A booming economy, high population growth and much more spells huge potential
Leeds is attracting the money of clued-up property investors, and for good reasons. Leeds is the UK’s second-largest employment centre outside London, with another 25,000 new jobs forecast to be added to the local market over the next 10 years. This will build further on the 6.1% growth in private sector jobs between 2007 and 2017 (Leeds.gov.uk), with the highest jobs growth expected in:
- Financial services (+9%)
- Manufacturing (+9%)
- Construction (+7%)
- Accommodation and food services (+15%)
- Professional services (+6%)
- Transport and logistics (+6%)
The Leeds economy is booming, and this is driving population growth and demand for property. The population of Leeds (currently around 780,000) is expected to grow by around 122,000 between now and 2036 (Government Office for Science). However, these aren’t the only reasons to invest in property in Leeds. Here are seven more reasons why savvy property investors are targeting Leeds as the location for their long-term property investment.
1. A vibrant student market
Leeds Arts University, previously known as the Leeds College of Art, was given university status in 2017, meaning Leeds is now home to four universities, several specialist colleges, and two teaching hospitals. The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University are highly regarded for academics and sport respectively.
More than 65,000 students study and live in Leeds, helping to create a vibrant and diverse local economy in which student accommodation is in high demand.
2. A big business centre
As the regional capital, Leeds is a massive contributor to the regional economy.
Leeds is at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse and is set to benefit from high-speed rail, too. It is home to the UK’s biggest financial and professional services sector outside of London, which is forecast to continue to grow strongly as the effects of high-speed rail gather pace.
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3. Terrific transport links
Leeds already benefits from excellent transport links, and these are set to improve. The central railway station connects between Edinburgh and London, with connections to many other major UK cities. When HS2 arrives, it will decrease journey times and further improve transport links.
Leeds train station is the third-busiest in the UK outside of London, serving around 30 million passengers each year. It has 11 terminus platforms and six through-platforms.
Leeds is also well connected to international destinations, via Leeds Bradford Airport. It serves around 100,000 passengers each week, offering 70 direct destinations and connecting flights to other worldwide destinations via Heathrow, Amsterdam and Dublin.
4. Regeneration and property development is huge
Regeneration is rampant in Leeds, with both commercial and residential development taking place. Major projects that have been completed or are planned include:
- Trinity Shopping Centre
- Victoria Gate
- The South Bank regeneration project
- Quarry Hill
- Wellington Place Government Hub
- Bridge Street
This represents billions of pounds in investment, creating hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail space, thousands of new homes, and attracting new businesses to create new jobs.
5. Property opportunities to suit all investment objectives
Whatever your investment objectives and target tenant, Leeds offers a wide variety of property types to buy. These include converted mills, refurbished Victorian houses, and new and off-plan builds catering to all tenants in the city centre and nearby districts.
6. Great affordability and high yields
According to home.co.uk, the average property price in Leeds is £217,135 (October 2018). This is around 12.5% below the average property price of £248,611 in England (ONS, July 2018). With an average rent of £971 per month – a gross rental yield of 5.3% – a property investment in Leeds currently offers great affordability coupled with a rental yield higher than the UK average.
7. High demand should sustain long-term profitability
As Leeds continues to regenerate and the local economy continues to add jobs, the population continues to grow with it. Leeds is a favoured destination for students and young professionals, and this is adding to demand for property here. This demand looks unlikely to slow down in the near future.
How to find out more
We’re incredibly bullish about the potential of Leeds as a destination for property investment. All the property factors we want to see are in evidence here, making it an extremely strong candidate for those who want to benefit from the best dynamics of the UK property market.
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