Why the Popularity of City Breaks is Great News for the UK Hotel Market

There are many reasons why Brits are opting to enjoy a UK city break over an overseas holiday. From the cost to convenience, it’s no secret that UK holiday breaks are on the rise but what does this mean for the UK hotel market?

Well, its great news because it means accommodation of all capacities are seeing an increase in interest and occupancy, cities and towns are experiencing higher tourism levels and the economy is naturally benefiting.

City breaks have always been a nice way to escape for a weekend during the summer or winter months but many are now staying away for longer and extending their weekend break into a four or five-day trip.

What Does this Mean for the Hotel Market

As many are choosing to ‘staycation’, it increases the tourism market within each individual city and town which in turn has a direct impact on other industries and sectors including food & beverage, sporting, cultural and accommodation.

Last year, official figures highlighted that the UK experienced one of the highest occupancy rates across Europe in December (71.6%). Highlighting the UK’s bid for the European market and showcasing a promising start to 2018.

The unknown that still surrounds Brexit is another reason why short breaks and ‘staycations’ in the UK are becoming more popular. The uncertainty that surrounds the t&c’s of travelling and the weakened pound both mean that it’s easier and more affordable to stay in the UK and explore some of the cities closer to home.

Top City Break Destinations

Manchester

Manchester is a city that has undergone substantial growth over the past decade or so and therefore has a lot to offer visitors.

Home to a thriving sporting, cultural, historical and musical, Manchester has something for everyone of all ages.

With a wealth of world-class hotels for all budgets, Manchester’s city centre has a diverse offing from budget B&B’s to 5-star boutique hotels that really are something special.

Whether you’re here to watch some sports, head to the theatre or head for a night on the town, Manchester is an eclectic, welcoming city that is perfect for a city break.

Manchester UK Hotel Market

Liverpool

Liverpool is often regarded as one of the best cities in the UK, mainly because of its incredibly friendly nature and wealth of entertainment. On the weekends, thousands of visitors flock to the northern city to enjoy a famous night out, a cultural visit to see the two magnificent cathedrals or to explore the Albert Dock.

Liverpool is a city ideal for a city break with its small nature the city is easy to explore in just a few days.

Liverpool waterfront - top city for rental market

London

London is high on many peoples list for destinations for a city break just because there is so much to see and do.

From Buckingham Palace to Soho, each area of London could be explored individually for days on end but cramming it into a city break may be a bit harder.

London has always had an overwhelming appeal to visitors both from the rest of the UK and Europe. But the growth of some of the other UK cities as city break destinations is possibly evening out the tourism market in the UK and people are going further afield.

Belfast

Belfast is a magnificent city that is oozing with historical significance and for many is a little further afield than many other UK cities.

The Northern Ireland capital has a turbulent history that today makes it a fascinating city for people of all ages.

From the Titanic Quarter to Belfast City Hall and the Botanic Gardens as well as the thriving nightlife scene, there is plenty to keep visitors busy in Belfast. The tourism market is a little behind that of London but its quickly catching up and as a result, the hotel market in the city is thriving. There are a wealth of new and existing hotels under development which will attract a new breed of visitor and continue to cement the city as a top destination.

Belfast: a City on the Rise

The hotel market in the UK has always performed well but it now seems that more than ever it is thriving and growing. There is plenty on offer including an eclectic mix of budget and boutique, and everything in between is having a great impact on those opting for city breaks and ‘staycations’ in the UK.

Did you know that you too can become part of the success? Investing in the hotel room can earn you impressing returns with full flexibility and no hassle, speak to Signature Investments today for more information.

Top Investment Opportunities from Signature Investments

Signature Living is the developer and operator behind some of the UK’s most successful hotel developments.

From 30 James Street in Liverpool to The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff, the group have transformed some of the UK’s most iconic listed buildings and brought them back to life.

Through a unique investment funding model, the group have welcomed over 1,000 private investors who have become a part of their success.

Investors enjoy a completely hands-off investment, don’t have to worry about tenancy management and receive a competitive, guaranteed return on investment.

The Signature Living Group have experienced expediential growth over the past couple of years with a number of highly anticipated projects in the pipeline. If you’re an investor looking to join in Signature Living’s success, take a look at some of the most exciting opportunities currently available.

