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Investing in Glasgow – Scotland in style!
December 3, 2012Article by Ray Withers
With St Andrew’s Day last week and the legendary Hogmanay and Burns Night just around the corner, I thought that I’d focus this week’s blog post on our neighbours to the north and the location of our latest student accommodation investment opportunity – Scotland.
Despite being secretly pleased about Scotland being defeated by Tonga in the rugby last weekend, I am rather a fan of the Home of the Brave, having visited Edinburgh and Glasgow a number of times.
Aside from the rich culture, stunning landscapes and all too drinkable whiskeys, one of the most impressive aspects for me is the rate at which Scottish cities are regenerating. And Glasgow, the third biggest city in the UK, just 4 and half hours by train from London, is the perfect example of this regeneration.
Formerly one of the premier industrial and trading hubs of the world, the city, located on the banks of the River Clyde, underwent significant urban regeneration in the 1960’s which resulted in it being awarded European Capital of Culture in 1990.
Now the next phase of Glasgow’s 21st century multi-billion pound transformation is well underway with the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration plan set to rejuvenate a 20km stretch of land along the banks of the Clyde.
The biggest regeneration project ever undertaken in Scotland, it will have a major impact on the future prosperity of the country with some £6 billion being ploughed into over 200 housing, retail, leisure, business and infrastructure projects.
This area, already home to BBC Scotland, will also be the site of the new 12,500 seat SECC arena due for completion for the 2014 Commonwealth Games which the city of Glasgow will be hosting. This event alone has been a catalyst for regeneration and change, with 78% of people saying that the Games will positively affect Glasgow and Scotland and previous host cities such as Manchester enjoying significant increases in property prices as a result of the ‘games effect’.
The vast efforts that have been put into the current regeneration of Glasgow are clearly paying off with the city ranked in the top 10 fastest-growing tourist destinations in Europe by Trip Advisor.
Indeed the city, dubbed “Scotland with style!” by the tourist board, is attracting a broad international audience with not just tourists but international businesses and higher education students increasingly attracted to Glasgow.
Home to four universities including the fourth-oldest in the English-speaking world, the University Glasgow with 23,000 students from more than 120 countries Glasgow holds a rich educational heritage.
Ranked 3rd in the UK by the International Student Barometer with undergraduate satisfaction levels of 90% and 54 in the QS World University Rankings 2012, the University of Glasgow remains in the top 1% of institutions in the world.
The city, similar to the situation we discovered in Liverpool back in 2009, does however have a chronic shortage of student accommodation with only 9,395 purpose built beds for 52,255 full time students.
Glasgow has been identified as an “undersupplied market” by Savills (2012) with a massive undersupply of 42,760 beds and despite 2,595 beds in the pipeline and CBRE stating the undersupply could be as high as 9 full time students for every bed space, this fundamental lack of supply should drive prices consistently higher.
Having done the research, I firmly believe in the city of Glasgow as the next student accommodation investment hotspot. And it seems that our investors agree with over 60% of the spacious self-contained studios at Central House, Glasgow already sold within a fortnight of coming to the market.
Larger than most other purpose-built UK student housing projects and with an attractive freehold available from just £53,500, the studios at Central House really are a cut above the rest. With privacy as well as sought after communal areas, outdoor terraces, concierge, CCTV and broadband throughout, these student residences are simply first class. To see the latest video and walk though of the actual development please click below.
Occupying a prime city centre location, in the heart of the bars, restaurants and shops, just minutes’ walk from the banks of the Clyde and university campuses, Central House is sure to be popular with today’s students as well as investors who can enjoy an attractive 9.2% NET yield for 3 years assured.