The pocket guide to property investment

We firmly believe that a well-managed and well-considered investment property is an essential element in any long-term financial plan and there is a huge weight of evidence to support this view. Property values fluctuate, sometimes quite dramatically, through the economic cycle and it’s critical that you are in control of your investment and do not have any pressure to sell. Here are a few tips;

The first rule of property in our view is that you should always view before you buy. In the boom years following 2001, an entire industry sprang up around off-plan sales. Thousands of investors bought at distance and on the basis of sometimes spurious and fanciful claims either about the quality of the apartment or building, or its proximity to well-known landmarks or proposed schemes. Don’t believe the website – visit the city in which you are thinking of buying, visit the site in which you are interested and then test the various marketing claims such as ‘a 5 minute walk to the station’ or ‘2 minutes from John Lewis’. Take a view as to the quality of the location and try and remain objective – schemes in areas which are being regenerated can be a little scary but it’s important to understand the wider plans for the neighbourhood. The web is a great tool in getting to know about a place, so jump online and research the city you are interested in and look at economic data, demographics, population predictions, property market surveys, retail rankings and hospitals, universities and schools. You’ll soon get a sense of whether this is a place worthy of investment.

The second rule is that there is always a reason why a property looks cheap. Some of these can be positive and genuine, others not so;

Good:

1.The property is repossessed and represents good value

2.The property is in a regeneration area where prospects look good but there is little current evidence to support higher values

3.The property is being marketed by an out of area agent who doesn’t know the market (this does happen)

4.The vendor is under pressure to sell

Bad:

1.It’s in an area which has little demand and little prospect for growth

2.It’s got an intrinsic issue such as a defect in the title or structural issues, which can usually be resolved but can carry significant costs

3.It’s in a town or city with low employment and poor transport links

If you are preparing to rent out your own home, there are a few key pointers which will help to make the process much easier and which could actually dissuade you from doing so;

– However well-behaved, professional or considerate your tenant may be, they are unlikely to treat your home as their own. If you are particularly house-proud then you may find it difficult to rationalise this.

– If there are any items of furnishing or personal chattels which you are particularly attached to, take them with you. The principles of furnishing a rental property rather than your own home are entirely different.

– Make sure you advise your lender that you are preparing to let out your own home. They are likely to want to change the terms of your mortgage (i.e. charge you a higher interest rate) and will want to ensure that you can afford mortgage costs.

– Review your insurance, tell your insurer that you are considering renting out your home and look at specific policies to protect you. Rent guarantee insurance is readily available, well-priced and a tax-deductible item so it’s well worth considering.

– Research how to deal with the income from your rental – if you are not self-employed, you will probably need to use the self-assessment process. An accountant will be able to prepare a return for you but if you are organised and have reasonable admin skills, this is something you could do yourself. You can get some guidance here; https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/paying-tax

– Have an honest conversation with your partner (and/or yourself) as to whether you’ll be comfortable owning a property you don’t live in.

– Whilst you might be tempted to manage the property yourself, we would always recommend asking at least two reputable letting agencies to visit, value your property and set out their service standards. We would always recommend a large, established independent agent as a starting point- make sure they are members of ARLA, the TPO and a deposit registration scheme and make sure that they justify their valuation with local comparable evidence.

The return of Eat Leeds Restaurant Week

With Leeds Restaurant week just around the corner, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to write a short post about all those involved and what deals will be coming our way!

Brought to you by LeedsBID, between 19th-25th February, Leeds Restaurant week is a week where some of Leeds’ best restaurants and bars take part by creating a bespoke menu just for you, with a great offer attached. Below we have a list of all the restaurants that are involved and what they will be dishing up.

