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RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Contributed Content, Singapore
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Alexander Knight

Where do Singaporeans get the best profits from UK property?

BY ALEXANDER KNIGHT

Singaporean investors looking for a savvy investment should take a good look at Manchester now that it has outstripped London as the best place to invest in UK property. Rental yields are hitting all time highs of nearly 8% and capital growth smashed through 20% for 2013.

The world's first industrialised city has become a supercharged magnet for Singaporeans - especially that average square footage prices are still less than half of those in the capital.

In 2011, the BBC moved many of its key operations north to Media City and the business community followed suit. Over half of the FTSE 100 companies are based in the UK's second city, where the cost of living is a whole 40% cheaper than the capital.

A rich vein of history runs through Manchester, household names such as Rolls Royce, Oasis, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, Joy Division, and Marks & Spencer all come from the former 'Cottonopolis'. Coronation Street has been produced in Salford for over 50 years.

Notable teams like Manchester United and Manchester City are the corner flags of the city and, unsurprisingly, Greater Manchester is home to more multi-millionaires than anywhere outside London.

Manchester University is the largest in the UK - with a total student population of more than 37,000. A significant number of students remain in the city, providing a well educated workforce and steady stream of new tenants.

"Landlords outside of London are reaping the benefit as young professionals say goodbye to capital living," says Peter Dockar, HSBC mortgages head.

In 2014, Knight Frank's 'Rental Revolution' report found that rental return growth in Manchester increased by 5.27%, a rate 13 times faster than yields found in London.

The UK's northern soul is thriving. A mayor will be elected for Greater Manchester in 2017, further accelerating growth in this iconic city.

As Singapore's property market continues its decline, overseas investments become more and more popular. One insider tip worth remembering: credit agencies don't talk across borders.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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