The Exchange Hotel

From £80,000

The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff is one of the city’s most prominent buildings. Once home to the world’s thriving coal trade, the former Coal Exchange played an integral part, once setting the price of coal.

After the demise of the coaling industry, The Exchange fell into a state of severe disrepair and closed its door in XXXX.

The Exchange was then left partially empty for over 60 years before it was purchased by Signature Living in 2016 who had ambitious plans to reopen this historic site as hotel and event venue.

Phase one of the development was completed in April 2017 with 50 suites and the Exchange Grand Hall completed. Every area and suite within the hotel has a unique connection to the buildings rich history which attracts a wealth of visitors from around the world, keen to explore not only the buildings history but the cities as well.

As development is ongoing, more and more magnificent suites are completed with a restaurant, spa and second hall due for completion soon.

Investing in the UK hotel market with Signature Living

Key investment highlights

  • Low-risk investment
  • Iconic hotel development
  • Developer & operator with a proven track record
  • 205 suites upon completion
  • Developer buy-back option

Investment structure

  • 8% net assured returns from years one to three
  • 9% net assured return year four
  • 10% net assured returns years five to ten
  • 108% developer buy back from years three to ten

The George Best Hotel

From £80,000

The George Best Hotel is a unique development that will celebrate the life and legacy of the footballer, George Best.

The hotel, which is located in the footballer’s hometown of Belfast, will be a unique tribute to the man so many loved on and off the pitch. The hotel itself is a transformation of the Grade B1 listed, Scottish Mutual Building located in the heart of Belfast city centre.

Nestled on the junction of Donegall Square and Bedford Street, The George Best Hotel is set to be nothing short of remarkable. This grandiose hotel is in a prime city centre location overlooking Belfast City Hall and upon completed, will be transformed into a luxury football-themed hotel featuring premium amenities, a stunning wedding and event space, a museum dedicated to the legacy of George Best plus a stylish bar and restaurant.

Scottish Mutual Building in Belfast

Key investment highlights

  • Luxury hotel development
  • 83 unique units
  • Guaranteed returns of 8-10%
  • Award-winning developer
  • Fully managed by Signature Living

Investment structure

  • 8% net assured returns from years one to three
  • 9% net assured return year four
  • 10% net assured returns years five to ten
  • 106% developer buy back rising 2% per year from year three but capped at 112%

(Year three 106%, year four 108%, year five 110%, year six to ten 112%).

The Shankly Hotel Preston

The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool is one of the Signature Living Groups most successful hotels.

Celebrating the life of footballer Bill Shankly, the hotel takes a unique approach to remembering the footballing legend both on and off the pitch. A unique partnership between Signature Living and the Shankly family, the hotel features never before seen memorabilia, personal stories and immersive interactions that bring Shankly to life.

The hotel has a popular bar & restaurant as well as a stunning rooftop wedding and event space which has proved immensely popular since its opening in 2015.

The hotel enjoys impressive occupancy rates with many rooms & suites selling out 6 months in advance.

The Shankly Hotel in Preston will follow the same footprint as the original Liverpool hotel with dedicated memorabilia, unique suites and a stylish bar & restaurant as well as event space for weddings.

The development will transform the former Old Post Office building in the city centre which is ideally surrounded by some of the cities most treasured attractions.

Investors can rest assured that The Shankly Hotel Preston will share in the same success as The Shankly Hotel Liverpool and become a world-renowned hotel attracting visitors from all over the globe.

Shankly Hotel Preston

Key Investment Highlights

  • Highly successful Shankly Hotel brand
  • 65 boutique suites
  • Shankly museum on site
  • Fully managed by Signature Living

Signature Mill

From £132,440

Signature Mill is a luxury residential development in the heart of Manchester’s popular Miles Platting area.

Formerly home to a working mill, Signature Mill is a residential development that incorporates all the luxuries of a classic Signature Living hotel development including concierge service, premium amenities and stylish interiors.

Signature Mill will offer a city centre experience in a fantastic location that is perfect for working professionals and visitors who are seeking to harness the lifestyle benefits the project will deliver.

Investment opportunities at Signature Mill are expected to sell out fast due to the highly competitive pricing which comes in at £240-£268 per square foot with similar projects in Manchester costing around £300 – £400 a square foot.

