Category Archives: ROC Invest

Investing in the UK Student Property Market

The Student Property Market in the UK has received high acclaim both at home in the UK and across the globe. Student Accommodations has become one of the most exciting assets, according to Knight Frank. The increasing population of international students flocking to universities has put a high demand on suitable accommodations, which makes the yields from this asset far higher than the the ordinary renting options. Over £6 billion has been invested in student properties in the past 3 years.

Nevertheless, you would be wrong in assuming that by purchasing a random student property online you will begin to see a sudden influx of cool cash. As with any asset you hope to capitalize on you must invest wisely to expect a profit. So what would be the best way of going about making a smart investment in this lucrative asset class?

Adapt an HMO or Invest in a Purpose-Built?

There are some advantages of adapting an HMO – a family sized home- into a housing unit that can be rented on a room to student basis. By renting a single property to a number of students, property owners can economically invest in the accommodation of several students in one house.

On the other hand, there are several advantages to owning purpose-built accommodations. First and foremost are the more desirable and convenient locations and living standards that these purpose-built dorms offer. Which will translate in attracting higher quality tenants, in this case a more discerning type of student.

It is a simple fact that most students are showing a general preference to purpose-built accommodations. These purpose-built accommodations are also a preferred entry point for the novice investor. This is because individual pods can be purchased and managed as opposed to an entire home unit which can be an added fuss to fuss over.

Finally, purpose-built accommodations are, ironically, a higher-yield asset than HMOs despite their being a much more affordable option. Making them the more intelligent choice in the market.

University Rankings

One of the best ways to measure the quality of the student property you are considering is to verify the rankings of the universities in the vicinity. If there is a higher ranking university in the town or city in question, especially a university that is part of the Russell Group, then you can expect a much higher demand. After this, in order to ensure the top value of a property it is important that it is easily accessible to university campuses and be well located.

You can also enjoy much higher demand for your property investment by investing in properties located in towns and cities with more than one university.


Because of the growing numbers of students who are filling UK universities this student property market is in high demand and it is only expected continue booming as the universities lift their caps on intakes next year. Nevertheless, the student tenants are far more discerning now than they have ever been before and many investments will flop although they have all the components of a successful venture.

When investing in a purpose-built student accommodation it is important to consider the provider. If the development you invest in was produced by an experienced developer and operated by trustworthy company that has a good reputation and history of success with the student body, then you can certainly hope to enjoy some of what makes this asset field so highly celebrated.

Collaboration in Business – Understanding The Essential Value Of Collaboration

By: Kevin Dooley

The fuel of modern business is collaboration. Whether it be between executives who aim to improve the efficiency of the business, employees whose aim is to worm more efficiently or between the business and customers to create a more effective product, without collaboration the business would grind to a halt. Understanding how collaboration works, and why it is so essential.

Original Ideas & Creative Thinking

If you run a solo business, you will probably have ideas throughout the day that relate to growing or improving your business, but it is hard to know which ideas are good and actionable and which ones aren’t. This is where having a partner pays off, having someone to bounce ideas off of and who can collaborate with you and help you flesh out new ideas and kill off bad ones. Another important aspect of collaboration is that it helps to inspire original ideas and boost creative thinking. Your business partner might have an idea that improves, builds on, or is better than the idea you had, and with the power of collaboration you are able to bring new voices, thought processes, experiences and expertise into the mix, helping catapult your business to a new level of success.

Higher Productivity and Happier Employees

In larger organizations or companies, where the owner/management and workforce rarely mingle, the work environment can seem suffocating for many. New ideas are simply ‘not the way it’s done’, and the established protocols reign supreme regardless of experience or collaboration, this can lead to poor moral among the work force and can seriously hinder the productivity of the individual laborer.

On the other hand, in a collaborative work environment the constant exchange of ideas makes for a stronger sense of community, rather than feeling like mice on a wheel, employees feel like a part of the company, taking initiative and putting their best effort forward, boosting moral and productivity. Other than boosting productivity, this also leads to a more educated informed and invested workforce.

Improves Business Fluidity and Adaptation

One of the most common reasons businesses fail is due to failure to change with the times, and adapt their business model to the best modern practices. This can lead to not only stagnation, but complete business failure and a liquidation of all assets. Although sticking to what ‘worked’ might seem like the best practice, in reality it tends to lead to businesses being left behind by their peers, and fading.

