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Another successful student investment

We are proud to bring news of our most recently completed student investment for one of our hands-off investors who is now benefitting from a rental yield of 10% after management and other costs.

This development has been a great example of how Fresh Invest can help both Investor and Developer to come to a mutual agreement, which benefits both parties.

The developer came to us having been given an option on a property to purchase, but with no defined exit strategy at that point he required a quick sale. We did some figures and put together a valuation settling on a price with which to go to our proven clients and try and secure a sale.

The development comprised an 8-bed student apartment, with a shop on a new 5 year FRI lease below, along with a studio apartment too. The developer would provide a full refurbishment of the studio and the 8 bed apartment whilst also applying for planning permission for another 5 bedrooms in the roof space.

In return for a great deal, the purchasing client was required to put down circa 60% of the funds up front with a first charge created against the current building. Stage payments were then made throughout the refurbishment until completion, which took place just before students took occupation.

The refurbishment has been done to an absolutely great standard and as such the developer had tenants lined up prior to completion, providing an immediate income to our client.

Student investment can be a hard thing to get your head around sometimes. Properties are valued as a product of their rental yield. Otherwise known as an investment style valuation. It is for this reason that you need to be so sure of exactly what rent you will be achieving from completion and onwards.

Always BEWARE of assured rental yields and guarantee periods where rents are being inflated to a degree that they push the initial purchasing price higher than it should be. When the assured period finishes you could be left with a property, which you will have to sell at a lower price.

Buy at a good price, with achievable rentals. When you come to sell, if you can show 3/4/5 years of 100% occupancy and ideally, rental growth, your investment is a lot stronger, more appealing and, inevitably, worth more in the market.

Please see below for a construction timeline of our happy client’s great student investment.

If you would like to see how Fresh Invest could help you with either developing or investing in property, please contact us.

Our proven student investment

The Fresh Invest team recently took a visit up to the North West to discuss new high yielding property projects with a number of our most trusted developers. Whilst there, we decided to visit a previous project to see how it has faired after the first year and a half’s student occupation.

proven student investment

Ashfield student properties

We are delighted to say the properties still look great, have been fully occupied this last year and are on track for much of the same this year! This means all investors receiving NET yields around 10% as promised from their properties, which still carry 8 years of new build warranty too!

This development was sold off-plan for the developer and all houses were sold prior to build start. Investors were required to put down a 30% deposit through the build period, which lessened the developer’s requirement for bank financing. This meant we could supply a first charge against the site for the build. The first charge coupled with the fact funds were released as build progressed, meant this was one of the most secure products on the market.

Since selling the properties, one of our clients has remortgaged his property, to pull out further equity for increased investment. The property valued over 10% higher than was originally sold to him only a year later. A long with this, rooms are now being rented at an increased rate to our original figures which means yields have been enhanced further still.

At Fresh Invest we pride ourselves on the success of our past investments and we are glad to say that all of our investors are very happy with this investment and looking forward to our next project!

Whether you’re a developer or investor, get in contact to see how we can help you.

Contact Fresh Invest on 01243 527 327 or email at

Overseas Property Investment – Barbados Battles Back!

Caribbean property, Resort Investment

Overseas Property Investment could be the next focus area for the savvy investor according to top property consultants, Savills. And we have a great new investment in Barbados Property, which is sure to tick all of the boxes.


In their most recent Spotlight on Prime Residential Retreats, Savills expressed that given the current strength of prime property markets globally and more locally, in Europe, many of the world’s wealthy property owners will be looking to expand their property portfolios into attractive locations abroad, which can serve as their winter retreat, whilst hopefully giving good rental returns and strong capital growth.


It was reported in the last week that the property price rises which have been experienced in London over the last couple of years, has spread to the surrounding counties. With good investments getting harder and harder to come by, it is no wonder that property investors are beginning to look further afield. As more and more investors are outbid on property in prime locations overseas, investment will naturally become more attractive as prices are driven upwards.


In 2013 the overseas market started to see a real pickup in transaction numbers, particularly in the favourite locations in the Caribbean such as Barbados, Grenada and the BVI’s.


The most popular type of property, which is going to be the main focus point for investors, is the resort style property. Resort style properties allow investors a completely hands-off investment, which will give them an income for years to come. When properties are professionally managed in a Resort environment it tends to preserve the value of the properties very well and lead to excellent capital growth opportunities


Following on from the above, we would like to announce that we will shortly be launching our new property investment in Barbados. An 89-unit resort style development, which will be fully managed by one of the top hotel operators throughout the Caribbean. Through expert rental management we are able to offer a guaranteed return for a period of 5 years. The guaranteed return is an excellent opportunity for investors to have some assurance of rental returns through the traditionally turbulent period of stabilization for a resort such as this. Prices will be along the same price point as our previous investments around these locations, consistently undercutting the market, keeping the investment open to a much broader range of purchasers, which will guarantee a quick sales process once again.


