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Chinese buyers pour into Liverpool's student market
Brief:Chinese overseas property investors are "currently pouring into Liverpool" where they are finding "exciting opportunities" in student accommodation, says Ray Withers, Chief Executive of international agency group Property Frontiers.
"While Chinese investor interest is currently growing in major regeneration projects in the North West of England such as the Liverpool and Wirral Waters projects, the Liverpool student accommodation sector is attracting particular interest due to its affordable price point and double digit returns,” Withers told OPP. "At present, Chinese students make up the largest overseas student group in the UK, contributing around £2 billion to the economy."

And "British universities are aiming to bring student numbers up to around 900,000 over the next 15 years; a quarter coming from China's growing middle classes with the hope of generating £11 billion a year in  revenue." Chinese property investors are following their students. "It is clear that the Chinese place great value on our education system” adds Withers.  

"With the UK government actively promoting the Liverpool region to China, the Chinese are making the link between Liverpool and the student accommodation sector." He is also "showing a group of investors from Singapore around our Liverpool student projects next month." Returns are good. The Knight Frank Student Property report 2012 showed that average rents for student apartments and en-suite rooms in cities like Liverpool rose by 4% to a total return of 10.5% last year.

The Paper Mill student accommodation development in Liverpool is a typical example, offering en-suite student rooms set in a refurbished building in central Liverpool available from £48,000. “Comprising 104 en-suite student rooms, The Paper Mill sits within a superior location; situated in the heart of Liverpool, adjacent to Liverpool One shopping  centre and offers investors a 10% NET yield assured in year 1,” says  Property Frontiers.


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