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Flat in Manchester? A good investment?

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Flat in Manchester? A good investment?


There is an advertisement today in the Standard: https://hongkong.geoexpat.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58061&stc=1


With a down payment of HK$800,000 you get the cheapest flat. What do you think? If it was so great they would be able to sell it in Manchester, and wouldn't need to push it in HK, right?


But is it still a decent investment? I know that London is overpriced, but Manchester?


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I think you need to KNOW your market very well, when you buy property.


That's why I recommend the "boots on ground approach", and that's why I also have done the sort of detailed

research that you can find here:



Some UK-based people, think they can sell anything in HK


I nearly bought a property in London from a exhibition show in HK about 3-4 years ago:

New Festival Quarter:



I came close, but I did not want to buy before viewing it.

I decided that I would only buy if I could get it 50/50 with a friend who lived there (in London.)

In the end, we decide not to buy. I think it would have worked out, since the market rose since

then, and it was part of a gentrification program that was changing the neighborhood.


There's a project viewing in HK this weekend that might be worth a look: Abbey Tower.


However, I would be very, very cautious now, since there are multiple signs that London

property has peaked

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"boots on ground approach"


Absolutely. But I don't have time to go places, but I still want to take advantage of the temporary strong US dollar by buying somewhere else than HK.


Let's agree to disagree about Thailand and Philippines. I am just happy to get 1-2% less a year and have peace of mind by investing in a civilised country where politicians and judges are not corrupted crooks.


Can you send me some references (internet link) about Abbey Tower? I am unable to find anything after a google search.

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Why not convert your currency now, and buy later, after you have done the "boots on ground" searching?


Politicians are crooks everywhere, but the Western countries, with their controlled press,

are better at hiding it.


Sudden shocks can occur even in "secure" countries, like Switzerland... or the US, or the UK


I would rather buy a property in Thailand or Philippines now, where I am paying what amounts to

less than a downpayment in HK or Sing., and getting an entire property debt-free.


That is especially interesting, if I am considering to live in it.


I recall living in HK when it was still a middle-income "hard ship" post. If I had bought then. 25-30 years ago,

I might have a 10X - 20X gain today. There's no way you are going to see gains like that in HK or Sing.,

but you may in Philippines or Thailand, especially if governance and confidence in those countries improved.


Philippines was upgraded to "investment grade" about 1-2 years ago, and is now enjoying some of the

fastest economic growth in the world.


Two years ago, some people laughed at us for buying a 38-year old flat in a older area of Tai Kok Tsui

when the confidence in HK property was low. We said: we feel safer buying a low cost older property,

and it gives us a better yield. In two years, the price has gone from $2.7mn to a present bank valuation

of $3.43mn - I think you will agree that this +27% gain outperforms all those "prime flats" in Midlevels

that the big expat agents may have then been recommending. Sometimes, the Dogs run faster than the

prime-looking "favored racehorses"


I think the difference will not be just 1-2% per annum, but maybe the difference between a decent profit

and a possible loss of capital. Do you really think a nice 2BR flat at HK$10 mn here in Hong Kong will

show a better return over 5-10 years than a larger and equally nice HK$1mn = THB 4mn 2BR flat in, say

Chiang Mai?

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Here's some information on a new property

very near the New Station at Abbey Wood, on the Crossrail line:


But: Is it really?



Abbey Tower is the first residential phase to be delivered at Cross Quarter, an £85 million mixed-use development
that will be a catalyst for growth in Abbey Wood. Cross Quarter will deliver an 81,000 sq. ft. Sainsbury’s
supermarket, alongside another 5,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial space and 220 residential apartments.
The regeneration of Cross Quarter is being masterminded by Development Securities PLC, a highly experienced,
FTSE-listed, UK property investor and developer. Their creative and expert approach has seen them deliver
over four million sq. ft. of regeneration and development projects. In particular, they’re well versed in providing
new leases of life to areas that are positioned for growth. The arrival of Crossrail in 2018 is a prime example of the
growth potential they look for. Abbey Wood station, which is located just 50 metres from Cross Quarter,
will be the South East terminus for Crossrail. The superb transport links it will provide to residents will be at the

heart of the area’s transformation



The developer has a "mixed" reputation

Comments: https://fromthemurkydepths.wordpress.com/page/9/


Planned Abbey Wood station timeline

  • Autumn 2013: Construction of temporary station starts
  • Autumn 2014: Temporary station opens
  • Late 2017: New station opens
  • December 2018: New Crossrail services start