With the new development, we also still have availability on our previous development – Lantana Resort, Barbados, with a couple of very keenly priced resales. We have a number of units available on site that come complete with furniture packages as well as a few with brilliant sea views which normally come with price tags well into the millions!


For more details of any of our current investment opportunities, or to register for future investments, contact us at:

Email –

Telephone – 01243 527 327

UK Student Property Investment

UK Student Property Investment

Liverpool student investment


Why purchasing high yielding student investments through Fresh Invest is the educated choice to make.


We have been operating in the UK student property investment market for a number of years now with projects nationwide. In the time we have been in this market, we have seen student investments of all shapes and sizes, offering yields from 8% up to 12% NET and guaranteed for anywhere up to 10 years! The investments are normally sold as either student pods, studios or HMO houses, new build or refurbishment. Here are some potential pitfalls to look out for:


  • Over-valued property
  • Unachievable rental prices
  • Large deposits through build schedule with little security
  • Pigeon holed property (only ever usable as student property)
  • Incomplete information (are rents inclusive of bills?)
  • Is the area popular with students?


Since the inception of the student pod, the market has been filled by a lot of developers looking to make a quick buck here and there. Offering products which, when investigated properly, do not stack up from a yield or a price perspective. The biggest thing to look out for is to see if the price has been “loaded” in order to pay back a guaranteed return. The easiest way to check this is to use comparables to compare the quoted rental prices, you may well notice that the prices quoted in sales literature are not going to be achievable, those prices are used to get you to pay more for the property up front, they can then be fed back in a guaranteed rental period. Once the guarantee period finishes, you are likely to be left with an over-valued, underperforming asset.


We don’t think student pods should be completely negated. We believe that there will always be a large number of students that like to live in this type of accommodation. It is social and gives students their own space, which is important. However, student pods are not our preferred method of investment in this market and the largest reason for this comes down to resaleability. Although resales are possible, the market is restricted purely to investors and the price will always be subject to the rental potential of the unit.


Our preferred method of student investment is with HMO’s, student cluster flats or studio apartments. These 3 types of investment give the increased flexibility of a property that can be sold to the owner-occupier market, if for any reason you ever struggled to attract student rentals. Another advantage of this type of investment is that the properties are all a mortgageable product, meaning you can leverage your funds to achieve returns in excess of 20%


Our last student project was a fantastic success with 9 x 6 bed HMO’s in Liverpool, all sold off-plan within 2 months of marketing. All of the properties were rented for completion with 100% occupancy at the quoted rental prices, giving NET yields of around 10%. All of the properties on this development are 100% occupied for the 2014/15 academic year too!


Our Next Investment


For our next student investment, we are partnered with the same developer as the last, who has a good track record in delivering projects on time and to a great specification. We will be building 27 x HMO properties in Liverpool, with deposits of 35% put down through the build schedule and only released upon particular stages of construction, signed off by an independent architect. Yields will be 10% NET after all costs and because this will again be a mortgageable property, we expect cash on cash returns around 20%


For more details of this and future property investments, register here

Barbados Property, Weston Resort – promised vs delivered

Barbados Property Weston Resort CGI pool area


Barbados Property Weston Resort

As our property investment in Barbados, Weston Resort approaches completion, we thought we would show our valued clients some details of another success story for investors on a Fresh Invest Overseas Property Investment.

We started selling the Weston Resort development back in 2010, after a long period of due diligence where we looked at every development up and down the coastline of Barbados we settled with Weston Resort for a number of reasons:

  • Weston Resort comfortably out priced any similar development in the locality,
  • The developer for Weston Resort is a well established company in the UK with long term plans in Barbados,
  • Through a good presale phase and innovative payment plans we knew the developer had the funds to build,
  • All funds from buyers were ring-fenced and only used to build on this development,
  • The apartments were all sold as freehold condominiums, giving the purchaser maximum control post completion,
  • Common areas are owned by the owners’ co-operative meaning maintenance fees are kept low… In some cases, 90% lower than surrounding developments!
  • There were a number of offers from professional rental operators, who on completion were happy to take on the rental management of the apartments.
  • Through our due diligence we found that the apartments should yield in excess of 10% AFTER management costs.

