Why Harpurhey is popular with property investors

The district of Harpurhey is situated approximately three miles from the centre of Manchester. With a population of around 18,000, Harpurhey is a vibrant and popular area with plenty of local amenities. This makes it a favourite among renters who want to be close to the city centre but can’t afford high-end property prices. Despite its somewhat variable reputation, Harpurhey has an active property rental market and offers some great prospects for landlords and agents.

Neighbouring districts of Harpurhey include the popular residential areas of Cheetham Hill, Monsall and Moston. The areas of the Shiredale Estate, Barnes Green, the Kingsbridge Estate and the Baywood Estate are all classed as being part of Harpurhey.

Road and public transport links

Located to the north east of Manchester city centre, the area enjoys excellent public transport links with the city and the surrounding areas. The A664 (known locally as Rochdale Road) runs through the Harpurhey area, offering good road links to Manchester city centre, to the south west, and to the M60 to the north east. The circular M60 motorway provides easy access to the region’s other motorways and major roads, ensuring reasonable commute times to many of the towns and cities of the north west.

Harpurhey does not have a railway station, but enjoys excellent bus links. Many major routes pass through the area, offering quick and frequent journeys into the city centre. Bus services also operate to Oldham and Salford, in addition to many other areas of Greater Manchester. Harpurhey is also convenient for Manchester’s Metrolink tram network; while there is no tram station in Harpurhey itself, those at Central Park North and Monsall are within easy reach.

Local amenities

North City Library, situated on Harpurhey’s Rochdale Road, is a local landmark and hub of the community. Sharing the building with the local sixth form college, the library features state of the art solar panels on its roof and is built in an impressively contemporary style. As well as offering all the usual lending and internet access services, the library is home to a number of local groups and societies who use the building to host meet-ups and events.

The North City Family and Fitness Centre is a sizable leisure centre located near to the local shops and daily market. With a 25-metre swimming pool and a number of other fitness and leisure facilities, the centre is popular with residents of all ages. The gym and health suite offer state of the art fitness facilities, as well as steam rooms, saunas and a spa area. The centre hosts a number of regular fitness classes for all ages and abilities.

Harpurhey has a popular shopping precinct with a number of high street chain stores, discount retailers and supermarkets, including Asda, Iceland and Lidl. Harpurhey Market operates on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is completely under cover, making it a popular shopping destination all year round. Stalls include a wide variety of food retailers, as well as clothes, homewares and electronic goods.

Parks and green spaces

Harpurhey’s Queen’s Park is popular with families, thanks to its play area and frequent outdoor events. Originally developed over 150 years ago, the park was one of Great Britain’s earliest municipal parks. Hendham Hall originally stood in the park, but was demolished in the late 19th century. In addition to children’s play areas, paths and trails, the park has rose gardens and often hosts nature hunts for local schools.

Located to the east of Harpurhey, Moston Vale is another popular outdoor spot in the area. After being notoriously run down for many years, recent regeneration projects have transformed Moston Vale into a green oasis. Primarily used as a pedestrian access route, Moston Vale has been planted with wildflowers and had new fences installed to make it a really pleasant part of the area.

Harpurhey property news

Harpurhey offers a variety of options for the private buyer or property investor, with prices more affordable than other areas of the city centre, offering strong return on investment. Prices for traditional, two-bedroom red brick terraced houses start at around £70,000, with many available for under £100,000. There are also a number of newer properties in Harpurhey, with the modern Kingsbridge Road development extremely popular with families. Offering sizable gardens, excellent parking and modern fixtures and fittings, the new-build homes make an excellent rental opportunity for investors looking for properties that do not require any modernisation and which are easy to let.

£13.8bn – The Value of The North Manchester Property Market

“How Much Would it Cost To Buy All The Houses and Flats in North Manchester?”

This fascinating question was posed by the 11-year-old son of one of my landlords when they both popped into my offices. At the time I didn’t have an answer for him, instead throwing my hands in the air I smiled and vaguely answered “hundreds of millions”. I hadn’t ever thought about the total value of the market, so I thought to myself that it would be interesting to sit down and calculate what the total value of all the properties in North Manchester are worth.

Now this isn’t something that you can just google lightly and ping receive an answer, you can readily find information on house prices and trends, you can find population data on a city wide basis and lots of vague demographics dotted around, but nothing readily prepackaged to tell you 1) how many houses are in an area and 2) what the values of those houses are. It took me considerably more work than I first anticipated and became a bit of a mission for me to solve this problem.

I started with the city council, then went to the office for national statistics, then pulled census data and land registry files. I quickly found myself with reams upon reams of data which all gave lots of clues, but no definitive answer.

When I delved into the numbers, the first thing I found was that the average price currently being paid for a North Manchester property stands at £99,229.  Which seemed a little low, so I split the property market down into individual property types in North Manchester; the average numbers come out like this.