2 courses for £10 

Cosy Club: 2 courses for £10

Mans Markets: 2 courses for £10

Pizza Luxe – 2 courses for £10

Brasserie Blanc – 2 courses for £10

Giraffe – 2 courses for £10

Bar Soba – 2 courses for £10

Dock 29 – 2 courses for £10

Roxy Lanes – 2 courses for £10

Browns – 2 courses for £10

Barburitto – 2 courses for £10

Coco’s Beach Bar – 2 courses for £10

Revs de cuba – 2 courses for £10, 3 courses for £15

Harvey Nichols Espresso Bar – 2 courses for £10

Fettle – 2 courses for £10

Sebbys deli – 2 courses for £10 including a 125ml glass of white or red wine

All Bar one – 2 courses for £10

Zaap – 2 courses for £10

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(Dock 29 – photo: Google)

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(Harvey Nichols Espresso Bar – photo: Google)

2 courses for £15

Marco’s: 2 courses for £15

Lamb & Flag: 2 courses for £15

Chaophraya: 2 courses for £15 including glass of prosecco

Le Pain Quotidien: 2 courses for £15 with drink included

Aagrah: 2 courses for £15

Blackhouse – 2 courses for £15

Grilled at the Queens – 2 courses for £15

Shabab – 2 courses for £15

The Lost and Found (Greek St) – 2 courses for £15

Dill & Bay – 2 courses for £15

Firelake Grill House – 2 courses for £15

Veritas – 2 courses for £15

Bar 166 Grill and Steakhouse – 2 courses for £15

Jamies Italian – 2 courses and a glass of prosseco for £15

City3 at Leeds City Hilton – 2 courses for £15

Bibi’s – 2 courses for £15

Bar and Kitchen – 2 courses for £15

Chez Mal- 2 courses for £15

Sukhothai – 2 courses for £15

The Lost & Found Leeds Club – 2 courses for £15

Banyan – 2 courses for £15

Manahatta – 2 courses for £15

Chao

(photo: Chaophraya)

BLACKHOUSE

(photo: Blackhouse)

3 courses for £15 

Cast Iron Bar and Grill: 3 courses for £15

Cosy Club – 3 courses for £15

The Tetley: 3 courses for £15

Smokin’ Bar & Kitchen – 3 courses for £15

Pinche Pinche – 3 courses for £15

Turtle Bay – 3 courses for £15

Gusto – 3 courses for £15

Slug and Lettuce – 3 courses for £15

Cabana – 3 courses for £15

Revs de cuba – 3 courses for £15

Neighbourhood – 3 courses for £15

Buca di pizza – 3 courses £15

M’Deena Restaurant – 3 courses for £15

Cantina – 3 courses for £15

Iberica – 3 courses for £15 plus glass of cava

East 59th – 3 courses for £15

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(Neighbourhood – photo: Google)

iberica

(Ibérica – photo: Google)

Other offers

Reds True Bbq (Leeds City Centre, Headingley ) – £10 Monte Christo Burger, £15 Restaurant Week Bbq tray

Ambiente Tapas – 3 tapas for £10

The Alchemist – Main and cocktail for £15

Byron – Burger and Beer for £10

Hive – 3 courses for £10

Crafthouse- £30 tasting menu

Dirty Martini – 3 courses for £10

Lets Go Mexican – 2 sandwiches for £10

Chino Lantino – 2 courses for £10, 3 courses for £15

Issho – 2 courses for £10, 3 courses for £15, tasting menu £30

The Pit – 2 courses for £10, 3 courses for £15

Pavs Dhaba – 2 courses for £10 with drink included

Stockdales – 3 courses and a drink £30

Red Chilli – 2 courses for £10, 3 courses for £15

The Cats Pjs – 3 courses for £15

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(Issho – photo: Google)

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(Dirty Martini – photo: Google)

After you’ve chosen your restaurant and offer – head to this website to download a voucher to present at your meal. https://eatleeds.co.uk/restaurant-vouchers/

Keep an eye on our social media accounts to see what our employees are looking forward to trying!

Instagram: leedscityliving

Twitter: Morgans_Leeds

Facebook: Leeds City Living

 

Morgans team volunteers at Leeds Mencap

A couple of weeks ago 29 of the Morgans team volunteered at Leeds MENCAP. The day began at 1:30pm and consisted of various different jobs which improved the facilities at the centre.