Abbey Wood Station : Crossrail : wiki


Transport Times




• 50 metres* from Abbey Wood Crossrail station (Opens 2018)
• First phase of £85m regeneration scheme
• Developed by Development Securities, a leading FTSE listed regeneration specialist
• Superb transport links to The City, Canary Wharf, West End & London City Airport

• 999 year lease & 10 year NHBC new build structural warranty
• Car parking available
• Direct overground train to London Bridge - 23 mins Δ


> http://fraserandco.briefyourmarket.com/Message/View/22?utm_source=BriefYourMarket&utm_medium=Newsletter%2c+Email&utm_term=&utm_content=Exciting+Purchase+Opportunity+in+Abbey+Wood+%40+Mandarin+Oriental%2c+Hong+Kong+on+Sat+%26+Sun+24th+%26+25th+January+2015&utm_campaign=Instance%3a+fraserandco.briefyourmarket.com+-+MessageId%3a+22

> Brochure

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Why Crossrail could add thousands to your commuter-belt home

Good transport is usually high on buyers’ wish lists but where are the hotspots offering affordable homes with an easy commute in London and the south east?


‘Metro-land’ isn’t a place you hear about much today but it’s a fascinating example of how public transport improves housing, when developments sprang up around the Metropolitan Railway – and gave rise to the area’s name.

In 1863, the Met – a passenger and goods train – was the world’s first underground railway. During World War One, its extension from Baker Street through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex inspired its ‘Metro-land’ tag, a marketing ploy to promote the suburban dream of modern homes in beautiful countryside with a fast rail service into central London.


Homes built around the line were often semi-detached, mock-Tudor or neo-Georgian style, and are still popular today, say Hunters estate agents, who are marketing a four-bed Harrow semi for £499,950.


Metro-land disintegrated as lines were closed but today’s new railway lines and stations are again creating commuting communities. In 2008, Aylesbury Vale station opened within walking distance of Martin Grant Homes’ Kingsfield Park – where three-bed houses start at £234,950 – enabling residents to commute into London Marylebone in just over an hour.

Martin Grant’s MD, Michael Meanley, says more people are leaving London as they seek affordable, spacious property within easy reach of the City and he notices that buyers are getting younger.
‘Our agents report a sharp increase in people in their late twenties and early thirties moving out to areas such as Aylesbury,’ he says.

Aylesbury Vale was built before homes were constructed and the station now offers at least three trains per hour into central London.



Maidenhead’s Exchange House could benefit from the Crossrail effect (Picture: supplied)


Martin Grant is also building in transport hotspots such as Biggleswade and Reigate where good train services mean people can have their space in the countryside while still being able to work in London.

The controversial HS2 high-speed rail link will also open up more areas for London commuters. The first phase will run between London Euston and Birmingham, with completion scheduled for 2026. ‘HS2 will certainly make a difference, and towns along the route will benefit from price rises,’ says Meanley.


Meanwhile, Crossrail is on course for completion in 2018 and will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport in the west, to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.


Data intelligence organisation Caci identified the most and least affluent station catchment areas along Crossrail’s route and highlighted which are most likely to experience the ‘Crossrail effect’ of higher yields and increased investment. Caci predicts ‘significant price rises in many of the less affluent areas’ with Southall, Hayes & Harlington and Abbey Wood forecasted to benefit most.


Hunters’ Richard Cross believes Crossrail will be a landmark station for Abbey Wood and will kick-start major investment and development in the area. Prices have already risen by up to 20 per cent.


