The Queen’s Pick

Here’s a bit of trivia: Did you know that HM Queen Elizabeth’s personal fortune is estimated to be worth up to £360m? We take a peek at the properties belonging to the world’s longest-reigning living monarch.

Some of the most aristocratic people of all time are the monarchs of England. The royal family, which traces its origins as far back as the 10th century, is the embodiment of some of the strongest empires the world has ever seen.

Like the game of Chess, which is modelled after the British royal family, the UK is one of only two kingdoms in the modern world where the Queen holds the highest form of authority.

As the Sovereign of an enormous empire that has historically conquered most parts of the world, one has to wonder: does the longest-reigning Queen have investments of her own?

The short answer? Yes, she does. The sovereign can own real estate in several ways — through the Crown and, privately, through the Royal Family.

The Crown Estate

The Buckingham Palace. Source: Independent

The Buckingham Palace. Source: Independent

A vast number of land in the UK known as the Crown Estate is owned by the Crown where it belongs to the reigning King or Queen. This property is usually run by independent organisations that the monarch hires.

An interesting fact is that any profit or yield that comes from these properties is directed towards the government treasury. However, the Queen receives 25% of the revenue generated from the Crown Estate in the form of a Sovereign Grant, which is used to fund her official work and the maintenance of her residences.

Many of the royal palaces and parks are owned by the Crown. According to the Land Registry, the Crown owns land in approximately 217 out of 342 districts in England and Wales — that is about 7,936 plots!

The Queen’s Collection

The Queen also has properties that she owns personally. The privately owned properties of the Queen can be divided in the form of two duchies: The Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of Cornwall. Some of these properties include grand hotels, iconic race courses and historic castles.

The Duchy of Lancaster, a 18,433-hectare estate, holds a number of historic properties, including the Lancaster Castle in Lancashire and Pickering Castle in Yorkshire. The Duchy generates an approximate annual income of £18m which is paid directly to the reigning monarch.

Lancaster Castle in Lancashire. Source: Business Insider Malaysia

Lancaster Castle in Lancashire. Source: Business Insider Malaysia

A major part of the Duchy of Lancaster is the Savoy Estate, located in central London. It is home to one of the world’s most luxurious and exclusive hotels — the iconic Savoy Hotel. The Duchy had a net worth of £519m and delivered a net income of £19.2m in 2017.

The Duchy of Cornwall consists of 53,000 hectares of land in 23 counties, mostly in the southwest of England. The Isles of Scilly and Dartmoor, which includes Highgrove, the private residence of the Prince of Wales and Camilla, are among the properties that fall within the Duchy of Cornwall. Unlike the Duchy of Lancaster, revenues generated are passed on to the heir of the throne — Prince Charles (currently).

Beyond the Duchies

Beyond the bounds of the duchies, The Queen also has a number of private properties located in Greater Manchester and its surrounding areas. These properties are worth billions.

Here are some of the properties owned by the Queen herself in areas within and surrounding Greater Manchester:

Altrincham Retail Park, Broadheath, Trafford
Altrincham Retail Park, Broadheath, Trafford
Part of Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
Part of Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
Oldham County Court
Oldham County Court
Chester Castle
Chester Castle

Manchester’s staggering development and rising population growth makes it an attractive place for investors looking for the next big thing to invest. Property, in particular, is a secure choice as the demand for housing in the city continues to grow.

This adds to the numerous indisputable reasons why investing in UK property now is a smart investor’s move. From profitable returns, lucrative rental yields and the more affordable pound, property in the UK is a viable opportunity for anyone looking for a promising prospect to plonk their pennies.

Theresa May’s Brexit plan has failed. What next?

Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been defeated by 230 votes — the biggest government defeat in history.

MPs voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal yesterday — by a stunning 432 to 202 votes.

The proposal on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union came out last November, after almost 2 years of negotiation.

It provides for a transitional period until the end of 2020, with many of the existing arrangements staying in place. The deal also includes the Irish ‘backstop’, which proved controversial and may have contributed greatly to Mrs May’s defeat in the Commons.

The ‘backstop’ is a measure designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the Irish mainland. It ensures that there will not be any physical border infrastructure on the island, even if future talks fail to produce a free trade agreement.

Following the historic loss, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in Mrs May’s leadership. The vote will be held later today.

If she wins the vote, it’ll be business as usual.

But if she loses, things will escalate quickly. The Cabinet would have to resign and there would be a period of 14 days in which a new government can be formed.

