University towns make for great locations for buy-to-let investors.
With around 23% of the population of Leeds living in rented accommodation and the higher than average amount of young people renting alone or in groups, it also means that there is high demand in Leeds for a range of housing other than the standard one or two bed flat, or small house. This gives the investor a little more scope and flexibility.
According to a recent report, Leeds reports a healthy 7.6% yield for buy-to-let investors. The area is popular with out of town investors who may have been priced out of other markets in areas that have topped recent charts of best buy to let locations.
Leeds is a small city with plenty to offer. Just a half hour walk from one side of the city to the other, Leeds has a well-developed shopping centre with beautiful historic shopping arcades, a Victorian quarter (also home to Europe’s largest stained glass window), the amazing Corn Exchange, and Kirkgate Market.
It’s also located in the county of Yorkshire so is surrounded by stunning countryside. This makes Leeds a firm favourite for people looking to balance an urban working week, with the option to take advantage of stunning scenery and outdoor adventure come the weekend.
Art and Culture
Leeds has a well documented cultural scene with the Leeds Grand Theatre being home to musicals and popular shows, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse hosting independent theatre and plays from a wide range of contemporary and historic playwrights. Add to this stadium-sized music venues and beautiful traditional cinemas alongside the usual multiplexes and you can see that Leeds really does have something for everyone.
With all this in mind, exactly where should you be looking to invest?
Leeds apparently attracts more university applications than any other city in the UK. With around 55,000 students, targeting areas popular with the student body is a smart move. Hyde Park is a massive student area, slightly less popular than Headingly, and walk-able to the university in ten minutes. With great amenities including a cinema, library, and Hyde Park itself, this is apparently the place for student house parties.
A little further out of town, Burley is growing in popularity with student renters. Studious postgrads and parent students looking for quieter areas than the popular Headingly and Hyde Park, are turning to Burley. This means investors looking for renters with a slightly more mature outlook than your average eighteen year old, would do well to look here too.
The City Centre
The city centre area of Leeds has undergone a huge period of investment of late. It’s now an attractive place to live in itself thanks to the massive conversion programme centred on old industrial warehouses along the river. The canal basin is set to develop even further in the next few years. What was long abandoned has been re-gentrified and is now a very desirable area largely consisting of one and two bedroom apartment stock - ideal for investors looking to rent to young professionals.
Leeds is a great bet for buy-to-let investment. Its compact size and massive renting population mean you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for stable yield. So whether its students or young professionals that you’re looking to rent to, head to Leeds and see just what it has to offer.