Canterbury Property Investment Guide

A strong economy in an attractive location 52% more affordable than London

The city of Canterbury is situated in the north-east of Kent. It sits on the River Stour about 55 miles east of London. It has a population of over 151,145 and is a well-known commuter town.

Nearby are Faversham, the major travel hub of Ashford, the historic town of Sandwich and the coastal towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable.

Canterbury is a popular tourist destination. It is consistently one of the most visited cities in the UK and the city’s economy is heavily reliant upon its tourism. Canterbury Cathedral is a massive attraction drawing tourists from all over the UK for centuries. The close proximity of the Eurostar at Ashford means the city is also popular with sightseers from France.

Canterbury has a large student population with three major universities in the area so demand for rental accommodation is high. This also means there’s a shortage of mid-market properties suited to professional workers. The district has the 2nd highest population in Kent and many residents use the fast train service to St Pancras to commute to London for work.

The city’s ample shopping provision caters perfectly for residents and visitors and the wide variety of cafes and bars shows how the buoyant economy is easily able to support such diversity. The average house price for Canterbury is around 14% higher than the total for Kent due to its desirability, however, it is still well below the average for London by 52%.

That means Canterbury property investment is ideal for you if you’re looking for a commuter property or seeking to invest in a major UK city. Canterbury is one of the few UK cities that is also within 90 minutes of central London. In fact, If you get the high-speed service you can arrive in under an hour.

Economy & Employment

Tourism contributes over £459 million to Canterbury’s economy annually.

Canterbury district retains approximately 4,761 businesses and about 60,000 full and part-time employees. The district is the second largest economy in Kent, since the opening of the Whitefriars shopping complex which creates thousands of jobs.

Tourism contributes £459m to Canterbury’s economy with over 7 million visitors annually and supports around 8,000 jobs. Research from Visit England suggests that for every £50,000 increase in the value of tourism for an area, one sustainable full-time job is created. The role of Canterbury’s visitor economy is therefore linked to future growth & development.

Other contributors to the economy are projects such as the Canterbury Enterprise Hub & Lakesview International Business Park.

Haulage, logistics and the food and drinks sector (including agriculture) are also significant in the area.

Investment

Canterbury Council has a successful track record when it comes to regeneration development projects.

The council’s main regeneration project concerns the Kingsmead Leisure Centre. The facility will soon undergo a £5.5 million refurbishment project.

The Canterbury West station revamps, completed at the end of 2013 concluded a £4-million major upgrade of the surrounding area. The hugely successful project has enhanced the area massively to the benefit of nearby businesses. The Goods Shed, a daily farmer’s market on the site of the station has gone from strength to strength which in turn has boosted the Kentish farming economy.

Opened in 2010, Canterbury’s Innovation Centre is where cutting-edge design meets environmental sustainability. The Centre’s visually striking exterior houses over 2500 sqm of modern, affordable office, studio and workshop space.  Somewhere for new businesses to do business in.

The council has invested heavily in Park and Ride systems around the city’s outskirts and there are three sites at Wincheap, New Dover Road and Sturry Road.

Transport

Air: The closest airport to Canterbury is London Gatwick. There are regular services operated by both rail and bus companies to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Rail: Canterbury has two rail stations. Canterbury West has high-speed trains to London St. Pancras that take 56 minutes. As well as slower stopping services to London Charing Cross and trains to Ramsgate and Margate. Canterbury East has services from London Victoria through to Dover.

BusThe hourly National Express 007 coach service to Victoria Coach Station, is typically scheduled to take two hours. Eurolines coaches also run services to Paris. There is a wide range of local bus services to the universities and surrounding towns.

Road: Canterbury is by-passed by the A2 London to Dover Road. It is about 45 miles from the M25 London orbital motorway, and 61 miles from central London. The other main road through Canterbury is the A28 from Ashford to Ramsgate and Margate.

Shops & Leisure

Shopping: Whitefriars is Canterbury’s award-winning shopping district. It features over 70 of the country’s leading fashion and lifestyle retailers in a pleasant, open environment in the heart of the city. Many of the high street names are here as well as a delightful range of independent retailers. The King’s Mile has an atmosphere all of its own while St Dunstan’s, Westgate Towers and Northgate areas have a range of specialist stores and independent boutiques.

Food & Drink: The Kent CAMRA Beer Festival is held in Canterbury each year and there are many farmers’ markets and craft fairs held within the city walls throughout the year. Particularly popular are the Christmas markets and the three days Canterbury Food & Drink Festival.

Culture: The Marlowe Theatre is one of the UK’s landmark theatres. It underwent a full renovation and reopened in 2011 to rave reviews. Its programme includes world-recognised artists from music to ballet, as well as plays and musicals from touring companies. In 2014 it received a £23,000 grant to start operating as a producing house with a focus on new writing.

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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