The new government would have to get the confidence of the Commons for business to go on.

Mrs May could attempt to hang on and try to form a new government. She has greater support among her own Tory MPs after a party revolt failed last December. Party rules do not allow another challenge for the next 12 months.

However, she may decide it is time to hand the reins over to someone else. A new Tory leader would then have the chance to form a government, as would opposition parties.

The current makeup of Parliament allows Tory MPs to easily gain control of the House with their numbers, so it is unlikely that opposition parties will stand a chance.

On the off-chance that no government is able to get confidence of the Commons in those two weeks, then Parliament will be dissolved, and a general election called after 25 working days.

The UK is running out of time to work out Brexit terms, making it more likely to ask Brussels for an extension. The EU has expressed a willingness to grant one, but penalties may be involved on the UK’s part.

There is also an increased chance of a no-deal scenario, if ultimately all efforts at negotiation fail.

The UK is now forced back to the negotiating table to try to get a better deal, even though EU leaders have made it quite clear that the deal is not up for renegotiation.

European Council President Donald Tusk suggested that the UK should stay in the EU after the results were out.

“If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”, he asked on Twitter.

Property consultancy CSI Prop projects a positive outlook for the long-term future of the UK property market after Brexit, even in the case of a no-deal, and says that the current situation is an opportunity for investors.

The Sterling rose 1.5% against the dollar to $1.29. Could this be the final chance for investors to take advantage of the low pound?

Sources

Manchester: A Regeneration Hub

Manchester is the UK’s fastest-growing city and Europe’s second largest tech hubs. A key region of the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative, Manchester is home to some of the world’s most brilliant minds. It is one of the world’s most connected cities, boasting efficient and convenient travelling within, to and from the UK. Manchester is a creative force with a booming reputation only set to get bigger.

With a rich talent pool of over 110,000 thinkers from four leading universities, Manchester has a high graduate retention rate of 58%, making it the second highest in the UK with a working population of 680,000. This city is the sanctuary for millennials due to its promising job prospect, growing employment rate and a lavish lifestyle that no young person could refuse.

This assertive, flourishing city has levels of job creation predicted to outpace cities such as Berlin, Tokyo and Paris, between 2015 and 2020*. Manchester airport serves more destinations than any other in the UK, outside of London making it the third busiest airport in UK.  

Forecasted to be the UK’s strongest performing city both in terms of GVA (2.4%) and employment growth (1.2%) from 2017 to 2020, Manchester is the preferred destination for millenials and the brightest minds with a world-class proposition for business and investment.

The Bustling Manchester Lifestyle


The attractive Manchester city. Source: Manchester Evening News

Apart from being a productive and dynamic city, this urban sanctuary is also a great place where extravagant lifestyle transpires.  

Whether one is on the hunt for bargains or a must-have piece, an avid foodie, or a sports enthusiast, there is something to suit everyone in this city.

Shopping in Manchester is a real treat. Visit King Street to indulge in the latest collections from world-renowned designers. Manchester is also home to a number of luxury departmental stores, such as Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

The famous Trafford Centre is as much a theme park as it is a shopping destination, and there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained here. Afflecks in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is the go-to place for indie commerce, where shoppers will find everything from clothing outlets to old-style record stores and retro gaming shops.


The famous Trafford Centre. Source: VisitManchester

Manchester has a bustling and eclectic nightlife scene for those who enjoy a drink after a long day. Whether one prefers the classic atmosphere of a traditional English pub, or the stunning views of a rooftop bar, the city has it all.

For the millenials, the party never stops in Manchester, partygoers don’t need to wait until the weekend to have a good time. Manchester’s club scene is vibrant and varied making it the obvious top UK party destination.  

Manchester is gaining popularity for its good food, and residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining. At eateries in Manchester, one can find exquisite cuisine from around the world to whet your appetite. With a growing number of restaurants, delis and artisan cafés sourcing their produce locally, diners are ensured of fresh and seasonal delights.

Home to two of the world’s most iconic football teams, the people of Manchester take great pride in their shared passion for sports. Whether you support red or blue, the National Football Museum, right at the city centre, is a must to visit.


The famous City of Manchester Stadium where many legendary matches have taken place. Source: Wikipedia

Why Invest in Manchester


Affordable houses in Manchester. Source: Manchester Evening News

Manchester’s staggering development with a rising population growth makes it an attractive place for investors looking for the next big thing to invest. Property, in particular, is a solid choice as there is a growing demand for housing in the city.