Being open to collaboration, bringing in new blood and being open to adapt your business model to what is best practice at the time is essential to avoiding the pitfalls of stagnation. This is especially true with tech related businesses, where keeping up with the ever changing ‘best practices’ is key to being successful in the field. In essence, collaboration is the difference between making it to the big leagues, and getting stuck at the bottom.

Improved Problem Solving – Finding Dynamic Solutions

One of the primary purposes of collaboration is one that was touched on earlier, that of solving problems in the workplace, product, and management. Having a variety of individuals who are creative thinkers, is one of the best ways to quickly find solutions to those problems that inevitably surface in any business venture. Having a collaborative partner, or team, can help you flesh out solutions, find the root problem, and come up with creative strategies to solve them much more quickly than if you were to attempt to figure it out all on your own. BY collaborating, and being open to the ideas and suggestions of those you work with, you can effectively divide the mental work load, giving you the tools to succeed.

How To Invest In UK Student Properties

By: Kevin Dooley

Domestically and internationally, the UK student property market has a strong reputation.  With plenty of opportunities to invest, it’s the best time to get involved. Knight Frank highlights student property as the highest performing asset in the UK. The yields on student properties average higher than those in the traditional sector of buy-to-lease properties. Over 6 billion pounds has been invested in this type of property in just the past three years alone.

Even though this is a strong investment, it is a mistake to think it is easy to buy a student accommodation property and watch the money flow. It is essential to choose a purchase carefully so that it brings the returns you want. How do you invest successfully? Here are some suggestions.

Choose From Purpose-Built and HMO Properties

HMOs are family homes let out to groups of students. Each group or student rents out a room. This means a single property can be let out to a number of students at one time, making it an affordable investment that pays out regularly.

Purpose-built properties also haves a number of advantages for investors. These properties offer a higher standard of living to students and they are often found in central locations that are much sought after. These properties attract a more discriminating type of student. These days, students seem to prefer purpose-built housing.

Purpose-built properties are a benefit to investors. They are a more affordable investment than HMO properties, and they are more desirable to students. With the pods, you can invest in a single unit for students versus an entire home with multiple rooms. This is more affordable from the start yet it still yields nearly 70 percent on the original investment, making it a better choice than HMOs.

Getting Starting With Investing

First, choose the area you are most interested in investing. Take a look at the universities in the area. If the area is one that has a university with top ranks, this is an indication that the demand for housing will be great. Make sure the properties are within close proximity to the university or that they are nearest to transportation for the students to get to and from class. One thing is certain, when you invest in an area near a populated university, the demand for housing is likely to be high.

Towns that host several universities also tend to attract even more students. This is because they tend to draw in larger numbers of people because of their high quality education. The demand for attending the universities is high and so is the need for housing that is convenient to each campus.

Compare Housing Providers

The number of university students is continuing to grow. It is expect to go higher when new university caps on intakes are lifted. Still, all students are likely to be discerning about the properties in which they live. Look to see that the providers of the developments that interest you are experienced.

Be sure that the providers have a proven record of success with housing for students. The provider should have demonstrated success in managing properties as well.

Finally, do not forget to research the best prices to let your properties for, whether it is on a weekly or monthly basis. Combine this pricing choice with the area, the type of student accommodation you like, and you should find your investments successful ones.

International Investors

With high demand, an eclectic range of buildings and steadily increasing prices the UK property market represents a fertile and growing environment for overseas investors.

Indeed, whether in the heart of London or beyond to other major conurbations across the country, there is an increasing presence in the market place from international investors from far reaching areas of the world – be it China, the Middle-East, the USA or Eastern Europe.

Critical for any individual or organisation when investing in a foreign market is the need to have someone in the locality with who you can trust. Someone who can offer expert help and assistance on anything from legal matters, local financial advice or simply guidance on the best properties and locations that will ideally match the needs of your portfolio.

At ROC Invest we understand the UK property market; keeping our finger on the pulse of an ever-changing industry and up-to-date on all aspects that play a part in successful property investment.

Providing help, assistance and local knowledge we offer a comprehensive service to our international clients, affording them peace of mind that their investment are in the safe and reliable hands of industry experts. Our services extend from guidance on the right types of property for each individual client to a range of different day to day services including property management and help with legal and financial matters through to the purchasing or re-selling of properties or the setting up of rental and similar financial arrangements.

