North West Top for GCC Investors
For investors based in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the UK has historically been one of the most popular places to invest in buy-to-let property.
Understandably, London has received the majority of this investment through the years due to it being one of the world’s most important financial centres, having huge employment opportunities, as well as an abundance of famous historical attractions leading to sustained tenant demand.
But following the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of factors have caused a significant shift in this long-established trend, a shift that’s increasingly taking investors North West.
The GCC is comprised of some of the world’s most powerful and top-performing economies in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
While investors from these oil-rich states remain major players in the London property market, the thriving cities of Liverpool and Manchester have recently been diverting their attention to the North West, one of the UK’s fastest-growing regional economies.
Aside from the high rental returns and lower property prices; major investment and regeneration, world-renowned universities, increasing employment prospects and being home to some of the world’s most high-profile football clubs, are among the main reasons GCC investors are becoming more interested in these thriving cities.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Sean Gilchrist, CEO of Nomo Bank – The digital division of the Bank of London and the Middle East – stated that:
“We are seeing a lot of demand for property in some of our northern cities, such as Manchester and Liverpool, from our GCC customers and also investors from that region, generally.”
He added that “the bonus of them being home to some of the most famous football teams is among the major factors for the GCC investments”.
In this light, when the most recent figures and market forecasts are considered, an increase in GCC property investment in Liverpool and Manchester will come as little surprise to those following the latest market trends
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Why Liverpool & Manchester?
According to property experts Savills, the North West is set to experience the UK’s highest property value growth in the next five years. With a projected growth rate of 11.7%, the region now has one of the best-performing property markets in the country, a trend that experts expect to continue over the coming years.
Inevitably, the main drivers of this continued market strength are the region’s two main cities, Liverpool and Manchester, where population, employment prospects and in turn, demand for rental property are on a steady rise.
Recently named the UK’s best place to live and work, Liverpool is expected to experience a property value growth of 14.5% by 2026, as well as a 10% increase in rental prices during the same time period according to JLL.
Similarly, with regard to Manchester, JLL predicts an average property value growth of 17.5% by 2026 and expects to see rental prices rise by 11% over the next three years.
Going by these projections, the lower average property prices and strong rental yields, it’s clear to see why GCC investors have become increasingly interested in purchasing a buy-to-let property in Liverpool and Manchester.
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How to Invest in the UK from the Arabian Gulf?
The technicalities of investing in UK property from overseas can often be a cause of concern among prospective investors, but with the right information and advice, the process can actually be quite straightforward.
Nomo Bank, for example, has now launched a new property financing scheme which enables GCC investors to apply for housing finance without having to leave their home countries.
Importantly, as Nomo is an Islamic bank, it ensures that all traditional regulations regarding Sharia law are adhered to throughout the banking process, which is a major point to consider for many investors from the region.
Obviously, there are a number of other important factors to take into account when investing in UK property from abroad, which are addressed in this foreign investment guide. But for any investors on the fence, there are a range of options available in terms of building a successful buy-to-let portfolio in the UK and the potential returns make exploring these avenues worth it.
As mentioned above, the leading lights in the UK buy-to-let market – particularly among GCC investors – are the North West’s two metropolitan powerhouses, Liverpool and Manchester.
Each with its own equally renowned culture and growing city-wide economy, Liverpool and Manchester are increasingly becoming two of the most popular buy-to-let investment areas in the UK and around the world.
If you’re interested in investing in Liverpool or Manchester in 2023, contact us today to find out about our current range of lucrative buy to let opportunities in these key UK areas.