With generation rent on the rise, Manchester has a soaring demand for residential and commercial properties that potentially gives promising returns. One of the key findings of the Manchester 2025 report was that the population of Greater Manchester, the metropolitan county that includes the city, will grow by 125,000 to reach 2.87m


The increasing population size in Manchester. Source: Urban Echo

To meet the substantial demand for housing this increase would bring, research suggests that the city needs to build around 11,254 new homes each year. Of this, 3,120 – just over a quarter – is needed in Manchester local authority, but there were just 1,792 new homes built between 2016-17.

This disproportionate supply-demand factor resulted in an increase in the house price index. Manchester registered a 15.3% increase in house prices over the past year, making it the top UK rental hotspot. House prices in Manchester are predicted to grow 22.8% by 2022.

If you are looking for a viable investment in the UK, it’s time to start looking to Manchester. With Manchester becoming an even greater target for property developers, bearing in mind its huge student population and growing workforce, plonking your pounds and pennies in this city could find you ample opportunities to capitalise on not just the fastest growing city but also soon to be one of the most populated regions in the UK.

More on Manchester:

Dementia and Alzheimer’s, UK’s Leading Cause of Death Again

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have increased, making these conditions the leading cause of death in England and Wales for the third consecutive year.

ONS released the latest statistics for births, deaths and marriages in October.

Last year, 67,641 deaths were caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s, an increase from 62,948 in 2016 and accounting for more than 1 in 8 of all deaths.

The overall number of deaths recorded was the highest since 2003, with 533,253 registered in England and Wales in 2017.

While mortality rates caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s have increased in both men and women, ONS highlighted that they accounted for a staggering 16.5% of deaths among women.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the leading causes of death in the UK.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the leading causes of death in the UK.

The increase in deaths is a great cause for concern. Jeremy Hughes, the chief executive of the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society ranks dementia as the “biggest health and care crisis of our time”.

A million people in the UK will have dementia by 2021 and we are simply not ready for that challenge,” Hughes said in a statement on the Alzheimer Society’s website.

This intensifies the need for extensive care and care homes that can cater to the needs of those suffering from these conditions.

How can Investors/You help?

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, in England and Wales, the number of people living with dementia and who need palliative care will almost quadruple by 2040.

The research also reported that 311,730 (39%) of people with dementia and aged over 65 live in care homes (either residential care or nursing homes) while 493,639 (61%) live in the community.

The increasing need for care homes, specifically for these conditions, and the lack of supply, offers investors the platform to make a difference.

Investors help fund the private sector’s efforts in building properly equipped care homes and offering dignity to those in need, while profiting from rental returns.

Virata Thaivasigamony of CSI Prop believes that above other investments, investment into elderly care homes gives investors the fulfillment of having done something good for others.

“Yes, it is undoubtedly a profitable venture, but it is also an investment that adds value to society and truly makes a difference,” he said.

Image Source: https://www.franchiseopportunities.com/franchise/2nd-family-home-care

 

A Game of Musical Chairs in the UK Housing Ministry

Kit Malthouse, the 16th UK’s housing minister
Kit Malthouse is the UK’s latest housing minister in 17 years.

It’s been a bit of a ministerial carousel in the UK cabinet, particularly the Housing Ministry.

Within 17 years, the UK has changed Housing ministers 16 times, with Kit Malthouse as the latest appointee. In fact, the Housing minister’s role changes hands more than 20 times faster than the average UK homeowner moves houses, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

Alluding to research in the association’s White Paper, The New ‘Normal’ – prospects for 2018, IMLA executive director Kate Davies  says, “The average homeowner is moving just once in more than 19 years… this means the role of Housing minister changes hands more than 20 times faster than the average UK home.”

Formerly Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor for Policing, Malthouse takes over the Housing portfolio from  Dominic Raab, now the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Raab had contributed a lot to the UK housing market during his 6 months as Housing minister,  including managing the Grenfell Tower recovery programme, as well as reforming the social housing sector.

Raab also came out with a bill to ensure fairness in the UK housing sector. However, the bill is still in the third reading among parliament members and the contributions he made to the industry has yet to be fully realised. 

Really, 6 months is too short a time to see through and implement change in something as consequential and expansive as the housing market.

