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34 Property Investments Where to buy and why


Bricks and mortar have always been seen as a safe long-term investment, but, as Ray Clancy discovers, the UK has a mix of different housing markets with a range of prices, rents and growth


W


ith Brexit on the horizon, some markets, like those in London, have been more subdued of late,


offering good prices for buyers, while others, including Manchester and Edinburgh, have been booming, boosted by a lack of supply. What you do with a property


investment also varies, with some investors happy to buy a home and see the capital grow over the long term, while others buy to let out and aim to achieve a steady income.


EDINBURGH/GETTY


Manchester Property prices in the city have been booming, with Hometrack data showing a rise of 7% year on year. Research from Select Property Group has found that a combination of low supply and strong growth forecasts is attracting investors, and monthly rents are also expected to accelerate. Locations to consider include


developments such as the new Salford Quays complex and those located near the extension of the MetroLink tram system. Overall, the


continued growth of the Northern Powerhouse concept is proving to be a magnet for investment. A recent report from Cushman


& Wakefield found that prices increased by 34% in Manchester in the seven years to July 2017 compared to a national average of 30%, and it adds that Manchester is currently thriving on a vibrant and varied economy, fuelled by an increasingly large, skilled workforce.


Edinburgh Data from a number of indices, most notably the monthly cities index from Hometrack, shows prices in the Scottish capital have been outperforming most parts of the UK, while figures from Knight Frank show that prime property price growth in the year to June 2018 in Edinburgh increased by 9.4% and by 26.5% compared with five years ago. Agents have noted that central


Edinburgh remains in high demand, while family homes in popular areas to the south of the city centre, including in Morningside, Newington and Merchiston have also been attracting renewed interest. Scottish law company Warners also predicts a strong market in


Legal advice for franchisees


Susan Hall, head of franchising at national law firm Clarke Willmott, explains why a franchisee should speak to a solicitor before signing up to a franchise opportunity


One of our most important jobs as advisors is to draw attention to any ‘red flags’ which suggest that the franchisor may not be compliant with ethical franchising stand- ards or, in extreme cases, to iden- tify scams or pyramid schemes masquerading as franchises. An experienced solicitor in this


field will also tell you how the fran- chise agreement you’ve been offered stacks up against other franchises available from other franchisors in the sector. Even where you’re happy with the


commercial offer from your fran- chisor, it helps to have an expert take you through the agreement to make sure it reflects your expectations, and that you’re clear on your obliga- tions and on the consequences of not fulfilling them. One key area that experienced


solicitors can help out with is pointing out what’s covered by your franchise fee — usually this covers a starter pack and initial training — and where you need to budget for additional costs. While many terms in a franchise agreement aren’t negotiable, areas such as start time, for example, may be changeable. Your solicitor can also provide


you with advice on the franchisor’s obligations


and how to work


productively with them and other members of the network. A potential franchisee also needs


to understand how to terminate the agreement or sell the business if it’s not working out. Tis isn’t as easy as simply changing your mind; there will be consequences in this instance and it’s important to be aware that they can be costly. Once


your solicitor has made


you fully aware of your obligations and those of the franchisor, you’ll be better placed to make a consid- ered decision as to whether the fran- chise is right for you. Here at Clarke Willmott, we can also advise you on crucial aspects such as taking out leases on business premises and on loan agreements from banks or approved lenders for business finance, as well as on setting up a franchise company if needed. Clarke Willmott is an affiliate


member of the British Franchise Association (BFA). We advise fran- chisors and franchisees in a wide range of fields, including health and fitness, music and dance tuition, business services, fashion, travel, and food and drink. We also work alongside other third parties, such as accountants, to ensure that our clients receive a complete franchising service.


For more information please contact T: 0345 209 1498 or visit clarkewillmott.com/legal-services/franchising/


An experienced solicitor in this field will also tell you how the franchise agreement you’ve been offered stacks up against other franchises available from other franchisors in the sector


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BIRMINGHAM/GETTY


Edinburgh. It reports that,in the six months to June, properties sold in Comely Bank achieved an average premium of 11% above Home Report valuation, with prices up almost 11% .


Birmingham Britain’s second city is undergoing a major regeneration, and this, along with the forthcoming high-speed rail link from London, will make property investment in Birmingham more and more attractive. Prices have increased by 3.63% in the past year and by 29.52% in the past five years, according to Zoopla. As is the case in Manchester, major


firms are relocating to the city; they include HSBC, HMRC, PwC and Deutsche Bank, and there’s likely to be heightened activity ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.


Tere are a number of areas that


are catching the eye of property investors. Te Jewellery Quarter is fast becoming a popular and trendy place to live. Birmingham also has up-and-


coming suburbs. An example is Erdington — just 12 minutes from the centre but with a traditional high street feel. It’s also not far from the M6 and Birmingham International Airport. Philip Jackson, of Maguire


Jackson, recommends both locations but for a family home he reckons the suburbs of Harborne, Bearwood and Edgbaston are worth considering as each has easy access to the city centre, thanks to good bus, train and tram links.


Continued on page 36


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