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Global Property Review

December 4, 2018

Nottingham

 

The East Midlands city has garnered far less attention than nearby Birmingham in the West or Manchester, but is certainly part of the positive price growth story for the region overall.

 

East Midlands property is set to rise 2 per cent this year, Jones Lang LaSalle predicts  the growth rate same as West Midlands and Yorkshire/Humber but outstripping the East generally four-fold. Next year, 2.5 per cent is expected, and a total 13.7 per cent growth between this year and 2022.  

 

Hometrack placed Nottingham second in a nationwide survey of price growth from May this year – up 8 per cent, behind only Edinburgh. First quarter growth hovered around 2.7 per cent; again, only second to the Scottish capital. The average house price in May this year stood at £148,000.

 

Two universities, a thriving young-persons scene and good national connectivity certainly give Nottingham the flavour of those bigger players. Student rental is a strong source of investor yield to complement the decent price growth story. It’s also benefited from the national population growth, which is set to reduce to 333,000 per year for the next few years, Oxford Economics predicts. NG1 and NG7 are the two postcodes having seen the strongest price increases, PropertyData found – both destinations having grown more than 28 per cent in the last five years.

 

Luxury apartment developments in regions such as Mapperley and Bulcote launched in the last year indicate some of the demand among developers. More is planned in areas such as West Bridgford. The conversion of the Grade II listed buildings in Lace Market also follows the trend of reinventing Victorian manufacturing sites in Midlands and Northern cities into attractive buy-to-let.

 

Riga

 

It’s not been a bad year for city centre property owners in the Latvian capital. Perhaps that defines the city’s real estate overall in the last decade: not bad. 

 

Prices increased 6.1 per cent last year as weak extras supply kept competitiveness on the secondary market relatively stable, data from OverHaus, which focuses mainly on prime city centre, found. Rents, too, increased in 2017 and have increased overall this year following a dip in 2016. Both rents and prices have gained in increments following the 2008 crash. 

 

New build and Soviet-era apartments are your two broad choices as a buyer. Prices in the older stock jumped 6.6 per cent to an average EUR 744 per square metre 12 months ago, in the middle of the general EUR 600-850 per square metre range. 

The steady rise is partly due to policy. A change to immigration law in 2010 allowed non-European Union buyers of houses worth at least EUR 143,000 or EUR 72,000 – depending on whether urban or countryside – to apply for a permanent residency. This helped get Riga’s property market out of its post-crash slump, but transactions tailed off in 2014 when the price threshold was raised. Prices rose 9.75 per cent last year, however, Global Property Guide found, though towns outside such as Ogre have seen double-digit price growth. 

 

The general economy is robust, growing 4.5 per cent last year, with increasing privatization.

 

At a price per square metre of EUR 1,390, the capital is less expensive than those of nearby Lithuania and Estonia. It now needs a steady stream of foreign capital to improve property growth, and retain its young talent. 

 

Lagos 

 

One of the world’s biggest cities, Lagos is a classic clash of ambition and reality in en emerging market.

 

At a macro picture, Nigeria’s economy in the last three years has had an outsized effect on real estate. PropertyPro, a leading platform in the country, noted that property’s contribution to the country’s GDP has fallen away as the oil price dragged overall growth into sluggish territory, only growing again to 0.72 per cent in last year’s second quarter.

 

Indeed, real estate made a negative contribution of -5.92 per cent by the end of 2017, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.

 

At more than 20 million residents, it makes sense that Lagos has seen the majority of the transactions and demand. Like Abuja, the political capital, it is the urbanized centres that see the majority of the transactions, demand and price drivers.

 

It is a city with the A-Z of quality and prices. Three- to five-bedroom houses in the city range from N 28,000,000 (US$77,295) to a market average of N308,000,000 and a typical rental at this higher end of N11,000,000. Extraordinary levels of inflation since 2014 – including a peak of more than 18i per cent at the start of 2017 – have produced an unstable market, with prices and underlying fundamentals rarely in close relationship.

 

Despite ongoing issues with power and other utilities, the city has big plans to meet its growing middle class of owner-occupiers, domestic and foreign-based citizen investors. Developers have launched hectares-worth of new residential plots promising top-level infrastructure, with examples such as Greenfield Islands and tower developments built on newly reclaimed land, such as Eko Atlantic. 

Affordable housing and more city-centre locations for young renters may be required ongoing.

 

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