The UK now has three world cities for Property Investors.
BRETT: Any thoughts on this Dan, this is your specialty.
DAN: We’ve been focused on uh on the North and the UK cities for probably about three four years like you mentioned. In 2016 London started to slow down so yes there’s some great regeneration areas and pockets of opportunities in London but what we felt back in 2016 was where London had gone through a galloping stage finally enough the rest of the country and actually stood built since the last recession. If we go back even further looking at the biggest assumption in property doubling in value every seven to ten years it had followed that pattern for the last until the last recession whilst London pretty much carried on the trend the rest of the country stood still. That’s when we started focusing on the Major Cities in the North like Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield but the first two I mentioned and what you mentioned Manchester and Birmingham they’re your mini London, they’re your world cities you can put them in that bracket now because quite simply so much is happening there. If we look at the infrastructural changes, if we look at the transport upgrades, the job creation um and the massive part of this was the Northern Powerhouse plan. We’re looking at a totally different proposition and if we put that next to the numbers involved the sort of returns because you’ve got a good balance of cash flow as well as as well as the growth you know it’s uh that’s why we’re sort of so attracted to those cities.
In terms of the fundamentals you mentioned at the beginning of the presentation they’re Birmingham and Manchester you’re not just relying on the future you’ve got fundamentals there to date as well. In terms of transport you’ve got all the major phase 1 of HS2 coming soon and you’ve got the tram system in Manchester that works well you’ve got lots of regeneration schemes and multiple billion pound regeneration schemes. The major employers that we talk about you know for Birmingham and Manchester we are talking about the caliber of you know PWC, KPMG, HSBC coming into Birmingham and in Manchester we’ve recently had Amazon moving in there. We’ve got the Chinese Business Centre by the station, we’ve always had The Media City but not a lot of people realise that they’re actually doubling that size and investing a billion pounds in that as well.
So much is going on but furthermore you’ve also got you know a young population. You’ve got a big pool of talent uh coming from those world-class universities and historically people would get their degrees up in in the North maybe and go to the big city London but now the retention rate is very high, so we’re seeing lots of demand for New Build and I think what really excites me the most about it is that both have tech centres. The tech industry is the fastest growing one and they don’t just have tech sectors they have growing tech centres and if we look at where the world’s going you know tech is pretty much taking over. I think Covid has accelerated that process.
BRETT: yeah 100% and I think the interesting thing with the whole tech thing is people when the last recession hit and the banks were decimated in terms of you know all that sort of stuff and you know there was all sorts of you know pressure on them to you know to not have a collapse effectively. Everyone was talking about how Canary Wharf’s dead everywhere is dead you know we’ve lost our banking sector, our finance sector.
Well you know what happened over the last 10 years we’ve built up this massive tech centre where really London and Manchester and even Birmingham are now you know they are massive tech hubs. You know they are really London is a tech centre of Europe. That’s happened almost in you know in the back rooms quietly without anyone realising it. It’s a force to be reckoned with and that’s you know that’s great. Actually when you go to Manchester or Birmingham now it’s amazing to walk around there. I haven’t been to Liverpool but you know I know with Manchester and Birmingham I was blown away. I used to run seminars up there every other week and then I didn’t go there for 10 years and when we started getting back in I was blown away with it.
DAN: Manchester is the fastest growing tech city in Europe in 2019 the fastest growing in Europe double its investment to £181 million.
DAN: Think about Silicon Valley it helps they have six thousand tech firms like employing 38,000 people and I think now they’re committed to creating 29,000 digital creative jobs in the next 10 years which has all boosted the economy by £8 billion so much going on so yeah it’s not just here and now you’ve also got a future as well.