‘We are already getting prospective buyers through our doors who are migrating to the area from the capital’s hotspots,’ he says, ‘as well as those who want the flexibility of improving transport links while also being on the doorstep of leafy Kent.’ Three-bed terraces can still be found for £250,000 to £300,000, which Cross says is now ‘a rarity in a London borough’.

By 2017, Crossrail will roll into Maidenhead, putting the town firmly on the commuter map. Henley Homes has launched Exchange House, a collection of 14 one and two-bed apartments, moments from the town’s bustling high street and a short walk from Maidenhead station. Crossrail will increase services into Central London, with trains to London Paddington taking 45 minutes and 40 to Heathrow.


Exchange House is well situated for the M4, with prices ranging from £200,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to £300,000 for a two-bed flat.


> http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/07/why-crossrail-could-add-thousands-to-your-commuter-belt-home-4293136/

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I put all this info, to suggest you might want to research Abbey Tower, as

an alternative to buying a property in Manchester


(If you keep researching, you may discover some whining):

UPDATE: 'Apology needed' for Abbey Wood housing ad enticing Asian investors

with 'no social housing' boast


15 January 2015

3135769.jpg?type=thumb by Mark Chandler, deputy news editor


Greenwich Council is calling for an apology over an "appalling" advert flogging new Abbey Wood homes to wealthy Asian investors by boasting the block has "no social housing".

The advert for Abbey Tower plugs an "exclusive launch" at a Hong Kong hotel of 32 apartments - the entire first phase of the landmark £85m Cross Quarter development - and tells buyers the building is a "fully private block with no social housing".


Cross Quarter, which will be moments from Abbey Wood's new Crossrail station, was approved in 2013, featuring a Sainsbury's supermarket, hotel, nursery school and 216 homes - just 23 of which will be "affordable" in one of south east London's poorest areas.


Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: "Boasting about the absence of social housing in adverts for new developments shows that housing policy in London is about meeting the needs of wealthy investors, not about the needs of ordinary Londoners. At least this appalling advert is honest about it."




Greenwich Council has called for the company to apologise for its "crass" advert. Cabinet member for regeneration and transport Councillor Danny Thorpe said: "Quite why these homes are being marketed in Hong Kong is unclear when there is such a great level of housing need in London.

"We have contacted the developer to express our thoughts in the strongest possible terms and have requested a meeting with them to discuss their approach urgently.

"In the meantime, I would urge them to issue a full apology, retract this advert and take a moment to reflect on their contribution to alleviating the current housing crisis in London, rather than focusing on their planned sales event in Hong Kong."


A spokesman for Development Securities said: "The 32 apartment Abbey Tower is just the first phase of this development and it is being marketed to a wide range of audiences, starting with a launch in London to give the local market the first opportunity to buy at the scheme."

He added that the project would provide aorund £1.2m investment into Crossrail and local infrastructurre, along with 300 jobs, apublic square and library.


It's the second time in recent weeks that a Development Securities project has proved controversial. A video promoting subsidiary company Cathedral's Deptford Rise scheme, which claimed property investors could cash in on the area's arty atmosphere before prices rose, had to be taken down from the internet after people reacted furiously.

One online commenter claimed the video had made them "physically sick".


> more: http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/11723575._Appalling__Abbey_Wood_housing_ad_entices_Asian_investors_with__no_social_housing__boast/

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To be honest.

The area seems to be an interesting gentrification play


I am NOT KEEN on the design of Abbey Tower.

It does not look like a place I would want to live, or even own.


But I might still want to visit the showroom on the weekend, to see if I have missed something.


The price will also matter. The cheaper (per sf), the better

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1 Beds from £275,000

2 Beds from £322,500

3 Beds from £567,500


The problem is that I have about HK$1.3 M, but I have no time to do any legwork, and the money I have isn't really enough to (say) fly to London and spend 2 weeks looking at buildings. The money I would spend on that holiday would eat up all the difference in profits between HK and the UK, so I could as well buy in HK. But in HK now the prices are too high, and I would like to diversify (I don't know what HK will be like in 20 years).

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My suggestion would be: Don't Buy... if you cannot see it.


It is too much money to put at risk without proper due diligence.

