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 16times, 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.
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 580,0000 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
Liverpool & Manchester to benefit from Northern Powerhouse development,job vacancy and infrastructural growth
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.
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.
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).
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!
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!
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.
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.
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’
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.
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.
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!
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.
A Quick Look At Those Affected By The Shortage
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
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.