Property of the Month – June 2019

Locks Heath - Southampton -  General view with playground
CityPandora Close Locks Heath Hampshire
Type of homesModern 3-bedroom town houses
No. of homes4
BuiltCompleted in early 2016

Why I like the Location?

Locks Heath is between Southampton and Fareham and has good accessibility to the wide ranging employment opportunities in and around Southampton, Portsmouth and along the M27 corridor. Road access is good and although not immediately accessible, Swanwick mainline station is a short drive or long walk. There are also bus services to Southampton, Portsmouth, Warsash and Gosport.

Once an agricultural and market garden area, Locks Heath is now built up with good open spaces and is close to the beaches of the Solent, now popular with growing families.

Shopping is based primarily in the Locks Heath Shopping Village, centred on a Waitrose and Iceland but with a good selection of independent retailers and a post office. Locks Heath Junior School is rated good by Offsted.

Property Investment in Southampton

What I like about the properties?

Part of the Gallons Way development the Fund’s four assets each comprise a three bedroom town house on three floors, with dedicated parking at the rear. They form part of a terrace overlooking attractive public open space with mature trees and a children’s play area, which makes them ideal for families.

Property investing in Hampshire

How has it gone so far?

As with much of the South Eastern Region capital values have not increased by much since they were acquired 3 years ago, but they have increased in value. On top of that, the properties also saw a growth in rents.

The houses are popular and have high occupancy and it is particularly pleasing that two of the four have been continuously occupied by the same tenants since purchase, and have been subject to annual rent reviews.

Alan Collett - Fund Manager

Alan Collett’s Blog

Alan is the Fund Manager of the TM home investor fund. As a Past President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, he brings a lifetime of residential investment to Hearthstone. An experienced Chartered Surveyor and former Senior Partner of Allsop & Co, he has worked in all aspects of the acquisition, development, management and sale of residential and mixed use property. Furthermore, Alan is a member of the NHBC Council, and Chairman of the Hyde Housing Group which owns and manages 50,000 properties.

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Property of the Month – May 2019

CityBirmingham. Rea Road, Northfield
Type of homesModern 2 Bedroom apartments
No. of homes14
BuiltCompleted in 2014

Why I like the Location?

Northfield is suburb or Birmingham midway between Bourneville and Longbridge. It offers good transport into the City Centre by train in 19 minutes, or by road along the A38. The M5 and M42 are also close by for vehicle traffic.

Originally part of Worcestershire, and part of Metropolitan Birmingham since 1919, the built up na-ture of Northfield is tempered by green spaces and the proximity of the Worcestershire country-side.

There is a good selection of local shops and supermarkets for everyday needs, and a wide selection of primary and secondary schools.

What I like about the properties?

The Fund invested in 14 flats, each of two bedrooms with a variety of sizes and floor plans. Each flat has a designated parking space. The flats are always popular with tenants; indeed we still have three tenants who have made their homes with us since the blocks were finished nearly five years ago. The development has an attractive appearance and benefits from a linear park separating the homes and Rea Road itself from the railway.

How has it gone so far?

The West Midlands has performed well in recent years, with relative economic strength and good affordability. It has been an area highlighted by our top down Investment Plan as a region to focus on within our diversified portfolio.

Our investment in these flats experienced good capital growth, both from the initial negotiated discount at purchase, and capital growth since 2014. In addition, the flats had high occupancy levels and, combined strong rental value growth, are delivering regular income.

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Property of the Month – April 2019

CityHorsham (Broadbridge Heath)
Type of homesNew 2 and 3 Bedroom Houses
No. of homes14
BuiltCompleted in 2016
Gross rental yield 4.4%

Why I like the Location?

Broadbridge Heath is a master planned development to the West of Horsham. Shopping needs are met by a Tesco Extra, Homebase and Halfords and there is a Primary School and Leisure Centre.  The position of Horsham District remains a key strength.

The District is within touching distance of many areas of outstanding natural beauty, with the South Downs National Park running along the South of the District and the High Weald in the North. The beauty of the landscape sets Horsham District apart from other surrounding areas, adding to the desirability for businesses and individuals to locate here in the District.

Horsham is the main town within the District and is an important economic centre for the area, with a population of around 55,000 people, a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants and two cinemas. Horsham Station offers trains through Dorking or Gatwick into London.

What I like about the properties?