As soon as we launched Weston Resort it got a great response and many units were sold at very early stages to savvy investors who could see the value on offer. Investors took advantage of flexible payment plans and were thrilled to see such security throughout the build program, with individual stages being signed off prior to funds being released from their solicitor to the developer.

One thing which we came to notice very quickly was the professionalism of the developer we were partnered with. All purchasers on the development were given updates through the build schedule of the progress along with anything else which was having an effect on the progress.

All purchasers were also given access to their own online secure area where construction pictures were posted regularly and owners were also given the chance to design the interior of their apartment using a clever program put together by the developer, where it would simulate the choices made for the purchaser online.

Now the development is in its completion phase, we do have a number of units for resale from purchasers whose situation have changed since their investment. The resales are all priced very well. With prices from $248,950 these are still far better value than the local competition.

Contact us today to discuss any of the resale apartments we currently have available and we will be happy to talk you through the development and arrange any viewings or purchases you may like to make.

Email –

Telephone – +44 (0) 1243 527 327

Freephone – 0800 043 6956

Barbados property – promised vs delivered

As construction continues at an admirable rate on our Barbados Property Investments, we believed now would be a good time to update investors with exactly how the developer did, with a picture of what was promised on one of our investments and what is being delivered as we near completion.

Ixora Resort is a development of ten one bed apartments and one, duplex two bed apartment. The development was priced very well by the developer and therefore sold out long before completion.

One of the real benefits for investors in Ixora Resort was the fact that, due to the low initial purchasing prices they make fantastic investments as well as an ideal holiday home. The rental rates on the west coast of Barbados are typically very high, so it does not take many weeks occupancy to make these apartments a very high returning investment. All of the apartments were sold as freehold condominiums with no usage restrictions, which is a rarity in Barbados, where many developments will limit personal usage to 5 weeks per year.

The developer of our resorts in Barbados does not just offer great prices, but they offer security when investing in their off-plan developments. They also offer an online area to each purchaser with details of any correspondence had with the developer, a running construction progress page and the ability to change the internal specifications of apartments from colour choices down to the relocation of non load bearing walls.

We have always felt that it is important, when investing off-plan, to invest with a developer that has long term plans for the area you are investing in. The developer of our Barbados investments has another 3 sites in Barbados, you can be sure they will try to satisfy every client’s best interest so that they are able to continue selling out developments going forward.

With this, we thought we would exclusively tell our clients that they have purchased another site and we will soon begin the marketing process on another great Barbados investment. The site is a beautiful south coast hotel which will be refurbished and turned into self-contained apartments, from studios to 2 beds. Prices will be kept low like their previous two developments in Barbados and the fact that this development is beachfront will only help it achieve sold out status even quicker than the last developments.

Below is an example CGI for Ixora Resort and then a picture just prior to completion.


Holetown apartments


Holetown apartments
For details of future developments or questions on current developments, please contact us.

Property Developer Case Study

property investment case study, developer example

The Problem:

We were contacted by a Liverpool based property developer who owned various sites across the city but because of the lack of bank funding available was unable to build these sites out.

This situation is rampant with small to medium size developers who have historically had good relationships with their banks but because of the severe financial restrictions imposed to many main stream lenders has become untenable.

This particular developer had a 10 year track record in providing top class residential accommodation and had successfully built over 100 apartments and houses in that time.

It was important for him to trade through this downturn.

As bank funding was not available, we needed to achieve healthy deposits from the investor, whilst making sure we do not expose them to unnecessary risk.

We also needed to come up with a property investment that was strong enough to attract off plan sales in a market that had predominantly moved away from it.

The Solution:

After reviewing a number of his sites, we came across one in Wavertree, this site had great connections to both Liverpool Universities and major transport routes. Wavertree also has a nice mix of residential and student accommodation.

Student Property Investment has become a “buzz word” in the investment industry. With the Government slashing funding for Universities, many have had to rely on third party builders to keep up with student demand.

We are big fans of student houses, we believe they offer a very important option over student pods in that houses can be sold and valued as residential property, with pods your exit strategy is severely reduced.

The development is on a road called Ashfield, this is predominantly terraced houses so building more terraced houses to fit with the area seemed the logical choice.

Our next step was to put together an investment package and do due diligence on occupancy and room rates. Our due diligence was concluded in 2 weeks after numerous conversations with letting and management agents. We decided on Downings for our management and letting agency, Downings have a long standing relationship with the developer and are one of the largest student landlords, developers and management companies in Liverpool.

We wanted to structure this student property investment in a way where the developer could be happy that the deposit money he will use to build is secure; and the investors risk in minimised by only releasing a % of the deposit at specific build stages.

