News: Regeneration quenches BTL thirst

Wed, 12 Sep 07

Regeneration areas are now competing strongly with university towns and holiday destinations, a survey of investors carried out by the Property Investor Show (21 – 23 September at ExCel, London) reveals...


With 41% of buy-to-let investors looking to invest in regeneration areas, research reveals that Gillingham, Kent, has seen the biggest property price rise of nearly 20% in a year (see graph and table 1 attached).


Average property prices in Gillingham increased by 19% in 2006, outstripping the UK’s average price rise of 8.3%. The average property cost £180,101 at the end of 2006, compared to £150,747 in 2005.


This growth is a direct result of the massive Thames Gateway and Medway regeneration schemes backed by £97m from the Government. Medway has also set a target of creating 40,000 jobs by 2026.


Significant affordability benefits


Tina Dedman, sales director for George Wimpey East London, who will be exhibiting at this year’s show, said: “Areas undergoing regeneration programmes are proving popular with our investors.


We have a number of schemes in the Thames Gateway area, including the Images and Invito developments in Gants Hill, many of which have sold off plan. At our Altius scheme in Clapton we have seen the same levels of interest. Close proximity to the city and good transport links being key factors for investors.” 


Nick Atkinson, Investment Manager at Castle Residential, said: "Regeneration areas have significant benefits for those buyers with affordability constraints. Investing in up and coming areas means significantly lower purchase prices and the knowledge that ongoing regeneration will help their investment to grow.


“Since 2000, house prices in the North East of England have risen much faster than England as a whole. The North East of England has experienced a 74% house price, compared to the North East's 103% rise.


“With major urban regeneration, economic and infrastructure programmes currently in progress, many towns and cities are undergoing huge transformations. Heavy industry is being replaced with modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan communities.”


Billion pound investment


Peterborough, in Cambridgeshire, saw a 14% increase in property prices in 2006 and featured second in a list of the top eight regeneration hot spots in the UK (see table one). The average cost of a property rose from £145,381 in 2005 to £166,087 in 2006.


This follows plans for the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan, which has penned Peterborough as a key element in the London-Stansted-Cambridge-Peterborough growth corridor. The billion-pound investment is designed to transform Peterborough into a leading European city.


 Colin Sheehan, from Lace Market Properties a Nottingham based company, who specialises in the city’s regeneration, will be presenting a seminar at the Property Investment Show, focusing on what impact regeneration will have on investors.


He said: “We believe rundown and disused industrial areas can be transformed to create desirable mixed use communities. Urban regeneration schemes are offering investors added potential to secure future profit on investment.”


 Further details on the Property Investor Shows are available at http://www.propertyinvestor.co.uk


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