Manchester remains bright place to invest despite clouds on horizon

Leading international businessman gives vote of confidence to city as he looks to regions for wealth creation

Dmitry Leus, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Imperium Investments (Image: Batyr Ainabekov)

Manchester remains an attractive prospect for property investment despite the turbulence caused by Brexit, according to the founder of a wealth management company.

Dmitry Leus, CEO and founder of Imperium Investments, gave an upbeat assessment of opportunities for returns in British regions that are building for the future.  

Manchester is in the midst of a construction boom that is transforming the skyline, bringing modern offices, hotels, and leisure destinations to the city centre and outlying districts. 

The northern powerhouse city is also the nation’s second biggest student property market – creating huge demand for purpose-built accommodation. Examples of developments include the iQ Student Accommodation, owned mostly by Goldman Sachs, that will offer affordable ‘co-living’ through tenants having their own rooms and shared communal spaces.

Manchester is in the middle of a construction boom
Manchester is in the middle of a construction boom

Dmitry, who has vast experience making investments across the UK and Europe, recently spent two days in the city and was encouraged by what he saw.

“The average price for flats in Manchester is less than London and more affordable for local people, while it’s easier to build, sell and to find the money,” he said.

“There are a lot of young people in Manchester, including around 350,000 students and four universities, so there is a lot of opportunity with the student market. For example, flats can be converted to student accommodation and vice versa.”  

Overseas investment, including from China, is also driving the growth in Manchester’s property and development market amid an air of caution around London, where Dmitry’s family office is based.

“Manchester is a great place for investment and it’s also one of the best places in the country to start a business – it’s much easier to get off the ground there than in London,” the businessman said.

“It’s a great place to find business partners, clients, to gain planning permission and to build. I really felt it was a friendly environment that reminded me a bit of New York but was a cosy place to walk around.”

Originally from Turkmenistan, the former fencing champion views himself as an EU citizen but believes in the resilience of the UK, where he has settled with his family. His charitable interests include supporting babies, children and teenagers faced with cancer and other health challenges and bringing fencing to young people across the country, including in inner-city London.

For more information about Imperium Investments click here

Manchester skyline at sunset
Manchester skyline at sunset (Image: Joel Goodman)

Having overcome humble beginnings and tough times himself, the philanthropist is especially passionate about fencing’s power to help people overcome hurdles in life and realise goals.

Imperium is also a major supporter of St George’s Hospital Charity which has included helping children to feel comfortable, calm and relaxed during times of ill health.

While Dmitry is realistic about the challenges posed by Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU, he remains confident that the UK can overcome the gathering clouds and views cities outside London, including Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool, as having greater resilience in turbulent times.

In 2017, the country generated a trade surplus in financial services of £68billion, a 14 per cent rise on the previous year, according to industry-led body TheCityUK. And Dmitry sees no reason why Britain shouldn’t remain an attractive prospect for investors.

A number of trips north of the border have also given him insights into excellent opportunities in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“It’s a difficult time for the whole country,” Dmitry said.

“The best solution for investors is to look at cheaper opportunities and to focus on local and regional markets as people look to buy more affordable homes. From my point of view, these local markets are better protected from the uncertainty, because they serve a local market for cheaper homes.

“These have enjoyed strong demand before the vote to leave the EU and it will be there again afterwards. The opportunities lie away from places where it is difficult to sell and develop like central London, Mayfair and Knightsbridge, where people are waiting to see what the future brings.

The boundaries of the city centre are expected to expand
The boundaries of the city centre are expected to expand (Image: Manchester Evening News)

“I know a lot of investors who have started looking away from London to places like Manchester, where it’s far easier to sell, buy and find tenancies.

“While there is some risk around the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the expected return of investment in property is between five and 10 years.

“So those who are ready to endure some short-term turbulence are likely to be rewarded in the longer term.”

Source Manchester Evening News

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