There’s never been a better time for international clients to invest in the UK property market and if you’re looking to make that step then please do get in touch with us to find out how we can assist and make the process stress-free and simple while working tirelessly to maximise your returns.

UK Property Investment for Investors in UAE

Invest in a Vibrant Environment

If you’re an investor in the UAE looking for a vibrant market full of profitable potential then it might be time to consider the UK property market.

A modern, progressive market, designed around the high-tech, fast-living needs of twenty-first century life while founded upon a bedrock of ancient history and the rich cultural heritage that gave birth to Shakespeare, Dickins and Austen.

With a diverse and ever increasing population, the UK property market is ripe for investment offering a range of investment opportunities on a wide variety of property types for long or short-term investment and the continually buoyant buy-to-let market.


Demand for properties is high within the UK marketplace in general, representative of the fact that house prices are rising year on year with forecasts showing this trend to continue in years to come. While this in itself suggests now to be a good time to invest for potential longer-term returns, it is in the buy-to-let market that further opportunity presents itself.

The combination of rises to demand and price has led to many UK residents turning to the rental market as a viable and affordable alternative to purchasing.

And, with the number of people searching for accommodation growing at a rate faster than properties are becoming available (or mortgage affordable) so the opportunity for buy-to-let investors grows as they answer the call for more rental accommodation.

With historically low interest rates available on buy-to-let mortgages this further incentivises the market for those with capital to invest.

London & Beyond

The capital city, London, is one of the world’s truly global cities and remains one of the most desirable destinations for living and working anywhere in the world; as evidenced by its ever-increasing population. A city blessed with iconic landmarks, uber-modern facilities and diverse, cosmopolitan culture there is opportunity aplenty. And, reflective of the country at large, with steadily increasing house prices, greater demand for quality rental accommodation and a population expected to increase to beyond 9 million by 2020, there is a lot of positivity around investing in the local property market.

Beyond London, the rest of UK offers even further opportunities for investment in a country which, lest we forget, remains one of the world’s more prosperous nations. With re-vitalised modern economies growing across the various regions of England and Wales, as well as opportunities in traditional rural markets, there has never been more choice in the market for investors.

Different Properties, Different Markets

There is real variety of property types with the UK property market, each of which offering a different investment opportunity for local and overseas investors. Some of the more in demand properties that one may wish to consider include:

  • City Apartments for Urban Living – in demand for single, young city workers
  • Semi-Detached 2 – 3 Bed Starter homes – high demand and rising prices offer an opportunity for buy-to-let investment.

Make the most of your investment with ROC

As an expert in the UK property market we’ll help you make, not only the best choice for your portfolio, but also the maximum returns possible once you’ve made the investment. If you’re based in the UAE then it pays to work with a trusted expert local to the area in which you’ve invested.

We understand the market, keeping up to speed with changes to legislation, moving trends and prices to ensure that our clients get the most from their investments every step of the way.

Providing consultation on the best kind of property investment that will work for your circumstances we’ll also help you manage every aspect of your portfolio from buy-to-let mortgage offers, overseeing the day to day aspects of your lettings or providing you with the latest help and advice on legal, financial or taxation issues.



UK Property Investment for Investors in Russia

Why Now Is The Right Time for UK Investment

With rising house prices, low interest rates and a growing population base searching for homes the UK property market represents a healthy opportunity for investors in Russia.

Blending the appeal of a stable country, a rich history and diverse culture with the progressive, modern and high-tech living of cities such as London the property market has a wide range of different investment opportunities with the potential for strong yields and long-term stable growth over the coming years.

The Buy-to-Let Market

This is a strong and growing sector of the UK Property market. As demand continues to increase for properties, particularly among younger people starting out in their careers, so the prices increase. In so doing many are turning to the rental market as an affordable alternative.

The scenario is set to continue, an aging economy seeing more people entering the property market than there are houses available. For the prospective buy-to-let investor this, naturally, presents an opportunity.

With historically low interest rates available on buy-to-let mortgages there is incentive for those with capital to invest turning to the rental sector and with the demand for quality rented accommodation on the increase, particularly within city centre living, then the possibilities of sustainable long-term returns becomes ever more viable for the international investor.

