Property prices in the North-East increase 108%

The North-East is the place to invest, say SmartNewHomes.com, as house prices have increased by 108% over the last five years, compared to average UK growth of 87% over the same period.

One factor is the extensive regeneration work around the Newcastle area, which has increased the popularity of the city with investors.

One such development is Ochre Yards at Gateshead Quays, due for completion in July 2006.

The development is on the site of the original Greensfield Railway Works buildings and is the largest urban residential scheme outside of London.

Smart Investor Services, the investment service from SmartNewHomes.com is currently offering 15% discount from list prices at Ochre Yards with just a 5% deposit. Prices at the development start at 139,400.

The development comprises over 600 one- and two-bedroom apartments within walking distance from Newcastles vibrant city centre including the Metrocentre.

City-centre apartments such as these are popular with investors as they attract desirable tenants such as young professionals.

Buying a new property can often allow investors to secure competitive deals from the developer, especially if buying in bulk or off-plan and in addition, new homes are low maintenance, making them the ideal option for hands-off investors.

David Bexon, managing director of SmartNewHomes.com, says: “Canny investors have been snapping up buy-to-let in the north for many years, taking advantage of the lower house prices and spurred on by strong potential for growth boosted by substantial government regeneration schemes and the increasing popularity of northern cities.

“Gateshead and Newcastle have shown their potential with the strong price inflation seen in the local housing market over recent year and are now leading the way as hotspots of the north.

“Opportunities such as Smart Investor Services option at Ochre Yards are a great way for investors to take a slice of that growth.”

Smart Investor Services, launched in September has over 600 active members. The service matches up investors with suitable developments across the UK and overseas.

Properties are typically available at substantial discounts from the general market rate as the service passes on discounts secured from buying bulk and off-plan. In addition, partnerships with other market leaders can provide investors with expert advice on mortgages, lettings management, tax advice and currency exchange.