Brighton & Hove is located in East Sussex, a city of approximately 280,000 people that sits by one of the best stretches of coastline in the world (according to Lonely Plant 2013). It is regarded as one of the world’s best travel destinations according to TripAdvisor, and was in 2015 voted as one of the best places in the UK to start a business, making it appealing to holidaymakers and entrepreneurs alike.
It’s a city that can offer the winning combination of quality of life and a growing economy, the perfect foundation for those looking to start families or study outside the unaffordable capital. A Brighton are search through a popular property search website such as The House Shop will reveal a mix of attractive Edwardian, Regency and Victorian flat conversions, alongside more modern multiple story properties, means that there is something available to cater to any taste. Within a stone’s throw of the scenic Sussex countryside, you get the best of all worlds: a scenic seaside town, a growing city economy, and a view of the British countryside.
Why Choose Brighton
Brighton is one of the fastest growing markets for rentals in the UK, with some of the fastest growing returns for landlords. It is ranked third of 63 cities in the UK as having the most people in rental accommodation. An average yield of 6.16% in 2015 saw it claim one of the top 20 spots to invest in a buy-to-let property in the UK. In all, Brighton continues to appeal as young professionals are priced out of the capital, and young families seek out a place they can afford a simple, straightforward lifestyle with all the basic essentials, and without the London price tag. It all makes Brighton one of the best places to invest in the UK.
What Type of Property
Brighton is a student accommodation hotspot, with its varied, internationally well-respected educational institutions attracting international students from all over. According to Spareroom.co.uk, student housing costs have risen 21.7% for the past two years, well ahead of both Bath and Bristol. In this case, advice points to the value of selecting a more practical property, above the more architecturally glamorous, historical options. A new build that is easily maintained will serve the student need for value for money – the most important factors being proximity to transport and other amenities, as well as fast broadband. It’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage if your own child seeks out the world class education on offer at Brighton’s university, a return on investment that will certainly outlive their days in the union bar.
If you are less than keen on student housing, the other big target market is young professionals who are priced out of the capital. A good quality studio or 1 bedroom apartment will serve this target market well, and offer pleasing returns over a five to ten year period.
What Restrictions are There
The UK does not have restrictions on real estate ownership for overseas investors, unlike many other countries. However, there are tax obstacles in place that are important to consider. There are in fact five taxes of relevance, to be exact. Two are ‘indirect’, namely stamp duty based on the purchase price, which varies form 1 – 4% of the total value that must be paid in addition. The other is council tax, which is also dependent on the value, and varies from council to council.
Other taxes are ‘direct’, and include income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. Income tax will be paid if you earn money on the property – enough to exceed the income tax threshold. This does not apply if you live in the property. Capital gains tax can be avoided; if you earn money selling the property and you are from the UK, this is required. However, as a non-resident, you are exempt if the property is simply an investment. Finally, inheritance tax is another that can be avoided with the help of a good advisor or lawyer, but for most people residing outside the UK this isn’t a concern.
These are not problems as such, but should be taken into account when considering what you are willing to outlay on a real estate investment in the United Kingdom. Examine the total cost carefully to ensure your investment yields successfully.
In all, the UK continues to be one of the most appealing places for foreign investors to capitalize on real estate investment, and Brighton in particular is primed as one of the most promising growth spots for investment across the isles.