Category Archives for "UK Property Investment"

Southall Property

Southall – a professional population that loves renting

5 reasons savvy investors are serious about Southall property

Before investing in property, it pays to measure the potential for your investment. Who are your target tenants? How much demand is there for rental properties? What does the future hold?

In this article, we examine some of Southall’s population statistics – numbers that confirm why savvy property investors are serious about Southall property.

1.    Southall – a young and well-educated population

Everyone knows that the population of the UK is ageing. We are continually told that the public finances will be stretched by the increasing numbers of older people, not working and costing more in housing and healthcare costs. By 2050, the ONS forecasts that one in four of the national population will be over 65 years old.

The average age of the UK’s population has increased by two years to 40 since the late 1990s. In comparison, the average age in Southall is just 35.4 years. Almost 70% of the population in Southall is under the age of 44, and the median age is 33. With almost 50% of the population under 30, there is likely to be a lot of people seeking somewhere to live for many years to come.

Southall’s population is also more highly educated than the national averages. According to the 2011 UK Census, Southall has a lower percentage of residents with one or no GCSEs at grade D or below than the national average.

At the other end of the scale, Southall has a higher-than-national-average of its population with qualifications at NVQ level 4 an above. Not by a small margin, either. 37% of Southall’s residents fall into this highly-educated category, compared with just 27.4% nationally.

2.    Southall – socially affluent and well paid

The residents of Southall are more socially affluent than England’s average when measured by social grade. This is a classification made according to occupation, with households classified by the job of the main income earner. In Southall, we see the following social grade demographic:

Grade Southall England
AB 28.07% 22.96%
C1 30.46% 30.92%
C2 17.65% 20.64%
DE 23.83% 25.49%


Those who are employed in higher and intermediate management positions, administrative, or professional roles tend to receive higher salaries. This is reflected in Southall, where the average weekly wage of residents is £582. While this is lower than the London average, it is higher than the national average.

When Crossrail services start running here, the major employment hubs in London will be within 30 minutes’ travel time. It’s likely that earnings here will move toward the London average as Southall becomes increasingly attractive as a commuter town.

3.    Renting is a lifestyle choice in Southall

Here’s a statistic that makes long-term property investors in Southall very happy – people love renting here. The proportion of households in social rented accommodation (either council owned or housing association owned) is on par with the national average (18.1% vs. 17.7% respectively).

In the private rented sector, the story is very different. In Southall, 26.4% of households rent from buy-to-let landlords. Nationally, this figure is just 15.4%. With PRS renting forecast to increase in popularity in the coming years, there is plenty of potential for investors in Southall property to benefit from the lifestyle choice to rent in Southall – especially with such a young population coming through.

4.    The population is growing in Southall

Southall is in the London borough of Ealing. The ONS has forecast that the borough’s population will increase by more than 13% by 2036, to around 394,000. Ealing is acting to provide housing for its growing population. Regeneration and development are high on the list of its priorities, and Southall heads its list of residential developments.

One of London’s largest and most complex regeneration projects is at Southall Waterside. Here, Berkeley Group will deliver 3,750 new homes over a 25-year timeframe. It’s an exciting project, and unique in its design.

At each stage, it will deliver a fully sustainable community that benefits from new parks, gardens, cycle paths, retail, cafés and bars. There will be a new primary school, too. Every home will be within a five-minute cycle ride to a station. It’s a dream location for young professionals and families.

5.    Property is affordable in Southall, but prices are already rising

The average price of a property in Southall is approximately 38% below London’s average price. This makes it one of the most affordable towns in London. However, property prices here are already rising.

According to estate agency Foxtons, the average sold price in Southall increased by 12.8% in 2018, from £352,030 to £397,354. In comprising this data, Foxtons measured the average of sold prices as registered with the UK Land Registry.

As for rental income, according to the average rental price here is £1,393 per month. Based upon the average sold price, this equates to an average rental yield of 4.2%.

Are you a savvy investor?

The best property investors buy a property where demand is likely to remain strong and grow. Southall has all the population characteristics to support capital growth and sustainable rental yields. Crossrail is likely to make Southall even more attractive to young professionals and families.

A socially affluent and young population appears to be choosing to rent as a lifestyle in Southall. Increasingly, tenants will be hunting out properties that offer modern accommodation with lifestyle options on the doorstep. People want to benefit from a good work/life balance. Developments like Southall Waterside provide exactly this.

For more information about property investment opportunities in Southall, contact the team at Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Southall Property

Southall – one of London’s safest locations for lifestyle living

The rest of London is getting jealous of Southall

At a time when London is (unfairly) gaining a reputation as a crime capital, people are becoming more concerned about their personal and property safety than ever before. Families want to bring their kids up in a safe area, without the fear of violent crime hanging over them. Young professionals want to enjoy their free time in a relaxed atmosphere.