Victoria Mill investment Signature Invest

Key Investment Highlights

  • Located in the Regeneration area of Miles Platting
  • Competitively priced
  • Modern decor and fixtures throughout
  • High-speed broadband
  • Provision for Sky HD, BT and Virgin Media
  • Excellent transport links to the city centre

If you’re interested in investing with Signature Investments, then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

Investing for your Retirement

Pension pay-outs are increasingly dwindling so it is therefore, no surprise that many are looking at investing elsewhere, particularly in pension investing options in replacement of a traditional retirement plan .

Recent trends suggest that an increasing number of people are investing in property with the hope that their monthly return on investment will be enough to see them through retirement.

We all know that planning for the end of your working life is important but many don’t consider a pension or retirement plan until well into their 30’s and sometimes even later. Even if retirement is 50 or 60 years away, understanding your pension and planning for the future should be a top priority.

A recent report highlighted that 42% of adults either agreed or strongly agreed that they did not have “sufficient understanding of pensions to make decisions about saving for retirement”.

So what are the alternative options and how does it all add up.

Traditional Pension Plans

Traditional pension plans have been a way of life for hundreds of years but things are changing and it’s having a severe impact on pension pots. Generally, we are living for longer which means the retirement age is also increasing. As well as this, the cost of living is becoming increasingly hard to keep up with and therefore less is being put away for a rainy day, let alone pensions.

As we are living for longer, the retirement age continues to creep up and as well as the cost of living increasing. The British public are as a result, not putting away as much for their pension.

Only last year did the government make it mandatory for your place of work to pay into your pension plan, so for some who were not contributing before, there is a lot of catching up to do.

Pension Investing - Signature Investments

The sooner you start contributing to your pension, the better your pension fund will be. This is something many don’t start to consider until they’re in their 30’s which means they have a significantly lower pension pot than those who started saving in their 20’s.

One large benefit of a traditional pension scheme is that it earns tax-free status, which on its own can be a huge saving. However, as the government keeps changing the rules and goalposts around pension schemes. It’s no surprise why many individuals are looking away from traditional government pension plans and creating their own.

In the UK, the average pension pot stands at £50,000 which for those retiring at 60, isn’t enough to see them through. An annuity, if you retire at the normal age, would pay you just over £200 a month, which again for most people, is nowhere near enough.

So what are the alternatives?

Property Investment

Pension investing is an alternative way to expand your traditional pension plan.

Property will almost certainly outweigh a pension in terms of returns but you need that initial investment fund to purchases. You also need to pay the monthly mortgage (if applicable) and be able to keep up with the maintenance, management and other associated costs.

Another alternative to buy-to-let investments is hotel room investments.  With this, you don’t have to worry about the associated costs such as maintenance, service charges and mortgages. You simply pay full price for the property and watch your returns come in and your wealth build. With many hotel room investments, you furthermore have the option to sell-back your units between the years 3-10 which will further earn you a decent return.

Controversially, the Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane has in the past suggested that investing in property is a better bet for retirement planning than putting money into a pension. But his comments were quickly rectified by the financial and pensions specialists.

Investing in the UK hotel market with Signature Living

Both buy-to-let and hotel unit investments can offer relatively low entry prices with an immediate return on your investment. Monthly income can help to contribute towards your pension or be used as an additional saving tool which can be cashed out after retirement.

Unlike a pension, you will have access to these savings if you’re ever in need but a pension you can’t access until you officially retire, which may not be ideal should an emergency occur.

The property market has had its fair shares of ups and downs but property is a tangible asset, which has proven itself to be a safe bet. This is especially true for hotel unit investment which offers an assured return both throughout the contract and upon buy-back.

Diversify

The concept of not putting all of your eggs in one basket is particularly true for pension invest schemes.

The best way to achieve overall piece of mind is to diversify your pension plan and have a number of different options when it comes to your retirement. A pension that is being collected over the course of 50-60 years will be hugely beneficial but pair that with a property portfolio that is providing you with a rental income and you’ve got a pension pot that will ensure you don’t have to worry.

Signature Investments has a wealth of experience assisting investors to grow, establish and diversify their property portfolio. For advice on investing for your retirement fund, call a property consultant today.

 

 

 

Why the UK Hotel Market is so Attractive to Overseas Investors

The hotel market in the UK is a sector which continues to experience growth.