We achieved this by asking for a 30% deposit in 2 stages, 15% at exchange and 15% when building is wind and watertight. The 15% is released in 3 stages and only after an architect has signed the previous stage off. This only exposes the investor to 5% of his funds at any one time but the 15% held by the developers solicitor means the developer can rest assured the money is there when needed.

We asked for a reservation fee of £2,000 which is fully refundable should planning not be achieved.


We launched the Ashfield Student Property Investment to our clients in the form of a 4 part email, 3 parts detailing different points of the investment process and the last concluding all information.

We sold out the entire scheme in 7 weeks, investors bought because of the stability of the off plan purchase process and the achievable returns available.

The developer can now move forward with his planning application safe in the knowledge the entire site is pre sold off plan.

Student Property Investment – The Facts

Student Pod investment has most definitely been the “buzz word” in property investment over the last year.

It seems new pod developments are being marketed on a daily basis but are they really all they are cut out to be?

Let’s look at the facts:

History of student property investment

Let’s start with the reason all of these private student halls are being built?

The 2010-2011 academic year saw grants for capital projects, such as new buildings, cut by 58% in cash terms to £223m. In the 2009-2010 academic year, universities received £532m for building works.

Because of this universities were not able to respond to the increased demand from students and had to start to rely on 3rd party builders to satisfy that demand.

Student Pod developers can be easily classed into 2 different categories.

1. Large developers that are cash rich and can build out with their own funds:

This type of developer can afford to purchase a site, gain planning then forward sell to a fund at between 5-8% yields. Generally the developer will secure a FRI lease from the University for 25 years or so. The fund will then agree to purchase on completion.

2. Smaller developers or land owners that want to maximise their profit from land owned:

This type of developer/land owner generally either has an option on or owns the prospective land but does not have the funds to build out. They need to find 3rd party funding outside of the mainstream. These are generally the types of development that are offered to the individual investors.

3rd Party funding is provided by the investors who put down a percentage of the purchase price on exchange which is used by the developer in the construction process.

The absolute key to this type of proposal is to protect the investors deposit, this can be done by staging the tranches in which it is paid to the developer and making sure that a solicitor holds all deposits in a client account. For the developer to receive funds an independent architect would need to sign off each build stage.

How are they priced?

Good question, I will show you how they should be priced first of all.

  1. You decide what you want to build, so self contained pods, houses or flats.
  2. You work out what rental each room should achieve and the number of weeks they will be rented at
  3. You then work out the monthly, then yearly income that can be derived from the site, taking away the maintenance and management fee to give a net figure, divide this by the yield you want to offer and this gives you a sale price.
  4. Take away the agents fee and the site cost and you have net profit to the developer.

If the developer is happy with the level of profit then the investment goes to market, if not, it should be canned.

The Problem:

I won’t beat around the bush, its greedy developers or agents.

Normally when you get to point 4 above and it doesn’t work then it’s the end of the line, unless the developer wants to take less profit or the agent wants to take less commission.

What seems to be happening now is that investment companies use astronomical weekly rentals along with a high number of rental weeks to achieve higher rental returns, and in turn higher sales figures. Sometimes they guarantee this for a year or two but this is just worked into their profit.

I’m seeing a lot of opportunities that are advertised with a guaranteed return for 2 years but with absolutely no comparables to show what these pods will rent for after those 2 years.

An example, if we work to £100pw over 50 weeks -20% for management and maintenance = £4,000 (£40,000) on a 10% yield.

If this doesn’t work, increase the figure to £125pw over 52 weeks – 20% for management and maintenance = £5,200 (£52,000) on a 10% yield.

So you’ve paid £12,000 more for a property already, the developer can afford to guarantee this for 2 years because it will only cost him £3,000 if he rents at the figures of £100pw over 50 weeks.

The downside for the investor is that not only have they paid £12,000 more for the property, but their property will only be achieving a 7.6% yield after the first 2 years!

How would I know if the rentals are realistic?

A good investment company should provide you with full due diligence on the investment opportunity offered. It isn’t enough to offer a guarantee, you should be provided with comparables that show the rental being guaranteed is correct.

All investment companies should have conducted this due diligence as its service to you, if it’s not been done; you need to ask yourself why.

Don’t bury your head in the sand….You need to conduct your own due diligence as well, you can do this by phoning the university accommodation office and ask them about the area you are looking to buy the pod in, also speak to letting agents, its sometimes best to pose as an existing landlord, say you are looking to let your property and ask what you may get for it.