Southall is a winner in the safety stakes. Crime rates are lower here than most of London’s averages, and in many categories are lower than national averages. And, despite the widespread reports of a shortage of police officers, Southall crime rates are bucking London’s rising trend and falling across many crime categories.

If you want to cycle in London, live in Southall

Cycling is one of London’s favourite activities, but bicycle crime is a problem in most London boroughs. Not in Southall. You are less than half as likely to be a victim of bicycle crime here than you are on average in London. In fact, the occurrence of bicycle crime is only 60% of the national average.

With regeneration projects like Berkeley Group’s ambitious Southall Waterside including cycle paths as a transport option, this statistic is going to please a lot of people who cycle to work. In fact, every property in Southall Waterside is within five minutes of a station – ideal for those who benefit from a Cycle to Work scheme.

Shoplifting and burglary? Less likely in Southall than in the rest of London.

Southall is famous for its markets, gold jewellery stores, sweet shops and fantastic street food. It has the largest Punjabi population outside of India, and the Indian influence shines through around every corner. When Crossrail services start running here, it’s likely that more people will visit to take advantage of the very special atmosphere and some incredible restaurants in the heart of Southall.

The occurrence of shoplifting and theft from the person (for example, pickpocketing) is way below the London average. The shoplifting rate of 4.5 occurrences per 1,000 of population per year is just 70% of the national average and below London’s rate of 5.2 per 1,000 population.

Theft from the person rates is less than a third of the London average, at just 1.8 per 1,000 population per year.

Enjoy a relaxed night out in Southall

When you come home from a hard day at work, it’s good to be able to go out, meet friends, and enjoy a relaxed evening together. There are some great pubs and bars near to Southall station – in North Road, The Broadway, and King Street – and it’s here that you can let your hair down and enjoy life to its fullest in the company of friends.

Antisocial behaviour fell by almost 3% in the year to March 2019. Possession of weapons – at 0.7 per 1,000 population per year – is lower than London’s average and, perhaps surprisingly, lower than the national average. This will also please parents who are concerned about the increase in knife crime in London.

What do people desire from their lifestyle?

Increasingly, people want to benefit from a good work/life balance. They want to be able to get to and from work easily, spend more time with their family and friends, enjoy good food and drink, and exercise regularly in the open air. Southall offers all of this, in a safe and welcoming environment.

When Crossrail services start running, commuters into London will benefit from journey times of between 17 and 31 minutes to the main employment hubs of the West End, the City, and Canary Wharf. Heathrow Airport – where many local residents work – will be less than 10 minutes away.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, Minet Park is on the doorstep. This park includes picnic areas, a visitor centre, and miles of footpaths to help explore the waterways, grasslands and hedgerows. There is a children’s play area, and the park offers a full programme of events throughout the year. Cyclists can book Hillingdon cycle track at no charge.

Southall Waterside will connect to Minet Park and will offer its own green access to explore and enjoy, including a new 40-acre park, walking trails and cycle paths. A one-kilometre stretch of the Grand Union Canal is being upgraded as part of the development here.

Whether shopping, relaxing, exercising or sleeping, people deserve to feel safe and welcome where they live. You would be hard pushed to find a safer, more welcoming location than Southall.

For more information about Southall Waterside property, contact the team at Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood


10 best things to do for families in Southall

Indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages in Southall

If there is one thing that families need, it’s something to keep the kids amused. Parents in Southall never need to ask what to do with kids at the weekend. In and around Southall, there is plenty of family entertainment. You could visit a different attraction or park every weekend for a year, and still not have seen half of what this area of London has to offer to families.

In no particular order, here is our pick of the 10 best things to do for families within 30 minutes of Southall.

1.    Hanwell Zoo

This is a great day out for children from toddlers to twelve years old.

A day packed with wildlife fun, animal ‘meet and greets’, and plenty of educational programmes to help the kids learn about rare species, conservation, and more.

Marmosets, meerkats, and mara are just a few of the creatures that kids will marvel at. Children can run around freely at the zoo’s playground facilities. At Hanwell, youngsters arrive as kids and leave as mini zookeepers!

Where: Hanwell, only 16 minutes from Southall

2.    Airport Bowl

A firm favourite with Southall families on wet weekends, Airport Bowl in Harlington is home to an incredible 36 lanes of 10-pin bowls. There are also eight pool tables, a video arcade and a food court.