From global economic recovery to the increased number of Brits holidaying in the UK and the fall of the pound following Brexit, there are several factors that have contributed to the current strength of the hotel market in the UK.

Over the past couple of years, the hotel industry has enjoyed steady growth, but in 2018 the market is expected to slow before recovering and increasing yet again.

Since the financial crisis back in 2007, traditional funding for new hotel developments has been shelved for a new, more flexible funding model. That funding model is individual unit sales which are sold to separate investors. Just like traditional property investment, investors will enjoy a comfortable return on their investment that is much higher than investment rates offered through the banks.

However, unlike buy to let property investment, hotel unit investment offers a hands-free investment process from start to finish with the hotel fully managed by an operator. This means that the investor doesn’t have to worry about sales, marketing or the upkeep of their investment. Instead, they just make the purchase and enjoy the returns, hassle-free.

But why is the UK Hotel Market so Popular?

From first-time investors looking to establish their property portfolio to more experienced investors looking to grow or diversify theirs, there are many reasons why investors are keen to enjoy their share of the UK hotel market.

One of the biggest benefits of hotel room investment is the low-risk/high-return alternative to regular buy-to-lets. Further to this, prices for hotel room units start relatively low, making them more accessible, particularly in the most lucrative cities.

In 2017, the UK hotel sector saw investment volumes reach £5b including over £2.5b (42%) from foreign investors. The activeness of overseas investors in the UK hotel market highlights the trust they are placing in the UK and their predictions for the continued growth of the market, despite the relative uncertainty that lingers post-Brexit.

Hotel Investment for Overseas Investors

In a report published by Knight Frank, it stated “Furthermore, in 2017 total UK hotel transaction activity represented 33% of total investment volumes in the UK Specialist property sector, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year, demonstrating the attractiveness of the UK hotel property sector as a means of providing enhanced, longer-term income in the alternative property sector.”

This highlights the significant growth of the hotel market in the UK and how investors are seeing it as a more lucrative alternative to traditional property investment.

The Impact of the Weaker Pound

The UK has always been considered a safe haven for overseas investors however the weaker pound has only increased the UK’s appeal.

The plunge in sterling following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has prompted an increased level of interest and purchases from overseas buyers who are set to save around 10% on their purchases.

The favourable exchange rate is actually turning out to be a timely boost for the UK hotel, tourism and construction sector.

Deciding Where to Invest

There is now more choice than ever when it comes to hotel room investments, which means investors have the luxury of being able to pick and choose all aspects of the hotel they wish to invest in. From location to suite size, choosing an establish brand or independent hotelier, the investor can take control with a plethora of options available to them.

If you’re looking for a long-term investment opportunity then opting for a hotelier with a history of investment funded developments will ensure you have a base to go from in terms of their service, returns and investor care.

Signature Investments are a leading investment service who work in partnership with the Signature Living Group. Signature Living is an award-winning developer and operator behind some of the most exciting hotel and residential developments of the past 10 years, including 30 James Street in Liverpool, The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff and the Lanyon Hotel in Belfast.

Exchange Hotel Cardiff

We offer renowned investment opportunities to overseas and domestic investors with low entry costs, full flexibility and assured ROI’s far greater than the rest of the market.

Get in touch with a Signature Invest advisor today to discover how we can help your property portfolio.

Signature Living to Develop Second Shankly Hotel

The Liverpool-based property developer has announced plans to open The Shankly Hotel Preston, the second Shankly Hotel but this time in the heart of Preston.

Originally cited as The Harris Hotel, this development will become the group’s second Shankly Hotel, following the same highly successful footprint of the first Shankly Hotel in Liverpool.

Due to open in September 2018, The Shankly Hotel Preston will feature 65 luxury themed suites, a bar & restaurant as well as a wedding & event space.

Former Old Post Office in Preston

The £15m Shankly Hotel Preston development will be a continued tribute to the footballing legend, Bill Shankly who is often referred to as the greatest manager of all time. Shankly’s links to Preston’s footballing community ensure this site is set to be just as successful as it’s counterpart in the centre of Liverpool which has enjoyed immense success and recognition since opening in 2015.

The Hotel, which is a joint venture between Signature Living and the Bill Shankly family will feature the same unique memorabilia which is housed within the Liverpool site including old football kits, telegrams and game notes from Bill Shankly himself.