The Morgans team were divided into groups of 6 and split off into different areas of the centre. Part of the team had the job of repainting the ‘sensory’ room and the entrance corridor. After placing masking tape over every socket, picture and skirting board the team managed to finish the job by the skin of their teeth!

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Another group had the duty of cleaning all the soft balls that were in the children’s play area – each pit was emptied, cleaned and the soft balls were cleaned and hung out to dry before putting them back into the pit ready for use the next day.

charity day 4

charity day 6

There was a team who were outside for the day, pulling out weeds, cleaning the pathways and generally jet washing the outside area. Although it was cold weather, the results of the work made it worthwhile by creating a fresh clean entrance to the centre.

 

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The final team had the job of resetting the entire heating and cooling system in the centre, which surprisingly proved quite difficult, but the team did a great job and got it up and running by the end of the day.

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After a long day the Morgans team were treated to a cinema trip to Everyman with food and drinks provided.

Leeds MENCAP is a centre that offers services and activities to improve the lives and opportunities of children and adults with a learning disability along with their families and carers. They are a local and independent charity who need to raise their own funds in order to run the centre. The charity currently supports over 250 families on a weekly basis and aims to provide support, advice and practical help for the whole family, long term.

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(Photo: Google)

To find out more information on how you can get involved and support Leeds MENCAP, please visit their website; www.leedsmencap.org.uk.

Park life on offer at Park Square

Park Square NorthA rare opportunity to live right in the heart of one of Leeds City Centre’s most desirable squares is now available with the listing of an apartment at Park Square North which is on the market for £299,950.

Dating back to the 18th Century, Park Square is a traditional Georgian square in Leeds’ financial district and was once a highly sought after residential location. Today, the majority of Park Square’s original residences are occupied by barristers, solicitors and health care providers.

Set within a Grade II listed building with original period features, the apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, its own private entrance and its own outside space at the front of the property.

One of the only buildings in the square to retain its original purpose as a household, the property has been converted into seven high quality apartments, and this particular apartment is full of character and feels very much like a home.

The location will appeal to people who are looking to live in the heart of the city but away from the immediate hustle and bustle. The train station is just a few minutes’ walk away and bars and restaurants, including Stockdales, Ibérica and Tattu, are all less than five minutes away on foot.

7 Leeds property hotspots you can’t afford to ignore in 2018

A recent report, entitled ‘The economic prospects for the city of Leeds’, produced for CEG by Cambridge Econometrics and Cambridge Economic Associates, concluded that Leeds has out-performed other core cities in terms of output and jobs growth and is well placed, as the regional capital, to continue to grow employment and productivity, particularly around Knowledge Intensive Business. The economic power of Leeds city region is undeniable;

*Leeds City Region is at the heart of the United Kingdom and boasts the fastest growing private sector in the UK, with over 6% annual jobs growth in 2016

* Fueling this expansion is the largest concentration of Higher Education Institutions outside of London, with nine universities and over 39,000 graduates per year

* The Leeds economy is worth £18 billion, a growth rate of almost 40% in the last decade. It’s home to over 25,000 businesses and has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all major UK cities.

* Over 30 national and international banks are based here or in the wider region, and many firms have national/global headquarter operations, including first direct, KPMG, HSBC, DLA Piper, Direct Line Insurance Group, Halifax Bank of Scotland, Yorkshire Bank and Leeds Building Society.

* As well as financial and professional services, Leeds is also the UK’s health and innovation city with a unique and influential health eco-system that is unrivalled globally. Four out of five NHS national offices are based here, including NHS England, the largest single health commissioner in the world.

* Leeds offers excellent digital connectivity too, with its own high capacity internet exchange (IXLeeds) right in the heart of the city and 100 Megabit and Gigabit broadband services available at low cost.  This connectivity is helping to drive a pioneering approach to the hosting and interpretation of data, both in health and consumer data. (Leeds city region)

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Here are a few areas of Leeds where we expect to see property to do particularly well over the next year;

Kirkstall:  The opening of the new Railway Station at Kirkstall Forge which means Leeds city centre is just 6 minutes away by train, and the proximity to Horsforth and it’s established shopping and food scene puts Kirkstall firmly on the up. Look out for price growth- the arrival of the first phase of housing at Kirkstall Forge, which is bound to impact on prices in the area.