It’s a big winner with children for birthday parties, with medals for all, food, unlimited squash, photos and balloon modelling all available to add extra sparkle to the party fun.

Where: Harlington, only 22 minutes from Southall

3.    Dinosaur Escape

A mini golf adventure. Instead of windmills, near life-size moving dinosaurs try to stop you making a hole-in-one. This is crazy golf taken to another level, with 18 holes meandering through a Jurassic jungle. It’s like taking a step back in time, with the air filled with the noise of the prehistoric past. You’ll be wondering what lurks around the next corner.

It’s not all about hitting a ball with a club, though. There is plenty of dinosaur history and information to collect as you make your way around the course, ensuring that you and your children leave a little more enlightened. Another venue that is great for birthday parties, and exceptional fun for children of all ages – right up to 99!

Where: Northolt, only 10 minutes from Southall

4.    Ceramics Café

The Ceramics Café is the place to visit for a fun activity that will build great memories as the children create wonderful keepsakes. Simply select the piece you wish to paint, choose you colours, and paint your design on the item chosen. Return in a few days, and pick up your keepsake. They make perfect gifts for grandparents!

You aren’t left alone to hope your work comes out the way you planned. Experienced staff are on hand to offer all the help needed. A fun activity with a beautiful end result.

Where: Ealing, only 17 minutes from Southall

5.    Northala Fields Park

The award-winning Northala Fields Park has something for everyone, and for children of all ages.

With six fishing lakes, three wildlife ponds, a model boating lake, and two well-equipped playgrounds, it’s a fantastic place to spend many hours. Take the family for a ramble through the woods, and see if the kids can find the mosaic in the middle of the park.

Bring the bikes to make exploring a little easier, or, better still, a kite for a bit of flying on the fields – a very popular pastime here.

A visitor centre includes a café, toilets, a fishing office and classrooms.

Where: Northolt, only eight minutes from Southall

6.    Jungle Versatile Indoor Play

A fantastic indoor play centre for children up to the age of 12, with rope swings, crawl tunnels, ball pits and more. Fully air-conditioned, it’s the perfect place to bring children when you want them to have the kind of fun that ensures they are worn out by bedtime.

A five-star café sells a range of hot and cold food and drinks, but you don’t need to sit out the fun – parents can join in during the interactive parent and child sessions.

Birthday parties can also be booked here, and there is also a range of seasonal events throughout the year.

Where: Hounslow, only 21 minutes from Southall

7.    Oxygen Freejumping Acton

A trampoline park with 150 wall-to-wall trampolines that will get your kids bouncing. There’s a giant obstacle course to tackle, games of dodgeball to win, and basketball hoops to slam dunk from a bouncing start. As if this were not enough, there are fancy dress sessions with prizes for under-fives, and if your bounce isn’t quite up to the mark you can take trampoline lessons with a British gymnastics qualified instructor.

Where: Acton, only 22 minutes from Southall

8.    Brentford Leisure Centre

Brentford Leisure Centre is all you would expect it to be, and then some.

A multi-purpose centre, it includes a gym with more than 100 fitness stations, swimming pools for serious swimmers and waves and flumes for the funster, a children’s soft play area, squash courts, and a sports hall for racket sports and five-a-side football.

Activities here include swimming lessons, holiday activities and birthday parties. If you don’t fancy a high-energy afternoon, enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at the centre’s café while the children are learning to swim or with their team on the five-a-side pitch.

Where: Brentford, only 19 minutes from Southall

9.    Hounslow Urban Farm

Hounslow Urban Farm is a city jewel, and a fantastic day out for children who wouldn’t normally see farm animals. It is one of London’s largest urban farms, covering a huge 29 acres.

There is a farm café for lunch or tea, a bouncy castle and a souvenir shop. But, of course, these aren’t the main attractions.

The kids will love the animal encounters, which give them interactive time with the animals through the day. Parent the pigs, greet the goats, shake hands with the sheep. Wonder at the majesty of the owl. The fun doesn’t stop. The farm has a small group of Shetland ponies that give a fantastic introduction to pony riding.

Where: Hounslow, only 23 minutes from Southall

10. The Secret Railway

The Secret Railway – or, to give it the correct name, Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway – is the only operational narrow-gauge railway inside the M25. Once used to supply London with drinking water, it is now a visitor attraction that holds events throughout the year. These events include:

  • Superheroes Day
  • Dinosaur Day
  • Ghost Train
  • Santa Specials
  • And more

There are special museum days that include model railway exhibitions, stationary engines and model boats, classic car and bike shows, and a Christmas Fair.

Wow! So much to do here, and this is before you have even taken a ride on the little steam train.

