Fresh Start Living signs brokerage deal with Chinese website

Salford-based tower block refurbishment specialist Fresh Start Living has agreed a partnership with online property broker SouFun Holdings, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, to boost buy-to-let investment sales.

The deal was struck at a property exhibition in Beijing hosted by SouFun Holdings in April. SouFun has 20 million registered users and employs more than 6,000 staff and is among the top 50 most popular websites in China.

Fresh Start Living's Lewis Camilleri, business development manager for Asia, said SouFun was attracted by Fresh Start's investment model that offered double figure rental yields, rental guarantees and instant equity with all its properties.

Camilleri said: "Our proven investment model generated an enormous amount of interest and feedback at the event. As China is now one of the world's wealthiest nations we aim to attract a lot of investment to the Northern property market.

"We expect about 20 Chinese investors to land in the UK every month to view our developments and to buy with confidence."

Fresh Start Living specialises in providing affordable homes to rent by refurbishing empty or under-performing properties including ex-local authority tower blocks.

The company plans to sell 1,000 properties in Manchester and Liverpool in 2011 via the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new homes but has long term plans to achieve 10,000 sales a year with 35% of that total from overseas investors such as the Chinese.

FreshStart's key developments include the historic Trafford Press building in Manchester, Madison Court in Salford and Bispham House in Liverpool. Fresh Start claims the 166 flats at Trafford Press have already been sold off-plan.

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