Shankly Hotel Preston

Bill Shankly signed for Preston North End in 1933 and played with them in two FA Cup finals. With the team, they went on to win the trophy in 1938 which attracted worldwide recognition. Bill was furthermore a member of the Preston team that won the 1941 Wartime Cup Final at Wembley before he retired in 1949 and went on to become the legendary manager of Liverpool FC in 1959.

Speaking of the new venture, the Signature Living boss said; “The Shankly Hotel is to not only celebrate his [Shankly’s] iconic footballing career and achievements but to honour the very special relationship he had with the city and people of Preston, having signed for Preston North End in 1933.”

The hotel will be a further tribute to the biggest name in football and help to continue to commemorate him in a unique way.

Bill Shankly Hotel to open in Preston

Shankly’s grandson, Chris Carline who is the director or The Shankly Hotel said of the plans, “It is a fitting tribute and legacy to my grandfather for a hotel to be named in his honour in Liverpool, but it is also important for his legacy to be honoured in Preston where he spent much of his playing career.”

The success of The Shankly Hotel has been unparalleled with an occupancy rate of over 85% and investors enjoying impressive returns from the offset.

Units at The Shankly Hotel Preston are selling fast so secure your unit today by calling Signature Investments on 0151 305 3757 or emailing info@signatureinvestments.co.uk.

Discover more of our investment opportunities by clicking here.

Boost Your Kingsway House Investment with Secure Car Parking

Property investment is one of the most common forms of investment in the UK, with some schemes offering generous returns and assured yields over a fixed period of time.

Some of the higher specification developments come with parking, mainly secure spaces onsite which can boost the value of your investment with immediate effect.

Signature Living acquired Kingsway House in Liverpool city centre in 2017 and have been working on the development to transform the former office block it into a luxury residential apartments and Grade A office space.

Kingsway House has experienced a lot of interest from investors since the announcement of Signature Living’s purchase with many keen to acquire their own unit.

As well as many other state-of-the-art features and facilities, Kingsway House will furthermore boast an underground, secure car park which will have direct access to the apartments and will only be accessible via fob entry.

The advantages of city centre car parking can be hugely beneficial, especially to investors who will see the quality of your investment boosted immediately with the addition of a car parking space.

The benefits of a secure city centre car parking space can considerably add value to your investment, making your unit more attractive as a buy to let property.

Signature Investments are pleased to announce that investors can now purchase their very own secure car parking space at Kingsway House at a special discount rate.

With secure fob entry and direct internal access to the apartments, a parking bay at Kingsway House can bring an additional rental yield of between £100 – £125 per month. Coupled with the unit rental yield over the course of a year, this can amount to a significant return.

Investing in a city centre car parking space will cost Kingsway House investors just £12,500, however, spaces are limited so investors are advised to be quick to avoid disappointment.

About Kingsway House

Kingsway House is a development in the heart of Liverpool’s business quarter.

Ideal for young professionals and couples, each apartment at Kingsway House will radiate a homely feel without compromising on space or style with luxury facilities throughout.

Located in the prime city centre area of Hatton Garden, Kingsway House is situated between Liverpool’s most popular districting including the Georgian Quarter, retail quarter and business quarter all just a short distance away.

Local amenities include coffee shops, convenience stores and a number of traditional pubs, bars and restaurants as well as larger shopping complexes such as Liverpool One close by.

Boasting excellent transport links, Kingsway House is ideally situated close to the cities overground and underground rail networks including Lime Street Station which is only 4 minutes’ walk, links to major UK motorways and Liverpool John Lennon Airport which is 30 minutes away.

Kingsway House is an ideal investment opportunity for those wanting to grow or establish their property portfolio with an established developer and operator.

To reserve your investment in Kingsway House and to take advantage of our special offer, click here and fill in our enquiry form.

Or why not give us a call on 0151 305 3757 or email us at info@signatureinvestments.co.uk.

Signature Living Outline Plans for the Development of Floral Hall

Developer & operator, Signature Living announced exciting and ambitious plans to transform one of Belfast’s most celebrated landmarks, Floral Hall.

Built in the mid-1930’s, Floral Hall was renowned for being the centre of the cities romance. The ballroom and hall were the start of many Belfast love stories.

Now situated within the grounds of Belfast Zoo, Floral Hall is located on the slopes of Cave Hill overlooking Belfast Lough. The hall quickly established itself as the go-to spot for wedding, events and dances.

