In the summer of 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of radical new reforms to Britain’s infrastructure that will support a post-pandemic high street revival. This “New Deal” offers an abundance of opportunities for commercial, residential and BTR property developers.
Businesses should keep an eye out for regeneration projects as well as cities and towns that are undergoing substantial redevelopment. More so than ever, selecting the right location will be of the absolute essence for land owners and developers. Choosing the wrong area can lead to significant losses, with properties left dying on the market for months at a time.
Build, build, build
In 2019, the government created a £3.6bn Towns Fund to finance regeneration in 100 towns, many in the north of England. Shift on the high street has been exacerbated as a result of the coronavirus and new reforms that have made it easier to transform commercial buildings into residential property.
The transition from a pure retail focus has been praised as positive news for high streets. “Clone towns” dominated by chain stores will continue to struggle, as we experience an exponential change in consumer preference – instead, areas with diverse high street offerings will flourish, as they are able to meet the varied needs of the community that they serve.
Areas to watch
- Birmingham – the Big City Plan has brought in major improvements in this city over the past fifteen to twenty years. Infrastructure, shopping, real estate, and the central city area have all received billions of pounds. With the past five years seeing a price growth of 31.2% – a figure set to expand as the city experiences further development.
- Leeds – With a fantastic record of regeneration and millions more to be invested, Leeds is currently regarded as one of the best buy-to-let hotspots in the UK. With the city centre set to double in size due to a £270 million, 2.8 acre development in the west end; the opportunities for property investors and developments are clear.
- Slough – The recent Crossrail development and approximately £3 billion worth of investment in the pipeline has made Slough an attractive location for investors. With growth over the past years standing at 10.4%, the commuter town offers great potential for property investors and developers looking to take advantage of the growing BTR and residential markets.
- Manchester – 20 years of regeneration projects have made Manchester a fantastic city for investment, with opportunities for commercial, residential and BTR property. The £1.5 billion Spinningfields regeneration scheme, the £800 million NOMA project and the Northern Gateway redevelopment are some of the latest acquisitions. In the last five years, the city’s price growth stands at 38.2%.
- Sheffield – Britain’s “Green City” is undoubtedly one to watch, with potential for a wide range of investments. The latest regeneration has been led by The Heart of the City masterplan, which helped regenerate Peace Gardens, the Winter Garden and St Paul’s Tower. The master plan’s second phase will redevelop 1.5 million square feet of the city into a flexible, mixed-use area that will attract new employment and investment. The price growth in the past five years stands at 26.5%, while for the past ten years it reaches up to 44.4%.
In the past, London was the investors go-to location for property investors – however, recent social and economic shifts have drastically altered the landscape. As you can see from this week’s top five, the abundance of choice has made it somewhat challenging to decipher where best to invest your money when looking for the country’s newest ‘hotspot’.
At Targetfollow, to stay fully abreast on the latest property news – we keep a constant ear to the ground. Despite a challenging year for everyone, the outlook for Britain’s towns post-lockdown is promising and we look forward to further acquisitions in the coming months.