Leeds – The ideal development

The property market is unpredictable at the best of times.

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Creative Commons, Wackslas

The Office for National Statistics recently announced that the UK house price have risen by 8% since 2013; removing London and the South East and it is still a steady 4.7% increase. However, as witnessed in the cataclysmic recession, these prices can decline rapidly.

Whether you are buyer, a developer, or a business, it is of paramount importance to research your desired location. Rush in head first and you will be making one of the costliest mistakes of your life.

Now, unless one is flush with cash it is almost impossible to get yourself a foothold in the London housing market, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t locations out there with lucrative returns on initial investments. One said place is Leeds.

The North Yorkshire city is a hotbed for would be property investors, while their industrial properties are growing from strength to strength.

Greg Davidson, the investment director of DTZ, had this to say: “The market for industrial property such as warehouses and factories in Leeds is forecast to see the highest rental growth and price increases.”

Increases in both rent and price are a telling sign for the city. It follows the simple contour of a supply and demand graph. Supply is low and demand is high, which ultimately leads to a spiking of prices and that is what every investor wants to see.

The growth in employment is another attractive sign for potential investors.  After London, Leeds is the second largest employer in financial services, with over 122,000 employed in that profession. What’s more is the increased office space in Leeds, most notably the 60,000 sq ft Valley Park development, which has been built to accommodate for the continuous growth of the financial sector, should see even more highly skilled employers flood to the area.

High employment, in high-end jobs, makes Leeds an oasis for developers. The city places fourth in the UK for most qualified staff, which is a huge incentive for property developers. More qualifications equal a higher wage, equating to more disposable income and in the property world, more disposable income correlates with higher property prices.

The local newspaper, the Yorkshire Post, released a report in March showing how buoyant the Leeds property market currently is. They report that a house in Headingley, a Leeds suburb, was on the market for a week, attracting 27 viewings, before being sold for £20,500 over the asking price. A house being sold over the asking price is usually a rarity, especially in the current economic clime, so this shows just how active, and prosperous, the Leeds housing market currently is.

The average house price in Leeds is currently £185,049 but for prospective developers there are loads of cheaper development plots out there, most of which can be fixed up cheaply and then let out to students. With three universities and over 250,000 students, the city has a huge buy-to-let market and one that is growing exponentially.

So far the city has not been able to fully saturate the demand for rental properties, making it the perfect location for first-time developers to chance their hand. Students offer annual rental investment and most of which can be charged a premium as they rent by room, rather than house.

All in all, Leeds has one of the most exciting property markets outside of the capital and it is the perfect location for any property developer. Increasing numbers of people in work make it a solid area to sell houses whilst the vast student population makes it an ideal place for renting properties.

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