Empowering female investors in Bahrain
I recently flew to the beautiful city state of Bahrain to speak to a select group of women about investment in property. My focus was on female empowerment, and investment as a way to exercise financial freedom and economic power.
We all instinctively know it’s vitally important to empower women; but it doesn’t just benefit women, it benefits the wider community. It means they can fully participate in economic life, boosting their own self-worth, and also local and national economies. It gives women the ability to enjoy and benefit from their resources, assets and income.
In recent years there has been progress integrating women more holistically into economic life, with an increasing number of women working, and better representation on company boards.
With more women working they have more of their own money, and need to maximise what they have through shrewd investment. There are many benefits of investing; the financial independence and security this brings, the elevated status and the ability to provide education for your family.
Of all the assets available to invest in, a comparison of asset growth shows that London property has more or less outperformed all other asset types, over any period.
Why is property price growth so strong in London? There are a wide range of factors and many of them are what we call fixed factors: no matter what they’ll never change. Time zone, location, legal structure; all make London extremely attractive. Other factors are increasing in importance: a relatively stable economy, a favourable exchange rate, a world class education system.
These factors have led to strong house price growth in London, outpacing growth across the UK as a whole. On average, over the long term prices in London increase by 10% per year. The large prices rises reflect a huge demand and supply imbalance: over the last decade more than 1 million people moved to London, yet only 200,000 homes were built. And this lack of housing to buy for first time buyers has led to a an increase in renters of 1.5 million since 2008. This is great news for investors who want to buy a property to rent out. Looking ahead, we are expecting fairly stable returns with growth of about 19% over the next five years.
It is clear that investment is a positive, empowering step for women to take ownership of their economic future, and purchasing property in London represents a low-risk, high return investment strategy.
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