Burley: Between Kirkstall and Headingley, Burley is replete with a range of housing ranging from starter size back to backs to family semi’s and much bigger terraced housing and as the students continue to leave the area, the proximity of the railway at Burley Park Station and a host of amenities would put the area firmly on our radar for price growth this year.

Headingley: Originally one of Leeds’ go-to suburbs, Headingley felt the full force of the Northerly migration of students for around 25 years and is only just beginning to find its feet again. Under-valued as a consequence of over-population by the student cohort, the area is now seeing a return to its former glory, buoyed by good schooling, an independent bar and restaurant scene, parkland galore and a bus to the city centre every 5 minutes.

Pudsey: Perhaps a bit of a dark horse but with a good range of housing at first time buyer level and a railway station with connections to Leeds and Bradford, the area is well placed to enjoy price growth this year.  The new apartment scheme at Dawson’s Court is an early pointer to the potential here.

Crossgates: East Leeds is perhaps the wider area with the greatest potential and ‘Croggy’ with its established and mature residential zones, including streets with surprisingly pretty terraced houses will be right up there. The Railway station in the heart of the district connects with York and Leeds and the district centre is well established and complimented by further facilities.

Chapeltown: The CHACO self- build project at the gateway to the area is a potential catalyst for a return to past glories for the area which is brimming with an entire suite of terraced house forms from back-to-backs to seriously grandiose family terraces along with genuine culture which is best displayed at the annual West Indian Carnival. Incredible value within easy walking distance of the city.

Seacroft/Gipton: With developers such as Keepmoat and Strata already well underway with a number of high volume schemes, easy bus connections into the city and numerous school options, it is inevitable that this part of Leeds will gain great momentum, particularly for first and second time buyers keen to enjoy the new home experience whilst staying close to their family and friends.

Microguide to Granary Wharf

From a riverside setting to dinner in the arches to cocktails in the clouds, Granary Wharf has it all…

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(Photo: Google)

Fazenda- pay a set price and get all the meat you could wish for

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(Photo: Google)

Sky Lounge – Overlook the city with a cocktail in hand

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(Photo: Google)

Waterlane Boathouse –  enjoy stone-baked pizzas whilst sat by the river

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(Photo: Google)

Granary Wharf Barges: Hire a narrow boat and take in the scenery

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(Photo: Morgans)

Water taxi: From Granary Wharf to Leeds dock, grab this for FREE all throughout the year

January round up of events

Brewdenell Beer Festival

Brudenell Social Club is hosting its annual ‘Brewdenell Beer Festival’ from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January and they’ve promised a bigger and better one than ever before! They’re offering the biggest selection of Yorkshire and British breweries and a flowing variety of ‘around the world’ beers on keg, cask and bottle. Don’t worry about going hungry as you’ll be joined by a host of street food vendors and they will be serving Pieminister pies all weekend! (photo: Google)

beer

Fatal Passions

Thinking of becoming more cultural with a new year’s resolution? This January sees the beginning of Opera North’s ‘Fatal Passions’ season with the choice of three Italian blockbusters: ‘Madama Butterfly’, ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Un ballo in maschera’. (photo: Google)

opera

New York 90s

East 59th are hosting ‘New York 90s’ every Tuesday, starting next Tuesday 9th January. You can expect Hip Hop and cult pop classics Snoop Dog, House of Pain, Madonna, Kiss Kross and Salt & Pepper, alongside £5 cocktails all evening. (photo: East 59th)

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Wharfest

With its debut in January 2016, Wharfest is returning to Leeds’ waterfront again this year from 3pm on January 27th! From acoustic acts in Candlebar, to live bands in The Hop and DJs ‘til late at Archie’s, Wharfest is promising to be bigger and better than ever…and all for free! You can also enjoy artisan gins, craft beers and authentic Japanese cuisine courtesy of Edo Sushi at Candlebar, a variety of ales at The Hop with a Jones’ Pie and creamy mash or indulge in a stone baked pizza at Archie’s. (photo: Google)

wharfest

What’s In Store For Leeds City Centre’s Residential Market In 2018?