Yet, in the last 12 months, the UK has reshuffled Housing ministers three times within a short period:  Alok Sharma; then, Raab; and now, Malthouse . It almost seems as if the ministers are playing musical chairs among themselves in tackling the UK’s housing crisis!

And while we’re on the subject of the crisis: at the moment, there is a serious undersupply  beleaguering the UK housing market.The UK government is clearly not meeting its target of 300,000 of new houses a year to rebalance housing supply

Research suggests that to address the housing crisis, the UK government needs to build 340,000 new houses each year until 2031. This is way beyond the government’s original target.

As a direct result, getting on to the housing ladder is becoming more impossible by the day for first-time buyers. This, of course, has given rise to demand for rental housing, benefitting landlords across the UK.

Obviously, things have remained the same despite 15 ministers having taken on the job. The appointment of Kit Malthouse comes at a  crucial time, and it is imperative that he tackles the housing crisis that has haunted every housing minister that has stepped into office.

Ultimately, the chronic shortage of housebuilding can affect the stability of a nation, and it doesn’t look like change is coming any time soon.

Hopefully, Malthouse sticks around long enough to make effective and long-lasting changes to the housing market.

Image source: https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/login?Refdoc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Einsidehousing%2Eco%2Euk%2Fnews%2Fnews%2Fkit-malthouse-appointed-new-housing-minister-57137

Liverpool, Manchester Named UK’s Top Buy-to-Let Market Again

 Image by Totally Money indicates rental yields across the maritime city of Liverpool.
Image by Totally Money indicates rental yields across the maritime city of Liverpool.

Liverpool, home to the UK’s first-of-its-kind Knowledge Quarter, has been named UK’s top buy-to-let city for yet again. The city has been a top pick for the rental market since 2013 .

The research by independent credit broker TotallyMoney, which surveyed 580,000 properties across England, Scotland and Wales, found that universities outside London provided landlords with the highest yields, with Liverpool claiming top spot at up to 12% average rental yields.

The L6 and L7 postcodes in Liverpool dominated due to its cheaper prices, but also, most importantly, because of their  location which is close to the city’s three main universities. The universities provide a catchment of some 70,000 students, which drive demand for housing.

Landlords have even more to rejoice about as the upcoming construction of the high-speed rail , and (HS2) will continue to boost the economy in Liverpool, thus  driving demand for housing creating opportunities for the buy-to-let investors.

The best buy-to-let cities in Britain

Figure shows two postcodes in Liverpool dominated the top buy-to-let in Britain.
Figures show Liverpool dominating the top ranks of the buy-to-let market in Britain. Info source: Totally Money

Liverpool & Manchester to benefit from Northern Powerhouse development,job vacancy and infrastructural growth

Liverpool is a core city of the UK's Northern Powerhouse. Image from Urbanrealm
Liverpool is a core city of the UK’s Northern Powerhouse. Image from Urbanrealm

Meanwhile, the housing market in Manchester has also been doing well, recording strong average rental yields of up to 10.08%.

Recently, Manchester was also named as the best place to be a landlord in the UK, recording a splendid rental price growth of 5.76%!

Like Liverpool, Manchester is also a part of the Northern Powerhouse, an initiative by the  UK government to create economic balance between the North and South.

Both Liverpool and Manchester will see great development in the future in terms of job opportunities, training, and skills development — a situation that smart property investors  are taking advantage of.

In Liverpool, part of the city’s development involves the massive Liverpool Waters scheme, which will reconstruct brownfield sites into full-fledged neighbourhoods and transform the city’s northern docks into a world-class mixed-use waterfront development.

In Manchester, the population continues growing, thanks in large part to the existence of four central universities which have enforced the student population in the city. With a student catchment of some 100,000, Manchester offers good opportunities for landlords.

London’s lacklustre performance

In the past, London was the main focus of investors looking to capitalise on its massive economic and infrastructure growth as the city centre of UK. Today, Liverpool and Manchester have eclipsed the capital thanks to its strong and varied development growth.

Property yields have not done well in London either due to over inflated property prices. Housing prices have flatlined, with experts predicting that Brexit will cause a downfall in the market based on current trends. What’s clear is that rental yields in Liverpool is seven times higher than London, which unfortunately now sports a high number of postcodes that are listed within some of the UK’s worst areas for buy-to-let yields.

