When deciding to purchase buy to let properties, Bradford may not be one of the first locations that springs to mind. However it is a city on the rise that holds a lot of potential for investors. Here are the top 7 reasons why buy to let in Bradford is a good idea.
Low costs, high yields
First and foremost, investment in Bradford comes at a fraction of the cost of many other UK towns and cities. According to data from Zoopla, the average cost of a flat in Bradford is £109,841 and £102,856 for a terraced house. Compared to the UK average of £297,053 and £254,347 respectively, Bradford offers great value for money.
Once the property is filled there is the potential for returns of over 10% – some of the best in the UK. The next six reasons will explain why.
Bradford has the youngest UK population, with 30% of residents being under the age of 20. This is a huge advantage to investors; the young demographic will consist of people who are yet to get their feet on the property ladder so are in need of rental accommodation. It also means that student accommodation is highly sought after for the local university and colleges, including for the growing number of international students who are choosing the city.
A university city
Bradford University is good news for investors, since it frequently appears in the ‘top 10’ lists for places to study in the UK and attracts people to the area. In 2018-2019 there were a total of 8564 students enrolled, with a mixture of undergraduate, postgraduate and international students included in that number. The University is also a big employer, with 1499 members of staff employed across the various departments last academic year and the level of skill acquired by residents is rising, resulting in a diverse population of young professionals creating demand for property.
The annual influx of students is good news for buy-to-let investors as it means there is a constant stream of potential renters to fill your properties with. As is the case with Bradford, university towns offer great returns thanks to the myriad of other investment opportunities that they attract.
Business is booming in Bradford. In 2017, it won the title of the best city in the UK for business start ups, based on a range of measures including infrastructure, commercial rents, business survival rate and net migration to the city. However it isn’t just small or new businesses that benefit from what Bradford has to offer. Morrison’s supermarkets, Hallmark Cards UK and Yorkshire Building Society are amongst the many names that have their headquarters in the city and large retailers such as Next and Marks and Spencer have got a significant warehouse presence. Big, established employers such as those mentioned are good for encouraging economic migration.
Great transport links
Thanks to a great infrastructure network in the surrounding area, property in Bradford is of great interest to commuters. Leeds is twenty-four minutes away by train and Manchester is reachable in around an hour, both lines accessible from the Bradford Interchange. There are also a variety of coach and bus services available from the same place, making connectivity a problem of the past. And for those wanting to travel further afield, flights leaving from nearby Leeds Bradford Airport can take you all over Europe. The pool of potential tenants is far wider than you may first think.
History and culture
Bradford has an interesting history, that is reflected in the diverse range of architecture throughout the city. The Townscape Heritage Scheme is spending £2million on the restoration and protection of historic buildings, which should encourage further investment in the area. This will raise the desirability of property in the area, which is always a good thing for investors.
In celebration of the diversity and multicultural population, Bradford has launched a bid to become the 2025 UK City of Culture. This comes amidst a £1.4million cultural investment that will improve cultural engagement and promote the positives of a diverse demographic. Bradford has already had the honour of being the first UNESCO City of Film, in recognition of a rich media heritage. Bradford is regularly used as a filming location for film and television and there is a vast program of events and festivals to engage the public, creating many new jobs whilst shining a spotlight on the city.
Bradford is undergoing a huge program of regeneration that has attracted a wealth of local authority and external investment.
By 2021 the One City Park development will be providing a vast amount of high-quality office space. Facing the historic Town Hall and surrounded by hospitality establishments, it will sit perfectly at the centre of the new Business Quarter. Plans for a new Public Services Hub will bring a variety of services under one roof, accommodating up to 3500 members of staff and making it easier for local residents to access services.
Moving out of the city centre, the Odsal Retail Development will create a retail and leisure gateway space in close proximity to the rugby stadium. The proposed site of 16.8 acres will make it a significant addition to the region’s retail profile. The M62 Corridor development includes nine separate sites with great potential for manufacturing and logistics usage that will see the creation of an impressive number of employment opportunities.
Exciting new proposals and expanding opportunities will welcome a fresh cohort of potential tenants to the area, whilst encouraging local residents to stick around and enjoy what Bradford has to offer. With ongoing growth and more on the horizon, Bradford is the ideal place to grow a buy to let portfolio. Contact the team at Aspen Woolf to see what opportunities we have available in Bradford or elsewhere, whether you are building your portfolio or investing in property for the first time.