2019 UK Property Hotspots
As the current year draws to a close, buy-to-let property investors will be looking ahead to next year and thinking about 2019 UK property hotspots that hold the most potential for growth and profitability.
One of the biggest advantages of the UK is that there are many attractive towns and cities to choose from, within a relatively small geographical area.
From the key hubs of the Northern Powerhouse to London’s ever-reliable commuter belt, here are some of the best 2019 UK property hotspots.
The exciting and culturally rich city of Liverpool has always had a lot going for it, but in recent years it has distinguished itself as one of the UK’s most innovative and attractive places to live and work, particularly for students and young professionals.
A range of higher education institutions – such as the University of Liverpool and John Moores University – combined with attractive lifestyle and leisure attractions make the city an appealing option for students.
Liverpool is also home to a thriving business community and knowledge sector, which provides a steady stream of career opportunities for university graduates and young professionals.
These are encouraging factors for buy-to-let property investors currently considering opportunities in the city, such as the Baltic 56 student accommodation development in the trendy Baltic Triangle.
Liverpool’s appeal to students has been highlighted as one of the key reasons why it is one of the best places to invest in for buy-to-let investors.
Comparison site TotallyMoney recently put the city at the top of a list of UK buy-to-let postcodes. Ranking yields by postcodes, the L7 and L1 postcode areas – which are close to two universities – were both ranked in the top five.
TotallyMoney’s head of brand and content, Joe Gardiner, said: “With students flocking to university cities year after year and looking for a place to live, it’s no surprise the student market is a dependable one for landlords.
“Since so many students are looking for accommodation, landlords may use this as an opportunity to drum up competition between them.”
The Centre for Cities has also highlighted Liverpool’s attractiveness for investors and tenants alike, placing it fourth on a list of the leading UK cities for population and jobs growth.
In the same Centre for Cities research, Newcastle appeared in seventh place, having experienced city centre population growth of 112 per cent between 2002 and 2015, along with a 29 per cent increase in jobs between 1998 and 2015.
This thriving urban centre on the northern bank of the River Tyne is comparable to Liverpool in that its distinctive identity and choice of higher education institutions make it an attractive living destination for students.
It’s estimated that the city’s student population has increased by around 20,000 since 2001, with more and more people coming to study at institutions such as Newcastle University and Northumbria University.
As a result, there is strong demand for purpose-built student accommodation in the area, particularly from those coming from overseas to study in the UK.
On the supply side, however, Newcastle’s universities are only able to offer accommodation for 8,365 people – less than a fifth of the full-time student population – in halls of residence or bedrooms under nomination agreements, according to Knight Frank.
This means investors in purpose-built schemes such as Opto Student Newcastle can expect to benefit from strong demand and a low risk of void periods.
With strong prospects for ongoing employment and economic growth throughout the city during 2019 and beyond, there is no denying Newcastle’s potential as an up and coming area for property investors.
Prohibitively high housing and living costs mean residing in London is an unattractive or simply impossible option for many.
But with the capital continuing to offer some of the most diverse and attractive job prospects for British and international workers, strong demand for living space within travelling distance of the city centre is practically guaranteed.
The commuter belt that encircles London is home to many well-established and perennially popular living destinations for commuters, as well as local workers. One of the most appealing spots for tenants – and therefore investors – is Luton.
In the July 2018 LendInvest Buy-to-Let Index, the Bedfordshire town featured at the very top of the ranking, based on a combination of four metrics: capital value growth, transaction volumes, rental yield and rental price growth. This was the third time Luton had reclaimed the top spot since December 2016.
Analysing the findings, Ian Boden, sales director at LendInvest, noted that all of the top-performing buy-to-let location in the surveyed quarter witnessed a slowdown in transactions.
“But, the best places this quarter continue to outperform the competition well thanks to strong performances on other, equally important metrics like rental yield, capital gains and rental price growth,” he added.
Like many key towns and cities across the UK, Luton is experiencing an imbalance between high demand for housing and inadequate supply. Investors can therefore expect developments such as Imperial Square – an off-plan collection of one and two-bedroom apartments just a short walk away from Luton train station – to draw a lot of interest from tenants.
Based on the town’s current performance, Luton is set to become a one of the best 2019 UK property hotspots.
For those investors targeting the UK’s highly lucrative student accommodation market, Cardiff is another city that offers the promise of strong demand thanks to a thriving student population.
The Welsh capital is home to Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University, as well as a local campus of the University of South Wales.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, Cardiff University was ranked fifth among UK universities based on overall quality. It is also the eighth largest university in the UK in terms of student numbers, with 2016-17 figures showing 31,597 people enrolled.
What’s more, Cardiff was identified as the second most affordable city in the UK to attend university in the latest NatWest Student Living Index, underlining its appeal for students.
The city itself offers many attractions and lifestyle benefits for young people, including music venues, bars, shopping centres and a lively nightlife scene.
Seeing as Cardiff is such an attractive place to live and study, investors in purpose-built student housing can expect to see strong demand for accommodation, and consequently consistent yields and infrequent void periods.
With Experience Invest set to offer new student accommodation investment Cardiff next year, the Welsh capital is unquestionably a buy-to-let destination worth keeping an eye on.
2019 UK Property Hotspots
Throughout 2018, British real estate has remained resilient across a range of sectors and the market has kept is cool during Brexit talks. As demand remains at a record high, buy-to-let property is set to remain as a popular choice for investors. For buyers looking to expand their portfolio, these 2019 UK property hotspots are some of the best places to invest in and offer some of the best rental yields on the market.