Floral Hall Belfast

Floral Hall History

Opened in 1936 and was a perfect example of art-deco with bright and ornate interiors and was often referred to as the Ballroom of Romance.

It is estimated that over 130,000 people used the building in 1947 alone, highlighting Floral Hall’s immense popularity within the community. Its popularity continued well into the 1960’s where acts such as Roy Orbison and Pink Floyd frequented the hall.

Floral Hall closed in the early 1970’s as the Troubles took hold of the city and affected the nightlife. With the community not venturing out anymore, Floral Hall struggled to survive.

The hall fell deeper and deeper into disrepair and when Belfast Zoo opened in 1974, there were plans for Floral Hall to become a restaurant. These plans never materialised, and the hall became an animal food storage space.

Belfast Floral Hall

Signature Living Plans

At the leading property exhibition MIPIM, Signature Living announced their interest in the landmark site and their visions to restore it to its former glory.

They outline specific plans as well as GCI visualisations which showcase the potential of Floral Hall once it is reinstated as an entertainment, conference and wedding venue.

The cost to transform the Belfast hall is expected to be around £5m.

Signature Living’s owner, Lawrence Kenwright, described the building as “a gem” of Belfast social and cultural history.

He further said, “I am publicly stating my desire to acquire the Floral Hall from Belfast City Council and bring it back to use for future generations to enjoy.”

GCI proposals by Signature Living

Official talks are yet to take place on the future of Floral Hall but the interest expressed by Signature Living is an exciting step towards saving such an iconic budling.

Keep up to date with all of Signature Investments latest news by following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For details of our latest projects, please call us on 0151 305 3757 or email info@signatureinvestments.co.uk.

Belfast: A City on the Crest of a Wave

Belfast is quickly establishing itself as one of the UK’s must-visit cities and Belfast’s regeneration is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Northern Irish capital has undergone some drastic transformations over the past decade which have in turn regenerated the city and cemented it as the next big destination.

Boasting a thriving tourism market and increased investment has ensured that Belfast is on the crest of a significant wave with the cities popularity expected to continue to grow.

Tourism Figures

In 2016, there were an estimated 4.6 million overnight trips to Northern Ireland which equates to almost a third of all tourism traffic to the region.

This strong performance is reflected in the cities hotel industry which in 2016 saw 991,000 hotel rooms sold at an average price of £77.95 per night, marking an increase of 4.1%.

An annual industry survey from ASM Chartered Accountants uncovered that hotel occupancy in Belfast also grew with record high figures of 83.5%, a significant increase on the previous year where occupancy sat at 77.5%.

This brought in a spend of £851 million for overnight trips alone with the city of Belfast accounting for around £335 million of that figure.

From shopping to culture and world-class entertainment facilities, Belfast has welcomed some fantastic tourism landmarks that have helped to increase the cities offering to visitors.

The cities rich past has been the driving force behind many of Belfast’s most popular tourist destinations such as the Titanic Belfast, Ulster Museum and Belfast Castle which have all received significant investment and transformed key areas in the city.

Titanic Belfast

The development of these tourist attractions has further fuelled a drive in the hotel market with many high profile developers investing in the city of Belfast to provide guests with a base to stay.

Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster commented; “Today’s tourism statistics show the importance of the sector to Northern Ireland’s economy and demonstrate not only how more tourists are visiting the region but are also spending more money as the hospitality sector continues to grow and add value to the economy.

“In Belfast, there was an increase of almost £60m in terms of tourism spend in 2016 compared to 2015.”

These figures are expected to keep on rising with significant development projects in place for the next couple of years including the Linen Quarter, the City Quays project at Belfast Harbour and several hotel developments including those by Signature Living.

Regeneration

 From the mid-1990s to 2007, Northern Ireland experienced one of its most economically prosperous and politically stable periods. However, the global economic downturn hit the country hard with a fall in employment, investment and the housing market.

Following a period of uncertainty, Belfast fought back and is now emerging from the recession as one of the most upcoming cities in the UK with growth across all areas.

In 2015, the council created a £18.7 million City Centre Investment Fund to support the implementation of projects which help towards the continued regeneration of Belfast.

The council have been working hard to ignite Belfast as a tourism hotspot investing vital funds into the regeneration of key areas for business, leisure and tourism purposes.

