Tell us a bit more about Fabrik Invest - what does it offer?
Fabrik Property Group was founded in 2014. We offer sustainable, off-plan and new-build buy-to-let investments that have undergone a stringent due diligence process. At the forefront of our business approach is transparency and customer service. This is why we have the highest rating on Trustpilot within the whole industry.
We have carefully selected a number of buy-to-let opportunities. These are usually below market value and some also offer a rental assurance option for the first few years, giving investors peace of mind.
We focus on cities such as Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Birmingham and commuter belt regions around London, which are tipped for positive capital growth over the next 5-10 years.
How has the company been affected by Covid-19 and Brexit?
Like most businesses, there is no doubt Covid has had an impact on us. However, as a company, we offer flexibility and understanding to our employees and we have a strong system and infrastructure in place, allowing our employees to work from home or even abroad.
This keeps our staff motivated and happy to work for us and therefore they are putting in the extra effort to keep our business sustainable and help us grow internationally.
How can investors work their way round the current restrictions that the pandemic has created, and still invest in a safe and profitable way?
Adaptation is key to survival during the current climate and health crisis. We have found that savvy investors are capitalising on the current crisis and looking for good deals and bargains.
This means blending flexibility by our developers with embracing technology such as Zoom, video virtual property tours and producing the right content. Adding value and free education has been key to our continued success and growth.
You talk about the potential of regional towns and cities in the UK - why are they ripe for investment? And which ones in particular would you recommend?
Regional towns and cities in the UK are an inviting marketplace for investors in both the short and longer-term. The UK’s property market is underpinned by a decades-long, continuing shortfall of housing supply. Combine this with significant regeneration projects in cities like Manchester and Birmingham and the capital growth prospects are superb, in addition to the yields.
Preston is one really exciting city to watch this year. The Preston City Deal is overseeing the investment of £434 million into local transport infrastructure and public realm, while major regeneration is also underway in the Harris Quarter, Stoneygate and Preston’s new urban park.
Bishopgate Gardens is next to it all – a luxury development of 130 apartments in the city centre. The homes are exceptional, with some superb communal spaces, while ground-floor retail units add neighbourhood appeal.
It’s offering a new standard of living in the city – this is the kind of flagship scheme that really grabs investors’ attention.
Have features such as transport links become much less important, given the work from home boom? Are people now seeking different things?
Investors are still focusing on transport links as part of their longer-term outlook, but other elements have now come into play as well. Balconies, terraces and gardens are, of course, now in much more demand, as is sufficient indoor space for a desk or even two.
At the same time, factors such as a central location close to all amenities are still highly prized. It’s more that additional indoor and outdoor space is being sought in addition to more traditional characteristics, rather than instead of them.
What are your predictions for the year ahead? What will be the main investment trends?
Investors are going to be focused on properties that deliver strong long-term capital growth potential as well as healthy yields. This will mean properties close to regeneration zones and in sought-after central locations.
One trend we’re tipped to see take off this year as well is investment in short-term let apartments. The pandemic has brought the use of such properties to a near-standstill right now, but we’re expecting a bumper year for the UK staycation sector during 2021, so a well-timed investment in a short-term let could be an excellent move.