Major Companies Investing in Liverpool; You Should Too

Image from: https://aspenwoolf.co.uk/ropewalks-regeneration-liverpool/
Follow the money: there’s bound to be a good thing going if investors are ploughing their money into this maritime city.

Proper investments are known to give birth to a thriving economy, and in Liverpool, this scenario prevails. Some of the most active companies have invested in the improvement of this maritime city, with the most notable five doing so as partners of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and the private sector set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to lead economic growth, job creation and maximise return of investment within the local area.

The major LEP companies referred to are Danish energy firm DONG Energy, transport giants Alstom Transport and Stagecoach, Liverpool-based museum British Music Experience and training provider South West Regional Assessment Centre.

DONG Energy, the global leader in offshore wind, has two completed projects in the Liverpool City Region. Together, the wind farms can generate enough low carbon energy to power over 310,000 homes! Matthew Wright, Managing Director for DONG Energy UK, has expressed his ambition to continue fueling growth for the low carbon sector in the city, thus painting a greener future for Liverpool.

Alstom Transport UK, on the other hand, opened their new state-of-the-art industrial facility at Widnes which provides the largest and most sophisticated train modernisation facility in the UK, alongside the Alstom Academy for Rail which will provide training for rail staff from across the North West and beyond. Stagecoach is also contributing to the expansion of Liverpool’s public transport network. With both companies at work, accessibility throughout the city is set to greatly improve.

South West Regional Assessment Centre will be offering training & development courses for individuals wanting to improve their work opportunities whilst the stunning British Music Experience opened its doors in Cunard Building, Liverpool in March 2017.

With the Liverpool City Region LEP Strategy, Liverpool is well and truly open for business. This strategy will see the possible creation of more than 100,000 new jobs, an increase of more than 50,000 people and growth of more than 20,000 businesses. It will also see a boost in Liverpool’s economy of some 50 billion pounds!

More Projects Add to the Pull of Liverpool

The £2bn vision to establish Liverpool’s 450-acre Knowledge Quarter as one of the world’s leading innovation districts has appeared in the news quite a bit. Readers are aware of the great number of students and businesses the city will attract while keeping to its roots which are planted firmly in the enhancement of the health and education sectors.

Worth mentioning is the interesting transformation within the Baltic Triangle. The derelict warehouses that trail the triangle are being converted into interesting recreational destinations and offices. Many digital agencies have also chosen to locate to Liverpool because of the creative aura running throughout the quaint zone. This redevelopment has thus produced a unique area for property investment.

Improvements are occurring all over Liverpool in various fields, attracting volumes of people from all over the world in need of homes. In this case, investors would find it beneficial to look into property investments in Liverpool, as timing could not be any better.

Image source: Image from: https://aspenwoolf.co.uk/ropewalks-regeneration-liverpool/

World-class UK Education Drives Demand for Commercial Student Property

The UK is the top destination for education in the world. Liverpool, one of the top university cities in Britain is especially popular. As more overseas students flock to the UK to further their studies, the demand for commercial purpose built student property increases. Studies show that students have become more discerning of the spaces that they choose to live in; living in cramped HMOs — with no privacy, security, communal spaces or lifestyle amenities — is no longer a popular option.  

When one thinks of education in the UK, a series of stars and superlatives must spring to mind, perhaps even images of the neoclassical dome and cupola of Radcliffe Camera in Oxford University! A denouement everyone undoubtedly reaches when it comes to education in the UK is that it is invariably on top of the game (bringing the property market along with it following a high demand in PBSA).

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 was recently released, revealing that Oxford University took first place with Cambridge University coming in at second place!

Also issued around the same time is the QS World University Rankings 2018, showing a significant number of UK universities in the top 100. The University of Cambridge landed itself in the top 5 rankings, with Oxford occupying the 6th spot. University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London come right after, taking the 7th and 8th spots, respectively. With almost half of the top 10 list belonging to the UK, Britain proves that its education system remains unparalleled.

University Applications in the UK Are Increasing

The success in the UK’s education sector is reflected by the mounting number of university applications. According to The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the number of applicants from the EU increased by 3.4% to 43,510, a number that is slightly down from 2016’s recent-year high of 45,220 applications but that nevertheless reflects a reversal of the notable dip in admissions volumes registered a year ago. Also worth noting is a 3% rise of  EU students applying for places as undergraduates from the same point in 2017, and — the second highest number of EU applicants recorded. Adding to that is the number of international applicants (non-EU students) which increased by 11%, its highest ever number by far.