 

Curious as to how the figure settled at £99,229 I then looked at the distribution of the types of homes in North Manchester, and found this:

 

Working out of Moston, and area heavily packed with street upon street of terraced houses, I wasn’t too surprised to see terraced houses dominating the statistics for North Manchester. However, what was initially surprising was the figure for the number of flats.

I initially wrote this figure off as being inflated by bedsits, converted homes, flats above shops and some of the larger mixed use commercial buildings. However, I chose to dig a little deeper into the distribution of the types of flats in North Manchester and this is what I found:

 

Although, from working in the North Manchester property market for the best part of my life, I did appreciate there were a fair number of flats, I hadn’t until now got my head around the fact that there were just shy of 28,000 flat in the area, of which over 24,500 were within custom built blocks or tenements.

 

A cool £2.1bn could bag you ALL of the flats in North Manchester. Sitting at the lowest price point the local flats are offering astounding returns on investment as rental properties and are in very high demand with the young professional market.

If you happen to be a multi billionaire, check down the back of your sofa, in that pair of jeans that you don’t wear but are hanging onto incase they fit again or in an old coat pocket- if you happen to find a spare £2.1bn give us a call and we’ll talk about investments.

If you’re not a multi billionaire, and like me you’re just a regular person trying to save for the future and provide security for your family this information may seem pie in the sky, but I promise there is a point to it all.

What does this all mean for North Manchester Investors?  

Well as we enter the unchartered waters of 2017 and beyond, even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the London property market, the outlook in North Manchester remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market was a lot more sensible than central London’s.

North Manchester house values will remain resilient for several reasons.  Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with continued immigration and population growth.  Secondly, with 0.25 per cent interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally the simple lack of new house building in North Manchester not keeping up with current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment – means only one thing – yes it might be a bit of a bumpy ride over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment in North Manchester has always, and will always, ride out the storm.

 

“Right to Rent”: New Rules

Landlords and letting agents need to make sure they’re on top of the new set of amendments to the Immigration Act which came into effect at the beginning of December.

The penalty for letting to illegal migrants has been toughened. Previously this was a civil offence, but it’s now become a criminal offence, which means the fines are potentially higher and there is even a possibility, in the worst cases, of a prison sentence.

The vast majority of letting agents and landlords will be unaffected by these particular changes, but there are a few other amendments in the area of evictions that they ought to be aware of.

Who Has the Right to Rent?

These new regulations revolve around the right to rent and the Home Office identifying people who are in the country illegally and therefore do not have the right to rent property. If the Secretary of State has given them permission to take up the tenancy, that’s okay, otherwise the Home Office refers to these people as “disqualified” from renting and they are basically those who:

• Need permission to enter or stay in the UK but don’t have it
• Do have leave to stay but are subject to a condition saying that they can’t occupy the dwelling they are currently occupying

Agents and landlords already have to check tenants’ documentation to make sure they are here legally. Remember to check all of the tenants – you’re not allowed to pick out individuals you have suspicions about. You need to make copies of the documents and to keep them for a year after the tenancy ends.

There’s been some grumbling from landlords about the fact that they are not experts at document authentication. How are they supposed to know whether a passport is genuine or not, unless it’s a really obvious fake? There’s no answer to that, so it’s a case of doing the best you can.

1. If none of your tenants has a legal right to rent

If none of the adult tenants has the right to rent and the Secretary of State notifies the landlord of their identity, the landlord can give the tenants 28 days notice provided that the notice is correctly worded and formatted. This notice can only be used where the Home Office has given the landlord notification that all of the occupiers are disqualified from renting and not in any other circumstances.

You can use this notice even if the tenancy started before the changes to the legislation came in. If it is properly served with the accompanying Home Office list of tenants, then the landlord can repossess the property without any recourse to the High Court – the notice itself is like a High Court order. See here for more information: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1060/images/uksi_20161060_en_001.

You can serve the notice by delivering it in person to the tenants, sending it through the post, leaving it at the property and so on. The Protection from Eviction Act won’t apply to tenants who are identified as having no right to rent.

2. Some have the right, some don’t

A much more common situation will be that a group of tenants are renting a house, and while some of them have the right to rent, others don’t. Again, the landlord has to have a written notice identifying the disqualified tenant, and this must come from the Secretary of State (i.e. the Home Office).

It now begins to get a lot more complicated, and any landlord in North Manchester would do well at this stage to talk to their letting agent who will be able to give professional advice or point them in the right direction.

Also be aware that the landlord has to take action within a reasonable period. Currently we are waiting for guidance on what that actually means, but a period of four weeks has been mentioned.

Landlords Have Trouble Keeping up with the Changes

The fact that these changes have happened and yet most members of the general public are unaware of them shows just how difficult it is, particularly for smaller landlords, to keep up with the constant amendments to legislation. One law is changed, and because of the complexity of the legal framework that governs housing, another law is amended in consequence.

It’s not surprising that landlords need to use letting agents. An individual landlord would be really hard pushed to keep up with these constant changes.

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