London & Beyond

London has long since been one of the more exciting, attractive and desirable locations to live and work. From its historic landmarks, iconic buildings and general vibrancy to its status as a global centre for culture, fashion, finance and big business. The nation’s capital city is one of the world’s great cosmopolitan metropolises with residents hailing from all corners of the world. From a property investment aspect it ticks so many boxes, variety of property type, ultra-modern facilities, robust public transport systems, quality schools, universities and lifestyle options available. And, with predictions that the population will continue to grow past 9 million by 2020, the demand for housing in the city is unlikely to diminish, driving further opportunities for property investment growth in the years to come.

And, of course, looking further afield there are new opportunities presenting themselves beyond the bright lights of London. With progressive and modern economies growing out of traditional industrial centres in the North of England, the Midlands and into Wales, alongside plans for greater transport links so the country is opening up to ever more possibilities for property investment from overseas.

Variety of Choice

Another factor for considering the UK property market is the different types of property from which to choose to invest. One of the most densely populated countries in Europe, the UK has vast number of urban and rural communities, all with their own levels of demand, all offering a range of different properties and opportunities.

This could be inner-city living such as modern apartments or docklands style loft conversions, traditional suburban family environments, rural cottage settings or large, affluent dwellings ripe for long-term investment or even to settle down and live. Each type having its own character, its own set of features and suitability to the whole spectrum of budgets.

Help from ROC Invest

At ROC Invest we understand the UK property market and offer unsurpassed help, advice and support for Russian investors looking to invest in property across Britain, be it in London or beyond.

Our services include:

  • Sourcing and advising on appropriate finance, mortgage arrangements and loans
  • Up to date advice on tax and legislation
  • Consultation on the right property types and locations to match budget and portfolio requirements
  • Property management services affording you peace of mind that your investment is in good hands in your absence.




UK Property Investment for Investors in Hong Kong

Why Invest in the UK?

As an investor in Hong Kong, looking to the UK property market for investment opportunities continues to make sound economic sense.

With a continually diverse, modern and growing economy in addition to an ever increasing population, the demand for quality affordable accommodation has never been greater, providing significant opportunities for those looking to invest in the burgeoning buy-to-let market.

The Rise of the Rental Market

With increasing demand has come increasing house prices, a trend set to continue in the coming years which, alongside interest rates at an all-time low, presents a landscape ripe for profitable returns on investment.


Quite simply, rising house prices in the first-time buyer sector of the market has led to more and more looking towards rental properties as a viable, more affordable proposition. This is especially true in the larger conurbations in particular London where demand for rental properties has soared in the past decade. And, the population in the capital expected to go beyond 9 million by 2020, this is a situation unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Diversity of Properties

The UK property market is rich in diversity, each presenting its own features and advantages for the international investor.

Modern inner-city apartments present a sound option for young city workers seeking conveniently located accommodation while the shortfall in affordable starter homes offers further opportunity for buy-to-let investors. And, with a steadily increasing market those looking to invest in high-end value properties can have confidence in long-term stability and growth.

Great British Investment

Investing into the UK property market is to invest into a vibrant modern country while managing to retain a firm and visible hold on its long and varied history. From the natural attractions of rural England to historic towns and landmarks the UK continues to retain its rich heritage even as it embraces the most cutting-edge aspects of twenty-first century living. And it is this blend of modern and historic, alongside a stable political landscape, which gives the country wide international appeal and provides encouragement to investors that they are putting their resources into a safe environment.

Indeed, just to take London as an example, the city has long since been one of the most attractive locations to invest. A truly cosmopolitan hub, the city is a centre for both finance and fashion, an iconic location that year on year draws in new inhabitants searching for new opportunities. It is to this sense of ever-expanding vibrancy that provides London and the UK at large such an exciting place for property investment.

ROC Invest Make Investments in the UK Easy

If you’re looking to take advantage of the many benefits attached to investment in the UK property market as a Hong Kong based investor then let ROC Invest help make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Not only do we know why the UK offers a sound investment, we know HOW to provide you with the best chance of healthy, profitable returns. As experts in UK property investment and the buy-to-let market we’ll help you create and manage your British portfolio through every step and procedure. From securing the best mortgages, to legal and tax advice through to a thorough property management service including lettings management, furnishing and re-selling should that ever be required.