Especially in an area which is in the early stages of "turning around"... maybe


I have learn this sort of lesson "the hard way", and I hope you do not need to learn the same way

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I'd say that's excessive for a 1 bed in Manchester..


For example there is a 1 bed up in the Hacienda which was the club made famous by the "Madchester" scene e.g. the happy mondays (Its been completely rebuilt now though) They normally seem to go for a high premium versus what is around them due to the history of the name and that's only on at £135k





According to this:




Manchester had the 5th worst performing rental market in the UK last year falling 7%

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  • 4 weeks later...

MANCHESTER is mentioned in the Weekend FT:



Office space in New Islington


Manchester's Second Coming


Manchester's extraordinary resurgence is the best model for

Closing the North-south economic divide


+ The long decline of industry left many empty warehouses, mills, factories

+ The Sharp project now houses 60 companies, with rows of converted shipping containers housing businesses, while looking like a Mondrian painting

+ "Today, there is much opportunity in Manchester as there is in London"

+ Some are saying: Manch. isn't the 2nd city: London & Birmingham can fight it out for 2nd: "swagger and confidence are Mancunian traits"

+ The Manchester model is seen as the last hope to close north-south divide

+ Elsewhere that gap has widened, but not in Manchester

+ "Everyone sings from the same hymnsheet in Manchester" - Jim O'Neill

+ The decline of Manch. took 80 years, and could not be reversed overnight


+ Manch. has a legacy of "free trade and economic individualism", and has been blessed with stable and enlighten political leadership in recent years (mainly two guys: Howard Bernstein and Richard Leese)


+ M. aims to bring people to jobs rather than jobs to people. That has been helped by TRANSPORT : with the city spending money on tram lines, to bring in people from (nearby) places where they want to live


+ The living environment has improved in a way that has made old areas attractive to the young. Businesses are springing up in old factory spaces, while bars, restaurants and coffeeshops are packed and loud.

+ The City and local pension funds have made some crucial investments: One St Peters Sq is owned by public pension funds. The council owns The Sharp Projects building. Some local airport have eased transport bottlenecks. They operate coherently, "like a giant PLC"


+ People are hoping that the dynamism of Manch. can spread out. Oldham, the old millionaire's town, is a place to watch

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Blast from the past



SHRINKING Cities: Why ? What Next ?
(They shrink, but they do not die)

"Shrinking Cities" focuses on the 25 percent of world cities that are losing, rather than gaining, population (according to the curator's statistics). Over the last century, that amounts to 350 of the world's largest urban areas (defined as cities with populations of 100,000 or more). The project was funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, and is focused on four regions where the change has been precipitous: Detroit, the Liverpool/Manchester area in the United Kingdom, Ivanovo in Russia, and the Halle/Leipzig region in Germany.

Detroit and Liverpool/Manchester lost population as their industrial economies fell into disarray. Ivanovo, a textile city some 150 miles northeast of Moscow, went to seed after the breakup of the Soviet Union, when its long-stagnating but subsidized industry simply collapsed under the pressure of competition from Turkey and East Asia. And the Halle/Leipzig region suffered huge population losses and horrendous unemployment as East Germany hemorrhaged 9 percent of its people between 1989 and 2000.

Another project demonstrates that as people in Detroit purchase the empty lots around their houses to assemble large urban yards -- or "blots" -- they are effectively "surbanizing" the old city. And in a collection of photographs that document urban agriculture projects in Detroit, there are heartbreaking pictures of one man who has given up all hope -- yet he remains in the city. His home is a fortress; the windows have been shuttered and painted over, and his yard converted to a small farm, fenced off, like a last redoubt, from the city around it.[

By focusing not just on one city but on four urban areas, "Shrinking Cites" removes the stigma from urban blight. The message is not "Detroit is a failure," but rather that Detroit, like so many other cities, has suffered from forces beyond its local control. The people of Detroit have also made mistakes, indulged in fears and hysteria that have their roots in racial animosity, and the consequences of that fear are written everywhere on the urban landscape.

/see: http://www.washingto...7021602125.html


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