7 Reasons To Invest In Bradford Buy To Let
Bradford property investment has definitely been an interesting topic to explore these past few years. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 7 reasons to invest in Bradford property.
The Northern city of Bradford is experiencing a remarkable level of investment and regeneration. Recently named 2025 City of Culture, the youngest city in Europe is drawing new businesses and talent, making it a reliable and sustainable location for buy-to-let property investment.
With a proud industrial heritage and a strong, growing economy, Bradford offers competitive living and business opportunities. Adding to its attraction as a buy-to-let investment destination, Bradford is home to universities which attract a thriving student rental market.
1. A University City
Bradford University frequently appears in the ‘top 10’ lists for places to study in the UK. In 2020-2021 there were a total of 9,960 students enrolled, including a mix of undergraduate, postgraduate and international students. The university is also a big employer, with 1,452 members of staff employed across the various departments in the 2020-2021 academic year.
The annual influx of students is good news for buy-to-let investors as it means a constant student tenant market in search of rental property. Student accommodation is in strong demand due to the local university and college students, as well as a growing number of international students who are choosing the city.
As well as higher-than-average rental yields associated with student property, university towns like Bradford offer great returns thanks to the myriad of other investment opportunities they attract.
2. Population and Demographics
Bradford is the 5th largest metropolitan authority in England, with a growing population of 542,100. Bradford has the fastest-growing population outside London and is the fourth-largest metropolitan district after Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield.
Bradford is also the youngest city in the UK. 26.3% of Bradford’s population are aged under 18 compared with 21.4% nationally. A young population is a huge advantage to investors. Young demographics consist of people who are yet to get their feet on the property ladder, pushing up the demand for rental accommodation.
3. Business Growth
The 10th largest city economy in England, Bradford’s economy is worth an impressive £11.6 billion. It ranks third out of the largest economies in the Yorkshire and Humber region after Leeds and Sheffield.
Bradford’s 16,000 businesses employ around 250,000 people across the UK with a combined turnover of over £30 billion. Sector strengths include advanced engineering, financial services, digital technologies, automotive components and food manufacture.
In the manufacturing centre, 1,200 manufacturing businesses employ 24,000 people – the 5th highest of any UK city after London, Birmingham, Derby and Leeds.
Morrison’s supermarkets, Hallmark Cards UK and Yorkshire Building Society are amongst the many names that have their headquarters in the city. Large retailers such as Next and Marks and Spencer have a significant warehouse presence.
Established employers attract economic migration to Bradford and the boost in young professionals gives investors the opportunity to service an active rental market, making Bradford property investment an appealing choice.
4. A Growing Entrepreneurial Scene
In 2021, Bradford was ranked among the best places in the UK to start a business. Technology provider Fasthosts listed Bradford as 15th out of 85 cities in the UK based on a number of metrics like productivity, running costs and the survival rate of start-ups.
Bradford investment is helping to build the city’s thriving digital sector, which already includes 800 businesses employing 3,500 people. Barclays Bank SME Growth Factors Index also listed Bradford as the best place in Britain to start a business. Adding weight to Bradford’s startup clout, the city was listed as one of the top 20 cities for business growth by the Sunday Times in 2020.
5. Great Transport Links
Thanks to a great infrastructure network in the surrounding area, property in Bradford is of great interest to commuters. As rising rents push people out of Leeds and Manchester, more investors are looking to Bradford to take advantage of the commuter rental market.
Leeds is twenty-four minutes away by train and Manchester is reachable in around an hour, both lines accessible from the Bradford Interchange. Flights leaving from nearby Leeds Bradford Airport fly to a myriad of destinations in Europe.
6. Regeneration Plans
Bradford is undergoing a huge program of regeneration that has attracted a wealth of local authority and external investment.
Bradford Council is currently producing a Development Framework for the city of Bradford. The Framework sets direction and development principles, and will maximise the city’s development potential beyond Bradford 2025 to create work opportunities for future generations.
- City Village
Bradford city centre is being transformed by a number of multi-million projects. The Kirkgate Centre is part of a City Village concept that will make the city more accessible and offer more convenient living.
