Bradford Property Investment Guide

A growing city with a strong economy

The population of the region is currently around 5.3 million and has risen at about 4.9% over the past ten years.

Bradford’s economy is worth around £8.3 billion, making it a major powerhouse in the region, It is forecast to grow to more than £9 billion by 2016, contributing around 8.4% of the region’s output and making the district the third largest (after Leeds and Sheffield) in Yorkshire & Humberside. Bradford has a buoyant property market, with the cost of residential property in the area has risen just under 3.3% in the last year.

Prices are also up some 5.2% over the last five year period. With property currently at around 70% below the national average price, it is currently a good area for investment. Employment figures across the Bradford district are very encouraging. There has also been an increase in the number of self-employed people in the region, which indicates there is growing confidence in Bradford’s economy. Leeds Bradford airport is a major employer in the area. It handles around 3.3 million passengers annually and has a growth rate of around 11% year on year.

Then there’s the Westfield effect. The £260 million Westfield development in Bradford is due to complete at the end of 2015. It’s estimated the shopping centre will attract over 9 million people a year. Westfield has a proven track record for picking areas they know they can transform into desirable locations. The opening of a Westfield tends to act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the whole area. House prices in Fulham and Newham increased at a higher rate (12.79%) than the rest of London (3.10%) when Westfield opened in their area. That means Bradford property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for property in a major city.

Economy & Employment

A real diversity of employment is keeping Bradford a step ahead of the rest.

Leeds Bradford airport is a major employer in the region.  It handles in the region of 3.3 million passengers annually and provides flights to 95 destinations in 32 countries across the world.

Bradford was recently made the world’s first ‘City of Film’ by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). For proven links to production, distribution, commercialisation of films, hosting film festivals and other film-related events.

Financial giants Santander and Yorkshire Building Society are based here, along with Provident Financial plc who is one of the city’s biggest employers.

Other companies located in Bradford are Morrison Supermarkets (founded in Bradford by William Morrison), BASF, and digital communications giant Pace Micro Technology. World-renowned stylists Kahn Designs and Seabrook Crisps, are also based there.

Investment

The £260 million Westfield retail development is due for completion in December 2015.

The Kirkgate Shopping Centre has recently undergone massive regeneration and plans to upgrade the facade of the 1960s building have been submitted. The long-awaited £260 million Westfield development is also due to be completed in December 2015. That makes two massive retail projects in the area. The development has already generated a healthy interest and retail giants are snapping up space in the new complex.

The Arcadia Group have signed up for stores, which include Topshop, Topman, Evans, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Wallis, Miss Selfridge brands and Hollister. In addition to these Debenhams will be one of three anchor stores along with Next which will be spread over two floors. Marks and Spencer have also signed up. Additional retailers expected to occupy space in the Westfield are jewellery chain Beaverbrooks, along with clothing giant River Island and newsagent WHSmith.

Transport

Air: Leeds Bradford International Airport is 6 miles to the north-east of the city, there has been rapid expansion in recent years and is the home base of economy Airline Jet2.com.

Rail: Bradford Interchange is the main rail station serving Bradford. It is a combined rail and bus station, with the two being built alongside each other making for ease of transition between transport modes. Forster Square and Bradford Interchange stations are part of the West Yorkshire Metro.

Bus: Arriva, First, TLC Travel, Yorkshire Tiger, National Express and Transdev Keighley and District all operate from the Bradford interchange, covering the local town services and all destinations outside Bradford.

Road: Bradford is accessed by several trunk roads, the A647 between Leeds and Halifax, the A650 between Wakefield and Keighley, the A658 to Harrogate and the A6036 to Halifax via Shelf. The M606 is a spur off the M62 motorway and connects Bradford’s ring road with the national motorway network.

Education

Schools: Being a high-density population, there is no shortage of educational institutions in Bradford’s district. 167 primary schools, 38 secondary schools and 3 independent schools account for the education of the population here.

Further Education: Shipley College is a General FE college. The college is a small place mainly based in the village of Saltaire. Other sites are used for lifestyle and adult learning and include local schools and Community Centres. Bradford College is one of the FE Colleges with the largest HE provision in England. It has approximately 170 full and part-time HE courses to choose from. The degree courses are validated by Teesside University.

Higher Education: The University of Bradford has the highest graduate employment rate in Yorkshire. It has over 10,000 students and covers a wide range of subjects including technology and management science, optometry, pharmacy, medical sciences, nursing studies, archaeology and modern languages.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping: The Kirkgate Shopping Centre is the main retail facility in Bradford city centre, housing Primark, New Look, River Island, Bank, WHSmith, Boots, Deichmann and F. Hinds in some of its 65 shops. It also boasts an indoor market and large car parking facilities. The centre has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment recently.

Forster Square Shopping Park opened in 1995 and is adjacent to the Forster Square Railway Station. It has over 20 large retail and food units including Next, TK Maxx, Harveys, Asda Living, Outfit, Peacocks, Clarks, JD Sports, Currys, DFS, Subway, McDonald’s and Costa Coffee.

The long-awaited £260 million Westfield retail development is due to be completed in December 2015, adding yet more retail therapy availability to Bradford.

Culture & Green Spaces: Lister Park in Bradford was voted Britain’s most popular park in 2006. It gains over 1 million visitors per year and is included on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Seven of its buildings are on the Grade II listed buildings register. The main feature of the park is the grand Cartwright Hall which houses Bradford’s civic art gallery and offers contemporary exhibitions, with four permanent galleries displaying works from Bradford’s art collections.

That means Bradford Property Investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a regeneration area for your portfolio.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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