Additionally, application rates from English 18-year-olds have reached a record high, increasing by 0.4% to 37.4% from the last year!

Source: https://fullfact.org/education/are-university-applications-falling-uk/ UCAS figures show application rates for 18-year-olds are increasing
Source: https://fullfact.org/education/are-university-applications-falling-uk/
UCAS figures show application rates for 18-year-olds are increasing

Universities To Guide the UK Towards Becoming a World Leader in Technology

Worth mentioning is the UK’s education sector emerging as a top destination for the next digital age. Recent news highlights how the UK is directing funds and resources towards their goal to succeed as a knowledge economy — world-leading university research is crucial to achieve their aim. This decision was made under the notion that keys to the future of tech such as AI and deep learning, automation and predictive analytics have all started life in a lab or classroom and not in a traditional software development environment.

Where this ambition manifests itself is where economic growth is expected to prosper best. The city of Liverpool, where the Knowledge Quarter is being established, is a prime example of this.

Liverpool Expands to Welcome Education Sector

Liverpool’s £2bn expenditure to establish a 450-acre Knowledge Quarter as one of the world’s leading innovation districts in science, innovation, education, technology and the creative and performing arts, will further reinforce its status as one of the best student cities in the world!

Such conditions inevitably casts attention on the undersupply of Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in Liverpool.

Found below are figures that illustrate the dire shortage of PBSA in Liverpool as of late 2017:

  • Student Population: 67,000
  • Amount of Housing Available Through University: 4,500
  • Amount of Total Student Housing Available: 17,857
  • Potential Yields: 8% per annum

With this shortage in mind, it would only be beneficial for the savvy investor to take a look at how to get involved in the student property market there.

Natex, one of Liverpool’s latest and most iconic PBSA developments to date, offers investors 9% returns, assured for five years. The 566-unit student accommodation scheme is approximately a 5-minute walk from two of the UK’s top universities: University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University — it boasts all the facilities a student would ever need.

With Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter and education centres in mind, and the investment potential of purpose-built student accommodation, it would be a good idea to dip your toes into the pool of Liverpool’s looming success as soon as possible!

Natex is an impressive upcoming 566-unit student residential scheme in Liverpool city. Source: https://csiprop.com/our-uk-projects/
Natex is an impressive upcoming 566-unit student residential scheme in Liverpool city.

Dementia Adds to UK Housing Supply Woes

Care and support are what they need from us.

In  a previous post, we talked about the ageing population in the UK and the implications it has on housing and opportunity it offers property investors.  One of the main issues afflicting the ageing population in the UK is dementia — a crippling disease that is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales. Caring for dementia patients is not a walk in the park. It requires proper care housing — something that is currently critically undersupplied in the UK. By 2035, some 100,000 dementia sufferers will have no beds. 

Care and support are what they need from us.
Care and support are what the ageing — and those suffering from dementia — need from us.

Maureen:  a strong woman to a man named Michael. They have been married for 56 years and blessed with two daughters, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Life was beautiful until, one day in 2011, Michael was diagnosed with mixed dementia. Mixed dementia is a condition where changes representing more than one type of dementia occur simultaneously in the brain.

Things go upside down for Maureen. Michael no longer recognises Maureen,  the one that he used to embrace. He began to think that he was cheating on his own wife whenever he and Maureen were together.

However, Maureen patiently took care of him, until she decided to send him to a care home in 2016 so that Michael will get proper treatment.

“Caring for someone with dementia is like living on a knife’s edge; it is so unpredictable and certainly has its challenges. You go through so many mixed emotions: pity, anger, frustration and even despair,” said Maureen.

In Sheila’s case, things went from bad to worse. She remained in denial when her husband, John, was diagnosed with dementia until one night when he tried to push her down the stairs. Luckily, Sheila managed to escape.

Sheila drove around the village, her eyes blinded by tears. She could not accept that her husband had attacked her.

“When I returned, John began pelting me with fruit. I tried to ring Social Services but all I got was an answerphone. So, in desperation, I called the police. By the time they finally arrived, John was calm and smiling as though nothing had happened,” said Sheila, who, for the sake of her safety, had to send John to a care home for better supervision.

These are true accounts of what has happened among dementia patients and their loved ones.

