The UK’s top 5 places for property investment
When it comes to investing in property, choosing the right location is a crucial factor and every bit as important as the structure of the building itself. In that way, it’s unlike some of the other investments we make in the UK – the quality of the asset is determined by both what it is and where it is. If a city or region enjoys a boom – or suffers a downturn – then it will affect the value of your property asset.
With that in mind, it pays to understand which cities are thriving and, therefore, would make for a sound choice when it comes to purchasing a bricks and mortar asset for your investment portfolio.
The amount of construction projects under way in a city is normally a good indicator of its relative economic health. With this in mind, it’s fair to say that the Second City is on the up. Birmingham saw a tenfold increase in the number of homes being built last year – as well as a 50 per cent rise in the amount of office space under construction. The ongoing project to bring a high speed rail connection to London should bring a further boost to Birmingham and help to continue its upward trajectory.
Property investors should also be on the lookout for cities with a large student population, as this fuels a strong demand for rental properties. The University of Bradford has plans to increase its cohort by 30 per cent by 2024, which should bring a big boost to a city that is outperforming many of its larger neighbours economically. Currently, only 17.6 per cent of Bradford’s students are said to have a dedicated student apartment, leaving 19,500 people to turn to the private sector.
Would-be investors can benefit from a wealth of studies that look at the relative strength in the market. This sort of freely available material is worth its weight in gold when deciding on a location. One such study, from Property Partner, showed a clear north/south divide when it comes to property investments – with the high prices in London and the south east negating the benefit to be gained from high rentals. Its study highlighted Stoke-on-Trent in particular as being a property hotspot, benefitting from low prices and high demand which deliver a good yield for landlords.
Head slightly further north and you’ll see a similar combination of low prices and high demand in Liverpool. One study said that impressive yields of eight per cent can be earned in the Merseyside city – with rents of more than £12,000 earned on houses costing just over £120,000 on average.
While there’s greater value – and performance – in the housing market outside of London, there’s no denying that close links to the capital are desirable. Woking in Surrey is a popular choice for commuters as it’s just 25 miles from central London and has good links to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. A £250 million regeneration project is a good sign for investors – as is the quality and range of housing stock on offer.
Debbie Fletcher is a regular contributor to the RentPro blog as a guest writer. She is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of different magazines and news publications over the years. Graduating from City University London specialising in English Literature, Debbie’s passion for writing has since grown. She loves anything and everything technology, and exploring different cultures across the world. She’s currently looking towards starting her Masters in Comparative Literature in the next few years.