From serviced apartments to care homes, purpose-built student accommodation and even hotel rooms, there is a wealth of hands-free property investment opportunities in the UK for overseas investors looking for a foothold or more on these shores.
And it’s easy to see why their sights would turn to the UK. Post-Brexit, with sterling at a low rate right now compared to previous years overseas buyers will be getting more bricks for their buck, as it were. But where should they be investing? Well, certainly if they’re looking for a hands-off investment (which is, by far, the more sensible option considering the distance), then there are plenty of avenues to explore.
All of these are hands-free in the sense that there is no property maintenance or management to worry about. The investor simply pays a one-off price, then receives regular returns on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The following are currently some of the most popular forms of hands-free property investment for investors from overseas right now:
- Student accommodation. Every big city in the UK has a university and many, such as Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow have more than one. There are also more students at university in the UK than ever before (and indeed, many are wealthier overseas students). As a result, today’s student digs are less ‘The Young Ones’ and more your average upmarket, serviced apartment complex with concierge, communal TV lounge, garden, café and other leisure facilities. Single student rooms are available to invest in. The good news is that the dreaded Stamp Duty doesn’t apply – so there’s no forking out thousands of pounds in cash for multiple room investments.
- Care homes. Again, it’s possible to invest in a single room (or rooms) in a care home. This could be a nursing care home or luxury residential retirement apartments. Both types of home are becoming increasingly popular due to the larger number of older people both in the UK and globally, of course. This type of investment tends to be a long-term lease and offers very reasonable yields (of up to 12 per cent in some cases). Another bonus compared to buy to let is that care homes come under the banner of commercial property, so again, Stamp Duty doesn’t apply.
- Hotel rooms. Another commercial investment, leasing a hotel room can be very lucrative if the right location is chosen. Some of the big cities outside London can offer high yields for hotels – Liverpool and Manchester instantly springing to mind. Yields can be as high as 10 per cent for some.
- Serviced apartments. Very popular in locations which attract a lot of tourists (such as London) or near big regeneration areas where there tends to be a lot of IT, Finance, Science and Media-type employment for young professionals, serviced apartments are what some investors call ‘the new buy to let’. Many have been purpose built with their target tenant already in mind, and some offer tenant leases of up to two years, making a serviced apartment a relatively stable investment opportunity for the residential sector.