Leeds could be the golden goose for property investors in the UK
HS2 should transform the fortunes of the North of England. When services start, transport options for people and freight will explode. Suddenly, the capital and the South of England will be just an hour or so away. It’s likely that businesses will relocate to the north. People will be able to commute hundreds of miles each day, into and out of the region. At the heart of the action is Leeds, a city that is already attractive for property investment.
Leeds: energy in the local economy
HS2 (and HS3) is certainly transformative and is planned for in the long-term economic strategy of the city. Leeds train station will be a major regional hub. The economic impact could be huge, and it is already starting to filter through ahead of the scheduled service starts. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more vibrant local economy in the UK right now.
Businesses are moving into Leeds. Employment is up. At the core of this expansion is the ‘new’ economy: financial services, health, innovation, and digital. When you hear about a slowing UK economy, the experts clearly haven’t visited Leeds.
In a recent report by Cambridge Econometrics and Economic Associates, titled ‘The Economic Prospects for the City of Leeds’, analysts concluded that Leeds is not only out-performing other UK cities, but also can continue doing so. It found that:
- Jobs in the private sector in the Leeds City Region grew by 6% in 2016.
- The local economy, worth around £18 billion, grew by nearly 40% in the last 10 years.
- There are more than 25,000 businesses in the region, with a large and thriving private sector economy.
- Leeds has an incredible eco-system that makes it the perfect location for health and innovation companies. The NHS has most of its national offices here.
Leeds has amazing digital connectivity, with 100 megabits and gigabit broadband. The region also houses a huge higher education offering. There are nine universities here, producing more than 39,000 graduates each year. It’s the exact environment in which companies in the knowledge economy thrive. Little wonder that so many international and national banks have major offices here: more than 30 at the last count.
Transport will transform the region
I’ve mentioned HS2 and HS3, but this isn’t the only transport improvement that will benefit regional residents and businesses. In our article ‘Transport in Leeds – the road to off-plan property investment’, I described the transport improvements planned and budgeted for. These include:
- Upgrading roads
- Improving the already extensive bus services and system
- Integrating smart technology to improve movability
As these plans are built out, Leeds city centre should connect to the region and beyond with a comprehensive road and rail infrastructure that will rival any in Europe.
Property in Leeds – exceptional investment potential
Investors who have bought property in Leeds over the last 12 to 24 months have done very well. Asking prices in Leeds are up by an average of 9% to 10% in 2017. With average rental prices of £1358 per month, gross rental yields average 7.8%.
The star of the show has been the city centre. It has boomed, thanks to affordability, the local economy, and exceptional property fundamentals that are supporting demand from homebuyers and renters. The city is proving a magnet for young professionals, students, and growing families. However, as the infrastructure improves, and transport options grow, the city region is experiencing the blossoming potential for residential property investment. Town centres and the suburbs are very much in the sights of professional property investors in the Leeds region.
Demand for property from a growing population has helped push up property prices in Leeds. It’s likely to do so in the future. As the economy continues to grow, and the benefits of improved infrastructure filter through, demand for property should also grow. And that should be great news for those who invest in Leeds in 2018.
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