The Fund owns a mixture of 3 bedroom semi-detached and 2-bedroom terraced houses, and two 2-bedroom coach houses. They have been popular with tenants since acquisition, with 4 families who have stayed since they first moved in. Length of stay in the 2-bedroom homes is slightly shorter than in the 3-bedroom ones, with an average of 20 months occupation overall. Happy tenants who renew their tenancies and make their homes in the Funds properties are at the heart of a good investment.

How has it gone so far?

The housing market in the South East has been subdued since these homes were completed, and the rise in values has only been 2.7% with rental growth of just under 1%. However, as a national fund we have exposure to each major region, and as part of our allocation to the South East we are pleased that these homes have increased in value slightly through a difficult period and generate valuable income for investors. Long term locations in South East with vibrant local economies and commuting into London will always be popular.

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Property of the Month – March 2019

Kimmerghame Terrace, Edinburgh. Part of the TM home investor residential property fund

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Type of homesNew apartments
No. of homes8
Built2013. Two developments of apartments by Miller Homes
Gross rental yield 4.4%

Why I like the Location?

Edinburgh has the strongest economy and housing market in Scotland, and is officially the UK’s most attractive city, according to a new study commissioned by the Royal Mail. The Scottish capital excelled in measures such as education, business, community, earnings, and job opportunities, as well as green space – which makes up 28 per cent of the city.

The historic city also happens to be start-up central – most likely because office space costs half of what it costs in London.

Of the honour, Edinburgh council leader, Adam McVey, said: “It is welcome news that Edinburgh is yet again receiving recognition as the UK’s top city to live and work in. The facts demonstrating the city’s attributes are plentiful and our own statistics in Edinburgh by Numbers show that Edinburgh is a vibrant capital city with a diverse economy, an increasing population with strong investment potential.”

Arneil Drive, Edinburgh. Property investment of the month for March 2019

What I like about the properties?

Miller Homes built two schemes, Varcity South and North, about ¼ of a mile apart and both offer attractive environments, close to employment, leisure facilities the Western General Hospital and Fettes College.

How has it gone so far?

We acquired the properties some six years ago, having negotiated an bulk discount of 15% which gave a positive one off impact to the overall returns for fund investors. Since then, capital values of our properties have grown strongly in line with the rest of Edinburgh, underlying our overall investment philosophy that a portfolio of residential properties across the UK brings diversification benefits to investors.

Furthermore, as the properties have let well, they generated stable income from rents. Rental growth is continuing and one unit which has just become vacant is being marketed at a level above all existing lettings.

Rents have also risen, although more slowly at between 17% and 26%. Rental growth is continuing and one unit which has just become vacant is being marketed at a level above all existing lettings.

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Property of the Month – December 2018

Alan’s property of the month

King George’s Park, Rowhedge Village, Colchester

An attractive new development forming part of a larger regeneration scheme, which has proved popular with the Fund’s new residents.

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Property of the Month – October 2018

Quadrant Court, Wembley Park

Why I like Wembley Park

A large-scale regeneration project is generally a good place to invest, especially if you get in early. There are few larger regeneration sites in

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Property of the Month – September 2018

The Limes, Nottingham

Given our partners WealthKernel are partially based in Nottingham, it is only fitting that we start our “Property of the Month” series with one of our most recent acquisitions, The Limes in Nottingham.

Why I liked the City ?

The Investment Plan demonstrated that the Fund should invest in the East Midlands and that either Leicester or Nottingham would be suitable. Both have their strong points, but the two Universities and University Hospital, when combined with the public transport, especially the tram system (NET) just made Nottingham our choice.

Nottingham has good railway services, easy access to the M1 and a good selection of both City centre and edge of city shopping.

What I liked about the properties?

We have worked with Bellway, the parent company of the developer, and know that they build a good product. The Limes is in a convenient, but quiet location to the North West of the City Centre, with good access to university and hospital campuses.

Buying early we were able to choose house types that we thought would be good for letting, and an attractive specification.

How has it done so far?

Most importantly the houses have proved very popular with tenants and have let quickly. We hope that with good service from us and our property managers our tenants will make these great houses their homes for many years.

A quick look at the property

Investing in The Limes, Nottingham


Risk Warning

Investing involves risk. Investors should be aware that the value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise, and they may not receive back the full amount they invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
The Authorised Fund Manager is Thesis Unit Trust Management Limited, Exchange Building, St John’s Street, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1UP. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Hearthstone Investments PLC is the parent company of the Hearthstone Investments Group. Regulated business is carried out by Hearthstone Asset Management Limited. Hearthstone Asset Management Limited is an appointed representative of Thesis Asset Management Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (114354).