The council set out a City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy which pinpoints key action areas which include the Inner North, North East Quarter and Oxford Street & the Earner Bank as well as focusing on the transport hub.

Belfast: a City on the Rise

The Belfast regeneration strategy outlines; “Belfast has done well in recent decades to improve an economically dynamic and attractive city centre. It has, however, some way to go in comparison to other European cities of comparable size.

“It needs more; more people working and living in the centre, more visitors, more attractions, more commerce, more jobs, more street life and nightlife, more trees, more in-migrants and more development. More serenity, more bustle, more buzz. It is the combination of all those elements that makes a great city centre, that provides the self-fuelling chemistry for regeneration.”

There are a number of large-scale projects underway in Belfast which will reignite specific areas and help to establish the cities offering to both locals and visitors.

Increased tourism figures highlight that the regeneration programme is working and attracting new people from all over the world.

International Recognition

Belfast is a city that is being recognised in many forms.

In November 2017, the city was crowned 2017’s Rising Star at the National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards in London. This prestigious award was a great indicator of public opinion and certified that Belfast is a city to look out for.

Another prestigious award came from international travel guide group, Lonely Planet, who placed Belfast as the best place to visit in 2018 alongside the spectacular Causeway Coast.

Not only did this firmly pin Belfast on the traveller’s map but it was also the only area in the UK to make it into the Lonely Guide list, let alone to sit at the number one spot.

Investment in Northern Ireland

Investment in Northern Ireland continues to grow as the region boasts many highly attractive traits ensuring it is no surprise that almost 80% of investors have reinvested.

Around 900 international companies have also invested in Northern Ireland including Seagate Technology, Fujitsu, Bombardier Aerospace, Microsoft, Citi and Liberty Mutua to name a few.

In Belfast around 1,100 new hotel bedrooms are currently under development as well as three hotels by Liverpool-based hotelier, Signature Living including that of prominent heritage sites including The Scottish Mutual Building which will become The George Best Hotel, the former Crumlin Road Courthouse which will be transformed into The Lanyon Hotel and the former War Memorial Building on Waring Street which will become The Waring Hotel.

The Lanyon Hotel in Belfast

This increases the cities offering encourages healthy competition for developers and operators to continue to produce world-class facilities which improve the cities standing as a modern destination.

Belfast furthermore has a reputation for being one of the safest cities in the UK which again benefits the local and tourism community massively.

The combination of a young population, high-quality education and thriving tourism market is clearly an attractive offer for international investors and as more and more developments get underway, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

Scottish Mutual Building in Belfast

Furthermore, recent research conducted by CBRE identified Belfast as the third fastest growing office market in the world just behind Bangkok and Stockholm.

Demand for prime office space in Belfast positioned it ahead of other in-demand cities including New York and Amsterdam with an office rental growth of 14.3 percent year on year.

Thanks to a demand from business service firms and media, technology and telecoms companies, the office market in Belfast is experiencing an exciting boom which is expected to carry forward into the future.

The Waring Hotel

There is no doubt that Belfast is a city on the rise and you can become a part of it. Signature Investments have many developments underway that will certainly contribute to the city’s growth.

Discover the exciting project coming to Belfast from the Signature Living Group and become an investor today. Click here for our latest developments or get in touch today. 

Regional Cities Set for House Price Surge

Hometrack have revealed the top northern cities set to narrow the north-south house divide.

Regional cities such as Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester are set for a 20-30% increase in house prices over the next four years, narrowing the gap between cities in the north and south.

The data suggests that the cities listed above are expected to close the ‘growth gap’ on the capital of London by a staggering 20%-30%.

This means that in nominal terms, the average house price in London has soared by an extortionate 86% since 2009. This is the same for Oxford and Cambridge who have also performed strongly as well as Bristol where the average house price has risen by 70% in just 9 years.

House Price Surge in the UK

The report by Hometrack highlighted that Edinburgh was the fastest growing city in the UK which grew 7.7% in the 12 months from January.

Other northern cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester and Liverpool were close behind which all grew by an average of 6% per annum.

Although this is significantly less than the growth of the south, it does highlight the regional differences between cities in the north due to diverse demand and economic factors all playing a part.

In contrast, Hometrack further revealed that house prices in London are dropping in real terms, with the pace of growth in the capital slowing to 1.6% year-on-year.