At ROC Invest we’re here to ensure that your property is working for you and that your portfolio, however large or small it may be, is delivering to its maximum output ensuring that you are receiving the full benefits achievable in the robust, vibrant and ever-expanding UK property market.

What makes property investment so popular?

Of the many ways available to invest your surplus income, property is one of the most popular. Despite the recession, the housing crisis and the aftershocks these have caused, it has firmly stood its ground as a key area for investment alongside cash, bonds and shares. At the moment, the wider availability of buy-to-let mortgages, changes in stamp duty and the pension reform are all factors encouraging a wider pool of people than ever before to take the plunge and invest in property. But why is it so enduringly popular?

Property is easy to understand

Many people prefer the stability of investing in bricks and mortar. There’s a reassuring solidity about a building, about putting your money into something you can physically see. Even the terminology is more familiar. Most people have either gone through the process of buying a property themselves or been around others who have done so. All you need to do is accumulate enough money to pay a deposit and get your sums right so you know you can make the monthly payments. Thereafter, in terms of managing your investment, there are plenty of expert brokers, letting agents and asset management property specialists ready, willing and able to look after your property on your behalf from thereon in, unless you actively want to get involved.

There will always be a demand for it

People always need housing. That’s never been truer than right now, when UK Government figures estimate that there will be 232,000 more households each year, at least up until 2033. Many thousands fewer houses than we need are being built annually; and it is still fairly hard for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder, so it stands to reason that you should theoretically be able to fill your property the majority of the time. This is very dependent on your undertaking careful research into your tenant target market before you buy, of course. Young, professional couples will be looking for one to two bedroom flats with great transport links, restaurants and other leisure facilities close by, for example. A house close to open spaces, good schools and other child-friendly amenities can be marketed effectively to those with young families.

Your tenants will pay for your mortgage

Get your maths and your research right before you buy and it is almost certain that a stable and ongoing supply of tenants will pay off your mortgage through monthly rents while at the end of it, when you are ready to retire, your investment largely remains intact at least – and hopefully even increases in value. Many investors also generate an ongoing income in addition.

You can add value to it

Unlike bonds and shares, which are at the mercy of the market, if you physically own a buy-to-let or a flat, there is nearly always some home improvement you can invest in that will increase the asking price of the property in future. Whether you are looking at renting or selling over the longer term, there is a wealth of things you can do to add value, from simply improving the kerb appeal to a large-scale refurbishment that adds an extra bathroom or an extension for example, if you have the money available.

It’s for the long term

Property investment is not about making a buck. Most people who grow rich from portfolios of buy-to-let property tend to be thinking longer-term – say 15 to 20 years into the future. So while it’s not something you can back off from quickly or without cost if the worst happens and you need to liquidise your assets, it also provides an effective method of saving for your retirement – which you may well be able to do sooner than the rest of the population, if you do your homework effectively!

Preparing for property investment

We all need a dream, especially while we’re in the process of digging ourselves out of debt and working towards financial stability. And it’s fair to say that people with clearly-defined goals achieve them sooner and more easily than those who don’t know where they’re going. One thing to set your sights on for future is investing in property. This can provide a long-term income to supplement wages and other investments. If you’ve always had an idle fantasy of having a portfolio of property, it’s not unachievable. However, a lot of planning needs to go on behind the scenes before you take action. Why not set a bigger-picture goal and start working towards it? It can be really motivating to have something tangible to work towards and inspire you.

All to your credit

First of all, you absolutely must check your credit score. Unless you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy a property outright, you’ll need good credit to be able to take out a mortgage in future. Very often, your credit score will also affect the amount you are allowed to borrow, so it’s worth working to improve that. If your credit rating has taken a hammering in the past, it can take a few years; so why not get a free credit report and score and check what you can do to improve your standing? You can often get a free one-off report from one of the big names in the UK, such as Experian.

We know where you live

The fact is that it is easier to get a loan for a buy-to-let if you are already a home-owner. So as soon as you can, you should plan towards buying rather than renting your own property. Buy-to-let mortgage deals are more plentiful at the moment – and often work out cheaper – than residential ones, but don’t think you can subvert the system by pretending you will be renting out your first home if you intend to live in it. Since the financial crisis, rules surrounding mortgages have become a lot tougher. In fact there are stiff financial penalties for misrepresenting the purposes of the mortgage you are applying for.

