Leeds is a rapidly evolving part of West Yorkshire that is emerging as a prosperous location due to ambitious regeneration and strong economic development. As well as determined plans that are in the pipeline to build on the foundations laid by earlier successes, the city offers many opportunities for further education that can attract students from the UK and overseas.
Leeds was a former mill town that has been transformed into a thriving cultural hub and iconic tourist destination with a diverse social makeup. The latter is one of the major factors adding to the city’s growing popularity and rich character. With approximately 60,000 students calling Leeds home, and just over 13,400 student beds available, it is evident that there has been a significant spike in the student property market across the city.
Four reputable and highly attended universities ensure that a well-educated population is attracted to the city. Such high demand for developments and bed spaces means outstanding potential for student accommodation investment. The University of Leeds is the largest university in terms of student population with over 30,000 enrolled at the institute. As the eighth largest university in the whole of the UK, this places a heavy strain on the need to build adequate housing that meets high demand in terms of numbers and quality expectation as student figures are only predicted to rise in the future.
Over recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the demand for student property, and investors are becoming more aware of the widening gap between the total student numbers and the number of beds available. The students to beds ratio of 4:1 in Leeds sits above the UK average and highlights a distinct imbalance in availability, encouraging more new builds to crop up across the city.
Investing in student property is an extremely profitable asset class providing robust rental returns. New research aimed to compare multiple rental yields in different areas of the country and concluded that Leeds was one of the best cities for landlords to invest in buy to let. Benefitting from gross yields up to 10.79%, Leeds far exceeds those that can be found in the capital that scored a measly 3.5% in comparison.
According to statistics by HSBC, the average weekly spend for a student in the city comes in at £212.40, which is inclusive of food, rent in accommodation, travel, study materials and general expenses. These results show that Leeds is a more affordable city compared to Manchester (£235.48), Newcastle (£222.58) or Sheffield (£222.58).
Leeds has changed immensely in recent years, becoming a diverse and attractive area that has the buzz of a cosmopolitan city without the prohibitive price tag. The city’s dramatic revival alongside the high achieving further education institutions prove why Leeds is shaping up to be the number one student hotspot for many. Leading property investment companies like RW Invest recognise the city’s potential.
Students flock to the city of Leeds for its wild nightlife, quirky bars and independent music scene, making Leeds one of the most attractive cities when choosing where to study. For buy to let investors, the news couldn’t be any better.