As one year draws to a close and a new one dawns, Experience Invest will be ready to celebrate 2019 as the 15th anniversary of the founding of our company.
It has certainly been an interesting time in UK property, with the market witnessing a number of major economic developments and challenges since 2004, but showing the resilience to plough on through even the strongest headwinds.
An eventful 15 years
Undoubtedly the biggest event of the past 15 years – not only for the property market but the entire UK economy – was the 2008 financial crisis, which triggered years of economic adversity and austerity.
Like all industry sectors and components of the economy, property and the housing market inevitably felt the effects of the downturn.
Following years of steady price growth – with consistent double-digit increases recorded between 2002 and 2004 – average house prices plummeted between the second quarter of 2008 and Q3 2009, according to Nationwide.
Over the past five years, however, price growth trends have stayed consistently in positive territory, even in the years of uncertainty following the Brexit referendum.
What this means is that property investors who were able to get into the market in the wake of the financial crisis, when prices were low, have since benefited from years of steady capital growth.
Buy-to-let investors have also felt the positive effects of the latest trends. The buy-to-let property market exploded in the 21st century, with the number of private landlords soaring from tens of thousands in the mid-1990s to almost two million by 2014, according to figures from Paragon, a specialist mortgage lender.
The buy-to-let market has faced some challenges of its own in recent years, such as the government’s reduction of tax relief on mortgage costs. But it has also benefited from major trends such as the growth of the private rental market, as the persistent repercussions of the financial crisis have made it increasingly difficult for many people in the UK to buy their own home.
According to a Q3 2018 report from Paragon, the average market value of landlords’ investment property has now, ten years on from the global financial crisis, reached a record high of £1.7 million.
While there are still challenges in the market, core indicators such as tenant demand are very positive. More than 80 per cent of landlords surveyed by Paragon said demand is stable, growing or booming, helping to keep property voids relatively low, at 2.9 weeks on average.
Those who kept faith with buy-to-let property and stuck with their investment during rocky periods have reaped the benefits, witnessing long-term portfolio growth and consistent rental yields.
With sectors such as student accommodation proving particularly profitable of late, the prospects are good for these trends to continue in 2019.
Highlights for Experience Invest
For Experience Invest, the past 15 years has brought many proud moments and major milestones, including the completion of projects like Falkner Place in Liverpool, and the Victoria House apartment complex in Leeds.
During our time in business, we have witnessed these sorts of locations in the north of England become increasingly popular among tenants and more profitable for investors.
With housing and living costs so high in London and capital growth slower there than in many other parts of the country, we expect to see this gradual change in the traditional north-south divide continue in 2019.
Other highlights for Experience Invest have come in the last year alone, including our proud debut at the Smart Investment and International Property Expo in Hong Kong, and the success our trusted development partner Opto Property Group enjoyed at the 2018 Property Wire Awards, where it was named developer of the year.
As we enter 2019, we have a lot to look forward to, including the scheduled completion of Opto Student Newcastle by Q3, in time for the next academic year.
In retrospect, it has been an eventful and exciting 15 years for Experience Invest, during which we have seen the property market navigate unprecedented challenges and deliver outstanding results for investors.
Our business development and acquisitions director Jerald Solis said: “Experience Invest is hugely proud to be celebrating our 15th anniversary in 2019, and we’re sure it will prove to be another big year, full of great potential for investors.
“We are moving into the future with optimism, and look forward to helping our clients make the most of whatever opportunities the property market brings in 2019 and beyond.”