Is Student Accommodation sustainable and what happens if the market declines?

Whilst student numbers remain strong, yes it is. Liverpool universities showed an increase in student numbers last year and good quality student accommodation in favourable areas will always be in demand. What we will start to see is the death of the single landlord that owns a badly furnished house in an average area. I know when I was a student this was our only choice outside of halls. We will see good quality student houses and apartments that are regularly refurbished and well managed flourish but ones that are not will decline.

The management of student accommodation has moved forward massively over the last 10 years, gone are the days that a large percentage of landlords shied away from the student market; with a strong professional management company there should be no more hassle renting to students than there is to professional tenants.

Barbados property investment – now and our future plans

As many of our clients know, we are working with an excellent developer in Barbados, offering some very strong Barbados Property Investments, as their primary agent in the UK we are always first to release their newest offerings.

The developer we are working with is currently in the process of completing two stunning developments on the West Coast of Barbados in St James. One development, Ixora Resort, is a small block of just 11 apartments in total, in the town of Holetown, offering a prime position just 150 metres from the new Limegrove centre and less than 500 metres from the beautiful west coast beaches. This development is sold out and due for completion in June 2012.

The other development is Weston Resort which is currently under construction, a development of 45 apartments, also on the west coast, but just 150 metres from the beach. Many of the apartments on this development have beautiful sea views; we have a couple of apartments available priced from just US$299,000 making a very good investment as well as a very good purchase from a lifestyle point of view. One of the standout features on this development, apart from the excellent prices, is the fact that all apartments are sold as freehold condominiums so there are no usage restrictions, owners can also benefit from the management of a professional rental operator if required. If you would like some further details of any of our available apartments please contact us here.

Both of our Barbados developments have remained some of the most popular investments we have ever presented to our clients for a variety of reasons, one of which is down to Barbados’ long-standing popularity with holidaymakers. Many of our purchasers on both Weston and Ixora Resort have purchased due to the unlimited usage and the prospect of some very good rental returns upon completion, this gives them the opportunity of securing a price in a traditionally strengthening market, whilst benefiting from a good rental revenue and the opportunity to retire in the apartment in the future or sell the apartment on for a significant profit.

The developer we have been working with has just agreed terms on the purchase of a new development site in Barbados which will offer another fantastic opportunity for both investment and lifestyle purchasers. The site is a prominent, beachfront, existing hotel on the south coast of Barbados, which will offer a great purchase opportunity for those clients that unfortunately missed out on either of the previous two developments. We will be releasing details shortly, so if you are interested and would like to hear more on this fantastic opportunity, please register here.

A breath of fresh air in the student property market

Liverpool Student Property Investment

Most people reading this will know that we are an advocate of the student property market here at Fresh Invest. With good management and an attractive property you can benefit from very high and secure rental yields.

With student demand increasing year upon year and a massive shortage in student accommodation currently available in the UK, it seems like Student Property is a great area for investment and many of our investors have been taking advantage of that fact and profiting

There are many different facets of student property available for investment and we feel that our Student HMO’s are the best opportunity out there right now.

Our latest Student Investment in Liverpool is ideal for those investors looking for large returns but still looking to maintain an easy exit strategy from the investment, with high capital growth.

We now have just 4 houses remaining from 9 in total on this development site and we expect them to sell quickly. The development was only released around 2 weeks ago and since then we have had significant interest in the properties.

Our Liverpool Student Investment was completely designed by us. The developer came to us at the end of last year looking for an idea of how best to develop out a piece of land he currently owned, taking advantage of its location. With our knowledge of the student market up there and previous experience of selling student property in Liverpool and the demand for that type of property from both investors and students, we designed a scheme with the investor in mind, minimising their exposure to risk, whilst maximising returns in capital and rental income.

The site lies within 2 miles of 3 major university campuses and just 2.9 miles from a fourth. With a bus stop just 100 metres from the development, communications with the university are great and students will have no problem getting to the various campuses

The investment provides the investor with the opportunity to invest just £57,000 and generate a net income of £15,310 per year, after mortgage costs, maintenance and management fees!

6 Bedroom Student Town house.

  • Price: £190,000
  • Deposit @ 30%: £57,000
  • Mortgage Amount @70%: £133,000
  • Yearly Rental Income: £25,500
  • Gross Yield: 13.42%
  • Mortgage Cost @5%: £6,650
  • Maintenance: £1,500
  • Management: £2,040
  • Net Return Per Month: £1,276 (£15,310 per annum)

If you would like some further information on any of our student property investments, please either use the appropriate contact form on the website, or send us an email at

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