Crystal ball

The next 12 months look hugely exciting for Leeds city centre’s residential property market, with work due to start on more new apartment schemes during 2018 than we have seen for years.

Morgans manages the city centre’s largest apartment portfolio, but the supply of new apartments has been decimated over the last ten years.  However demand has never faltered and occupation levels have been almost full throughout – our significant rentals portfolio is currently over 99.5% occupied. With supply running at around 10% of what it was in the previous decade, it doesn’t take much analysis to work out that we are in dramatic under-supply and over-demand.

Whilst this has not been a strong enough dynamic in its own right to trigger an upturn, we are on the verge of a period of significant activity.  This is fuelled partly by the notion that Leeds is currently under-valued and is therefore well set for investment growth, the advent of fund backed PRS schemes and, perhaps most significantly, a growing sense that Manchester is may be close to done in this cycle, and that Leeds is the place for investors and funds to be.

With willing renters and buyers and an economy which, according to Cambridge Economics, is showing all the signs of a strong future, the only element missing is fresh supply. We firmly believe, through the activity we are picking up, that 2018 will see more residential starts in the city centre than we have seen for a decade, and we anticipate several fund-backed PRS schemes to fire up, along with a number of high quality prime schemes and a handful of slightly marginal schemes in the fringes.

With fresh residential supply in the city centre, plenty of quality jobs available and a booming leisure, retail and cultural scene, Leeds is well placed to move further towards it’s ambition of becoming one of the UK’s great cities.

New to Leeds 2017: A-Z guide

You might have noticed, Leeds has been a bit busy in 2017. And we don’t know about you, but we’ve found it hard to keep up with all the new places and spaces that have opened in the city centre this year.

From fancy restaurants and bars, to shops, hotels, events and just general ‘stuff’ happening in our amazing city, we’ve come up with a handy A-Z guide to the new additions that have made Leeds such a great place to be in 2017.

They are specific to this year only, and mainly in or around the city centre – otherwise this would be a really, really long list. We’ll probably, definitely have missed some – so let us know!

Our final instalment of our A-Z guide…tell us your thoughts!

Zzzzzz…

New hotel deals have been signed this year, meaning more people can catch some zeds when visiting our city. A posh new Hilton is confirmed for the site between Victoria Gate and Mabgate Quarter; a new Ibis Styles Hotel is opening up in the Arena Quarter; the old school building on Great George Street will be transformed into a 140-room hotel; and EasyHotel will move onto Land Lane in the home of the former Scala Theatre, constructed in 1922.

Zzzzz[1]Tell us your top picks!

New to Leeds 2017: A-Z guide

You might have noticed, Leeds has been a bit busy in 2017. And we don’t know about you, but we’ve found it hard to keep up with all the new places and spaces that have opened in the city centre this year.

From fancy restaurants and bars, to shops, hotels, events and just general ‘stuff’ happening in our amazing city, we’ve come up with a handy A-Z guide to the new additions that have made Leeds such a great place to be in 2017.

They are specific to this year only, and mainly in or around the city centre – otherwise this would be a really, really long list. We’ll probably, definitely have missed some – so let us know!

Tomorrow is our final instalment, what have we missed for X and Y?

X…

You’re better people than us if you can think of one?!

X_is_for_Corn_eXchange[1]

Yorkshire’s tallest skyscraper

The 40-storey tower will be built just up the road from the Merrion Centre in the arena quarter. At 126 metres it’s set to become the tallest building in Leeds / Yorkshire, with only Bridgewater Place (112m) coming close.
Yorkshire's_tallest_building[1]

Tomorrow is our A-Z guide…send us your Z suggestions!