Where: Hounslow, only 29 minutes from Southall

Southall – a great place for families to live

Southall is a great location for families. There is plenty to do here, so the kids should never get bored. The Taxi of Mum and Dad may get a little exhausted, though, with the weekends the perfect time for kids to let off steam from a hard week at school.

Now we’ve mentioned education, it’s worth noting that 13 of the 18 primary schools in Southall are rated as good by Ofsted. At the secondary school level, the most highly-rated schools are Dormers Wells High School, Villiers High School, and the outstanding-rated Featherstone High School.

Southall is a great place for families to live, and it’s getting even better. Berkeley Group is developing Southall Waterside. This development is ideal for families. Parks, trees, water and gardens. Shops, restaurants, cafés, art and entertainment. With Crossrail on its way here, Southall Waterside will be only 17 minutes from Bond Street. And, of course, within a few minutes of some of the best family entertainment and activities in London.

With the population here forecast to grow by 13% by 2030, the potential for profitable property investment is huge. For more information about Southall Waterside property, contact the team at Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

Cashflow and Interest Rates

Cashflow and Interest Rates… where they’re likely to go?

Video Transcription:

Hey guys. So Bretts Property Rants. So what I wanna chat about, I guess, is cash flow, and in particular, interest rates, and where they’re likely to go.

I mean, we have had the lowest interest rates ever in the history of the world, I think, to be fair. Probably not the history of the world. That’s probably a, but certainly, in modern history, it’s been the lowest for the longest. And I don’t think they’re ever gonna go back up to where they were, because, you know, corporate debt in America is nine trillion. You know, their consumer debt is 22 trillion. You know, they’re huge numbers. And the problem is if interest rates go too high, then they can’t afford anything, and they’re gonna have massive defaults, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

And there’s a whole range of reasons why I don’t think it’s going up too high. But I do think the interest rates will go up, and they will need to go up, and I think the key is for you, personally, have you actually calculated all of your debts, put ’em all together, okay, and then worked out if interest rates rose, let’s say 1%, 2%, 4%, you know. I think at 4%, that’s really going to be a massive stress test, you know. And when we look at that, that’d be a massive jump for most people.

So I think if you can sustain a 4%, you’ve got absolutely nothing to worry about. I think 2% is about what, you know, what you really need to account for and you really need to calculate. If you’re gonna struggle, then what you might need to do is, right now, start to look at how you can start putting money aside, maybe paying off some debt or, you know, paying down that debt. If you have to, sell a house. If you have to, you know, don’t take on more debt. All these sorts of things. Don’t just include houses, ’cause this is not just about houses. This is all debt, okay.

The availability of your debt is gonna start decrease, and the money supply is decreasing right now. So, effectively, what that means is as the money supply decreases, you tend to find we go into a recessional downturn, okay. And so all these sorts of things are starting to kick in and start to move forward now. So, you know, you can sit there and say, oh, no, no, no. I’ve been watching the hundreds and hundreds of YouTube channels that say, no, house prices are gonna continue. You know, corporate debt’s gonna continue. Everything’s fine. But I would just say that lot of the indicators now are pointing towards a downward happening. And it could be in 2020, it could be in 2021, it could be in 2022 but somewhere around now. I mean, there are lots of things that countries could do to stimulate and to sort of, you know, stretch it out.

I think the UK’s in a reasonable position because it’s got a very strong economy. And actually, to be fair, we’ve had a pretty rough time over the last two years with Brexit. And that’s kept, the growth down. And that will play into, that’ll put us in a good position if the rest of the world does go into a downturn. That’s not to say that we’re not gonna, you know, see things changing and not have to do this. But I think for this, you know, what have you personally done? Have you done that calculation? If you haven’t, it’s probably time to do it, and then if you want to, you know, one of the big things we do is portfolio management.

So, if you’re not sure what to do, if you’re not sure how to do it, get all figures together, you know, book with a team, and, you know, sit down with them, and get them to run through the implications of that. ‘Cause when you run through the implications, you know, knowledge is power, and you can act on knowledge. You’re sticking your head in the sand and waiting for a kick up the ass, you know, that’s not the way to do it. That is not the way to do it. That’s gonna create stress. Maybe, right now, you can live blissfully, but that’ll create stress down the way, whereas you don’t need to.

