Leeds: where productivity is powering off-plan property opportunity

Government and businesses invest for productivity – it’s time to invest in property

Economic growth in the UK is slowing, and the blame has been firmly laid at the foot of productivity. Employment has boomed in the UK since the end of the Global Financial Crisis, but productivity hasn’t. But that’s a generalisation. And, of course, there are pockets where the most productive sectors of the economy – the tech and science industries in particular – are heavily represented, and growing stronger.

Increased productivity is likely to drive higher localised growth. That should push wages and wealth higher. In turn, the population should grow. This combination is how productivity fits into the property investment equation.

In this article, you’ll learn why Leeds is one of our core picks to benefit from investment designed to boost UK productivity, and why we’re actively recommending investment in off-plan property in Leeds.

The highly-paid digital tech sector is booming in Leeds

The tech sector in Leeds is booming. In 2016, more than 300 tech companies started their life in the city region. Already, the sector produces almost £700 million in GVA and supports around 24,000 jobs. In the next ten years, it is forecast that there will be another 4,000 jobs in the tech sector in the Leeds City Region.

These jobs provide average annual salaries of more than £50,000, a figure that has increased by 25% over the last five years. Ask an employee in this sector in Leeds about stagnant wages, and they’ll look at you in puzzlement.

A thriving tech cluster supported by a highly educated workforce

There is huge tech investment coming to the UK. More of that investment than ever is going to the regions, rather than to London. Leeds is making a big play for it. Companies such as Sky Technology, NHS Digital, and Rockstar Games have made Leeds their home.

The tech cluster around Futurelabs, Leeds Beckett Digital Hub, and the Tech Hub Platform are thriving. The University of Leeds is gaining a reputation as one of the country’s leading centres for medical biometrics and consumer data research.

Leeds is a major communications hub

Outside of London, Leeds is the UK’s only independent internet exchange. It’s the place where businesses exchange data at mega speeds and low cost.

The science sector in Leeds – top of the government’s Christmas list

Leeds is also home to some of the world’s best clinical research facilities. The government spent £50 million on locating two national centres in North Yorkshire: the Biorenewables Development Centre in York, and the Digital Health Enterprise Zone in Bradford.

In Leeds, the University of Leeds headed a consortium to carry out a national audit of innovation and research in medical technologies.

Collaborating to make Leeds a global centre of innovation

An innovation district combines the campuses of the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds General Infirmary, and buildings of Leeds City Council. It should encourage the collaboration that will be needed to create an opportunity for product development.

And get this: as part of a £500 million investment, the Nexus Innovation and Enterprise Centre will provide the space for local, national, and international businesses to take advantage of the capacity for research and innovation here.

The Leeds City Region – the place for STEM

There is no doubt that a city region is an exceptional place for high productivity business. It holds the largest concentration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates in the country. It is exactly the direction in which governmental investment is focused.

Wherever you look around North Yorkshire, the government is investing in these high-tech and science industries. Tens and hundreds of millions of pounds.

Let’s not forget the highly productive professional sector

Outside of London, Leeds houses the UK’s most productive financial and professional services sector. It produces nearly £4.5 billion in GVA, and is forecast to grow substantially in the coming years:

  • There are more than 30 national and international banks with major offices here, including Santander and HSBC.
  • Three of the UK’s five largest building societies are headquartered in the region, managing a total of £60 billion of assets.
  • Around 150 accountancy firms have offices here, including PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and Ernst & Young.
  • In total, almost 30,000 people are employed in the financial and accountancy sectors here.

Legal firms have also found Leeds to be an attractive place to set up business, and the city region is home to the fastest growing legal sector in the UK.

Productive businesses need employees

In Leeds, these highly productive and high-paying sectors have access to some of the most highly educated and talented people in the UK. And with such businesses relocating and expanding into the Leeds City Region, the population is set to grow rapidly as key workers are encouraged to move here.

Leeds will need to provide more high-density housing for workers across these key economic sectors. The opportunity for property investors and the potential for off-plan property in Leeds to produce exceptional returns may never have been better.

To discover some of the best off-plan opportunities in the UK today, contact one of the Gladfish team on +44 207 923 6100. Getting in early could help you to push your investment returns even higher.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

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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