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On The Threshold: Liverpool & Manchester building on the foundations of history



By Alessandro Pasetti, 31 May

The high turnover of the real estate portfolio of Inveztments testifies to the quality of the projects that have been marketed by its team in the past year.
But what’s the secret sauce?
In a nutshell, the ultimate choice between picking multiple real estate investments/projects and only the best projects/property investment available on the market always leans towards the latter.

Coming soon

As new investment opportunities are about to be announced – full details of three outstanding UK-based developments will be released shortly – Invezments managing directors continue to witness strong market appetite outside London. It is easy to argue that Liverpool and Manchester, in particular, continue to thrive is deeply rooted in their past achievements as well as in their reputation and bright prospects, regardless of the risk posed by Brexit.

To sum up where the portfolio stands, sold-out projects in the residential segment include:

– Salisbury Place, Liverpool

– Halifax House, Liverpool

– Downtown, Manchester

– Sir Thomas, Liverpool (pictured below)

– Reliance House, Liverpool

Attractive yields and strategic locations contributed to the success of most of these property deals, while student accommodation, another buoyant segment, also shone.

The projects that easily gathered interest were:

– Orme House, Newcastle-Under-Lyme

– Oakwood House, Sheffield

– Beaumont Square, Plymouth

– Phoenix Place, Liverpool

– QStudios, Stoke (pictured below)

Ancillary business

Outside the core competencies of the team, the hotels space also proved attractive. Eden Country (Cumbria), Afan’s land plots (Wales), Wyncliffe House (Wales, Fishguard), The Harland (Scarborough) and The Atlantic Bay (Woolacombe) are all sold out.

Clearly, market appetite spanned several cities, including Leeds and Sheffield, but Liverpool and Manchester remained the top performers.

If you want to know more about the competitive landscape and outlook there, it could be worth spending some time reading this research published earlier this year by Knight Frank, which also contains very useful data on the commercial property landscape and the development pipeline.

What is still available?

Focus is mainly on the residential segment, with the existing portfolio comprising:

– Fabric, Liverpool (please contact the team directly)

– 8 Water Street, Liverpool (please contact the team directly)

– Infinity Waters, Liverpool (this promises to be a gem; pictured below)

– Oxygen, Manchester

– North House, Liverpool

– Whitehall Road, Leeds

– Grapnel House, Manchester

As far student accommodation investments are concerned, One Islington Plaza (Liverpool) has recently gone, but elsewhere Afan Valley Resort (Wales, hotels) remains available, requiring different levels of commitment and returns.

Aside from the economics that each deal offers, which can be privately discussed with the team, we highlight below some news reports that should help you understand what kind of investment you might be undertaking, if you are not familiar with the history of either city.

Firstly, Liverpool.

1 of 3: Liverpool to Manchester railway: the first railway line to open in Britain

According to the BBC “the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, completed in 1830, was the first successful railway line to open in Britain”.

Why?

– It proved that a cheaper and more efficient alternative to canals was now available

– It was the first commercial railway line designed to carry paying passengers as well as cargo

– It made the trade and transportation of raw, heavy and bulky materials between Liverpool and Manchester easier

– It allowed fresh dairy and agricultural produce from rural Lancashire to be delivered to towns and cities

– It was a financial success and people suddenly realised that railways could provide huge profits

Over a decade ago, The Telegraph also noted that it “was the first successful passenger-carrying railway in the world. Trials for Stephenson’s Rocket were carried out at Rainhill in 1829.”

Liverpool to Manchester railway (Source: World on Trains)

2 of 3: The Queensway Tunnel … cutting-edge mobility

“On the 18th July 1934, over 200,000 people gathered at the Old Haymarket to watch King George V and Queen Mary, officially open the Queensway tunnel,” the BBC explains.

“Amongst those chosen to welcome the Royal party were Lord Mayor Councillor John Strong, Sir Thomas White, Chair of the Joint Tunnel Committee, Lord Sefton and Chief Constable A.K. Wilson. Liverpool City Police Band provided the music.”

The Queensway Tunnel (Source: Gutted Arcade of the Past)

3 of 3: Liverpool Streets

“The streets of Liverpool are fascinating, starting with the very early ones in the centre of the city – or borough as we should call it, because Liverpool wasn’t a city until the 1880s. Prior to that it was a town and a borough, the medieval borough was of course founded by King John in 1207, and the king’s representative, a bailiff or someone similar, laid out the first original streets of Liverpool – and those are still important thoroughfares…Chapel Street, Bank Street (now Water Street), Castle Street, Dale Street, Tithebarn Street (formerly Moore street) and Juggler Street (High Street).”

(Source: BBC, link here)

Water Street (Source: Streets of Liverpool)

“In addition to granting it a royal charter, King John designed Liverpool’s original street plan of seven streets laid out in a ‘H’ shape.”

(Source: Traveling with the Jones, click here for more details.)

Enter Manchester.

1 of 5: Great minds

Did you know that the atom was first split in Manchester?

“There are few discoveries in science that can be said to have changed the world but one must surely be the ‘splitting of the atom’ by Ernest Rutherford in Manchester.”

(Source: BBC, click here to read the full article.)

2 of 5: University of Manchester

You have heard about the first programmable computer, haven’t you?

“On June 21, 1948, shortly after 11am, the Small Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM) – nicknamed The Baby – executed its first program. The Baby changed the world and was the forerunner of all modern computers, iPods, mobile phones and other gadgets we take for granted today.”

(Source: The University of Manchester, click here for more details.)

Baby — The first programmable computer (Source: YouTube)

3 of 5: 25 Nobel Prize winners

“The University of Manchester has a rich academic history. We can lay claim to 25 Nobel laureates among our current and former staff and students.”

(Source: The University of Manchester, more here.)

Sir Joseph John Thomson was an English physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics, credited with the discovery and identification of the electron (Source: ThoughtCo)

4 of 5: Chetham’s library: the oldest public library in Britain

“It’s the oldest public library in Britain, and is home to more than 120,000 books, maps and manuscripts, some dating back as far as the 13th century.”

(Source: Manchester Evening News, to learn more about this topic please click here.)

The Chetham’s library (Source: Trip Advisor)

5 of 5: Finally… it is listed among the 10 world’s greatest cities in 2018!

“After a tough 2017, locals said that the best thing about Manchester is that ‘We carry on, no matter what.’ It’s also the place with the most people who can’t get through the day without a cuppa, while its great drinking scene, live music and friendliness saw it end up ranked seventh,” TimeOut wrote earlier this year.

The most exciting cities in the world (Source: Time Out)

(This post was written by Alessandro Pasetti. Ale is the founder of Hedging Beta Ltd. He writes about investment strategy and assets valuation for European clients as well as Seeking Alpha, The Loadstar, Transport Intelligence and others. Based in London, he previously worked for about five years at Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal, producing analysis for the IB community. Prior to that, he contributed to the launch of London-based Loan Radar, where he worked for three years. He had stints in equity research at Bear Stearns in London, HVB in Munich, and Unicredit in Milan.

It was edited by Gavin van Marle, managing editor of London-based The Loadstar. Gavin is also the author of the book Around the World in Freighty Ways: Adventures in Globalisation. He has won numerous awards, including the Seahorse Journalist of the Year 2011 and 2009, and Supply Chain Journalist of the Year 2010 and 2014. )