Dementia haunts England

Dementia is a neurological disorder that affects the human brain. Dementia, depending on its type, can affect people in many ways, changing everyday life physically, emotionally and psychologically

Dementia is now a common disease in the UK — in fact, it is now the biggest cause of death in England and Wales, surpassing heart disease. Research shows that from 2011 to 2016, there has been a 56% rise in the number of people diagnosed with dementia in the UK.

The figures illustrated the number of dementia patients in the UK, from 2011 until 2016. Info source:Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The above figures illustrate the number of dementia patients in the UK, from 2011 until 2016. Info source: Alzheimer’s Research UK.

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, there are now 532,162 dementia patients in the UK. England alone has the highest number of patients, constituting approximately 84% (451,561)of UK’s total number of dementia sufferers.

This number will increase in the future as the UK’s ageing population continues expanding every year.

Undersupply:  thousands of dementia patients will end their lives ‘alone’

Let’s not forget to fight for those who can’t remember.
The number of dementia patients among the elderly will continue to increase as the UK’s ageing population continues expanding every year.

Dementia has become a real issue  in the UK, both in the urban or rural areas.

Meanwhile, the whole country faces a chronic undersupply of care home even as demand escalates.

The Alzheimer’s Society predicts that the gulf between demand and supply for care home beds in England alone will reach 30,000 by 2022. This number is estimated to increase  to 100,000 by 2035.

It means that thousands of vulnerable elderly people with dementia will end their lives ‘deserted and alone’ if this problem  remains unsolved, warned Alzheimer’s Society  chief, Jeremy Hughes, adding that it may become a ‘norm’ for care homes to cherry-pick the residents and fend off those with severe dementia.

To make matters worse, the British government has, without reason, decided to reschedule the publication of a long-awaited Green Paper that sets out plans for how to improve  care, support and funding for the elderly.

The publication of the Green Paper, originally earmarked for summer 2017, has been postponed several times. It has now been  further delayed to the autumn of 2018.

Jeremy Hunt, the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said, “Whilst the long-term funding profile of the social care system will not be settled until the spending review, we will publish the social care Green Paper ahead of that.

“However, because we want to integrate plans for social care with the new NHS plan, it does not make sense to publish it before the NHS plan has even been drafted. So we now intend to publish the social care Green Paper in the autumn around the same time as the NHS plan.”

In June 2018, Theresa May, the Prime Minister announced additional annual increases in funding for the NHS of 3.4% per annum, amounting to an extra £20.5 billion a year by the 2023/24 financial year. This will include the expenses for dementia patients.

The government also noted that a number of proposals will be set up to ensure the dementia people will live healthier, longer and more independent lives, instead of isolated and lonely.

Unfortunately, if things remain the way they are, with the supply of adequate housing remaining in the negative, and the  continual postponement of the Green Paper, thousands of vulnerable older people with dementia will end their lives ‘isolated and alone’.

Thus, it is left to the private sector to help develop more care homes to address the serious undersupply in the UK. Here,  care homes investors have an investment opportunity which gives them a chance to not only profit their pockets, but at the same time, do something good for the society, especially for the elderly, so that they have dignity in the last few years of their lives.


Images sources:

UK’s Ageing Population Offers Lucrative Investment Opportunity

United Kingdom, like the rest of the world, is ageing. Britain’s ageing population has brought to the surface, issues surrounding proper care housing. Found below is a compilation of statistics regarding England’s elderly population to illustrate  how the UK care homes market has claimed the title  of ‘stand out asset class’ for investment and how this claim is likely to be retained.

What entails England’s stately developed country is an equally impressive population growth. Predictions made from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) presents the specifics of England’s future population:

According to latest figures by ONS, the UK’s population in 2016 was at its largest ever at 65.6 million, and is projected to reach over 74 million by 2039, ascribable to higher birth rates and immigration rates.

This projection by the ONS which shows the distribution of the UK population from 1976 – 2046 depicts an ageing society in the UK that is growing where other age groups are reducing.
This projection by the ONS, which shows the distribution of the UK population from 1976 – 2046, depicts an ageing society in the UK that is growing where other age groups are reducing. Source: ONS

An Age-diverse England

A growing elderly population is inevitable in the face of an expanding population, paired with increased life expectancy in the UK. In 2016, the old age dependency ratio (OADR) revealed that for every 285 people aged 65 and over, were 1,000 people aged 16 to 64 years (i.e. the traditional working age). The number of those aged 65 and over is expected to rise, with 157 local authorities looking at an OADR of about 500:1000 by 2036 compared to only 11 local authorities in 2016.