Onwards and upwards

Once you have a foot on the property ladder, re-mortgaging to release the equity in that property is a good way to get started. Alternatively, you can take out a new buy-to-let mortgage. You will still typically need a deposit of up to 25% of the asking price, so it’s imperative to continue your savings plan even when you have a home of your own. Remember to keep on reviewing your finances, because if you fail to meet mortgage repayments on either, it is at risk of repossession.

Aim your sights low(er)

Be realistic about what you can afford in terms of a second property. Let’s face it, you aren’t going to be able to afford Buckingham Palace in this lifetime. But if you are looking primarily at property ownership as a way to get a better rate of return on your money than a bog-standard savings account, an increasingly popular option is involvement in peer-to-peer (‘p2p’) lending platforms. These schemes facilitate investment in rental property indirectly. In p2p investing, your money is placed into a pool to fund a diversified portfolio of property. You have no direct stake in physical property, but the platforms boast returns of up to 12%. They’re still in their infancy, though, so you should read the small print very carefully indeed before investing. If you prefer to own something you can see, you could consider investing in one or more units in student accommodation blocks – these kinds of additions to your portfolio can provide high-yield long-term returns and are a great way to start small while thinking big.

Is it the right time to add property investments to your portfolio?

The secret to good investment that will give you financial stability now and in the future and allow you to live the dream is to diversify. If you spread your money into different investment options, then if one fails, you’re backed by the others. If you’re looking at where to get started, there is plenty of valuable advice on investment for beginners. If, on the other hand, you are starting to consider yourself a bit of an expert, maybe it’s time to make the leap to property investment. But is it the right time?

From the market point of view, probably. You’ll have heard the saying ‘safe as houses’ – this is why many are tempted to invest in property. Owning a property is a solid, realistic and tangible thing, unlike stocks and shares that often seem somewhat nebulous and even mysteriously complex.

Have you got what it takes, emotionally and financially? Property investment brings its own unique trials and tribulations; and so here are a few aspects you should factor in before you take the plunge.

Are you a long-term strategist?

Be aware that once you enter the property market as a buy-to-let landlord, you’re committing yourself to a longer-term strategy. You will not be able to liquidise that asset readily and in a hurry – selling property takes time, even more so if you have long-standing tenants in situ. More than that, it can be expensive too: you should be prepared for the administration, legal expenses and Capital Gains Tax too, if you make a profit from the sale. All this will eat greedily into your profits. Are you prepared to tie your money up, potentially for years? Or do you like to keep things as flexible as possible? If you’re a short-term thinker, it may not be right for you at this stage.

Are you risk-ready?

With every investment comes an element of risk, so you should rehearse these thoroughly before making a final decision. Not many first-time investors will have the cash available to buy a second property to lease outright. You will probably find that you’ll have to re-mortgage your existing property, releasing funds in order to buy the second property outright. This, of course, puts your own home at risk if you fail to keep up with repayments for whatever reason. The alternative is to take out a further, buy-to-let mortgage, but this typically entails having a large deposit – as much as 25% of the asking price. And of course, on top of this, you will have fees to pay, which can all mount up a lot quicker and higher than you might think.

Do you have a decent contingency fund?

Say you buy a slightly worse-for-wear property that needs some work – can you afford to replace the roof? Do you have money in the bank to get a damp-proof course done? Perhaps your tenant defaults on their rent for several months and it takes time and expensive legal help to extract the money – or the tenant – out of the property. You’d be naïve at this stage not to expect the unexpected. So make sure you have money laid aside in case of a rainy day, whatever the scenario.

…A hard head for business?

Enthusiasm and passion can give you the drive to go a long way in life, but you must remember that this investment is one that’s meant to contribute towards securing your long-term future. You have to be hard-headed about the whole venture. It’s a business. Beware of falling in love with the wrong property for the rental market you’re aiming at and spending more than you should on features that won’t add value. If you’re worried about getting too emotionally involved in the process, but still fancy yourself as a landlord, perhaps you should consider an arm’s-length approach, using the services of a specialist buy-to-let property brokerage that can give you honest, impartial advice and add value, as well as property investments, to your portfolio.