Actually, what we find with most of our clients, they are fine. Once they do the numbers, they realize they’re fine, and they can then almost kick back and relax because they don’t need to worry. By far the majority of people are gonna be absolutely fine with that sort of 2% increase in interest rates, okay. So if you’re sitting out there, and you’re concerned about it, and you’re thinking your head in the sand, don’t, give the team a call, like go through the numbers and really get you a sense, you know, some certainty. That’s really what we want, is to give you a sense of certainty as you’re building a portfolio. Now it may be that there’s actually some leeway there if you take advantages and opportunities now. ‘Cause what we’re seeing is, you know, vendors and developers are starting now to give a bit more, you know, flexibility on their pricing, because things have slowed now You know, the numbers are slowing down.

Look, the price houses haven’t dropped off, but they will follow. And, you know, that will start to come, you know. But, right now, you know, things are still looking pretty good. But now’s the time to really make those adjustments if you need to make them.

Alright, guys, have a great day. Live with passion, see ya.

Property Investor

Look who’s actively looking for more UK Investments

A recent article from BBC News Business caught my attention.

It is very interesting that Warren Buffett, an 88-year-old Veteran Investor has said that he’s actively looking to make large investments into both the UK and the European economies, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the future relationship.

Buffett has built up a reputation over the years for being an extremely well-measured investor, not least because of the vast amount of information that he gathers on a company/ sector before actually investing in it.

His announcement at this years Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Event could, therefore, be seen as a positive sign for investor confidence, especially amongst the negative headlines we have grown used to seeing day-in-day-out.


Manny Esezobor

Property Investment UK

Why property investment in the UK is so attractive

Where else could you achieve these huge benefits?

Property investment in the UK is still attractive, despite the headwinds of higher stamp duties on investment properties, a tougher borrowing environment, and changes to the tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages and wear and tear costs. Here are a few of the major reasons to invest in UK property.

Demand for property outweighs supply

The law of supply and demand has impacted the UK property market for centuries. A continuously growing population fuels demand for new homes. This boosts the price of homes and is great news for property investment in the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK population is forecast to grow to:

  • 2 million in 2026
  • 70 million in 2029
  • 9 million in 2041

This is population growth of more than 11%. To put this in some perspective, the UK would need six cities the size of Birmingham to house it – or 13 Manchester, or 12 Liverpool. That’s a huge demand for extra housing.

UK property investment has continually proved itself as a solid investment

The average UK house price has doubled every eight to 10 years during the last 100 years. Even during financial crises, property investment in the UK has proved more resilient than other assets. When the stock market almost halved in 2008/9 because of the Global Financial Crisis, the average UK house price fell by just 14%.

Stock markets tend to have crashes every 10 years or so. The Oil Crisis was blamed for the slide in the mid-1970s. Then there was Black Monday in October 1987. The dotcom bubble burst in 2000. Throughout such stock market volatility, UK investment property has remained remarkably resilient and astoundingly stable. As ‘safe as houses’, as they say.

(Read our article “If you’re a long-term investor in stocks, you’re a long-term loser” to discover the truth your financial advisor would rather you not know.)

Inflation-proofed income – great for retirement

When you invest in buy-to-let property in the UK for the long term, you benefit from the rental income that you control.

Generally, rental prices increase in line with inflation. Sometimes they rise slower, and sometimes faster.

If you are investing for retirement, the inflation-proofing quality of buy-to-let investment property in the UK will be very attractive to you – especially when measured against the cost of an annuity designed to protect your income against inflation.

You make money on other people’s money

In the UK, you can borrow to invest in property. This means you have the potential to make money on other people’s money, thus boosting your comparable return.

As an example, let’s consider an investment of £200,000, using £50,000 of your own money as a deposit and a £150,000 buy-to-let mortgage to fund your investment. Let’s say that the mortgage interest rate is 4.5%, and you achieve a gross rental yield of 7%.

You will make a gross income of 2.5% on the £150,000 you borrowed, after allowing for the interest payment. Put another way, your gross rental income is £7,250 (7% x £50,000 + 2.5% x £150,000), or 14.5% of the capital you invested.

It gets even better. Should the property value increase by, say, 30%, it would now be worth £260,000. Before costs and tax, this is a profit of £60,000. That’s 110% on your original £50,000 investment.

Such incredible potential returns are all thanks to the benefits of leveraging in property investment.

Perfect passive income

Finally, here is the one that will really make a difference in your life. Who wants to work for their money, when you could be sitting at home (or on a beach) enjoying the fruits of someone else’s labour? Hire an investment property manager to manage your property, and benefit from the perfect passive income that could give you the lifestyle you deserve.

Summing up

For its potential to produce incredible passive income and capital growth over the long term, property investment in the UK is a highly attractive option. Projected population growth should help it to produce the kind of returns it has historically, as you benefit from using other people’s money to maximise the return on your own investment capital.

For more information about investing in UK property, contact the team Gladfish today, at  +44 207 923 6100.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

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