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Hotspot home truths

BRICKS AND MORTAR: Residential market growth opportunities lie outside London, in cities such as Edinburgh
BRICKS AND MORTAR: Residential market growth opportunities lie outside London, in cities such as Edinburgh

by HOWARD ROBIN INVESTORS EYE HIGH RETURNS IN CITIES SUCH AS EDINBURGH AND MANCHESTER THE UK property market may be cooling off, but it is still offering hot opportunities for smart investors. According to the latest report from Halifax, prices dropped by 3.1 per cent, or an average of £7,140, in April. That’s the second-largest monthly fall since the lender began its index in 1983. Falls have been sharpest in London, with the southeast also bearing the brunt of lower price trends. In addition, values have fallen in the south­west of England for the first time since 2013. However, despite the gloomy headlines, the out­look for investors remains positive. For one thing, prices are typically 2.2 per cent higher than they were this time last year. And, according to some es­timates, they are set to rise over the next 12 months by up to three per cent. There are also significant regional variations. Within London, there are property hotspots such as Barking, Dagenham, Bexley and Havering, record­ing more than four per cent growth. Around the UK, the large regional cities like Bir­mingham, Manchester, Coventry and Edinburgh are experiencing property booms. Then there are sectors that are expected to con­tinue to offer substantial returns, such as retirement homes, commercial property and holiday lets, not to mention price-cut hotspots where buyers are be­ing tempted by favourable discounts. Alan Collett, of Hearthstone Investments, said: “Despite the gloomy headlines on property prices, the outlook for investment remains strong. There are plenty of opportunities despite the cooling market.” According to most analysts, many of the major hotspots for growth in the residential market cur­rently lie outside London. The latest index from HomeTrack, which analysed 20 cities around the UK, suggests investors looking for the best locations for capital growth in the residential property market should…

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