- One City Park
One City Park is a five-storey Grade A office space located in City Park. The £35 million project will bring 450 jobs to the building and provide much-needed high-quality office space in the city, with some of the funding expected to come from the Government’s Getting Building Fund.
- Darley Street Market
This three-floor building will include a fresh food floor, food vendors and food court that can sit 530 people. The former Marks & Spencer building will also include a stage for music and entertainment, providing a boost to the city’s night-time economy when the Market opens in summer 2023.
- Great Horton Road
Great Horton Road’s 1890’s Grade II listed Old Building is set to become luxury on-campus accommodation. The former Bradford College building is set to be popular with international students and provide non-student accommodation.
- High Point
When it was constructed in the 1970s, High Point was one of Bradford’s most expensive building projects, costing £1.4m (an estimate of £18 million today). After lying empty for 25 years, High Point building will be redeveloped as part of an £11 million project that will see the building converted into 87 one and two-bedroom apartments.
7. History and Culture
Bradford’s diverse architecture reflects the town’s interesting history and the Townscape Heritage Scheme is spending £2 million on the restoration and protection of historic buildings and properties in Bradford. This restoration will encourage further investment in the area and raise the desirability of property in the area.
Bradford has already had the honour of being the first UNESCO City of Film, and is regularly used as a filming location for film and television. Bradford was recently named the 2025 UK City of Culture which comes amidst a £1.4 million cultural investment that will improve cultural engagement and celebrate its diversity and multicultural population.
Is Bradford a Good Place for Buy-to-Let?
The Bradford property market is relatively cheap compared to the UK’s £296,000 average property price (October 2022). Bradford’s average property price is £187,372 – that’s over £42k cheaper than both Leeds (£257,023) and Sheffield (£230,303).
For buyers looking to get more for their money, Bradford is an excellent place to buy. Rent is also increasing in demand as tenants look to alternative locations within commuting distance to cities like Leeds and there remains a lack of supply in the housing stock compared to demand for property.
Is it Worth Investing in Bradford?
With its announced as the UK’s City of Culture 2025, Bradford will undoubtedly see a positive knock-on effect of investment and regeneration projects. Bradford buy-to-let investors could experience large capital growth from Bradford property investment as well as strong rental yields as the city becomes an increasingly popular place to live.
Rents in the region have significantly increased in recent years due to a lack of properties available. Bradford offers rental yields that are 1.37% above the national average of the UK’s rental market. Investors can expect average yields of 5% thanks to strong tenant demand from a young population, with some areas and student accommodation presenting significantly more lucrative opportunities.
Is Bradford Good for Airbnb?
Bradford is one of the UK’s best cities to be an Airbnb host. The city holds the crown for the highest occupancy rate per year at 83%, ahead of Brighton with 71%, and Bournemouth with 70%. With low house prices and high Airbnb revenue, it can be advantageous to invest in Airbnb property in Bradford.
Which Area is Good in Bradford?
From areas popular with students to those convenient for commutes to Leeds and further afield, there are a multitude of places to invest in Bradford that can be advantageous to property investors. If you’re looking to buy a house in Bradford, here are some areas to take a closer look at.
In BD7, close proximity to Bradford City Centre and the University of Bradford, average house prices in the area were £119,289 over the last year. With plenty of terraced housing, the area makes a good HMO and student property investment destination.
Buying a house in Bradford City Centre offers investors a range of types to choose from, from older terraces to new build apartment blocks and converted warehouse buildings, as well as student accommodation opportunities. The city centre’s relatively low house prices and rent prices mean that investors can expect yields of 8-11% in the BD1 postcode.
Properties in BD3 had an overall average price of £92,769 in the last year. The BD3 area of the city is a popular location for commuters due to easy access to Leeds. The areas of Bradford Moor, Thornbury and Eastbrook offer property prices that are some of the lowest in the city, which can make it one of the best areas to invest in Bradford.
With relatively low property prices, attractive yields and the UK’s youngest population in high need of tenant housing, Bradford property investment can be lucrative indeed. A university city where a number of regeneration projects are transforming its appeal, investment property for sale in Bradford comes in many forms and can be a road to great capital gains and strong rental yields. To find out more about property investment in Bradford, get in touch with our experts.