Even more bewildering is the fact that West Somerset is projected to have an OADR of 928 by 2036 — there will pretty much be the same number of those aged 16 to 64 years as those aged 65 and over!

Furthermore, over the next 25 years or so, one in 12 people will be aged 80 or above, with centenarians being the fastest-growing age group!

Source: http://lifeofayouthpastor.com/the-big-100/
The number of centenarians in the UK is growing! Image source: http://lifeofayouthpastor.com/the-big-100/

The predictions made above show UK’s population pyramid evolving into more of a rectangle — ONS predicts that the number of those aged 65 and over will grow to nearly a quarter of the population by 2046!

Such figures perforces more attention to be directed towards older citizens whose well-being requires special care. In most cases, this special care is presumed to be provided by adequately established care homes.

However, this has not been the case in the UK.

The UK Care Home Crisis

Like any other country, the UK, too, depends greatly on well-run care homes to provide special care for its burgeoning number of seniors. However, a closer look at care homes in the UK shows a critical undersupply for corporations to act on.

Knight Frank’s UK Healthcare Development Opportunities 2017 report identified a decrease in the number of registrations of both new care homes and new beds. Combined with the long-term trend of increased deregistrations, this has caused a nett loss of 166 homes and 2,612 beds across the UK market as of September, 2016.

Research by charity outfit, Independent Age revealed that overall, a quarter of homes were rated as either inadequate or requiring improvement in January this year with the worst region being the Northwest (this includes Stockport, Salford and Manchester). Which is why there is an increasing need for properly built, fully-functional care homes that cater to the varied needs of the aged and infirm.

Research by charity outfit, Independent Age revealed that overall, a quarter of homes were rated as either inadequate or requiring improvement in January this year with the worst region being the Northwest (this includes Stockport, Salford and Manchester).
Research by charity outfit, Independent Age revealed that overall, a quarter of homes were rated as either inadequate or requiring improvement in January this year with the worst region being the Northwest (this includes Stockport, Salford and Manchester).

A Quick Look At Those Affected By The Shortage

Image on the ageing statistics in the UK taken from csiprop.com website. 
Image on the ageing statistics in the UK taken from csiprop.com website.

 

Dementia, replacing heart disease, has become the leading cause of death in England and Wales. There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025, soaring to 2 million by 2051.

The sizeable amount of dementia-afflicted citizens (850,000) compared to only 416,000 people of varying illnesses who do live in care homes in the UK, illustrates the worrying issue at hand.

To put into staggering percentages, 96% of the population aged 65 years and over and 84% of those aged 85 and above are completely unattached to care homes (Laing and Buisson Survey 2016).

Dealing with the Crisis: Good news for England’s Older Citizens & Property Investors

Source: http://www.vulture.com/2016/05/grace-and-frankie-recap-season-2-episode-5.html
Source: http://www.vulture.com/2016/05/grace-and-frankie-recap-season-2-episode-5.html

Julian Evans, Knight Frank’s Head of Healthcare said, “The disparity of care bed supply and demand presents increasing opportunities for investors, and, combined with the fall in the sterling, has generated a truly global appetite for the sector. This sector is likely to be the stand out asset class of 2017, particularly for those investors wishing to diversify their asset portfolios in the current uncertain economic climate.”

The care home sector has high prospects for continued success going into 2018 — in January 2018, carehome.co.uk had its highest ever traffic to the site with 1,579,285 visits. This was up from 1,144,572 in December 2017, with an increase of 38%!

Moreover, recent news highlights that demand for care home places will soar by more than three quarters in less than 20 years!

CSI Prop director Virata Thaivasigamony on the company’s website, compares the incredible growth potential of care home sectors with one of UK’s top investment asset class: purpose-built student accommodation.,

“The undersupply of care homes has created opportunities for investors. With the UK’s ageing population, care homes investment could be the next student property investment.”

Also highlighted by the director is the average cost of £574 per week at a care home facility in comparison to Britain’s residential property rent that averages at £212 per week — this inevitably constitutes very impressive returns!

It is evident that the care home sector, subject to the same law of economics that observes every other form of investment, is very likely to be on the side of the investor — demand for more care homes and care beds is peaking and undersupply continues to be an issue.

With all said and proven, the prudent investor would find it in their best interest to consider the UK care home sector. After all, returns, in this case, seem to be almost absolutely guaranteed.