UK Investment Property

By: Parag Sheth

The United Kingdom And Property

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) is a made up of four countries of immense diversity, tradition and culture. Beautiful countryside, islands, moors, craggy mountains and cliffs, rolling hills, shorelines and beaches, it has scenery as varied as its people. The UK investment property may include any one of the four individual countries that make up the United Kingdom: England; Scotland; Wales and Northern Ireland. There are also a number of islands, in particular the Scottish island groups of the Shetlands and the Orkneys, the English Scilly Isles and Isle of Wight and the Welsh island of Anglesey. The British Isles are to be found off the western extremity of continental Europe, separated from it by the English Channel and the North Sea. The climate is temperate in nature, and in the words of William Blake, you see "England's green and pleasant land". All of these complicated factors make UK investment property very lucrative.

Of the four countries England has the largest population at 50 million of the total 60 million people and consequently is the busiest.

The UK is steeped in history and tradition, with a respected Monarchy and is the home of democracy. It's is as much known for its culture as for its music and festivals, inventions, sport, art and literature, fashion and films and television. It is sometimes called "Cool Britannia" and many a trend has started in the UK.

Throughout the four countries there are many cultural sights with stately homes, castles, palaces and accompanying grounds in abundance. Many of these are run by different organizations such as the National Trust, Scottish Trust and the National Park Trust. Wherever you are in the UK you are never far from something of significance or of historical value.

Major cities, such as London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Belfast, Newcastle and Manchester offer impressive galleries, museums and theatres giving the traveller a multitude of activities to pursue.

Outside of these metropolitan areas there are still many towns and cities with historical value such as Bath, Salisbury and Harrogate. Peaceful village life is also an option with rural communities abounding across the majority of all of the countries.

UK Property Investment Market

Prior to the election of the present Labour Government, the UK property market had tended to move in very cyclical patterns with significant (short term) boom and busts episodes. Over the last 10 years this particular trait has faded and the UK property investment market has been on a general upturn for some time. The release of significant numbers of social housing over the last decade has helped to flatten the natural boom and bust curve.

As the UK continues to attract significant overseas property investment the UK property investment market around the major cities have tended to lead the way with regards to price rises (particularly London property and the South East). Where the major cities lead, the smaller cities and towns have followed - although there is often a time lag as the factors affecting the general market slowly spread far and wide.

While the UK market has been prone to short term, often volatile, swings, there is no doubt that the return on UK Property over any significant period has been significantly higher than those of mainland Europe. The UK has always been a very much purchase driven market, however as the international profile of the country continues to grow, a prosperous rental market has been created - with particular emphasis on London which has led the way in Europe with regards to financial markets in particular (The Stock Exchange, Petroleum Exchange, Metals Exchange, etc).

There are a number on anomalies with regards to property transactions in each of the four individual countries, and these should be assessed at the time of any transaction. In the main the differences relate to how bids are entered and how they are chosen.

As the financial institutions continue to increase their lending to the mortgage industry, it is now possible to obtain mortgages based upon up to five times your income. This recent increase in the basis has further helped to fuel what was, and continues to be a buoyant area of investment.

Buying Investment Property in the UK

While the UK continues to retain a strong sense of tradition and history, there is no doubt that London in particular is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. It is the employment hub of the UK, and has particular strengths in the financial arena, e.g. The London Stock Exchange, etc. This has, and continues to attract significant overseas investment, which is in turn feeding a growing economy. As the economy grows, so does the demand for housing and buying investment property in the UK.

While the weather in the UK can be unpredictable there is a massive influx of tourists from all around the world, although a vast number of them arrive from Japan and the US. Impressed with the tradition and variety of the society, many have chosen to invest in holiday homes, second homes. It also helps that London Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world, and offers access to all major cities of the world.

The current climate of low interest rates, low inflation and increased infrastructure spend bodes well for the future of the UK. The UK has also been chosen to host the 2012 Olympic Games which will put the worldwide spot light on this beautiful, diverse group of countries.

The Future of UK Property Investment

While the release of further housing stock over the last decade has helped to control the ongoing property boom, demand still far out weighs supply - especially in the more affluent south of England, where the majority of overseas investment is applied.

However, over the last few years we have seen areas such as Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland; continue to increase their profile which has resulted in some fairly large property price rises in these areas. This pattern has been repeated in a number of the more business central areas of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

One of the main attractions to tourists to the UK seems to be the great and varied history of the land, which has links as far afield as Pakistan and India who are members of the ever expanding Commonwealth of the United Kingdom.

The UK also has a very thorough infrastructure, where it is possible to travel between the likes of London and Glasgow (in Scotland) within a couple of hours - carrying you from the hustle and bustle of the big city, to the verges of the beautiful Scottish countryside complete with Lochs, Golf Courses and miles of National park.

Travel within the UK is very easy as there are no passport restrictions when moving between the four countries United Kingdom.

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