Switzerland Is the Ideal Market for a New SevenCapital Office
While the UK market continues to indirectly experience the impact of political uncertainty, it remains a leading target for European investment in 2019, driven by overperforming regional cities delivering excellent returns and incredible developments drawing huge demand.
Within the EU, the Swiss market remains a crucial sector for UK goods and services. Generally, the Swiss economy has performed above average since the global recession, growing by an average of 1.7% between 2010 and 2016. Trade links between the two countries are estimated to be worth over £31.7b a year and increasingly, Swiss investors are identifying opportunities in a market where they can get more for their money.
As a leading UK property developer, SevenCapital is dedicated to helping clients across the world find their ideal investment. With offices in Hong Kong, Dubai and South Africa, we’re now expanding to Europe and Switzerland in particular, having now opened a new SevenCapital Switzerland office.
SevenCapital will provide local clients with easy access and first-hand knowledge of the UK’s growing residential property investment market. Clients will also have access to the company’s award-winning fully-managed service offering which has been consistently rated ‘world-class’ or ‘excellent’ by clients.
We spoke to Liam Smith, Investment Director UK and Switzerland for SevenCapital, on why he thinks the Swiss market is such an ideal fit:
Why has SevenCapital chosen Switzerland in particular?
“We have expanded into Switzerland because it represents a similar demographic to our other client-bases. The UK and Switzerland have strong business ties and as a region, Switzerland has plenty of investors that are looking to take advantage of the security that the UK property market can provide.”
How does the Swiss market compare to the UK?
“Although it’s a small country, Switzerland has a very competitive investment market and is regularly acknowledged as having one of the world’s highest standards of living. However, property prices in Switzerland are very expensive, mortgages are not as beneficial and even though it is an exceptionally wealthy population, many choose to own their main residence and invest elsewhere. Many property investors in Switzerland will generally look further afield, taking the money they earn in a prosperous Swiss economy and getting a higher level of ROI from the UK market.”
Is the UK market still a target for European investors with Brexit?
“Absolutely, the opinion in Europe is the same as with the Brits. Once Brexit has happened and stability returns, the real estate market will continue to prosper, we have seen this happen for decades upon decades and once a political or economic uncertainty has passed prices continue to rise which makes now the right time to invest. Overseas buyers are predominately looking for long-term and sustainable ROI meaning that investing in regional UK cities such as Birmingham with its undersupply and high demand will give them confidence during this time, tenant demand is stronger than ever making the rental market exceptionally buoyant.”
How can SevenCapital help overseas investors?
“SevenCapital offer a full 360-degree buying and management service as we benefit from excellent partners within the business. We have the largest overseas presence in the market with offices in main regions such as Dubai, Hong Kong, South Africa and now Switzerland, helping clients identify investment opportunities in the UK and working through the process.”
What areas in the UK are appealing to European investors?
“Traditionally the focus has been on the South of the country and London in general. Investors are always chasing the best returns and London has, for a period of time, delivered high capital growth which made up for the low rental yields being achieved. With changes to stamp duty for investors and also the high prices and current low capital appreciation, London is failing in comparison with the regional cities in the UK, cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, which have seen great growth but unfortunately also a high amount of build which means the markets are becoming slightly saturated.
“Areas with large scale investment and infrastructure improvements such as Birmingham, with its growing business centre and projects such as HS2, are now high on the list of all real estate investors. Low supply of city centre apartments and unprecedented demand is contributing to a sustainable market.”
What the benefits of investing in the UK for European investors?
“European investors are able to leverage without too many issues, this means they can obtain mortgages and only invest a smaller amount rather than having to pay the full balance in cash. Most residents in Switzerland have excellent pension plans and work with wealth managers to invest in their future and retirement, this makes property in the UK very attractive as they can diversify their investments with a reasonably low amount of liquidity.”
What are the challenges of investing in the UK… is it difficult?
“The true challenge when investing overseas in any new country is knowing how, when and where to invest. Finding a trusted partner is exceptionally important, as is dealing with a proven developer with an excellent track record and industry-leading customer service.”