This means that the UK city house price inflation is running at 5%, up from 4% in 2017.

This research further suggests that the income needed to support purchasing a home is as expected, well below the London average. This again brings about the question of sustainability with gross yields coming in well below 4.5% per annum.

With this in mind, they predict that house prices over the next three years will sink with lower turnover that has previously been seen. This combination will produce an undersupply and support price levels.

Regional cities set for house price surge

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said: “The income to buy a home in regional cities is well below the London average so in the near term we expect to see rising house prices stimulating additional buying and market activity in those areas.”

“House prices have some way to increase before there is a material constraint on demand. This assumes mortgage rates remain low by historic standards and economy continues to grow.”

This news is good for investors looking to grow their portfolio in the north with Signature Investments having a range of investment opportunities in key northern cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Preston.

To discover more about our diverse portfolio and how you can earn up to 8% ROI per annum with a hands-off investment, click here.

Hotel Room Investment for Beginners

Hotel room investment may be new to you but investing your money into property has long been a popular alternative to banks.

From buy-to-let to hotel room investment, the market is taking over from offering benefits and yields banks haven’t been able to match in years.

But what exactly is hotel room investment and is it right for you?

Signature Investments have created a quick and easy guide for those either looking to save their money away from the banks or for those who are looking to expand their property portfolio.

Hands-off Investment

Hotel room investments are the perfect choice for those looking to invest their money and not their time or effort.

As the hotel you’re investing in already has the infrastructure, you don’t need to worry about any of the day-to-day running of the hotel or management. This hands-off investment is ideal for those looking to see a decent return on their money without having to do a thing.

As opposed to buy-to-let investments, you will not need to spend the time or money looking for new tenants potentially, vetting them and dealing with maintenance issues. The hotel will ensure that the room is occupied through marketing and sales strategies, so you don’t need to worry.

Affordable Entry Levels

In comparison to a buy-to-let property, hotel room units come in at a much lower entry price but continue to offer great returns.

Investments with Signature Investments have a starting price of £65,500 making them easily accessible, even for first-time investors.

The three-step process of purchasing a unit is simple; pay the reservation fee and instruct solicitors, transfer 50% of the funds upon exchange then the additional 50% of funds upon completion of contracts.

Fully Managed

Unlike buy-to-let property investments, hotel investments are fully managed.

In the case of Signature Investments, all hotels are developed, owned and managed by Signature Living, the parent company of Signature Investments.

This means that from purchase to sales, all aspects of the hotel are run by one company.

The benefits of full management far surpass those of buy-to-let investments as there is no need to worry about finding tenants, ensuring occupancy and taking care of maintenance, as this is all taken care of. Hotel investments are truly fully managed and hassle-free.

Signature Investments at 30 James Street Hotel in Liverpool

Full Flexibility

Hotel room investments with Signature Investments are flexible for both the operator and investor.

Both the investor and Signature Investments will have the opportunity to buy back or sell back the unit between the years 3-10.

This ensures that the investor is not tied into a long contract and can withdraw their investment without complication.

Upon release of the funds back to the investor, they will receive an additional percentage on top of their yearly ROI’s, making it the perfect investment for those looking to build on their capital.

A Growing Industry

Hotels in the UK have seen a steady increase not only in infrastructure investment but in tourism levels and occupancy rates.

Signature Living is a company who are leading the way in some of the UK’s tourism capitals including Liverpool, Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester. Their hotels are experiencing their highest level of occupancy and many of their hotels and apartments have become destinations in their own right with many guests seeking out their locations as opposed to using price comparison sites to make their decision for them.

Offering a unique hotel experience, excellent customer service and competitive pricing has helped to establish Signature Living’s reputation as a market leader who continues to deliver on projects.

Investing in the UK hotel market with Signature Living

To conclude, an investment in a hotel room unit is the perfect investment for income.

The leisure and tourism industry and the need for accommodation will continue to grow and Signature Living is leading the way with a new breed of hotel which have been so successful. This has been demonstrated with hotels such as The Shankly Hotel, The Exchange and 30 James Street all created by Signature Living.

This further fuels demand for hotel rooms and underpins investment for high yield income.

Hotel room investments are one of the safest and most profitable investments that people can make. Take a look at some of Signature Investments current hotel room investment opportunities and grow your wealth today.