secure online account and mobile app to allow you to manage your funds wherever you are and tools to track and target specific rates as well as set up regular payments for property maintenance. 

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