Being a major business and commercial capital, Manchester has half of the North-West’s top 500 businesses and is growing fast; many companies are moving their businesses to Manchester every year. This is also reflected in the population growth, official forecasts suggest that the population will grow by another 80,000 by 2027, creating a huge demand for rental properties for commuters. It's links to the rest of the country, and world, with motorways and airports additionally make it a desirable city for connectedness – and the new HS2 route due for completion in 2032 will provide links to London in just over an hour (currently trains take just under 2 hours).
Rental yields in Liverpool are one of the best in the UK (5 of the top 20 postcodes on Totally Money’s list are in Liverpool ; when comparing this with the house prices in the city (with an average house here costing £174,082, compared to the UK average of £319,967 according to Zoopla data), this makes for an extremely desirable investment opportunity and lower risk when compared to other areas of the country.
For those commuters not wanting to live in a large city such as Manchester or Liverpool, Chester provides an excellent alternative – Liverpool is just a 40-minute drive, with Manchester just over an hour away via the M56 and M53 motorways. As of 2019, Chester is number 8 in the league table from Hot Housing Index of the most desirable places to live, making it a great location for families who need excellent commuting links from a more desirable city.
There are a number of factors why investment properties in Birmingham are a great opportunity. As the second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham is a more affordable, yet still desirable city for young professionals, students and families. Additionally, properties within the city offer a great opportunity for capital growth, beating the UK national average by almost 2% . The Commonwealth Games are set to take place in Birmingham in 2022, giving not only a boost to the local economy, but also investment within the city itself, increasing demand and desirability.
Average houses within Northampton sell within an average of 33 days. This indicates an extremely high demand for properties, potentially due to those moving to the area as a result of their jobs. The average house price increase within Northampton in 2018 was 2.8% - when comparing this to the average across the UK – 5.3%-, demonstrates the desirability of the area. Its central location and good links to both Birmingham, London, Cambridge and Oxford as well as access to the M1 show it is a great area for commuters looking to live in a smaller city.
Being the 4th most connected city in the country, with 75% of England being within a 2 hour drive of Coventry, the connectedness of Coventry is not to be denied. Furthermore, it’s not just desirable to commuters. Coventry boasts two Universities, with Coventry University ranking 15th according to the Guardian University Guide, 2020, and Coventry is rated as one of the Top 5 University-friendly cities in the UK. All of these factors show a great demand within Coventry for investment properties, for both commuters and students alike.
Being a reasonably new town, having been purposefully built in the 1960s by combining other smaller villages in the area, Milton Keynes currently boasts a population of around 230k. Some estimates suggest that this population may boom to over half a million people within the next 30 years; it has been dubbed as the most successful new city in the world, showing excellent growth within job growth, earnings, and other factors.
As the regional capital for the North East of England, Newcastle is an important city in the Northern part of the UK. With a strong business community, and a £92m investment programme into the Newcastle and Gateshead Accelerated Development Zone covering 80 hectares, this is stimulating business and job growth and so creating a lot of demand for houses and accommodation. Boasting two universities, Newcastle also has a thriving student population in need of accommodation, providing even more rental options and increasing demand in the city.
Located between Manchester and the Lake District, Preston is highly desirable for those people who need the convenience of living near their place of work but who want somewhere a bit more rural at the weekends. Preston is also located on a trainline that stretches from London to Edinburgh, so the ability to get across the country easily is an attractive boon for those looking for somewhere to live here. A £434 million investment in the city to improve transport infrastructure as well as creating 20,000 new jobs and 17,000 new homes means that Preston is growing and expanding – and creating more demand.
When compared with the rest of the country, property prices in Blackpool are considerably cheaper. Couple this with the fact that Blackpool is in the country’s top 10 for asking price reductions – 38.36% of homes have their asking price reduced. Rental yields however are not significantly lower than the rest of the country, average rents in the area are £495, giving healthy yields for those looking to invest. There is also an extensive investment and redevelopment programme underway in the area in order to boost the economy, create jobs and revitalise the town. This will bring in more workers and increase the demand for property.
Located between Leeds and Manchester, Burnley is the “best of both worlds” with a direct rail link to Manchester, but also being located near fields and countrysides, providing a great place to live for both commuters and families. A survey by the lettings platform Howsy has placed Burnley at joint fifth best place to invest in along with Belfast, with it providing the best rental yields in the UK at 6.5% (the top four were all in Scotland).
The Leeds city region now makes up for the second largest economy in the UK outside of London. The value of goods and services produced in Leeds account for 5% of the UK’s output (and is larger than 9 European countries!). A strong economy draws in workers and commuters, as well as families and provides jobs for people who all require housing – the population of Leeds has increased by 151% in the past decade, and includes more people under 24 than any other area outside the South-East. A factor in this is that Leeds has been hailed the “Digital Capital of the North”, making it a compelling town for commuters and young workers.
The economy in Sheffield is now worth £7 billion a year, and improving by 5% each year. Sheffield is one of the leading cities in the UK for manufacturing and engineering, bringing in workers from all over the country looking for career opportunities. Additionally, it is also home to two universities, offering multi-let and HMO opportunities to the 60,000 students each year who are looking for accommodation. The excellent transport links – a Supertram system to get around the city, links to the M1, along with four airports within half an hour’s drive of the area – are a big draw to young commuters and workers when choosing a city to settle down in, aiding in the city’s growth.
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