Investing in Property – York history and contemporary urban.
York is a historic English city with history stemming back to Roman times. The city has long been a trade hub, conveniently located in the heart of Yorkshire. York's local economy is thriving thanks to strong employment growth (set to grow at 4% more than the UK average by 2030) and tourism.
An urban setting, York benefits from the close proximity to both of Yorkshire's national parks, truly providing the best of two worlds – city living a stone's throw from the glorious rolling greens of the Yorkshire landscape.
York has a rich and colourful history. Established in around 71AD by Romans, the city was a major wool-trading hub in the Middle Ages. In the 19th Century, the city became the hub of the railway network and sweets and chocolate manufacturing instead.
Today, York is home to around 200,000 people, most employed in the service industry, which makes up almost 89% of the city’s economy. This includes public sector, health, education, finance and IT.
Tourism accounts for around 11% of employment, and has increased over the past few years – in 2009, York was the 7th most popular city with domestic visitors, and 13th among overseas visitors.
Tourism isn’t the only thing that’s expanded recently, as more and more generation projects are taking place in York, transforming the city into a hyper-modern hub in the heart of Yorkshire.
York’s cityscape is changing
In October 2015, City of York Council announced a huge regeneration masterplan set to radically transform an unused 178 acre brownfield site. The vision has been developed along with Network Rail, the National Railway and the Homes and Communities Agency.
The plan could provide up to 120,000 sq. metre of office space, up to 7,000 new jobs and 2,500 new build homes, and includes an expansion of the National Railway Museum and a network of public squares and green spaces.
The station would receive a new and more welcoming entrance as part of the plans, and the way buses, cars, cyclists and pedestrians use the public space would also be improved.
A new mental health hospital worth around £29m will be built in York, though the specific location for the new 5,500 sq. metre facility is still to be determined.
The Designer Outlet south of York could also see a ‘crazy golf course’ built on a small patch of the current parking lot. The 12-hole course would have obstacles related to York’s sights and history, including a 1.4 metre high Viking helmet. A decision by the council is expected by late July or early August.
York is benefiting from regeneration and investment
Regeneration areas always make for great for places for investing in property, as they improve existing fundamentals in an area. The five drivers of real growth and demand for property are education, transport, investment, economy & employment and shops & leisure – these are the most important aspects to consider when choosing where to invest your cash.
Why? Well, everyone wants to live close to local amenities without having to travel far to school and work. And the more investment being placed into an area, the better, as it will draw new residents and employment into the area. As demand increases, so will rental prices.
A property investor choosing an area that sees a lot of regeneration investment and offers great options in the other categories will find it easy to let their property to young families and professionals.
Some of the best green space in the UK
Four of York’s parks – Rowntree Park, West Bank Park, Rawcliffe Country Park and Glen Gardens – have been voted some of the best in the country as they’ve received the prestigious Green Flag Award. Another city park, Clarence Gardens, already holds Green Flag Award status.
North Yorkshire is home to two national parks, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, which added £1.2bn, to the local economy thanks to visits from over 17 million people in 2015. This was an improvement by £1m compared to 2012.
The huge number of domestic and international tourists visiting the national parks shows that York really offers everything families and professional want: urban living in an evolving city, close to remarkable and beautiful green space with plenty of sights and activities.
Why invest in York
York offers strong employment figures, plenty of tourism and a historic setting that's rapidly modernising. Combine this with York’s strong and growing economy, and you’ve got a recipe for a great investment that will generate strong returns.