Another confidence booster for property investors in the Northern Powerhouse
Channel 4 has chosen Leeds as the location for its national headquarters, beating strong competition from as many as 30 other UK cities. The move promises to bring more than 300 new jobs to Leeds and support up to 3,000 production jobs in the region.
There are already calls in Parliament for further investment in infrastructure in Leeds to support the move, which Channel 4 believes will “capitalize on a strong and fast-growing independent production sector across the North of England”.
But what does Leeds offer its employees who will be relocating here? And what does it mean to property investors?
Leeds is affordable and exciting
According to Channel 4’s CEO Alex Mahon, when she announced the move to Leeds there was a real buzz in the room. More than 200 of its staff will move to the city next year, and a further 100 roles will be created by 2023, and many of these will be excited by living in Leeds.
Relocating employees will get a lot more property for their money in Leeds. Compare the average house price of around £183,000 in Leeds to around £485,000 in London (Land Registry) and you understand just how much more. More staff will be able to afford their own home at last, and those who already own could unlock a lifestyle they can only dream of right now.
Where will Channel 4 employees decide to live?
Of course, many of the relocating employees will currently be commuters, with round trips of two hours or more each day to work in London. Younger members of staff are likely to take advantage of city centre living in Leeds. Apartments start at around £100,000, and for those who want to try before they buy, rent is far cheaper than in the centre of London.
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However, they may have the battle to find the best properties – Leeds is a city in which demand for homes outstrips supply.
Leeds is a lifestyle city
Leeds is a lifestyle city. The fantastic rural landscapes of Yorkshire are a stone’s throw away. The city centre is a nightlife lover’s dream. By road and rail, other cities and locations around the UK are easily accessible. It’s a fantastic place to live, work and play – factors that would not have been lost on Channel 4 executives when making their decision.
(Download your free Leeds Property Investment Guide to learn more about what makes Leeds a great place to invest in property.)
Where might investors buy in Leeds?
Whether investing for capital gain, rental income, or both, Leeds offers great potential for property investors:
- JLL forecasts that property prices in Leeds will grow by an average of more than 20% over the next five years
- Rental yields currently average more than 5%
- Add the two together, and the forecast average return could be around 9% to 10% per year over the next five years
To take advantage of this potential, there are many opportunities in and around Leeds. For example, young professionals seeking a vibrant and lively location may choose to live in a location such as Chapel Allerton. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and shops. This used to be one of the most popular areas for student accommodation, but the regeneration that has (and is) taking place here has prompted a different demographic to locate here.
At Kirkstall, house prices are among the most affordable in Leeds. It is here that you will find some of the best regeneration projects in Leeds, with new, mixed-use riverside communities providing a range of contemporary housing. Better still, the local railway station provides a 10-minute commute into the city centre.
Families may prefer areas such as Headingly or Roundhay, or perhaps some of the nearby towns such as Harrogate. Commuting into Leeds is easy from these areas, and children benefit from some of the country’s highest-ranked schools.
The Channel 4 effect in Leeds
While 300 new jobs directly created by Channel 4’s HQ decision isn’t going to put an immediate rocket under the Leeds property market, it does underline the growing confidence that businesses have in Leeds – at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse. It should give property investors a boost, too. With expectations of strong price growth and better-than-average rental yields, Leeds is a city that should be seriously considered for your next property investment.