The South Coast of England has often been considered one of the most attractive areas for investors to stake a claim.
The diversity of properties available, popularity with holidaymakers & wealth of business' invested in the region make for an exciting investment opportunity for even the most indecisive of investors.
In the first of a series on investing on the South Coast, today we look at the exciting redevelopment plans for the area and what it means for investors.
Rishi Sunak announced that Bournemouth would be one of the 45 towns to receive funding as part of the £1 billion "Town Deal Fund", securing £21.7 million to aid in regenerating and improving the popular Boscombe Waterfront district.
Boscombe Waterfront is a popular area with tourists, surfers, divers & windsurfers and now, thanks to both the Town Deal Fund and LocalGrowth funding secured by Dorset LEP, the area will boast, among other things, a new shopping centre, improved digital connectivity & a public square designed to host major events.
The scheme includes proposals for around 560 new homes, 6,700sqm of retail and leisure floor space & 4,800 sqm of commercial, community & health floor space.
With demand for housing in Bournemouth increasing year on year, these 560 new homes are sorely needed and will prove popular with tenants given the relative accessibility & affordability of Boscombe compared to other areas of the city.
The redevelopment promises to create a thriving mix of public spaces, cafes, shops, homes & places to work which is great news for investors who own holiday lettings or rental property in the area as the creation of more jobs and activities for tourists is sure to increase demand for the rental and holiday let markets.
Portsmouth is a city undergoing ambitious and dramatic change.
The momentum that the local economy has built up has attracted private investors to the city in droves, driving the massive transformation of the city.
With £2 billion in investment plans, £1 billion alone, dedicated to infrastructure, Portsmouth is a city on the rise and in quite a spectacular way.
The central district regeneration looks to create 9,700 jobs, primarily in retail and hospitality while developments such as Tipner West, Dunsbury Park & the Southsea Coastal Scheme will also create an additional 4,000 jobs. The creation of these jobs is projected to increase demand for housing with Rightmove reporting a 66% increase in active buyers and those searching for rental property since 2020, even with an ongoing pandemic, Portsmouth and it's property have remained desirable.
Independent sales and letting agent GD3, has also reported a boom. Jack Till, Senior Negotiator, said: ‘I have never been busier in the six years that I have worked here.’
While demand for lettings has soared, the economy has also boomed with GVA growing despite the global economic downturn.
The investments made in the city are a testament to how well the city has attracted business and skilled workers.
For investors, all this good news looks set to increase the local population substantially as new jobs are created, and with rental demand already high, this looks to boost yields and capital appreciation in the area substantially over the next five years.
Lastly, on our brief tour of the south coast, but definitely not least, is Southampton.
Southampton's regeneration plans are grand in scale, laying the foundations for huge future growth for industry & business whilst also improving the quality of life for the residents of the city.
One of the biggest changes comes from investments made in transport and infrastructure, with nearly £200 million being invested in green transport alone, the city looks to improve its sustainable transport to meet the ever-growing demand that the growing population brings. With the local population predicted to grow by 6.5% (16,561 people) by 2025, the investment in clean transport is a crucial one, particularly to allow areas on the outskirts of the city better access to the city centre and docks where many new jobs are being created.
On the subject of job creation, another large area of investment comes in the form of £250 million being invested in the development of Leisureworld. Aiming to create 1000 jobs, the site will consist of office space, a Casino, Cinema, Hotels, Apartments & Managed Accommodation. It's a bold development that aims to completely redefine the port-side region, turning it into an inclusive hub for leisure, business & living. Scheduled to complete by 2030, this development looks to add substantial value to the area.
The two largest and most significant developments, however, are the Southampton Airport gateway and the Solent Freeport.
Making use of the cities already excellent rail, air & road connections, the Southampton Airport gateway looks to develop land and train stations on and around Southampton Airport to better utilise the space, creating offices and retail premises, a hotel/conference centre, leisure, restaurants, residential and community-related development.
All in all, nearly 132,000m of floor space will be created giving huge potential for job creation which will massively boost the local economy.
The Solent Freeport development is the jewel in the crown, as far as rejuvenation goes.
This pioneering project was approved in March 2021 and will build on the cities reputation as a nexus for international sea freight.
Becoming a freeport will help to create 50,000 jobs and bring in an additional £2 billion in investments to the area, boosting the local economy, attracting new residents and improving living standards in the area, all music to the ears of those who have invested in the region.
You'll notice that while the area is undergoing a myriad of improvments, most of them are designed to build upon and celebrate the existing features of the area.
The South Coast is enjoying a renasiance and, by redeveloping the more tired elements, can better capitilise on it's popularity with business, tourists and industry.
As an investor, this is all terribly exciting given both the relatively low property prices and quality of developments available.
Couple that with already high demand for rental property and the huge growth in employment that these redevelopments & improvements will bring to the area and you're likely to see increases in rental yields that will make other southern regions jealous.
All in all, while the region has been popular and stacked with potential, these redevelopments and improvments finally realise that potential.
Most forecasts look at the next five years but, looking at the scope and ambition of the work in the region, make the next 15 years and beyond, incredibly exciting for investors.